What happens when someone googles your business? Are you the first or second page that comes up? Recent changes to Google search results have not only changed how page rankings work, but have also changed the amount of information that appears directly on the results page.
Above is an image of what we saw when we googled one of Booker’s long-time salon customers. Let’s break down their search results page so we can digest it a bit better.
Starting on the left side of the page with Page Result 1::
- You can tell that their website has been optimized for Google Search because you can see not only their main homepage (myreissalon.com), but other pages on their site as well (My Services and My Login). Why are these additional pages displaying? Because they submitted a sitemap to Google. A sitemap is essentially the “blueprint” of your website, showing all of the pages on your domain and how they relate to one another. Sitemaps help Google better understand your website’s content and how to serve that content to searchers based on their queries. Underneath the description, you’ll see a 4.3 star rating. This review rating comes from My Reis Salon’s Google+ page. Despite how little people use Google+ for social networking, keeping your Google+ profile up to date will pay dividends on the search results page. Having reviews displayed right on the search results page is a great way to provide social credibility. A searcher can see that other people have visited this salon and had a positive experience.
On the right side of the page:
- Google displays everything they know about the salon, include their address, phone number, and hours of operation. Their recent reviews from Google+ are also highlighted.
- Photos are also a nice touch. Customers and employees who tagged their photos with salon's name are displayed here.
Page Results 2 - 5:
- Result 2: The salon's Yelp Page is displayed.If you don’t have a Yelp listing for your business, you should! Yelp provides another point of social credibility by providing third-party reviews on a business’s services and products. Their Yelp listing also includes all their business contact info, pictures and the ability to book appointments directly from a Book Now button.
- Results 3 and 4: Their Facebook Page takes the next two spots. Facebook is arguably the most important social channel for your business. The more Likes and Posts you have, the more Google will consider your business to be relevant source of information. Toa benchmark how many Likes you should have on your Facebook Page, take your monthly appointments and divide them by 2. That’s how many likes you should be getting on a monthly basis.
- Result 5: The salon's booking page, where clients can book appointments online, comes in at #5. If you run a service-based business, an online booking option can not only help you rank in search results, but also drive more appointments.
A Google Search Results Page Checklist
I hope this article has given you a clear overview of the components that make up a Google search results page and what you can do to take advantage of everything Google has to offer for your business. To sum up, here’s a brief checklist of search results action items for your business:
- Submit a sitemap to Google through Google Webmaster Tools. Your webmaster should be able to do this very easily.
- Update your business’s Google+ Page to ensure that your contact information, images, and bios are accurate. Also encourage your happy customers to leave you reviews on Google.Everything you did on Google+, do the same on your Yelp listing page. Bonus points (and sales) for adding a Book Now button.
- Make the most of your Facebook Page by posting regularly, encouraging your customers to Like your Page, and sharing any special events or offers with your followers.
- Make it easy for customers to book an appointment with your business by providing an online booking page.
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