This interface has improved tremendously over the past few years. Google even built a little bit of social activity into it. Now you can add posts, promotions, events and promotions and products to your listing. Before we get ahead of our self’s let’s go to the company info tab and make sure all the information is filled out correctly.
> Category Tab
Try to find the best category for your primary search phrase. Google will try to help you with the best option and give you a few recommended ones as you are typing phrases in. You can add more than one, however I would not get out of hand with it. I do know you can show up for more than 1 service though. For example Blue Light Labs offer Web Design as well as Aerial Drone Photography. I know we show up for both, but if I where you I would keep the list short and sweet. Ours are set up like:
Web hosting company
I have tested these categories locally and we have started to show up under these sub categories. These are relevant and not just for show. It appears like when you edit any of this content that it takes Google around 24 hours to approve the changes. So far I have not had an issue with approval.
> Info Tab
Most of this is straight forward. Go ahead and fill out title, description, hours of operation and add some photos. Coverage areas at this point in time are informational only, they don’t expand your local search radius unfortunately. Listing photos and videos are categorized in a way that you can add more images later. I would however at a minimum, upload your company logo + branding in order to get your listing to stand out a bit more from the standard ones. I suggest you take your time with it so you know your way around the listing editor. You can always go back and tweak it later if you don’t have time.
You should most definitely add your website and a link to an (Appointment URL) / Jump page. These are prospects that want to inquire further.
> Website tab
It is a simple 1 page website generator that will auto fill the service and location information into a stand alone jump page. At first I did not know if it was related to the location listing requirements or not. Apparently it’s Google’s way of giving you an alternative way of having a website. When I filled out the service info and went to that tab it generated a URL like the following https://bluelightlabs.business.site/. I don’t believe adding the services and description have any effect on your listing search results. You can leave that alone unless you don’t have a website to work with yet.
Getting Great Reviews!
This is where you have to put in a little work, however, I find it to be worthwhile. We send almost all our completed and happy clients to our local page to review us. Good reviews are worth their weight in gold. These are especially important when prospects are scouting out your services. They are paying attention to reviews. Reviews are must be one of Googles ranking factors when it comes to ranking well in the local results. You want to get at least 3 good reviews under your belt for your listing to start to shine. Don’t get discouraged though. Put in the extra time, be patient and take advantage of every time you have a successful sale or service transaction. Ask your customer politely to write you a good review, then link to your local page.
(NOTE) Your client, of course has to have a Google Account to login and write reviews. This has hardly been a problem. Google is pretty good at spotting fake and unnatural reviews. I don’t recommend forging them. Reviews are also great for reference, when potential prospects ask for them you will have somewhere to send them. I never liked Yelp! much for reviews. Most “Yelpers” are out for blood trying to have an opinion more than being helpful. My opinion.
Adding posts and company updates
This feature has become more prominent over the last 12 months. Your local page now has it’s own internal blog module built into it. You can post promotions, company news and other information related to it. I started posting to it about 4 months ago when I got an email from Google entitled “You have not posted to your local business page in a while?”. (TIP) I went back to my original mantra “Google Loves Google”, and started posting updates and promotions to my locations. I am not saying this for a fact, however I did notice that our business listings started getting more traffic. We also started moving up the list when I took the time every month or so to add additional content to the post area.
Get the mobile app!
You can get the mobile app version of Google My business for iOS and Android as well. It’s great for adding posts, making modifications and checking reviews and statistics.