Lori Wade is a journalist from Louisville. She is a content writer who has experience in small editions, Lori is now engaged in news and conceptual articles on the topic of business. If you are interested in an entrepreneur or lifestyle, you can find her on Twitter & LinkedIn. She has good experience and knowledge in the field.
How to Completely Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Making your Google My Business (GMB) listing as effective as possible requires optimization, and on top of that, it requires commitment. Here’s everything you need to know about optimizing your GMB listing.
What is Google My Business listing?
Google offers this free tool known as Google My Business to list your business and be found by your customers. All important details about your business are supposed to be on your business listing.
You might be wondering why it is necessary for your business.
Well, Google has become synonymous with 'search'. We all 'Google' things when we need to find sellers. Don't we? So your business has to be on Google to expand its reach.
Since it's mobile-friendly, the scope for reach increases further.
If you understand the importance of digital marketing, you will understand how important it is to list your business on Google My Business. It lets you engage with your customers. It is said that if the content is king, then engagement is queen, and the lady rules the house!
Moreover, Google gives you insights that tell you about the number of searches, your customers' locations, the calls, and emails, etc. These analytics help you work better and grow.
Have a look at some eye-opening statistics:
- More than 1000 searches are received by 49% of businesses
- According to SEO Expert Brad, 50% of near-me searches result in-store visits
- According to Bright Local, 59 actions are received by Google My Business on an average every month
- According to Wordstream, about 5% of GMB listings result in website clicks, calls, and direct requests
- The average business from GMB listings receives 33 clicks per month, which translates to more business
So the first thing you need to do is list your business and then work on getting more clicks and optimization for search expansion.
How to list your business on Google My Business?
- Firstly sign-up on Google My Business
- Then enter your business name and address. Your business will be added by either selecting from the existing options or adding a new listing
- Fill in the required details and you are done with the first steps of creating or claiming a business profile
Verify The Profile
- After creating or claiming a business profile, you have to get it verified to go live. This step is very important.
- Google generally verifies the profile by sending a postcard to your registered location
- Once the card arrives, you have to enter then the verification code stated on the postcard
- Verification can take between 7-14 business days
Optimizing the Google My Business listing
Simply listing your business details is not enough. It has to be done right.
The listing has to be optimized, because the purpose is not only to be present, but also to make your presence felt. You need to engage with your target audience, get conversions and expand your reach. So take note of the following tips and tricks to ace it:
1. Your details have to be complete
That’s the rule! If you want to rank higher in the searches, you have to prove that you are relevant to the top search engines and users. For that, you have to be detailed and not leave your customers wondering and confused. So:
- Make sure you complete every section. The information has to be accurate.
- Firstly, check your business name, contact information, website, operating hours, etc. - all this basic information has to be up-to-date.
- Next, choose the category carefully. This helps you to be in 'discovery searches' and also unlocks for you the category related features.
- Thirdly choose products and services.
- Fill in your 'From the business' section. Make sure the content is well written and has keywords people might use dotted throughout.
2. Use a proper description and photos
Did you know that businesses with more than 100 images tend to get 960% more search views!
This results in more telephone calls, directions requests and website clicks - so keep adding more photos and up-to-date descriptions to your business profile.
- Have a logo, cover photo, and other product images. You can even have videos.
- Ensure here that you use the correct image file format of JPG or PNG. Also, you need to make sure the resolution is correct, and the image quality is good.
- Frequency is important. So you should keep adding images. It shows you are active and results in more engagement.
- Make the descriptions be crisp and clear.
- Check out the Google guidelines for photos. You can add Geotags and 360-degree photo views. Be creative and make the best use of the available features.
3. The magic of keywords
When you want to gain more website clicks through your GMB listing, you will have to be good with the keywords choice.
People generally hire SEO experts for managing these. But even if you do not have an SEO professional at hand, you can do some research (or sign up for a SEO course) about keyword selection so that you can place them correctly wherever required.
4. Special attributes
When people perform really specific searches, unique attributes help you get in front of those customers. That’s why it is essential to select the category carefully. That gives you the option of unique sub sections.
Some examples of these are:
- Beach access, golf course, spa on site - in the amenities section
- 3D movies, karaoke nights - in the highlights section
- Cash-only, meal coupons -in the payments section
There are also some hidden attributes. Based on your business category, you can unlock these by choosing the 'Answer quick questions' option.
So use all of the features to make your customers aware of every special feature or offer that your business has.
5. Add products
Tell them about your products and services, and make sure to add product photos and an appropriate description.
Listing the prices is entirely your choice, but it's recommended. Keep your catalogue of products updated from time to time.
6. Use local posts
When you want to promote any offers, events, or products, you can use the local posts facility. That is helpful in boosting the engagement process.
Industries like alcohol, weapons, etc., have restricted advertising rights, so make sure you read the guidelines before posting - you don't want to get banned or suspended for not abiding by the guidelines.
7. Reviews are important
Even if your goal is not to appear higher in the search results - the one thing you surely cannot neglect is customer reviews!
Customers today base their buying decisions on reviews and ratings.
You can add a review section on your website and you can ask past customers for reviews. In fact, I recommend that you do.
Responding to reviews helps upscale your engagement. You will then notice that the Google search results 'shower some extra love on you' when you take care the time to interact with your reviewers.
8. Keep them posted
If you have an Instagram account, a Facebook page, or profiles on other social media platforms, then you will be aware of how important it is to post regularly.
That's how it goes with your Google My Business listing as well.
You can keep adding products or services, add new photos, videos, add more FAQs, etc. You should create a posting calendar - post weekly, biweekly, whatever suits you.
Take the time to respond to customer queries once a week and manage any reviews. Just keep in touch! That’s the key.
And if you need help to manage your time, there are various time tracking tools which are easy to use. Check out these Toggl alternatives.
9. Answer questions before they are asked
You can set up an FAQ section on your listing as well. You can answer other questions asked by customers so that future customers can find out more details.
In fact, other people can also answer the questions. But you have to be quick. The response time should be less than 24 hours. Answering questions also gives you another opportunity to inject more keywords.
10. Let them contact you
Make is easy for people to contact you. And when we say contact, we don't only mean through the standard telephone numbers etc. Activate the messaging feature.
Your customers will love the flexibility of being able to text you and ask you questions through SMS. It is also believed that conversions are higher in the case of messages when compared to telephone calls. They key is to respond quickly to any messages that you receive.
You can also use automated welcome messages or other responses.
All the pointers above will help you optimise your GMB listing. Continually optimization should be an essential part of your digital marketing strategy.
The best part is you do not need any special kind of training to do all of this to your profile. Google themselves offer very good instructions at every step.
All you need to do is make a start and to devote some time each week to keep improving your profile.
So what are you waiting for - get the ball rolling!
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