Running a business is a challenging task, especially if you’re a small-scale business owner. You need to take care of all aspects of the business including production, marketing, bookkeeping, etc., while building your brand and attracting more customers. However, producing high-quality products or offering the best-in-class services to your customers is not the only thing that’ll help you. You need to work on your online presence to generate more traffic towards your business. After all, people rely on online results of search engines like Google to look for the products/ services they need. They’re likely to trust businesses/ service providers that are on the first page. So, the key to increasing the popularity of your local business and attracting more customers is improving your ranking on Google Places.
At Virtuous Bookkeeping, a reliable data entry outsourcing company, we come across small businesses who offer great products but face difficulty expanding their reach. It’s often because of poor ranking, which is why we have created a guide to help small businesses upgrade their Google Places ranking.
The first thing you need to do is get Google to recognize your business because this will increase your chances of getting a higher ranking. Make sure that your business listing information is complete and accurate. These details help in building credibility and verifying that your business is real. This information may include:
• The contact information of the business such as the address, telephone number, e-mail and website URL. so that when Google displays your business listing, the viewer can get all your contact details
• Business hours to let potential customers know what time your store will open and close and on what days you’re operating.
Submit your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) details to local data providers such as Yelp, Yellow Pages and Fyple. These directories will help feed your business listing across the web so that Google can recognize the details several times. It’s essential to provide authentic information that is consistent and up-to-date across all of your sources. Incorrect listings or duplicate information will confuse the search engine and users, resulting in distrust and confusion that can negatively affect your local ranking and conversion.
Online reviews play a crucial role in determining the local ranking of your business, as they affect the credibility and authenticity of a business. A high volume of good reviews will help rank your small business on search engines, whereas negative reviews can damage your brand. To make the most of this opportunity, encourage trusted, loyal customers (who are likely to give positive feedback) to write reviews for you directly via your website. Positive reviews contribute to your business’s visibility and increase the chances of potential customers to visit your location.
Whenever you get a review (positive or negative), make sure that you respond to it because this will help build your brand image. It shows customers that their opinions are important, and that customer satisfaction is a priority to management. Active interaction with customers will develop trust and a good ranking on Google Places.
Embedding a Google Map on your website is another effective way to inform Google about the location of your business. It’s a common practice that confirms your location on the listing. All you need to do is follow these steps:
• Search your business name on Google Maps
• Once you find your location on the map, click on the menu on the top left search bar
• Click on ‘Share or embed map’
• Select the embed map option at the top of the pop-up box
• Pick the size of the map by clicking the down arrow
• An inframe code will appear on the top
• Copy the code and paste it into your website’s contact page
For detailed instructions, click here.
Categorizing your business according to the product or service you offer helps Google decide which searches your business listing belongs to. Choose a primary industry category or keyword to describe your business so that Google can identify and display it whenever someone searches it. For example, if you’re a virtual bookkeeping company in Toronto, then your primary category should be the main classification of your business: bookkeeper. Other categories can be SEO keywords with additional descriptions such as bookkeeper outsourcing services and virtual bookkeeper Toronto. When someone searches for a bookkeeping company in their local area, Google will identify your listing category and display your business on the webpage.
Optimizing the business listing description is really helpful to improve your Google Places ranking. Adding local SEO keywords to the description will strengthen your website’s authority in the eyes of the search engine and help you rank higher. Avoid writing superfluous words and focus on specific descriptions with local keywords. For example, write ‘Toronto bookkeepers with best rates’, instead of ‘exceptional bookkeepers with the best-in-class services’.
To target customers and improve your ranking in the local search, using a telephone number with a local area code is essential. That being said, avoid using toll-free numbers because Google considers them unauthentic as they are often used for spam. However, it’s also necessary to keep your phone number consistent in all sources (as mentioned earlier).
Photographs play a vital role in making your listing stand out on Google Maps. It gives a glimpse of your business to potential customers so that they know what to expect. To portray a good image of your company and the products/ services you offer, make sure that they’re relevant and high-quality. You can also go for a 360° virtual tour of your store or showroom to create interest and entice customers to come to your business.
In today’s digital world, everyone relies on Google to get answers for anything and everything. Whether you’re a local restaurant owner or a small-scale dealer, Google is your best friend to help grow your business. A high ranking can expand your business’ reach, build brand image and awareness, improve your online presence, attract potential customers and enhance your relationship with your existing customers.
Make the most of this amazing search engine by improving your business ranking on Google Places and make a mark in the industry. It’s an excellent way of enhancing your company’s credibility and gaining trust. Follow the above-mentioned guide to upgrade your ranking on Google Places and boost your business.
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