First impressions count, and that goes for accountants as much as any other business. What do they have in common? Google My Business.
If someone searches for an accountant and you can give them useful information and a brand that stands out before they even get to your website, you’ll have made a good start.
That’s hard to achieve in the competitive world of search rankings, but by taking advantage of Google’s directory tool, Google My Business, you can make sure the right information about your firm is easy to find.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is an online directory which displays key information about businesses alongside their location, or locations, on Google Maps.
It’s free to use, and you can set up or claim a listing to manage the details that appear for your firm, including your business’s name, location, contact details and opening hours.
You’ve probably seen Google My Business results before without giving them much thought.
If you’ve searched for something based on location, for instance, you might have seen a list of three businesses under a map at the top of the page.
Or, if you search for a specific business, it may appear as a box on the right with a logo and information.
Both are versions of Google My Business results.
Why should I use it?
Get found easily
If you want your business to appear on local search results, setting up a listing on Google My Business – as part of your overall SEO strategy – is often the best place to start.
It’s a great opportunity to reach a prominent position on search results, with relatively little work.
According to Google, businesses that verify their information through the tool are also twice as likely to be considered reputable.
Plus, Google My Business includes search insights to help you monitor your performance, so you can see how your listing is doing.
Give potential clients key information
Google My Business allows you to add your business’s name, location and contact details along with photos and a link to your website.
It’s a good place to include your logo, so the Google listing feels more connected with your website and any other brand material.
You could add photos of your office, too. While most people aren’t going to visit an accountant for their office interior alone, adding photos can add a sense of trust, reassuring web users that you really do exist and you’re located where you say you are.
The listing also features a reviews section, where customers can rate your business out of five stars, and leave their feedback.
Make it easily clickable
Once the user has found the information they were after, they can make the next step right away by clicking one of the buttons on the listing.
They can navigate to your website, find directions, or give you a call, with minimal effort.
This can be particularly handy for a user scanning their mobile phone for quick results, as they can get in touch or find out where you are while they’re out and about.
5 tips for using Google My Business
There are plenty of features to make the most of with Google My Business, but we’ve narrowed it down to five tips to get the most out of your listing.
1) Keep it accurate and up to date
It’s important to be consistent across every aspect of your online presence, especially with the way your present your name, address and phone number.
That’s not just because a typo or incorrect number could be a source of frustration for a potential client. It could also affect your Google ranking, as Google looks for consistent information to make sure your business is trustworthy.
For this reason, even the smallest detail is important, so make sure your details match the information on your website exactly.
2) Source reviews and interact
A glowing review compared to a low rating could be the deciding factor for someone looking at two otherwise similar listings for nearby businesses.
You can cultivate a good reputation by asking clients to leave a review. This will only take them a couple of minutes, and they won’t need a Google account to do so.
Once you’ve collected some reviews, it’s best to keep up the engagement by replying to them, showing appreciation for their feedback and answering any questions they may have.
3) Use separate listings for different locations
If you have offices in multiple locations, upload each office as a separate listing. This way, you’ll be able to manage their details individually.
You can add up to 10 listings in this way, but beyond that you’ll need to request bulk verification.
4) Select specific categories
When you’re setting up the listing, you’ll have the choice of several categories to describe your business. These help Google connect your listing with the keywords people are searching.
For the best results, choose a few categories that are specific and accurate to your business.
5) Link it with Google AdWords
If you have Google AdWords, you can link it with Google My Business, to give your adverts a location extension.
This means your address, a map, or the distance to your business will appear along with your advert in search results.
Other ways to improve your SEO
Finally, keep in mind that while Google My Business is a helpful tool to take advantage of, it should only form a part of your SEO strategy.
A large number of factors affect where your business shows on a search page, so be sure to consider the other ways you can optimise your web presence.
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