Set up and optimize your Google my Business profile

Google My Business is free to set up, and it only takes a couple of minutes. Once you have one, your company will be eligible to show up in the local listings when someone searches any of the literally hundreds keyword variations in your industry.

While most companies have Google my Business listings, there are several places common mistakes to avoid:

  • Use your business’s actual name. Avoid adding extra keywords to your business name. Fake names are easy to correct, but businesses that try to use them often struggle to establish trust and attract clicks. Thus lack of trust means fewer clicks and ultimately game the algorithm against them making it harder to rank in the long term.
  • User your business’s actual phone number. Don’t try to use a tracking phone number because Google will check it against other business listings. Inconsistent data usually means less business visibility in Google.
  • List your business’s address consistently. Many people list their address inconsistently between their website, business listings and Google my business. As before inconsistent data usually means less business visibility in Google.
  • Use your business’s actual address. A lot of businesses try to use P.O. boxes or virtual offices, unfortunately that can cause real damage to your visibility if you’re caught, which is far more frequent than you’d imagine. Instead, use your real address, even if it’s your home address. This can be hidden from searchers showing only your service area.
  • Include all categories that make sense for your business even the ones that don’t make you as much. If your website and listing mention a service, however niche you have a chance to appear. Once you’re established and can afford to be picky, there’s nothing wrong with getting rid of those other services.
  • Add some photos of your work, equipment, and employees. Businesses with photos tend to be shown more often in Google searches. Before you upload them renaming the files to include specific cities, neighborhoods, or services  as this can also give you an edge.
  • Include your entire service area, not just your ideal service area. Once again when you earn your stripes and have got your reviews you can always constrict your service area.
  • Include your hours of operation. This is one area that Google may use to show you over your competitors. If you offer even a few hours that competitors do not, that can make all the difference as many searches will be outwith business hours. Even if you don’t knowing for certain that a business is open can make the difference if your competitors haven;t

Lastly, be sure that any other online profiles you create for your business share the same name, address, and phone number. Google hates showing inaccurate data to shoppers, because anyone who dials a dead number or calls a fake business is much less likely to trust Google’s search results in the future

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