If Google can’t tell us how their algorithm works, how do we know what they like and don’t like for a Google Business Profile? Luckily, Google is no stranger to sharing what it takes to rank locally. The first step? Gaining trust through consistency.
Google’s algorithm recommends businesses to users searching for related keywords based on their relevance to the topic, prominence, and distance/proximity from the user. If Google is going to put your business first, they want to trust you first.
How do you get Google to trust your company and rank your Google Business (GBP) Profile, formerly known as Google My Business?
Under Google’s guidelines for best results in managing your Google Business Profile, they state, “Represent your business as it’s consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery, and other branding.”
So what does that mean?
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. Good search engine optimization (SEO) practice has your company’s NAP on every landing page. One of the things that Google wants to see is consistent information across all platforms and websites.
This means that your business name, address, and phone number should be the exact same on your Google Business Profile as it is on your website, social media (Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc.), directory websites (i.e., Yelp), and any other citations (websites that link back to your website).
If you change your information, it’s important that you make sure it’s changed across all platforms. Try keeping a running list on a spreadsheet, or simply Google search your business name and review the SERP page. Is your business name and info the same on all websites?
Posting Updates on Google Business Profile
Not only does Google want to see you keep the most up-to-date information on your GBP, but they also want to see you consistently posting. Good practice is normally regarded as one post a week but can increase depending on what you’re updating.
Do you have new business hours? How about a new phone number or email address? Did your operations change with COVID-19, and if so, how? These changes are important to keep your Google Business Profile updated.
You can also use the posts section of GBP to update customers on promotions, deals, sales, and events.
Keep the posts rolling!
As business owners, we often don’t have control over how often our customers decide to review our business. However, there are occasions when you may want to request reviews from your loyal customers to gain better visibility and prominence.
If you went from having a few reviews a month to all of a sudden 10+ in one day, Google might mark that as spam.
So even though it’s not “against the rules” to request reviews from real customers, limit how many you reach out to per week. Best practice would be to request reviews as you sell your product or service, but in cases where that isn’t working or isn’t feasible, you can send out emails, texts, FB messages, etc., to ask.
If this time comes, try to limit your review requests to a certain number per week. For example, if you have 100 customers you’d like to request feedback from, reach out to 10 a week for 10 weeks. That way, reviews are more evenly distributed and stay consistent with what Google’s algorithm likes to see.
By keeping your information the same across platforms, up-to-date, and providing excellent communication, Google will likely want to rank you higher than your competitors, who may not hold the same consistency. Not only does it make the search engine happy, but it also improves engagement with customers and makes them more likely to reach out or visit.
RiZen Metrics is a digital marketing agency in Scranton, PA, with hubs in Philadelphia and NYC. We have the ability to help you manage your Google Business Profile so you can focus more on what matters to you: your business. Let us help you improve your local SEO and visibility, drawing in organic traffic and increasing revenue.