When Google released its new Pigeon algorithm in July, 2014, some things changed with localized SEO. More weight was given to directory listings and review sites than allotted before. Based on this change, it has become more important than ever before to make sure you can be found on the map when potential customers are searching for your business.
One thing you can do is to set up a Google My Business account. This is a great way to make sure you hit the top listings when a search is performed containing keywords that match your business profile. You will be automatically set up in Google Maps with your Google My Business account, and you have a business profile outlet with complete information about your business that is free of charge, and that just couldn’t be easier. This one add to your online presence is probably the single most important thing you can do for your potential growth.
Don’t forget to add your business listing on Yelp, too. When you have claimed your business there, you are able to upload photos, make updates to your business information, and respond to reviews – this last is really important to your growth. With Yelp being the single most popular review site for consumers, you need to make sure you’ve got all your important points lined up, accurate and current. Make sure you have added your hours of operation, for example. Ensure that the information is correct – nothing worse as a consumer than to try to contact a business based on the hours posted only to find out that the information is incorrect. You will not only have lost that potential customer but also all the potential customers they talk to about their experience with your listing.
Your contact information and website URL should be listed, and you can use these outlets to announce specials, deals, and add content that makes you stand out from your competitors. Provide the very best experience you can with every customer, too – this will generate reviews and ratings in an organic fashion which will help boost your rankings. Make sure to respond to reviews, too – and take every opportunity to respond to anything negative so you close that loop. Your responses can just as easily make someone want to come your way who might not have bothered if they hadn’t seen you be involved.
What you don’t want to do with online interaction is to rely solely on your website with its keyword and content SEO. If you’ve done any Google searches lately, you’ll see for yourself that you are going to have to scroll down through the Google Maps and ratings sites like Yelp before you actually get to the URL websites. If there are enough others using Google Maps to boost their SEO and you aren’t, you could actually get bumped to the second page or worse. How many consumers do you know who even look at the second page of search results? Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ve done enough. Stay current and make Google Maps part of your online presence strategy.