When it comes to successful inbound marketing and location-based SEO strategies, one of the best tools available to local business owners is Google My Business (GMB).
Getting on GMB will help business owners improve their odds of getting on the Local 3-Pack and drive more traffic to their website, social channels, and front door.
If you have not claimed and verified your GMB listing yet, you can do so by visiting www.google.com/business/.
Claimed and verified your Google My Business listing?
Well, that is not enough!
To get the most out of your GMB listing, you need to optimize it. Here are a few ways to do that:
1.Fill in all the relevant details about your business.
The key purpose of your Google My Business listing is to make it much easier for potential customers to know more about your local business.
Don’t leave anything to the guesses or assumptions of your customers.
Make sure your listing clearly communicates your business name, address and phone number (otherwise known as NAP), website and store hours to potential customers.
Verify all the information on your listing for accuracy and ensure it is consistent with the information on your website and social channels.
2.Select a business category.
By choosing the right business category, you make it easier for customers who are searching for the services you offer to connect with you.
3.Make sure your map pin is in the correct spot.
It might seem obvious, but don’t forget to make sure your business address matches the correct coordinates on the map. You don’t want to miss out on foot traffic because you’re not showing up on the map
Google now allows you to use 750 characters (~250 characters before the “Read More” separator) to describe your goods, services, and values, among other things. Use these characters well, and you will find your customers (and Google) favoring you over your competition.
Google is actively reviewing your business description to ensure that people are not scammed or trolled. So, be sure to follow the following guidelines:
5. Reinforce your listing with keywords.
Google takes into account the same traditional ranking signals to serve local search results. So, using relevant and trending keywords in your Google My Business listing would be beneficial for your local online presence.
Be careful, though.
Stuffing your listing with keywords (relevant or not) could actually have the complete opposite effect.
Google Posts are almost like “mini-ads” or “social media posts” that show up prominently in the GMB “knowledge panel” and contain important information customers want to know about your business.
Don’t miss this opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
Here are a few examples of GMB post ideas that you will get your creative juices flowing:
- Touting the upcoming sales event that you are actively promoting.
- Linking your latest blog post.
- Revealing a new product line with several high-quality images.
- Sharing a text update on a recent company advancement.
Keep in mind: Google Posts are only active for up to seven days, making it important to work out your posts in a specific and timely manner.
7.Manage customer reviews.
Reviews are the cornerstone of local SEO… more so in 2020 than ever before. They can help your business rise up in local search results rankings, they can help you build customer trust and loyalty, and they can improve your website’s click-through rates.
So, why not create a link that allows customers to visit your listing and write reviews for your business?
Here’s how you can do that:
Step 1: Open www.google.com/maps and search the name of your company in the top left corner.
Step 2: From the menu option in the top-left corner, click “Share or Embed Map.”
Step 3: Click “Copy Link.”
Step 4: Share with all your previous customers by sending the link via email or text.
8.Respond to Reviews.
When customers start leaving comments for you — good, bad or neutral — on your GMB listing, make sure you respond to them… all of them. Interacting with customers by responding appropriately to their feedback shows that you value their opinions, and it also shows prospective clients that you care about providing quality customer service.
9. Respond to Q&As.
Like the reviews, you can not afford to overlook the “questions” that appear on your listing’s knowledge panel. When a customer asks you a question, make sure you take the time to give an appropriate answer.
10.Make your listing visually appealing with photos.
Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their website than businesses that don’t have photos, according to Google.
Would you prefer customers visit your location rather than your competitors’? Then add some high-quality photos.
Before you go around uploading all the photos off your iCloud, here are some things you should know:
- All photos should be in either a JPG or PNG format.
- All photos should have a file size of anywhere between 10 kb to 5 Mb.
- All photos should have a minimum resolution of 720×720 pixels.
- All photos should be well lit, and there should be little to no enhancement or excessive use of image filters.
Keep in mind: not only can you upload your own high-quality photos, but you can also include user-generated images. Someone snapped and posted a great picture of your store? Use it as your profile picture by selecting it under the “Photos Tagged of your Business” option.
11.Don’t forget to add videos.
Google now allows you to add a 30-second video to your Google My Business listing!
Adding videos to your business is a great way to let your customers get a “behind-the-scenes” look at what your business is all about. This will help you establish a strong(er) bond with your intended audience and earn their trust and loyalty.
12. Start Measuring.
With Google My Business Insights, you can take a look at what goes on behind the scenes. You can find out how customers find your GMB listing and what they do after they find it (e.g., click on driving directions and make phone calls).
Get the most out of your Google My Business listing
So there you have it: our top 12 tips on optimizing Google My Business listings for small businesses.
The Dallas digital marketing team at Click4Corp can help you employ one of the most effective strategies your local business can use to position itself in front of new customers, and ahead of your market rivals. Contact us today to learn more about our listing management services!
The Google My Business landscape has changed a lot in the past few months due to the coronavirus diseases. Read our blog on “Google My Business Updates Following The Covid-19 Outbreak” to learn more.