I recently spent some time on the phone with a supervisor at Google Local fixing a Google+ Business Page for a customer.  During our call he proceeded to share with me the 5 very important things Google considers critical for good local business rankings – After Claiming Your Google+ Business Page Of Course. So what are the 5 most important things every business must do for good rankings of their Google+ Business Page?

  1. Must Have a Company Website linked with the Google+ Business Page.

This means every business MUST have a business website. A simple website of 6 to 10 pages is just fine as long as that website is connected to the Google+ Business Page and has the businesses local information. Google admits that their business categories are not perfect and there are many holes in their available categories. Each category has a set of “keywords” that are supposed to help define that category in search and use the keywords as a guide to rank businesses in that category.  Problem is some of these keywords don’t fit exactly with the category, or the business.

So the best way for Google to know what your business is about and how to help you rank better is by the content and keywords on your website. So when your website is “connected” to your Google Business page, Google picks the best keywords it thinks might fit your Google+ Business Page based on your website’s keywords. This is critical for businesses that have a hard time fitting into a category let alone taking advantage of the 5 categories that Google allows for any Listing. Since you cannot add custom categories anymore, every business is stuck with the current categories Google has.

Linking the Google+ Business Page can be somewhat confusing for some business owners, but most web developers should be able to do this. Google requires placing in the header section of the website, the publisher Google+ Business Page ID. If the business’s site is built on WordPress there are a few plugins that connect your WordPress site to the Google+ Business Page directly but they require an API connected to the Google account.

So, no website means less chance of Google showing your business in local search when you competitors have a website, which means less business for you. Every business should have a minimal website no excuses!

  1. Must Have Reviews on Google+ Business Page – CRITICAL

The Google supervisor made very a strong point about this! There are two main reasons for Google wants reviews on your Google+ Business Page. First is Review Content. What is Review Content? Just like the business’s website having the right keywords that best describe the products and services of your business, the keywords customers use to describe their experience with you is just as vital to Google in understanding what the public says about your business. So when you customers leave you a review on your Google+ Business Page, that review will be looked at for any keywords that might match your website and the description on your Google+ Business Page.

Second, reviews on your Google+ Business Page builds automatic trust for people who have not yet done business with you. It is a fact that 90% of consumers today are looking online at the reviews of your company and those of your competitors. Even if they were referred to you by their best friend, 8 out of 10 consumers still search for reviews about your business. You must have at least 10 to 15 reviews on your Google+ Business Page that will validate your business as the trusted go to business in the area over your competition. The more reviews your page has, the more independent information Google has about your business which will increase your overall Google score and Google+ Business Page visibility in Maps and Search. More 5 Stars Reviews Means More Business!