Don’t you wish there was a free tool to help you connect with customers online? After all, standing out amongst the crowd is a daily struggle. Don’t just imagine it. Google My Business listings are just that. It is a free platform created for businesses to manage their online presence, including Google Search and Maps. It’ll also let you connect with customers across the web.
You’ll already have come across the information businesses upload through Google My Business. It’s where businesses upload phone numbers, addresses, pictures, and more. It’s the one-stop shop for businesses to manage their online info. That’s why it’s critical to ensure you master Google My Business optimization.
In this guide, you’ll learn all the tips behind Google My Business optimization. We’ll cover all the information you need to add, as well as explore the newest Google My Business SEO features. Let’s get started.
Google My Business Optimization – Getting Started
Create a Google My Business Listing
Not got a profile yet? Starting the Google My Business optimization process is simple. Create a profile at: https://www.google.com/business/
But don’t just claim your profile. It’s time to make your profile at Google My Business SEO-ready (and increase your exposure in Google Maps).
What’s included in a Google My Business listing?
Once you’ve set up an account, you’ll need to start populating information. This information shows up in the knowledge panel in Google Search and Maps. It’s a snapshot into your business – like the old listings in the phonebook (only much more useful).
Google My Business fields:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Business location/map of the location (and service area)
- Business category
- Business hours
- Rating based on business reviews
Is Google My Business SEO important?
Every snippet of information increases the chance of conversion. That’s what we mean by making your profile at Google My Business SEO-ready. In fact, Google My Business optimization is perhaps most important for local businesses.
Think about when you search for a service locally. If you’re like most people, you searched Google Maps. Then, you inspected each business profile to find the one most relevant to your needs. If a business wasn’t there – or had incomplete info – you moved onto the next profile.
Little wonder many businesses consider Google My Business optimization the spine of their local SEO strategy.
Increasing your Google My Business optimization
Now we know why Google My Business is so important. How do we get our listings on Google My Business SEO-ready? Take a look at our quick bullet-points and read on below for details on our top insider tips to get the most out of your Google My Business optimizations.
- Fill out all your GMB information
- Add in keywords
- Include pictures and videos
- Promote your reviews
- Add services and menus
1. Fill out all your GMB information
The #1 mistake businesses make using Google My Business is empty fields: whether it be a phone number, address, or opening hours. For every field that’s left blank, dozens (or even more) of potential customers aren’t accessing your business. Put yourself in their shoes.
Would you visit a business that doesn’t list its opening hours? They might be closed. Or how about a phone number? Maybe they want to ring up and ask if you’ve got a particular product in stock. Plus, it’s easy to complete. There’s just one downside. Anyone can edit any Google My Business listing. And the changes can be pretty dramatic!
That’s why it’s critical you routinely log into your Google My Business listing and check all the information is correct and up to date.
2. Add in keywords
Google My Business SEO is just like managing a website. Keywords are king! They’re the little snippets of info customers use to find your business.
Customers don’t search your business name. They may not even know you exist. It’s only through keywords that they’ll find you.
For example, if you own a pet store, your business may appear in local search results when people search for “pet stores open now” or “pet stores near me” because you include the relevant keywords in your business description.
You’re allowed 750 characters in your business description – though only 250 characters appear in the Knowledge Panel before being cut off. So, make every character count. And think about how to structure your description to meet your customer’s expectations AND rank higher in Google.
It’s the secret to Google My Business optimization.
3. Include pictures and videos
The internet is a visual medium. What better way to grab your customer’s attention than with a photo? If you’re business is a restaurant, it’s a chance to show off your food. Maybe you’re a hairdresser ready to demonstrate your skills.
Whatever your business, using a photo or video can help humanize your brand and prove your value. Just remember, 85% of Facebook videos are viewed with the sound off. So, add captions to explain what you’re showing.
4. Promote your reviews
A great review is worth a thousand clicks. It’s the hallmark of a quality business. Unlike other review sites, such as Yelp, which discourage business owners from asking for reviews, Google doesn’t mind.
Encouraging customers to leave feedback via a link increases your visibility and increases sales. According to a BrightLocal Consumer Review survey, 97% of customers read online reviews for local businesses. And 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
So, if you’re missing out on reviews, you’re missing out on business.
Oh, and you can even go one step further. Respond – politely and calmly – to all reviews, especially negative ones. It can help remove some of the sting.
Apologize for their experience and perhaps offer an explanation. (Just don’t worry too much about trolls leading one-star reviews. Most people recognize them for what they are.)
5. Add services and menus
Take your Google My Business SEO to the next level by including a “menu” of services. For restaurants, spas, hair salons, dog groomers, and more, it’s a chance to show off what you can do.
You can even include prices. But remember to keep it updated regularly.
Need a Google My Business Optimization Service?
Do you want to get the most out of your Google My Business optimizations? Contact Clicta Digital Agency today for a free SEO consultation! Our dedicated SEO experts have years of experience and know what it takes to rank your local business.