One of the most important keys in SEO is to be sure your NAPW, name, address, phone number and website, are consistent across all online directories. Discrepancies in these would be reason for lower rankings.
Once you’ve verified consistency in NAPW across all channels, you should make sure your Google My Business listing is verified and fully optimized.
To fully optimize your Google My Business listing:
- Get your listing verified – Once your listing is created, be sure to request a postcard from Google, which will be sent out to you with a PIN code. Entering this code on your listing will verify it.
- Complete all pertinent fields – Be sure all the key fields are completed, accurately – Name, address, phone number, website, relevant category, and business hours.
- Service Area Business – For service area businesses where you serve customers at their location, be sure to set the address field appropriately and complete the areas served by listing all the towns or counties you serve. The address on the public listing will remain hidden and should display a service area served on the map.
4. Phone Number – Use a local phone number on the listing and not a toll-free number.
5. Photos and Videos – Add high-quality photos of your work to highlight your business and make you stand out from your competition.
6. Posts – Add a post to make yourself more visible. A post may be a special you’re offering or a highlight of your business. A post will stay active for 7 days unless you specify an expiration date. Within the post, try to use a couple of keywords, and add a relevant, high-quality photo to it.
7. Short Name – Short names selected are useful so you can add your short name to your business card, making it easier for your customers to find you.
8. Holiday Hours – When possible, add special holiday business hours to your listing to keep it more accurate.
9. Description – Add a description of your business using keywords and telling you customers a little bit about yourself. You’re allowed 750 characters but only 250 show up in the knowledge panel, so make the first 250 count.
10. Services – Specify the services you offer.
11. Reviews – Try to have your customer leave a review, and respond to the reviews you receive. If negative, respond professionally, trying to resolve your customer’s dissatisfaction. If positive, a simple thank you would suffice.
12. Q&A – Sometimes someone may ask you a question via your Google My Business listing. Be sure to answer these questions in a timely fashion, showing your customers you care.
All of these are great ways to fully optimize your Google My Business listing, but one of the most important things to remember once you’ve optimized it is to be sure not to violate any of Google’s policies, which would result in having your listing flagged or suspended, resulting in your listing being removed entirely. Refer to this link to ensure all of Google’s policies have been followed, https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en.