One of the most valuable resources that Google provides business owners, and search users alike, is Google My Business. This is simply Google’s online business directory, and it has proved to be so useful that nearly every business is listed in it. However, some businesses have not taken full advantage of this free tool by verifying their listing.
Not only do Google My Business listings appear when you search for a given business in an area, but they will also appear for related search queries, and in Google Maps.
Whether you are a local service provider, or sell products or goods in a given area, verifying and keeping your Google My Business listing up to date can have dramatic impacts on your customer base.
Google My Business Listing Placements
One of the aspects of Google My Business listings that makes this service so important is the placements the listings are provided across platforms. On Google’s search engine results pages, for example, the most relevant business listings are provided for certain keywords in a given area.
For the search query “Web Design in Hood County, TX”, OGAL Web Design appears number one in the Map’s 3 pack of listings.
If the business has verified their Google My Business local listing, you can also read reviews from previous patrons to get better insight into the services provided, and the overall experience.
This 3 Pack is also tied to a local map from Google Maps, making it easier than ever to get directions to the business storefront. A lot of factors go into the 3 Pack listings, and the businesses that appear in the coveted 3 Pack, and depending on your industry and area, this can be highly competitive.
Similarly, Google My Business listings also appear in the Google Maps mobile app. If a search user is looking for a nearby service provider, they often go straight to Maps to get directions to the nearest location.
Tips for Better 3 Pack Listings
As mentioned, every 3 Pack is going to be different. Some areas will only have a few different service providers for a given area, while others will have tens or even hundreds! However, breaking into this 3 Pack can have a greater impact on your business and potential growth than many business owners imagine.
The first thing you will need to do is ensure all of your business info is accurate on your Google My Business listing. This include contact information, like phone number and email address, your website URL, and the physical address for your storefront and your hours of operation.
It’s important that this information be “copy & paste perfect” across all of your listings, like any other directories, your website, or anywhere else your business information is listed online.
You should also be sure to provide a detailed and accurate description of your business and your services in Google My Business as well. Including photos of your storefront, the services or products your provide, as well as your logo can also go a long way toward a 3 Pack listing.
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of your Google My Business, however, is your industry settings. Here, Google provides a list of different categories, and sub categories as well, for you to list your business in. This will help Google serve your business listing to search users when related queries are made in your area.
Once your Google My Business is filled with relevant information about your company and the services you provide, you will need to start getting reviews from customers. A business with a solid review rating will often be served to search users higher in the 3 Pack. This is because Google aims to provide the best search engine experience to their users, and listing a business with 5 stars and dozens of reviews will satisfy a user’s 3 Pack experience more so than a business with 3 stars and only a few reviews.
Importance of Google My Business Verification
There are many benefits of verifying your Google My Business listing, and doing so is quite simple. While listings can be created without verification, claiming and verifying your listing allows you to change the settings to get a better 3 Pack listing, as well as provide more accurate information to potential customers.
As mentioned before, providing as much information to Google and search users can go a long way toward increasing your online presence, and a verified Google My Business listing can go a long way toward this goal.
To verify your listing, simply go to your Google My Business account and choose your location. Once on the main dashboard, you will be prompted to verify your listing is you haven’t already done so. The most popular verification option is have a postcard with a verification code mailed to your the address you listed on your Google My Business account. It usually take between 3 to 5 days for the postcard to get to your storefront, and once its received, simply log back into your Google My Business dashboard and enter the code provided by Google.
You can also choose to have your Google My Business listing verified by phone, either a text or call, or sometimes through your Search Console.
How Google My Business can Affect Your Rankings
Google has managed to remain the most used search engine for years because of their attention to the search user’s experience. As their ranking algorithm has become more sophisticated, and more difficult to game, relevant and authority sites and business listings have become more likely to succeed keyword rankings. Having an accurate, well reviewed, and relevant Google My Business listing simply gives you another potential option for rankings on search result pages.
Take the 3 Pack mentioned before for example. The 3 Pack does not take the place of any of the 10 searches on the first page of results for a given query. The 3 Pack is always listed at the top, above the organic searches. If you have a well optimized website that ranks for 3 of the results for a given search query, and is also listed as the number one option in the three pack, you dominate 4 of the 13 organic results on the first page for the search query the user entered.
This is valuable real estate, and the more results you occupy, the more your brand awareness increases. Since the majority of search users do not go the second page of search results, having your business listed on the first page through as many different placements is crucial.
Additionally, the more a search users clicks through your Google My Business listing to your site, and remains there for a few minutes and views multiple pages, will show Google that not only is your listing relevant, but the website attached to it is authoritative and engaging. A high click through rate and a low bounce rate (the percentage of users who exit your site without viewing a second page or performing a second action) has a direct impact on search result rankings.
Is Your Google My Business Verified and Optimized?
The importance of Google’s business directory listings is apparent, but between other professional functions business owners already have, getting a Google My Business verified and optimized can seem daunting, but the advantages of doing so will have far reaching effects on your bottom line.
Luckily, I am here to help guide your through every step of the process, from web design, to on site, and even off site optimization like Google My Business. You can reach out to me through my contact page form or simply give me a call at 682-936-2385 and we can get started right away.
Customer's I've Worked With
Here are a few local customers who I’ve helped with their Google My Business listings. Each listing has been optimized for their top keyword and geographical location.