Everyone’s SEO goal is to rank #1 in their area for the service they provide. If you are a dog walker or pet sitter, you will want to rank locally for those terms. Reaching the top can take a lot of hard work and you can’t stop once you get there. Staying at the top of a SERP (search engine results page) takes time and requires an ongoing and consistent effort. Also, you may notice there is a listing of 3 companies that show up under the map on local searches. You may be wondering how to get your company to show up there in what Google calls the ‘Local SEO 3-Pack’. Well, you need to optimize your Google My Business account!
What is the Local SEO 3-Pack?
The Local SEO 3-Pack is the listings at the top of the search results page in a select list accompanied by a map. Google wants to provide users with the most relevant search results based on the terms they use in relation to their geographical location. Google wants to help people find services that are close to them.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool for local businesses that allows you to manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. Your Google My Business account includes:
- Ability to add your business name, location, and hours
- Helps you monitor and reply to customer reviews
- Ability to add photos and videos
- Helps you learn where and how people are searching for you
If you are targeting local customers then you need a Google My Business account. So, if you are running a professional pet services business, you need Google Mu Business. It complements your existing website by giving your pet business a public presence with a local listing on Google. The information you provide will help Google understand your business and helps Google deliver your listing to prospective customers.
Optimize Your Google My Business Account
If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business account, start now. If you haven’t checked yours lately, it’s time for a review! Be sure all of your information is correct and up-to-date and fill out as much information as possible.
- Add a long and unique description of your pet business
- Use correct formatting and include links, like your website, a blog article, and social media
- Select the right category for your business
- Ensure your business hours are right if your information is incorrect and someone complains to Google, which can hurt your reputation
- Upload a high-resolution profile photo, cover photo and upload as many images as possible to help Google deliver your business listing
- Make sure all of your business information is listed and consistent across the internet, like your email address, a local phone number, and business address
- Add personalization to your Google My Business page
- Add photos of your staff, show behind the scenes or anything else that instills trust and confidence in your company.
Ask for Google My Business Reviews
If your pet sitting or dog walking company is hoping to crack the top 3, you must prioritize reviews. A high volume of good reviews will help you climb towards the top. Reviews from Yelp and Facebook can also make an impact on your SEO Local Pack. Don’t be scared to ask your customers for a review. A happy customer will be glad to write a review to help your company. Make it easy by sending them direct links to Google, Facebook or Yelp. Also, it is essential to respond to your reviews to show you’re thankful and to help positive reviews stand-out. This could also encourage others to write a review. Don’t ignore negative reviews. Instead, take a deep breath, step away, and think about your response before you respond. Show you are professional and be courteous. Remember, future customers will be reading these, so be the bigger person.
Stay Active using Google Posts
Google Posts are a simple way to help you attract new clients and build relationships with existing customers on Google. Share updates, promotions, and events right to Google Search and Maps. As a dog walker or pet sitter, this is an excellent opportunity to promote your business to those who are looking for your services.
Your goal is to appear above your competitors for local search terms. Sometimes it may be difficult to bump them out of the top 3. If this is the case, keep your search terms as specific as possible. This can help you rank above your competitors for keywords they don’t focus on. Repositioning your brand to focus on search terms that your competitors aren’t focusing on is a way to gain an extra advantage. Of course, it is vital for SEO to keep your website fresh and updated. Don’t forget, your Google MyBusiness page is another platform that you can use to help with search engine visibility.
Erika Godwin is the President of Barketing Solutions and the Co-Founder and CMO of ProPet Software, an industry-leading kennel management software. Erika has over 8 years of experience with WordPress and graduated from Elmira College in 2009 with a BS, Business Administration- Marketing and Management.