So often I hear clients tell me that they need to be at the top of Google Search pages. What they don’t want to hear is that it will require some work on their part with methods such as Content Marketing (Consistently writing new content for your website or blog, creating videos for Youtube, etc) Of course you can hire someone to write your content, but they won’t be able to do this effectively without some real input from you (the person who knows the business). However, if you do really want to get started and you are a local business then read on, because this is the place to start.
1. Google My Business Page
A free service that lets you maintain your business information online.
So the first step is to search for your business name on Google and see if there is a page already created. If there is, you can claim it and if there is not, you can create it.
When you set up a Google My Business page make sure that the details on it are correct. For example, if your business address is Upper Mount Pleasant Street but Google lists it as Mount Pleasant Street Upper, then this is the address you use. Seems a bit silly, but it can make a difference.
See the video below to learn how to claim or add your business.
2. Get More Google Reviews
Getting more Google reviews to appear in their local listing for your business can be a great help in not only showing potential customers that you are a good choice for them, but it can also greatly affect where your business ranks with the listing. The Google local listing results are shown at the top of the page and they normally show between 3 – 7 websites. See the screenshot below that shows results for the search “printing company Dublin”
While it seems quite obvious to say that “Google owns the search results space” some businesses still ignore this or fail to give Google what it wants. Just like a young person sitting the Leaving Cert exam, while they could be very knowledgeable in the exam subject, if they do not give answers to satisfy the Department of Education marking scheme, they will not attain the desired results. So, it is very important to understand that in similar terms, Google owns the marking scheme, the exam paper and the entire department.
It will probably be easier than you think to get customers to give you a good review. The best time is when a client or customer tells you that have been very happy with your product or service. Simply thank them for their generous comment and ask if you send them a link to your Google business page, could they leave a review.
3. Citation Directory Submissions to Help Google Confirm Your Location
Being listed in citation directories such as online yellow pages directory is a key component of the ranking algorithms used by Google and Bing. In the case where all other factors are equal, those businesses with a higher number of citations will be more likely to rank higher than businesses with fewer citations. These listings are often referred to as NAP: Name, Address, Phone Number. It is important to ensure that this NAP is correct across any websites or directories as well as on your own website. Google will cross reference this information as it appears across the web to validate your business.
Citations, just like Google reviews are particularly important in niche areas or less competitive professions, like say, a local plumber, electrician, printer, solicitor etc. And even more so if your competition are not properly setup for Google Local. It is a really great opportunity to take advantage of the situation.