Your Google Business listing has the potential to drive traffic and referrals if your company serves local customers and has a physical address. This isn’t just for restaurants and pubs, just about every business can benefit from this free tool.

Google Business listings are now often showing ABOVE organic listings in some instances meaning your business can get to the top of page 1 of Google organic search results with considerably less effort compared to doing so by traditional search engine optimisation means.

How does your business get into this position?

Firstly, if you haven’t already done so visit www.google.co.uk/business and claim your business listing. To confirm that you are actually who you say you are Google will send a postcard with a verification pin number to your business address; when you receive this it’s time to login to your Google Business account and enter the code.

What Next?

There’s a number of factors that will dictate if you’re shown on the local search results and in what position. What can you do to increase your chances of success?

·       Include your opening hours and all points of contact e.g. website link, email address and contact number.

·       Include any attributes that your business has e.g. disabled parking, wheelchair accessible entrance, public toilet etc.

·       Choose which sector you are in and list what services you offer.

·       Business summary. This is currently a maximum of 750 characters, fill this with as much information as possible so potential customers can get a feel for your business.

·       The Google Business platform now allows users to post updates which last for a period of 7 days. There’s potential to gain considerable exposure by taking advantage of these posts.

·       Include as many high quality photographs as possible for each of the relevant areas. Google will like to see imagery broken down into sections such as interior pictures, outside shots, products, members of staff, corporate identity and more.

·       Get reviews. Don’t go touting for reviews or be tempted to ask your friends or family to write some reviews. Provide a great service and when customers tell you how happy they are, ask them to leave a review on your Google Business listing.

This may sounds like a lot but the vast majority can be done in one sitting which may only take around an hour. When you think that this one hour of work may bring in hundreds to thousands of visitors to your website over a year it is well worth taking an hour out of your schedule to do this.

Like anything the more effort you put in, the higher the rewards are likely to be. Consistently post updates on your business listing and add relevant imagery for maximum results.