When Google updated the format of their search results, local businesses felt the change. A search for ‘grocery store’ used to return seven of the best local options to the searcher in a box called the local pack. The local pack is where those businesses are shown on the map and their website, hours and contact information are listed.
Now, in a move designed to be optimized for mobile searches, only three businesses make the local pack cut. While that could spell bad news for businesses four through seven, making it to the top three could lead to a surge of new business.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to have an accurate, complete Google My Business page. As Google puts it, “Google My Business gets you in front of your customers. You’ll stand out, whether people are looking for you on Google Search or Maps.” And the best part is, there’s no charge.
If you are struggling to break into the top three it can be helpful to play up your specialist skills. The more specific search terms you target, the less competition you are likely to have. Think of the niche services you provide that your competitors don’t and include those in your business description.
If your business has a great office or merchandise you want to highlight you can also add photos to give searchers a better idea of what your company is all about.
The My Business page also allows you to stay on top of reviews and respond to them in real time. Reviews are a part of the local pack results so keeping an eye on them is a must.
You can also see what’s working. When you set up your My Business page you can see how searchers are interacting with your business when it shows up in their results. You can see how many clicks you get, how many people use the local pack to call you, and how many click through to get directions to your store or office. You can also track where they are when they’re searching for you, giving you a sense of where your customers are and potential locations for events, advertisements, or even office branches.
You can also verify your business with Google which signals to the search engine and their algorithms that the information on your page is trustworthy. You simply tell Google which business you own and they’ll confirm it with you over the phone or through the mail.
And, as to be expected with search results that are optimized for mobile users, Google My Business is easily edited and used from your phone or tablet through the Google My Business App. That means if you decide to work late, or open on a weekend for a special event you can update your hours and information in real time and keep your customers in the loop.
But you don’t have to take my word for it – just ask the women behind Jackelope Brewing Company.
If you would like assistance in claiming and updating your Google My Business page, please contact us at www.BuddinghAssociates.com.