One of the most important things you can do to rank well in local SEO is to optimize your Google My Business page. Chances are high that if you haven’t done this yet, a Google representative has been hounding you with robocalls to set up your Google My Business page.
Local SEO is so significant that almost half of all Google searches are local, and this will become even more significant in 2018.
When it comes to local searches, the information Google uses to rank your website — and that it displays to people in local results — comes mostly from your Google My Business page, not from your website. You can set up your Google My Business page directly with Google, but it’s important that you verify your listing so that nobody else is able to edit your page in the future.
Your Google My Business page must include:
- a proper and unique description of your business,
- the correct business category
- local phone number and address that is consistent elsewhere online
- relevant photos of your business,
- plenty of 5-star reviews
Google gives a lot of weight to the reviews. But as you may be aware, reviews aren’t always easy to get. Even a business with loyal and satisfied customers must work hard to get them.
The key is to ask often and make it as easy as possible for happy customers to log in to the sites that matter and leave a review for you, such as on Google My Business listings and Facebook. You can always repurpose these reviews in other areas such as in email newsletters or on your website. One site that makes this particularly easy is Whitespark. Check out their Google My Business Review Link Generator.
If you run a local business, it’s important to make the steps above a priority. Whenever a review is left about your business, positive or negative, it’s important to respond to it. It shows others reading the reviews that you care what your customers think and that you are willing to dedicate time to their own unique experiences and needs.
If you set up a Google My Business page and make a concerted effort to build your reviews, your local search engine rankings will improve and help you compete with your local competition.