I have helped a number of websites get on top of Google’s local business results (just above the organic listings) by doing pretty much the same optimization strategies to all of them as I would to a regular web site. This blog post will show you how to create a SEO’d profile that has the best chance possible to rank on Google’s local business.
First let’s create a profile for your business. Treat this profile like your very own web page. I actually have a a friend who doesn’t have a website, but has the most robust Google business profile I’ve ever seen. He has the #2 spot in local business results and the way business is going for him, he may never need an official website. Depending on your time and effort, it may even be worth while to treat your profile with more respect than your own page, just for the simple fact that your profile page has the ability to rank higher than natural listings and it can be found through almost any of Google’s other services.
The profile should be completely filled out and accurate to the best of your knowledge. ALL sections; basic info, description, categories, hours of operation, payment options, photos, videos & additional details should be completed with SEO in mind. Since this page should be treated like the home page of your business website, optimize each and every section possible.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating a new business profile.
- The company name is like a title tag. So you can use this for branding or SEO, or both!
- Make sure the company address is in the city you are targeting. If you aren’t physically located there, rent out a mail space in that city and just have all mail going to that address forwarded.
- City, State, ZIP – Make sure it’s the city you are targeting.
- The phone number should be a local number. This one is so major that it may be worth considering getting a local land line or cell phone that has the local area code if your company uses an 800 number.
- Email addresses that are domain email addresses work better than free service emails like gmail, yahoo, aol and hotmail.
- Make sure the URL is correct. Make this URL a link to a page on your site with your targeted city in the title tag. Like your contact, directions of location pages.
- Use all of the 200 characters allowed for your company description. Make sure your targeted keyword phrase is mentioned here at least once.
- Categories are very important. Go back to the Google SERP and visit the top “local business result for ….. in ….” link to figure out in which category your company should be in.
- It’s best if you specify that there’s a time you are open. This will show that you aren’t just a website, but actually a person or establishment that isn’t open 24/7. And if you are open 24/7, specify that as well.
- Check off all payment options accepted. The more payment options you accept, the more legit you are considered.
- If you have 10 photos, submit all 10 of them. Just make sure the 1st one you submit is your logo or a picture with your company name in or on it.
- If you have a video, upload it to Youtube. Give it a keyword related title then add the video’s url to your business listing. This is what gives many websites with top local business results the edge.
- For the additional details section. Add as many areas around your city or variations of your city name possible.
- Your specialty should be the keywords you are targeting and the services you mentioned in the category section.
- Select ‘add another’ and give Google and customers a reason to pick you.
Just like traditional search engine optimization, local business results compose of 3 parts; On-page Optimization, Off-page optimization and User experience. Part 2 will be about how to optimize your company website to create synergy between it and the and link building.
I hope this helps your company climb closer to SEO success.