10 Easy Steps To Get Your Business On The Top Of Google Local
If you have a business that caters to a local region then getting a top listing in Google’s local results is paramount to the success of your business.
More and more Google is trying to use your location when it delivers search results and so anytime anyone does a search which includes a city they will show their local results along with the natural search results just like this:
But how do you get to the “A” position so people are sure to see your business listing?
Here are 10 things you can do right now that will help your listing improve dramatically in Google local.
1. Create or Claim Your Listing
The very first step you need to take is to go check Google My Business to see if your business is already listed. Chances are it will already be there.
You’ll need to have a Google account in order to do this but don’t worry, if you don’t have an account with Google it is free to sign up.
The next step is to search your business name on this screen and then click the blue magnifying glass. You’ll see a drop down of matching or near matching businesses. If you don’t see yours listed, click on the “Add Your Business” link:
If you find your business name go ahead and click on it. A dialogue box will pop up and ask you to confirm your listing.
2. Make Sure Your Business Information Is Correct
Many times Google will have found your business information somewhere else (ie another website etc) so some of the information may not be up to date or accurate. It is very important to make sure that the information is 100% accurate. I will go over more why this is important in the next few steps.
3. Add Several Photos To Your Profile
Google will allow you to upload as many photos as you would like and you should take advantage of this. These should be pictures of your place of business or your employees or yourself in action.
Before you upload your pictures give each one of them keyword rich names. For example if you own a flower shop in Cincinnati you would name a picture cincinnati_flowers.jpg and maybe another flower_shop_cincinnati.jpg etc.
4. Choose All Relevant Categories
Google local will allow you to choose up to 5 relevant categories for your business. It is imperative that you take your time here and choose every category that your business should be listed under.
Because you can’t predict what a person is going to search for you need to take advantage of the fact that you can choose 5 categories even though you may think that your business is only relevant to 1 category.
5. Write An SEO Friendly Introduction
This is your chance to help get your listing showing for a large number of key phrases. You need to write an introduction for your business. This should be at minimum 250 words and should include many of the key phrases you are trying to rank for in a natural way.
DO NOT just throw in all of your key phrases and call it good. This should be good readable content that has many of your phrases worked into the content in an extremely natural and readable way.
This means this is the same type of thing you would do for the home page of your website but the content SHOULD NOT be exactly the same as the content on your home page. It should be 100% unique.
You should also include external links in the introduction to things like your Better Business Bureau listing or your Facebook page etc.
6. Submit To Many Local Business Directories
Google is going to crawl the internet and try to find other websites like Yellow Pages, and Dex Online to see if you have a business listing in those places as well. This is one of their methods in verifying that you have a real business. The more they see, the better it is for you.
You can manually go to these local directories and create your listing or you can use a service like Yext who will create and update your listings at all of the local directories. Their service does come with a fairly hefty monthly price tag but it is convenient.
7. Make Sure Your Business Information Is Consistent Everywhere
It is critically important that your business name, address and phone number are exactly the same on all of these local directories as well as your Google local listing. Google loves consistency, and this shows them that the information you are putting on their listing is the same info you gave to everyone else. Again, Yext makes this really easy but you can do it manually.
8. Have An Up To Date Contact Page On Your Website
Just like you need to be consistent with the local directories, you need to have your business name, address and phone number included on your contact page exactly as you have it everywhere else. Google is going to come to your website to verify the information is the same. You need to have it there just like you submitted it to Google.
9. Embed A Google Map On Your Contact Page
Along with your contact information you also need to embed a Google map showing your place of business into your contact page. Even if you have a home based business you should still do it. There will be nothing that shows this as a home or commercial property and people don’t care if you have a home office.
You can embed a map by going to Google maps and searching for your business address. In the bottom right corner, click the settings wheel and then click Share or embed map.
A new window will pop up and click on the Embed tab and then copy the embed code:
10. Get Your Customers To Review Your Business
This is the most important technique to getting higher listings and higher click through in Google local.
I’m going to make the assumption that whatever your business is you do an awesome job and you customers or clients love you. We need to use that to our advantage.
You need to ask your customers to write a review for you on Google. Note that I said a review on Google. Writing a review on Yelp is great but Google is where the review needs to go.
Do not stop until you have at least 10 reviews but get as many as you possibly can. Not only does Google love this but it makes your listing stand out to your potential customers in a very good way. You will get more clicks and more phone calls because of it.
Don’t believe me? Look at this snap shot again. Which listing stands out to you?
Robin Wood Flowers has 18 reviews while the other 2 have just a few. One seems like a legitimate popular business while the others seem insignificant.
So how do you get them to do it? It’s simple, you ask. If your customer loves you then asking them to write a review for you will not offend them. Many of them will be happy to do it.
You can very easily just send an email to all of your past clients asking them to write the review and include a link to your business listing so it is easy for them to write the review for you.
Asking them face to face will work too but an email is good because when they read it they will already be in a place to write the review for you in that moment.
11. Gain A Huge Advantage Over Your Competition
Okay, bonus step. I hope this post has been useful for you and if you will follow the instructions you will have a huge advantage over your competitors.
Shameless Plug: If you did find this info useful, these are the kind of step by step instructions that I give you when you join Website Rocket.
When you add your website I literally walk you through the search engine optimization process as well as social media marketing.
It’s as if I am sitting by your side telling you exactly what to do.
I give you 1 or 2 new tasks to complete each day that usually take about 20 minutes.
I have helped hundreds of small businesses get to the top of Google. Now let me help yours.
About The Author
Adam White is the founder of Website Rocket, an online tool that helps small business owners do their own SEO and Social Media. He been doing SEO since 2002 and has written and directed a feature film. He lives in Arizona with his wife and 6 children. Follow him on Facebook or on Twitter