Google My Business (GMB) is a free Google service that can help you attract more customers to your business. It’s easy to set up and manage, and it gives you control over your business information, which is one of the first things potential customers will see when they search for your business on Google. You must maintain your business listing and keep up-to-date with your contact information, operating hours, photos, and more.
A Google My Business listing is the online business card of the modern age. It’s an online platform that allows you to:
- Add information about your business.
- Update said information
- See what people say about your business on Google.
- See how your business appears in various Google searches.
- Improve user engagement
- Can help you rank on the Local Map Pack
- Convert more customers
Simply put, every online business needs a Google My Business account. It provides a wealth of information for Google and, most importantly, local users, plus it provides a strong local search experience.
The more information you give about your business in your Google Business account, the more the search engine uses that information in many different ways. For example, when someone searches for a restaurant in your town, your business’s name will be one of the first few results shown. If you have listed your business with Google Places, the search results will also list your place of business as well as other areas where your customers might find you. The more sites you show up in search results, the more opportunities your company will receive. I will share some tips below that we implement with our GMB management services for our clients’ listings.
Create Your GMB Listing
One of the most important ways to market your business online is to make sure that your business is listed on Google My Business. The first step is to conduct a google search to see if your business is listed on Google My Business. If your business is not listed, then there are several ways to get your business listed.
The first is to it yourself by taking the following steps.
- Set up your Google Account if you don’t have one already.
- Go to google.com/business and click on “manage now.”
- Enter your business name (exactly as it is on your website).
- Enter the address of your business.
- Specify your business service areas (add as many locations you provide services in or sell products to).
- Choose your business category (you can add more later).
- Add your business phone number and website URL.
- Click “Finish” and complete the verification process.
You will have to verify your address. Depending on the type of business, you may have a few verifying ways, including postcard verification, phone verification, or email verification.
In most cases, you will have to verify by postcard, which means that you will receive a card by mail with a verification code that you can enter on the verification page.
Another way is to find a local SEO agency in your area and get them to submit your business information for you. When it comes to getting your business listed on Google My Business, make sure that you take the first step and check to see if your business is already listed.
Complete Your GMB Profile
t’s important that you take the time to provide as many details about your business as possible to your Google My Business profile. The more information that you provide, the better the boost your local SEO will have.
Add Your Business Hours
It’s important to put your business hours in place, but updating them whenever they change is equally important. Google gives holidays and other special events the ability to customize hours. To keep your site accurate and users happy, it should always be updated. You want to make sure that when you are actually open for business, your business hours match and that they are posted on your website the same way.
Add Photos To Your Listing
to attract GMB visitors to your business, you’ll need high-quality images that will make the customer’s eyes go directly to your business. These photos should be bright, colorful, and they should be able to tell a story.
Use Local Posts
You can add offers, events, and services directly to your listings. Whether you are looking to increase local traffic, increase your chance of being found in search, or achieve any other goals you might have, optimizing your local listings is a necessary first step.
Choosing Your Business Categories
Many webmasters don’t understand how important it is to have your primary category listed first in your Google Places profile. As mentioned above, the more places you have listed in Google, the more potential customers will see your profile.
Creating Your Business Description
It would help if you strived to make your business description a concise but informative explanation of your business. You can optimize your business description by using specific keywords that describe your offer’s services or products, the types of customers you tend to attract, and the culture and personality you cultivate that sets you apart from your competitors.
Add Your Business Name
In case you have the same business name as another business in your city, autocomplete suggests businesses that may be similar. This feature prevents accidental duplication of business listings and allows you to create a new Google My Business listing for a new location.
Make sure to enter your actual business name as it appears on your website. Do not try to enter a different name based on a keyword that you want to rank for. Your business can get penalized by Google if they find out. You can also add your short name to create a unique GMB URL that will help your business look more professional.
Adding Optimized Keywords
Your Google Places listing is a reflection of your quality of customer service and the way you relate to your customers. Try to include key positive words that describe your business’s quality (ex: DUI Attorney in Los Angeles.) This will help you get higher rankings for the queries most targeted by local consumers. When you optimize your profile for local search visibility, you become more accessible to local consumers.
Manage Your Google My Business Profile
Manage and Respond To Customer Reviews
There are more than a few benefits to managing customer reviews on your Google My Business account. Not only can they help your business attract more customers by improving your company’s search engine ranking, but you can also use them to respond to customers and encourage feedback.
Receive Messages From Potential Customers
People can message your business directly through Google My Business. You will be able to pick out who is messaging you and how to respond to them. This is honestly a huge benefit for small companies and even large ones. (If you are running a small business) This will allow you to communicate with people looking for a way to contact you.
Stay Connected During Covid-19
As the virtual world continues to make physical connections harder and harder, it is even more important to remain connected to your customers. You can use your GMB profile to let people know about any particular circumstances they can expect about your business during this pandemic.
Monitor Your Google My Business Listing
If you want to monitor your Google My Business listing’s insights, now you can. Google has launched a new tool that allows you to see an at-a-glance overview of how your listing is performing. You’ll be able to see the following:
- Number of views
- Number of views on a map
- Number of clicks to call
- Number of clicks to contact
- Number of shares
- Number of reviews
- Number of reviews with photos
And much more.
How To Rank In The Local Map Pack
As a local business owner, it’s important to make sure potential customers see you. You want to ensure that you are in the best position to rank for relevant keywords and phrases. And this means having a business listing on Google My Business and making sure you rank on the local map pack.
Like with all social media branding services, your GMB requires consistent monitoring and development for success. Besides creating and managing your Google My Business profile, here are a few tips to ensure your business ranks on the local map pack.
Generate More Reviews
Aside from their impact on search rankings, Google Maps Pack reviews and ratings help create powerful social proof to influence consumer confidence, convert organic search traffic, and drive sales.
To help your business get more reviews, you can your local SEO agency create a review and referral campaign to make it easy for your customers/clients to write a review on your GMB listing. This can be done with email nurturing, contests, and widgets installed on your website or blog.
Build Business Citations
There are multiple places where you can submit your business listings, including:
- Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
- Local search engines including Google My Busines and Bing Places
- Online directories such as Citysearch and the Yellow Pages
- Yelp and TripAdvisor are popular online review websites.
You can sign up to use a business listing manager to create your citations by hand with different descriptions and provide you with 24/7 monitoring.
Final Thoughts On How To Optimize Google My Business
A Google Business Profile is not a one-and-done marketing task, as you can see. To maximize your benefits, it is a local marketing tool that requires continuous action. It involves:
Publishing posts, uploading photos, generating reviews, and staying on top of new features.
Your Google My Business strategy, like any other local SEO strategy, should focus on providing as much quality information as possible about your business, not only in your Business Profile, but in the sources used by Google to populate your website, review site profiles, and even your social media accounts.
If you would like assistance in optimizing your listing, look at our Google My Business Optimization Service and let our local SEO experts help rank your business on the first page of Google Maps. Our digital marketing agency specializes in local marketing services that will boost your organic traffic quickly.