In their guidance for webmasters, Google gives 5 basic questions that you should ask yourself about your website.
- Is my website showing up on Google?
- Do I serve high-quality content to users?
- Is my local business showing up on Google?
- Is my content fast and easy to access on all devices?
- Is my website secure?
In this article I’ll be looking at the third point here:
Is my local business showing up on Google?
Having your business registered with Google is a very important piece of the whole search engine ranking puzzle. The same goes for Bing (Microsoft’s search facility) but in this article I’ll be talking specifically about Google’s offering.
In order to provide relevant search results to its users, Google needs reliable information. One of the ways that it gets this information is via its Business Profile service.
It’s free to register your business profile, and this is then used across Google Search and Google Maps, as well as other Google services, to provide information to users.
For instance if you search for Amazing Internet Ltd in Google, as well as the ordinary search results you’ll see a panel to the side (or underneath if you are using mobile) which contains all the basic information about the business such as contact number, website, opening hours etc.. In addition to that, your location gets shown as a red pin on Google Maps.
Why is this significant? Well, not only does it give much more prominence to your business in the search results, but it also means that your business can be shown in the business results section if someone searches using a generic search phrase such as “photographer in Twickenham”. When performing that search in Google, before the normal results you see a panel with a map followed by a number of business profiles. These are likely to be the first ones that users have a look at, so getting your business in that panel is a real bonus. These are not paid listings, they are organic results which Google presents based on the information in your business profile and other ranking data which it has in its system.
How to register your business with Google
Fortunately, Google has a help page specifically for this so here’s a link to it: How to add or claim your Business Profile on Google
Another way you can capitalise on this feature is by embedding a Google Map in your website using a link created from your Google Business Profile. The fact that it is created via your Business profile is important as it creates a much stronger associated between the map and your business, and will aid in your general search ranking.
How to embed a Google map based on your business
Go to Google Maps and search for your business name. In the side panel, below the business title and photo, there is a “share” link. Click that link and a panel will pop up. Click “Embed a map” and then the “Copy HTML” button. How you integrate this into your site will vary depending on how you edit your site. In Amazing Internet’s Portfolio Series websites for instance, there is a special place on the contact page where you paste the HTML that you copied in the procedure above. Regardless of the way you update your site, the methods of creating the embed code is the same (as described above).
I hope you found this information useful. If you have any questions about your own SEO or need help with your website, don’t hesitate to get in touch.