Business Listings – sounds fancy, but they’re actually quite simple and cost you nothing!
That’s right. Google My Business listings are free. But what are they? GMB listings are listings on Google that appear when potential customers search for your business name or service. Listings allow your customers to quickly find your business contact information in one place.
Where do I find my Google Listings?
Listings appear in Google under the ads section, in a section called the Local Pack. The Local Pack shows the top three ranking local listings. Your goal is to have your listing in this section. If your listing is not in the top section, then it is most likely under “more places”. This expands the Local Pack to show more local business listings from pages one through infinity.
Why is Having a Google My Business Page Important?
It’s essential for ranking, and for your customers, that your business listing is fully completed. The Google ranking algorithm can penalize your business if the listing is not filled out entirely. Your customers may be less likely to trust your listing if it is not complete. Here’s what your listing should have:
- Full business name
- Consistent address
- Correct phone number
- Website link
- Hours of operation
- Real, updated photos
- Positive reviews
- Detailed description
Let’s elaborate. The following points of information are crucial to include on your GMB page. Don’t sacrifice even one of these important details!
- NAP – No, we’re not asking you to rest! (although our Blue Zone philosophy is not a fan of burnout!) NAP stands for “Name, Address, and Phone Number.” These three pieces of information are the most essential to your customers for finding your business. All three of these need to be correct and consistent to optimize your online presence. NAP consistency is when your business’ name, address, and phone number are written the exact same way across the web – on ALL listing sites, not just Google. When NAP is inconsistent or incorrect, it can leave your customers confused, or worse, traveling to the wrong location. You don’t want to make it hard on your customers to find your business. Your goal is to serve and help them. Proving correct and consistent NAP information will do just that.
- Your Company’s Full Name – Write out your company’s full name instead of an abbreviation or what it may be casually called around the community. For example, on your Google My Business page, write Smith Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning rather than just Smith Bros. HVAC.
- Consistent Address – If you are going to abbreviate part of your address, make sure you abbreviate it every time. For example, if you’re going to write out your street address as 123 Blank Street, 123 Blank St, or 123 Blank St., make sure you stick to only one of them. Remember which one you chose when creating social media or directory profiles as well, so you’re consistent across the board.
- Correct Phone Number – Just like your address, there are many different ways to write your business’ phone number. Whether you choose (509) 991-7066, 509-991-7066, or 509.991.7066, it’s important that you use the same format every time anywhere on the web.
- Hours of Operation – We’re open! Have you ever googled a local business and decided not to go because there were no hours of operation listed? Listing your business’ hours of operation is crucial to getting people to come into your business. Nothing’s worse than showing up to a business when it’s closed. Help bring your customers in and prevent their frustration by listing your business’ hours of operation online.
- Specify Holiday Hours – What’s the point of having special hours for holidays if your customers don’t know about them? Make sure you update your GMB listing and your website to reflect any seasonal schedules of operations. Your customers will appreciate knowing when you’re open during the holidays because they’re already busy too. You will be providing them a sense of sureness and calmness knowing that they will not show up to a closed business. This also builds trust with your customers.
- Differentiate Multi-Location Business Locations – Do you have more than one store location? If so, then you need to specify each location’s hours of operation even if they are all the same. By clearly stating the hours of operation each location has, this won’t cause confusion to your customers. Also, your customers will be able to easily find out which store location is open when they want to go shopping. Now your customers can choose which location is most convenient for them to visit, and you haven’t wasted their time by visiting a closed location when another is open the next town over.
A Google My Business Page is often the customer’s first impression of your business. It’s important to be informative and put your best self forward! That means great photos and accurate information. Your digital footprint is more important today than ever before. You can’t afford to NOT have a GMB in 2021. Need more help setting up your business online? We can help! Contact a Blue Zone team member today!