Over the last year Google has made significant changes to their local business ecosystem. The importance of claiming and optimizing your business G+ page has never been greater as the search giant continues to populate search result pages with more and more content from within Google. While their intention in doing so is clear, it is important to note that Google, in essence, is still a search based company and content from throughout the web still carries a considerable weight in improving your business website and listing ranking and helping int appear within the first page of search results.
Whether your business employs an external company to manage your online entities or you are doing it yourself, take note of the following 3 tips that can greatly improve not only your ranking within google, but also conversion rates from visitors who are exposed to your page or website.
1. Make sure your NAP is clean and consistent.
NAP is a cluster of information Google refers to when indexing information about your business. The NAP (Name, Address and Phone number) of your business must be exactly the same throughout local business databases and local online directories in order to maximize the optimization aspect of your local Google + listing. While the local information ecosystem has a somewhat long infocycle (it may take up to 10 months for the information to populate and update throughout the ecosystem) you WILL see the benefits of keeping your NAP clean and consistent. Like other aspects of SEO, you just have to be patient and trust the process.
With the introduction of smartphones and tablets into the mix, visuals have never been a more important tool to achieving success online. Unleash the power of visuals on your local business Google Plus page by:
Creating a unique and original cover photo that is inviting and personal. Do NOT use stock photos, but instead try to include photos of your actual business location, products, employees and customers. The area dedicated to the cover photo on your page is significant so consider making a collage of photos to really take advantage of this valuable piece of online real estate.
Upload as many photos as possible to your Google + business page. Make sure that the photos you upload vary and as described above, include photos of employees, customers, products and your location. Always upload clean photos in high resolution to ensure they render beautifully on larger screens and tablets. Keep it simple, current and personal.
Be sure to include photos in your page posts that we recommend publishing at least twice a week. Keep photos (as well as other content) current and not too “pushy”. It’s great to publish a post announcing a special coupon or deal but the real opportunity here is to create a real, bonding relationship with your customers online, so a personal story from an employee is far more likely to do that then a coupon code. It’s just human nature.
3. Engage your followers and get reviews.
Make a long term commitment to engage your followers from within your Google + page. Encourage customers to post feedback about their experience with your business online and take the opportunity to respond to their reviews after they have been posted on your page.
The more authentic reviews your page has, the better the chances are of it displaying additional information across search result impressions, such as star ratings, “people are talking about” blurbs and more. Encourage users to add photos to their reviews as well as profile photos to their own Google + accounts.
Lastly, we want to remind you that SEO is an ongoing process. Stick to it and in time you will enjoy the benefits of it all. Thanks for reading!