We believe at Big Red SEO whether you own a small business or a national franchise, a mom and pop store or a multinational conglomerate, if you want to have the best chance of showing up at the top of local search engine rankings or, even better, in the search carousel, creating and optimizing a Google+ Local profile is an integral step in making that happen.
Here are three questions you need to ask yourself first:
- Does your business have a physical location?
- If so, are you on Google+ Local?
- If not, why not?
If you find yourself answering the third question with “what’s Google+ Local?,” “I don’t know how to do it,” or “I don’t see the point,” we here at Big Red SEO in Omaha want to help you understand what a big deal Google+ Local is. Since 97% of consumers end up searching for local businesses online, it’s clear that as a business owner you need to do as much as possible to make sure those people find you.
To that end, here are 4 simple ways to optimize your Google+ Local profile, increasing your visibility on SERPs so you can pummel the competition.
1. Complete Your Profile
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how many people go to the trouble to set up a Google+ Local profile without filling out all the information. It’s important to understand that completing your profile (and we mean completely complete, like 100% complete, like a report card that’d make your mom proud) is a practice that comes with many benefits:
- Any searcher who comes across your profile will know that you’re a business that pays attention to detail. They’ll know your name, your address, your phone number, your hours of operation, and have access to photos, maps and driving directions to your store that can help them find you in any situation. Bottom line: searchers like businesses that make themselves available, and you should be one of those businesses.
- Google likes completed profiles and will often rank them higher in SERPs (search engine results page) than profiles that are missing information.
2. Make Sure Your NAP is Up-to-Date and Consistent
There’s nothing more confusing and off-putting for a person performing a local search than contact information that varies from place to place on the web. If a potential customer uses turn-by-turn directions to get to your business only to find out that you’ve moved across town without updating your address, congratulations, you just lost a sale (and most likely a customer).
This goes back to presenting yourself as a business that pays attention to the details. How close attention are we talking? If you write “Street” in your address on your website, don’t put “St.” on your Google+ Local profile. And don’t put a local phone number in one place and a toll-free number in another.
3. Make Use of Categories
Categories give you another opportunity to be found, so you’ll want to make sure that you check off every relevant category that your business falls under. It’s important to add categories that describe what your business is, not what it does. For instance, if you’re a dentist, your category would most likely be “Dentist,” not “dental care,” “teeth whitening,” or “dental implants.”
4. Ask for Customer Reviews
This is arguably the most important aspect of your profile, for numerous reasons. First, Google really likes reviews and tends to rank businesses higher, especially on the local carousel, which have a lot of reviews.
Why does Google like reviews?
Because users like reviews.
A recent study released by BrightLocal in online consumer trust found that 85% of consumers read online reviews to determine whether a local business is a good one and that 79% of those consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This is big news and just goes to show how important positive online reviews are in solidifying your business’s reputation.
Contact Big Red SEO Today at (402) 522-6468!
Big Red SEO is an SEO and web design company in Omaha, Nebraska, specializing in developing SEO and content development strategies that help our clients get noticed by more potential customers on leading search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Contact us today at (402) 522-6468 to see what we can do to raise your search engine ranking.
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A huge part of what makes our industry thrive and grow is the exchange of ideas, so if you have any questions or ideas to add to this post, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.