Feeling a little weak when it comes to your local search? Wondering why nobody can find you with “gym near me” searches? Well, get up off the couch and put in the work to optimize your Google Business Listing so you won’t miss out on any more of those valuable searches! There are three main areas to focus on to improve your Google rankings for localized searches: listing content, citations, and reviews. If you focus on improving these three areas for your business, you’ll see dramatic improvements in your local SEO. Let’s dive into each one.
You need to make sure your name, address, and phone number are correct in Google, but why stop there? Google rewards more complete listings with better rankings. Plus, having a great description of what you offer and several photos showing off your facility help your listings stand out against competitors who maybe didn’t take the time to provide all the extra information for their business. Include a link to your website, of course, but don’t assume everyone will make it to your site. More and more people will get the info they need to make a decision right from Google, without clicking through to your website. Put your best foot forward with great photos, an interesting description, and as much additional information as you can.
A citation is basically a mention of your business by name. They typically show up on business directories and other websites that list various businesses by category. Google looks at citations for local searches similarly to how they look at links in the regular search results. The more citations you have from reputable websites, the higher you will rank for localized searches. The important thing to remember with your citations is that you want your name, address, and phone number to be exactly the same across all the citations. If any of these three critical pieces is off, even a little bit, Google may not recognize it as the same business. If you have multiple phone numbers, always use the same one across all the different directories. Use the exact same spelling for your name and address, too. Even small variations in spelling can throw Google off enough to affect your search rankings.
There are a lot of different directories out there and they all pull data from different sources. If you’ve ever moved locations, changed your phone number, or made any other significant change, the old information could be out there haunting you for a long time. Inaccurate citation data is a big problem that affects most businesses, without them even realizing it.
Another important piece of the puzzle is your star rating and reviews. Google favors businesses that have more reviews. Reviews will make your business stand out to potential customers, too. A recent survey found that 87% of consumers won’t consider a business with lower than a 3-star rating. That same survey found that consumers are suspicious of a 5-star rating of a business that only has a few ratings. That means your three 5-star ratings won’t cut it. Even if those ratings didn’t come from your grandma and cousin Vinny, you’ve got to step it up and get more reviews.
How do you get more ratings and reviews? First, you obviously have to deliver a great service worthy of a 5-star rating. That’s a given. Assuming you’re delivering 5-star service, the next step is to ask your customers to write a review. A lot of your customers are more than willing to do it, you simply need to ask. How and when should you ask? There is no one right answer to that question. You’ve got to find a system that works for your business and the way you interact with customers. The important thing is to have it built into your overall customer experience so it doesn’t feel forced or contrived. A natural way to ask for a review is with a quick text message right after a positive interaction. Maybe after a personal training session, the trainer shoots a text with a link to write a review on Google that says, “Great workout today! I’d love it if you could write a quick review of how you’re liking the gym.” Or perhaps after checking in with new members to see how doing, you send a quick text or email asking for feedback.
You can send review requests by email, text, or even ask them in person. Text tends to work best because it’s easy for customers to tap the link and respond quickly, right from their phone. If you combine an in-person or phone conversation where you ask them to write the review with a follow up text immediately after, you’ll see a much higher conversion rate of people who actually write a review.
JJUMPP is a marketing platform that can help with each of these three important areas in one, easy to use application. JJUMPP provides a centralized dashboard to correct your listing content, increase online citations, and facilitate the capture of new reviews. To see if you could use some help, we created a tool that shows you how strong (or weak) your online presence is. To find out where your business stands, request your free JJUMPP SCORE.