Google has announced it’s bringing back the business description field within Google My Business listings, an important development for online marketing pros. This return, which is already in testing, allows up to 750 characters rather than the crazy 4,500 that were part of the last iteration (the first was just 200, so they’ve been all over the place).
Whatever the reasons are for Google going back to this service, it means marketing pros need to consider how to optimize their business description moving forward. Here are some tips we can offer on areas to avoid here.
Keywords are not part of the ranking algorithm used in this update, and there’s simply no point in taking the time to stuff keywords. Not only are you wasting your time if you do so, you’re risking being flagged for spam – this can happen automatically through Google’s bots. This kind of behavior is a quick way to get penalties from Google, so why do it if you aren’t even seeing potential benefits?
In earlier days of internet marketing, having some links within standard copy was okay – it might help send clients to areas of their website you want them on, and could help with conversion.
This is no longer the case, unfortunately. Google is stating directly in their guidelines that putting links in copy will not be allowed – you might be able to sneak some URLs into your descriptions, but there’s no need for this either.
There are cases where pages that use caps too often will see the listing suspended, and you don’t want to risk this. Like with keyword stuffing, this is a category that has very little upside along with lots of risk – using lots of caps really isn’t going to benefit you in any tangible way. We aren’t yet sure what kind of style options will be available for these descriptions, but it’s likely things like bullet points, bold or italics won’t be possible.
With this in mind, you should really be thinking of using the description field as the most important information about your business – assume this is your only chance to sell a potential customer on your brand.
For more on the description field in Google My Business, or to learn about any of our other SEO services, contact the experts at SEO Werkz today.