A big part of “SEO” (search engine optimization) is local SEO – and it starts with a Google Maps listing by Google My Business.
Step 1 is to go to https://business.google.com, do a search for your business and claim it. Step 2 is to complete the listing (all available fields under the “info” tab). Be sure to fill in as much as possible (street address, phone, email, website, services and description). Ensure also your service area is complete. https://support.google.com/business/answer/9157481?hl=en. And If you offer services, feel free to scroll down to the “services” tab and add your services and products there as well. The more information that is complete, the less likely someone is to “suggest an edit” changing this information. Be sure to log into your Google My Business account every so often (once per month) to review any “updates” submitted by users.
Posts – You can make “social media posts” to your Google Maps Listing just like you can other social media accounts. This provides fresh content not only for your viewers and visitors but for the search engines to index as well. Ensure each post as a compelling title, an eye catching image, and content text that has been optimized for a particular keyword to be found in the knowledge-base on Google. https://support.google.com/business/answer/7342169?hl=en
Photos – You can also upload photos and videos of your place of business, samples of your work, or other eye-catching information that makes you relevant to your target market. If you are uploading images to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you should be uploading them here as well.
Your Google Maps listing can also be used to allow potential customers to book appointments with you, message you, ask / answer questions and more. Simply download the app to your cellphone to interact with your customers directly from your GMB listing.
Reviews - The end-point of this post is to say that “reviews” are nice to have copy / pasted into the website but they are unverified. However, seeing them unchanged or interpreted straight from the poster as a trusted source is better. Encourage users to find your maps listing (send them a direct link) and ask your clients to also leave a review via the “reviews” link to read the reviews and “write review”. And when they do, be sure to respond. If the review is negative, take this opportunity to tell your side of the story in a way that does not attack the poster. It is said that reviews boost a maps listing in local search results. And even if not, it does help with visitor trust that can convert a lookie-loo into website visitor and hopefully into a caller.
Also, don’t forget to ask for reviews on your Facebook Page and / or your Better Business Bureau Listing. Again periodically log into your account to check on the reviews and suggested edits as well as your insights to see how well your Google Maps listing is doing. #ReputationManagement