Have you ever wondered how to optimize a Google My Business profile to increase your businesses’ online presence?
Let’s be honest. When was the last time you picked up a phonebook to look up information about a business? The Yellow Pages and directories are quickly being replaced by the Internet and in its place are services like Google My Business. Gaining local traction through GMB is done through optimizing every possible section of the service.
How to Optimize a Google My Business Profile
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is Google’s free business listing tool that allows owners to manage their online presence across the search engine and its array of apps, such as Google Maps. The benefit of using Google My Business is its impact on local SEO, which is the process of optimizing your online presence to promote your services and products to people in or around your area. Claiming and optimizing your GMB listing is a cornerstone of your local SEO strategy.
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Before the optimization process begins, you must first have access to your Google My Business listing. If your business has been around for a while, chances are there is already a GMB listing created from information gathered by Google about your business across the web. In that case, all you have to do is claim it. You can check the Google My Business search page to see if your business already has a listing. There are also guidelines for what to do if someone else has claimed your GMB listing.
If your business is not already listed on GMB, the process is to set a listing up is easy. Head to the GMB search page and click on “Add your business to Google.” Follow the steps and input the information needed.
Use Accurate and Consistent Information
Be sure that your name, address, and phone number (NAP) is consistent with how you want it to appear across the internet. Consistency is key in all your listings. When all the information is the same, Google can confidently say that your information is correct.
While creating your GMB listing, you will also want to choose the best relevant category for your business. There are a number of variations to choose from.
Finally, the last option will ask if your business delivers goods or services to customers at their location. This is useful for businesses that operates outside their physical location and typically at the home or business of the customer. These businesses would include construction companies, pest control, plumbers, other home services, etc.
Add or Change Service-Area Details
Once you have claimed or created your Google My Business listing, you can add or change your service area details. This feature is created for businesses that visit or deliver to their local customers. This includes a business that doesn’t serve its customers at the business location, such as plumbers or cleaning service, as well as a business that serves its customers both at the business address and the customer’s address, such as a restaurant that also delivers food.
Verify Your Google My Business Listing
After submitting your business information and service area (if applicable), the next step is the verify your listing. This is extremely important for the visibility of your GMB listing. There are a number of ways to verify your GMB listing:
- By mail
- By phone
- By email
- Instantly with a website previously verified on Google Search Console
- Bulk verification
Verifying your business listing, with the exception of verifying by mail, includes certain parameters you have to meet in order for the process to be allowed. This might mean that verifying by mail is the easiest way for your business.
Make Sure Your Data is Complete
Upon publishing your Google My Business listing, you will want to make sure that the data is complete. Businesses that have the most detailed and accurate information are easier to serve in search engines. Here is the data you don’t want to miss:
- Keywords. Well-seasoned SEO professionals turn to Google My Business for any business that can leverage the power of local SEO. This means approaching GMB with keywords in mind to optimize your listing in a way that will best reach your target audience.
- Business operating hours. GMB allows business owners to update their business hours. For the most part, this rarely changes, but when it does, such as during the holidays, it is important that your customers are aware of the change. Google My Business has the option to fully customize your business hours and should be used to keep your site accurate.
- Photos. Visuals are essential to your GMB success. Google reports that businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions and 35% more click-throughs to their website. Types of photos you will want to include on your GMB listing are your logo, cover photo, and any other kinds of photos that spotlight features your ideal customer might consider when making purchasing decisions.
Manage and Respond to Customer Reviews
When consumers turn to the Internet to get an idea of the quality of a product or service, they often go through the reviews. Online reviews can benefit business from an SEO standpoint in a number of ways. Customer feedback means more keywords. When a user leaves a review, they create new content for search engines to crawl. Reviews are likely to contain keywords relevant to your business, which helps Google better understand what your business does. It also impacts local SEO as 48% of people visit a company’s website after reading positive reviews.
Optimize Your Google My Business the Right Way
Although GMB is free and simple enough to set up, there’s more to it than just filling in the boxes. As you probably gathered from this list, there are a lot of details and even research that goes into fully optimizing a Google My Business listing. However, using GMB to your advantage will help your website’s local rankings and make you stand out from your competitors.
Have more questions about how to optimize a Google My Business profile? Contact our Denver SEO company today for a free SEO audit and digital consultation!