If you are a local business owner, you would benefit by having your business listed on Google Maps. Google maps are displayed when people search for location specific keywords.

According to Google statistics, 80% of searches relating to commercial information are local searches. This is why Google is a search engine with local relevance, which rewards the results relevant to the search area – based on the user’s IP and geolocation – in this way everyone will have personalized results based on where they are.

In the Google My Business tab, local business owners can manage all information regarding addresses, hours and contacts, to ensure that users always find the right information at the right time.

The most relevant ranking factors are:

  • The consistency of the data entered in Google my business, which must be identical to those that Google finds on the site, on social networks and on the directories to which the company is registered.
  • Relevance, which is established based on user ratings and categories assigned to the activity.
  • The geographic proximity to the researcher.

So how do you optimise your business listings for better visibility on local search engines ?

Register your business on Google My Business

If you haven’t already, the first thing to do is register your business on Google My Business. You must have a Google profile and then Gmail, then open the page www.google.com/business and select “Start now”, finally search your business on the map.

Here you can be faced with two options:

  • if the business appears alone, it means that a profile already exists and you can ask for the right of administration;
  • if the business does not appear, it must be registered by selecting “Add business” and entering all the necessary data. In this case it is necessary to verify the business, in order to demonstrate to Google that the indicated address corresponds to a real place. Verification can be done by using a telephone number to which you can receive a code, or by having a postcard sent to the office. This will arrive in 1-2 weeks and will contain the code to be entered in the Google My Business profile.

After checking the listing, you can proceed to complete the form with all the necessary data and information; below we see how to do not neglect anything and how to optimize the card to climb to the top of local search results.

Optimize the Google My Business listing

  • The title must be the real name of the business, you can add the city or province, but it is not recommended to change it to insert some keywords: Google must be able to match the My Business profile to the real activity.
  • All contact data entered (name, address, telephone, e-mail) must correspond exactly to those present on the site, on social networks and on all web portals where the business is registered. The consistency of the data is in fact one of the most important factors that determine the ranking on Google MyBusiness, because they confirm to Google that the business is real and present in the indicated area.
  • The choice of categories is essential, because it helps Google and users to understand what type of business is.
  • The My Business form is prepared with spaces to insert a short description and a detailed presentation, obviously it is always better to fill in both. In the descriptions it is important to enter the most relevant keywords for the activity (without exaggerating), to name the city and the province in which it is located.
  • The amount of photographs on the business listing is another important ranking factor. On the My Business page there are already several categories in which to upload images: photos of the interiors, the exterior, the staff.
  • Customer feedback is key as pages with the most reviews are shown higher in the list than those with few or none, and the reason is quite obvious: Google wants to provide users with the most relevant and relevant results. their research, and relies on user judgment to know which businesses are most successful.
  • The quality of the incoming links is an important factor: they must be few but good, that is, they must come from authoritative and relevant sites and blogs, possibly have links with the locality or sector of the activity.

After following all the steps mentioned above, you can see an improvement in your local SEO in a few weeks time. It is important to keep track of the messages and ratings on your Google my business listings too.

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