Being a small business owner in the United States means you are in a crowded landscape of like-minded individuals and businesses that are also trying to get their names out into the consciousness of the public in an attempt to grow their business.
Because every industry is generally crowded with several businesses that are looking to gain more of a foothold within their industry, making sure that your business has all of the necessary tools has never been more important. Gaining online recognition has also never been more important give that Google generates a whopping 63.5% of all search queries in the United States.
In such a competitive space, particularly among search engines, you might feel like your business is out in the cold and left with nothing to help. Fortunately for many small business owners out there, Google itself offers a tool that is fantastic for small businesses who are looking to manage their online presence.
This tool is called Google My Business and it is an absolute must for any company, let alone those in the home security industry.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a tool that is provided for free by Google that will allow business owners to put together something of a profile that ultimately displays things like their company name, the address the company is located at, what the hours of operation are, and a website link that gets displayed in the search results such as Local Finder, Google’s Local Map Pack, and the organic rankings system.
The first and most critical step for any sort of local SEO strategy is to make sure that you claim and then verify your business’ GMB or Google My Business listing. Then, when someone eventually searches for your business on Google, the information that was used in establishing your GMB is pulled and used to populate the search.
Where will the information about my business appear?
The aforementioned information from your Google My Business page will then show itself in three different places on Google when someone searches for your business or the type of business that your company operates in. The most common of these is in the sidebar, which is also known as the “knowledge panel” that appears when someone searches for a specific company name. For mobile, this would appear at the top of the search listings instead.
You will also see this information displayed in the local results. When you search for a city name, Google will display three relevant businesses that are closest to the geographical location that is used. If your business is one of those three, that information will be displayed at the top of the Google search.
Lastly, Google Maps is one of the places where your information can be displayed. When someone does a search through their desktop computer for the Google Maps tab of their search, it will display your business on the map itself.
It is essential and critical that you claim your business and list a very specific category on your Google My Business listing. This makes it easier for Google to know what search terms to match to your business and will make it more likely that your business will be displayed for the right search results.
Review your GMB to make sure all of the relevant information is there
As mentioned previously, Google My Business is dependent on the information that you input into your Google My Business profile. If you omit information or leave things blank, you will ultimately hurt your overall search rankings. Make sure that every available detail of your business is listed as accurately as it can. Google will try to determine things like your location as well as other relevant information.
Setting up your business listing is easy and it is free. There is no reason whatsoever to not partake in this as it is just another way for consumers to find out about your business and Google will rank you higher in its relevant searches as well. This is quite literally a win-win for your business and one that you would be dumb to not take advantage of.
Your reviews are essential
Once you have set up your Google My Business page, you need to make sure that you pay close attention to the reviews that have been left for your business. It is essential that you have your customers leave reviews for your business for two very important reasons:
- Google uses reviews as a ranking factor to determine where your business fits in the search results. The better your reviews, the higher your ranking, and the better your overall visibility will be in relevant searches.
- A massive 88% of online consumers will trust those online reviews as much as if they had gotten a personal recommendation. Needless to say, the more reviews you have (and the more positive, the better), the better idea that potential customers will have of how your business is to work with and if you are dependable and trustworthy. Those last two things are absolutely essential when trying to grow your local business, home security industry or otherwise.
According to some online sources, the online reviews left for your business are thought to account for 10% of how Google, as well as other search engines, will decide to rank your business in the relevant search results. Obviously, there are other factors that are involved but that is a pretty sizable level of importance placed on those reviews.
Even if you get negative reviews, so long as they are not plentiful, those are manageable and manage them you should. Hiding from negative reviews or fighting those who leave them does nothing for your company overall. Address these negative reviews, but be certain that you do so in a quick and professional manner.
When you work with those who have left negative reviews, it gives the impression that your company is willing to go above and beyond in the name of quality service and that you listen to your customers in any event to make sure that their experience is as smooth as possible.
Organizing your online presence is easy
It cannot be stated enough how important it is to have an online presence in this day and age regardless of where your company is or what services it offers. Having an online presence is the most important way to show prospective customers what your business is about and what they can expect when using your company.
With the Google My Business tool, you can optimize the way your home security company stacks up within the related search rankings. It is by no means a guarantee that your business will be seen above all others in your area, but it will mean that you are giving Google more reason to rank your business higher. This is why it is so important to list all of the information that GMB asks for; the more information that you include, the better job it does when Google compiles its search rankings.
And when your business ranks higher in Google’s search rankings, that means more potential eyeballs will become exposed to your website and your business. This leads to more prospective customers, which eventually leads to conversions or sales.
Small businesses need to do whatever they can to stand out in a sea of competitors in whatever industry that they are in. Because there are so many similar options out there, it can be difficult to differentiate your business from the others in the industry.
With an emphasis towards positive reviews, both on your own website as well as external ones, you can now dictate how relevant your website is in the eyes of Google. When you have Google pushing you to the top of the relevant search results, you should start to see an uptick in traffic and the number of eyes that are viewing your business. If you can maintain this with any regularity, this should lead to an eventual uptick in business as well.
Google My Business is one of those tools that you would be a fool to ignore. This is mostly because it is a tool designed to help get more attention to your website and your business through the search rankings. It’s also free, and adding any tool to your repertoire should be of the utmost importance. When Google tries to give you help to optimize your rankings, definitely take it.
Make sure that you sign your home security company up for a Google My Business account today. The benefits that your company will experience in the long run are innumerable and it is just another tool that will aid your business as you attempt to grow it within your community.
Your Google My Business listing is just the start, though. Grow trust with your audience and give them all the information they will ever need and you will notice that more and more customers are calling upon your business.