For every place that your business appears on the internet, you likely also have a description of your business accompanying it. Whether it's on Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, or an About Us page on your website, a solid description of your business is recommended. Business descriptions are great because they allow you, as a business, to get the right message that you want in front of a potential customer so that they will get an idea of who you are and form a favorable first impression. Business descriptions are also great for SEO as quality original content. However, when writing a business description, there are things that need to be taken into consideration when writing. These are the "dos" and "don'ts" of writing a description of your business on the internet.
Most, if not all, of the major platforms have a spot specifically for you to write a description of your business. It is highly recommended you take the advantage and do so. So long as you stay away from the "don'ts" we discuss further down, a quality business description can only be a good thing for your business and its internet presence.
While you do want a description everywhere your business appears, it's imperative to make sure it is written differently each time. As you'll see in the "don'ts" section, avoid copy/pasting the same description at all costs. Search engines are smart and pick up on that kind of thing. It's flagged as non-unique content which hurts your SEO, and depending on the platform, your description could be removed outright. For example, google may remove your description from your Google Maps listing if their algorithm picks up that it is the same description as your listing on Yahoo! and Yelp, and then you have to write a new and unique one anyway. So again, make it unique, and you'll avoid these types of problems.
While you want to avoid keyword stuffing, you do want to make sure that your business description has a good amount of quality keywords. The obvious ones to include are your business name, city, state, and business type (towing company, handyman, salon, etc.), but there are plenty more as well. Beyond just letting them know what your business is, mention a few of the services you provide. Are you a retail outlet that offers local delivery? Then work the word "delivery" into your description somehow. Do you service more than just the town you're located in? Include the names of additional areas you service when talking about what services you offer. So long as you make it a point to create quality content and really talk about your business, the keywords will naturally follow in most cases.
Many business platforms have a character limit for your business description; Google My Business allows up to 750 characters, for example. Fill your description up as close to the limit as you can naturally. Every extra little bit of content and every extra keyword you can fit in will help in the long run. You want it to be thorough and you want users to know at first glance that you took writing the description seriously. If you're only using 300 out of the 750 available characters, it naturally looks like you put less work into it, and it will be less impressive both from a viewer standpoint and a search algorithm standpoint as a result.
As mentioned above, you need to make sure your business description if unique in each place it appears. You're probably thinking, "Well it's a description of my business, what is there about it to change?", and you have a point. However, you don't need to change much. Your description can still mention the same things, bring up the same points, etc., but it just has to be written differently enough where search engines won't pick it up and flag it as unoriginal content.
Example: There is a big difference in "John goes to the store on Mondays" and "Monday is typically the day John goes to the store" when it comes to two pieces of content being compared as "the same" by a search engine.
So long as you don't copy and paste, you should be fine.
Reminder: Don't. Copy. Paste.
While it's good to include positive keywords, you don't want to include so many that a search engine flags it as keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is just what it sounds like: your content is flagged because it is focused too much on keyword count and not enough on the content itself.
An example of keyword stuffing, for the target keyword of "custom shelves", would be "We sell custom shelves. Our custom shelves are handmade. If you're thinking of buying custom shelves, we have a custom shelves specialist that can talk to you about what kind of custom shelves you want." This would be flagged for keyword stuffing, so don't do this. Keyword stuffing also leads to content that doesn't read very well or naturally, and would likely just defer potential readers as well.
This one can be hard to avoid sometimes, especially if you don't have a limited character count to work with; its easy to get carried away talking about yourself. Even if you aren't restricted to keeping your description under a certain character count, you still need to instill some self-imposed guidelines to ensure you keep your description concise and make sure all the info is relevant. Focus on describing what services you offer, what areas you service, what year your business opened, whether you've received any awards, etc. Don't get off-track and start talking about how happy you are working in the industry or give an unnecessarily detailed autobiography. You want your business description to capture your audience's attention and provide them relevant information that will have a positive influence on their business decision in regards to your business. While all that extra stuff is nice, it won't necessarily influence their decision to use your business or not, so it's best to leave it out and focus on the pertinent content.
Cordell Crowley is a Google/SEO Specialist at Atwill Media. He has two degrees from Arkansas State University: an associate's degree in Computer Information Technology and a bachelor's degree in Management.
When not at work, he spends his free time with his family and friends indoors because Arkansas humidity makes outdoor activities no fun.