In our previous SEO post, we mentioned building your site’s credibility with outbound and inbound links to your website. An easy way to create credible inbound and outbound links is to claim and manage social media accounts for your business. One of the accounts you create for your business should be a Google My Business account.
A Google My Business account is free and can be accessed with your regular Google email and password. However, we recommend setting up a separate Google account for your business.
Once you create a Google My Business account, you need to claim your business and have it verified. To do this, you will create a business listing for your account by searching for your business via Google My Business using your business’s name or address. If it shows up in your search, you’ll follow the steps to claim it. If it doesn’t show up, you can click either “No, these are not my business,” or “I’ve correctly entered the business.” You’ll then be allowed to add your business.
Once you have claimed or added your business, you’ll be able to edit your business information. When you’re on the home page of your Google My Business account, you can either click the edit button of the top card or click “Info” on the navigation menu.
On the Info page, you can edit your company’s name, the location, business hours, contact information, your website and add photos. Google likes you to provide as much information as possible as it uses this information to verify your business. Plus, filling out this information, particularly the “Labels” option under the “Advanced Information,” allows you to attach location and industry keywords to your business listing that will be helpful in search queries.
One of the tricky areas could be providing your business’s address, especially if your business runs out of your home. While you must provide the actual address to Google so your business can be verified, you don’t have to have it displayed publicly. Instead, you can make a list of regions, cities, or zip codes that you provide services or products to, informing customers of the areas you serve without putting your home address online.
We recommend adding photos to your account so that relevant images of your business show up in a Google search. Also, don’t forget to claim your business on Google maps.
Your Google My Business account lets you manage and respond to reviews and messages from customers. It is important that you monitor both as a higher review average can improve your search result ranking, as can a better response time. Most of your review management should be addressing problems customers mention or thanking them for their review. Occasionally, you may need to report a fraudulent review or one that violates Google’s policies, but it’s up to Google to remove the reported review. You should come up with a company policy on how to respond to all types of reviews as your approach can influence people’s decision on whether or not they want to work with your business.
Finally, you should take advantage of the “Posts” section. This feature allows you to create posts or link to content on your website or blog. This feature is second to setting your information in helping boost your search ranking results. By creating posts that link back to you, you’re creating credible inbound links and boosting the visibility of your business by being active on another platform. It also allows you to create interactive posts that prompt users to complete an action, such as following through to your website, signing up for a service, or making a purchase.
Note: You should know that the posts do expire, so it’s important you create new content regularly to keep your SEO ranking higher.
As with all your SEO efforts, you need to monitor your performance. You can use insights to see which efforts on your Google My Business account work better in attracting people to your main business site, and adjust your account set up and other tactics as necessary.
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