4 Tips to Increase Your Google My Business Listing
Last week we discussed whether recent changes by Google are going to hinder and hurt local home improvement contractors in our blog post: “Is Google Going To Screw Contractors“. This week, we would like to provide some helpful hints that will help you with your local Google My Business listing and get you into the new 3-pack of the Google map.
1) The Importance of NAP
It seems like every day I have this conversation with a home improvement contractor. When it comes to NAP (Name, Address, Phone) , it is vital that your business information is consistent across the internet and your website, including ALL listings. It does not matter if you do not serve people at your address. Google looks at the NAP to ensure that the information is correct to help determine if your business is credible. You can read more at NAP, CREDIBILITY, AND RANKING: ABOUT OFFSITE NAP OPTIMIZATION
2) Is Your Information Correct?
First, make sure that all of your information is complete and correct on your Google My Business listing. If you are a Footbridge Media client, we have taken care of this for you but please check to ensure that everything is correct. This includes categories, hours of operation, website URL, and photos. If you have a storefront or show room, please make sure that those photos are available and your address is set to display. In order to be considered a storefront business in Google Maps you MUST have pictures of your storefront with clear signage. Next, make sure this correct information is being used on every directory listing/website your company appears on. If you have ever moved locations, change phone numbers etc. any listing you may have created with the old information can now hurt you. All of these should be correct.
3) Get Some Reviews
The more reviews you have on your Google My Business listing, the better chance of you reaching the new 3-pack. Every customer you have serviced and after every project you complete request you should ask for a testimonial/review. Getting feedback from customers is very important not just in regards to your Google My Business listing, but in marketing in general. You can read more on how to build your own review system here.
The best solution is to simply create the link for customers and either email it to them or create a REVIEW CARD that you hand out to every customer. To create the link follow these steps:
If you go to your Google My Business listing, the URL in your browser should look something like this:
- https://plus.google.com/+Footbridgemedia/ (notice the + sign with company name after?
- Then all you have to do is simply add the following code to the end of that link:
- /posts?hl=en&review=1 which will then look like: https://plus.google.com/+Footbridgemedia/posts?hl=en&review=1
- It is best to let customers know that they have to have a Google account to leave a review. As you see (if you click), this URL automatically loads the form for the client to input their review of Footbridge Media. This means no searching, frustration or abandonment of the review mid-process. It may take a few seconds, but it does load the review page.
4) Your Website Should Link to Your Google My Business Listing & Map
Every Footbridge Media client website has a link in the footer which links directly to their Google Places listing and/or a “Write Review” link with a Google logo. Besides that you should also have a MAP on your Contact page. Clicking that link will take your customer to your listing to leave a review within Google. Please note, customers must have a valid Google connected login to leave a review. It’s good practice to have your businesses Google My Business listing embedded on your contact page. This way Google can be certain you are located at the address you have listed by confirming that with your Google My Business listing.
Once you have completed all of the information above and ensured that your NAP is complete, then you should see yourself start to move higher in the local map listings. Please note, Google My Business updates are not instant and can take weeks or even months to recognize the new correct information depending on the extent of corrections done throughout the internet.
Negative Effects of Google My Business Rankings
- Using a 1-800 phone number. Google wants to see local area codes that match your location address.
- Having multiple addresses on the contact page. Don’t confuse Google. Have your contact page info be consistent with your Google Maps info.
- Negative customer ratings on your reviews. You can’t remove these, but you can bury them with good reviews or respond directly to the negative review to address the issue.
- Multiple listings with the same business name. If you are a franchise or have more than one location, identify it with a city, ex: One Hour Heating & Air Pensacola instead of naming it one Hour Heating & Air.
- Multiple listings with the same address or phone number. Please read the NAP section and link above again to better understand how non-uniform information can hurt your rankings. Google will remove listings that contain duplicate phone or address information.