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Last week, the Seattle-based SEO research company Moz released the results of its 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors survey. While the full survey examines a number of factors that Google’s algorithm may take into account when calculating rankings, the purpose of this article is to examine how a simple mistake within your Google My Business setup can damage your apartment community’s position in the search engines and cost you a ton of qualified leads.
Here’s a quick look at the top 3 mistakes to avoid:
Mistake #1: Incorrectly Categorizing Your Business
Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Representing yourself as anything other than an apartment community will result in a penalty from Google. In fact, making misleading claims is the second thing Google advises against under its GMB guidelines, falling immediately after claiming a business that is not your own. When selecting your GMB category, make sure that you select "My business is" rather than "My business has."
Mistake #2: Mismatching Your Address
The address on your Google My Business listing should match the address on your website. We should clarify that we are talking about your apartment community’s physical, street address here, not your website’s URL. For bonus points, make sure that the address on your website is coded with microdata so that Google has an easier time identifying it.
Mistake #3: Mismatching Your Phone Number
While this is extremely similar to Mistake #2, it’s far more common due to the fact that a lot of apartment community websites list a tracking number rather than the community’s primary phone number. This presents a problem for marketers who want to distinguish between which leads come from their Google My Business page and which leads come from their website, while also maintaining their optimal rank in the search engine. Ultimately, however, using a tracking number is always the better option, and you want to make sure that the tracking number you use on your website matches the the tracking number that you use on your Google My Business page. You can then utilize Google Analytics tracking methods to determine your lead sources.
For more information on Google My Business, check out our quick guide on verifying your apartment community’s Google listing.