Google recently announced it is in the process of revising its algorithm update (Panda) so that small business web sites feature higher in their search rankings. Although Google did not specify how their search algorithm will be tweaked, or exactly what its effects will be, at least it promises a step in the right direction towards leveling the playing field between smaller locally targeted websites and the larger web extravaganzas of their national or even global rivals.
In the meantime, while we wait for Google’s revised algorithm to come into effect, signing your small business up to Google+ and Google Business View can go a long way to improving your online presence and visibility and help you to compete against your better known, more aggressive, national and international competition.
Google+ Local Pages
Perhaps not surprisingly, Google loves small businesses that have Google+ sites. And Google+ sites that are cited as “+1” – the equivalent of a “like” on Facebook or Twitter – rank even higher in most Google SERPs.
Even though the importance of Google+ Local Pages for boosting a small business’ online profile is becomingly increasingly well-known, there is still lots you can do to tweak your entry even more to make it stand out from the competition.
7 Steps to Make Your Small Business Stand out in Google Search Results
MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL – make sure that all essential information is clearly visible at the top of your business Google+ page. This includes your address, phone number, email, and links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites. The user may just be looking for hard facts rather than a lyrical description and art gallery of what your business is about.
Don’t forget to include your opening hours at the top of the page too! There is nothing worse than going to the trouble to drive out to a particular location only to find that the business closed an hour ago (other than reading a great description but not knowing how to actually go about getting there!)
On your website, use 100% original content describing your business for each location in which it operates. There are no limits on how long each entry can be, but keeping the text brief, simple, to the point and factual is by far the best policy for ranking high on Google. Remember Wisdek’s copywriting team can always be called in to help you here, if required.
Include all the key words used by rival firms but focus on what is different or special about your particular small business in each of its locations. Perhaps you are well known for one particular product, or particularly excellent service in one area, or maybe your facilities are super modern…Google likes originality and the more unique your material, the higher your rankings will be.
ALWAYS include a map, at least one photograph and other attractive visuals to catch the eye. This will engage the user and help to maintain interest leading to a longer page visit. (Which improves your website’s quality score in the eyes of Google)
Run your text through a plagiarism-checker tool so that you can be sure that your entry is not a duplicate of any other entry on the web. Your text MUST BE ORIGINAL. Never re-use the same content from your website on your Google+ pages.
Update your Google+ Local Page on a regular basis. Keeping your content fresh is an excellent way to rank high on Google – and to keep user interest. Remove any out of date information before it becomes stale.
Enhance your Google+ Local Listing with Google Business View
Google Business View is a bit like Google Street View except the 360 degree photos are taken from inside the business premises. It has long been suspected that the more comprehensive a business is with filling out their online Google+ profile, the more preference they are given in search results. With Google Business View searchers get to ‘visit’ your business location without actually stepping through the doorway.
Business View is a great way for your small business to display it’s interior and legitimacy so that potential customers can get an idea of your brand before they visit. You will automatically be mentioned in the Google Places Business Listings as well as on the Google Maps pages and search results, for even more visibility.
For more information about how to be a part of Google Business View, contact [email protected] or call (877) 947-3351.
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