How to Optimize Google My Business
Internet Marketing Media Services has one main goal. It’s to optimize each of our clients’ web presence. And Google My Business is no exception. Our team of experts can take your My Business listing to the next level. This article serves as a brief guide to help you do so today. The IMMS team’s dedicated to optimizing all factors of GMB. This will help ensure your brand learns to use winning digital marketing strategies.
One of the keys to great digital marketing involves using location-based SEO strategies. And that is why an optimized Google My Business listing can take your organization to the next level. If you’ve been wondering, ‘how to get my business in the Google search engine,’ you’re in the right place.
What is Google My Business?
GMB (Google My Business) is Google’s free tool to assist the owners of companies and brands. It allows them to ensure their online presence is optimal for Google’s search engine. If you want local exposure, there are few resources better than GMB. For example, do you want your business to get featured in Google’s Local Search results? (These are local business listings that thousands of people view each day.) If so, GMB is essential to getting traffic that leads to sales.
Say your company creates a GMB listing. Google creates a Google Maps location and correlates it to Google Search results. This makes it easy for people to determine, in seconds, the location of your business. What’s one key benefit of this process? Most organic searches originate on Google. In fact, Google has about a 90% share in the global search engine market. That’s reason enough for your team to optimize GMB.
There are plenty of third-party platforms that generate information from GMB. They also take information from the Google Maps API. The best part of all this? GMB is free to use. Many clients often ask IMMS the following question. “Does a listing with GMB prevent our website from showing up in results?” The answer is no—your website will still appear in all Google search engine results.
Setting Up Google My Business
Step number one to set up a GMB listing is easy. All you need to do is search for your company on Google. Why? To make sure business isn’t already featured on GMB. It won’t bet if you are a new company. But if you’ve been around a few years, Google may have already created a listing for you. Don’t panic if this is the case. You need to claim the listing. This is easy to do. Next, you can manage and update the content. Make sure that key factors like the address and contact information are up-to-date. This is often a three-step process:
- Fill out all relevant information so everything is up-to-date.
- Place your business in the most relevant category.
- Specify whether your company delivers products or services to people’s homes/businesses. This is important if your business does home services like painting or construction.
How to Verify the Listing on Google My Business
Now that you’ve applied your company’s basic information, it’s time to get the listing verified. Otherwise, the inputted information will not get seen by potential customers. Google is always on the look-out for false listings. That’s why you may want to do the verification process by mail. This will prove to Google that your physical address is correct.
Google will not display your GMB listing until the verification process is complete. This means your team won’t have access to business reviews, analytics, and insights. Do not expect the verification process to get done in one day. The average duration is around five business days or so. Once approved, Google will mail your company a postcard. The postcard will contain a verification code. Once the code gets entered—your GMB will be live.
How to Publish the Listing on Your Company’s Google My Business
Here are the actions your team should take to ensure that the GMB listing gets optimized.
1) Make sure the listing features as much relevant data as possible.
Local searches are all about relevant information. The more you have, the more likely Google will be to give your company a high SEO ranking. That’s why your team can’t assume people already know ANYTHING about your business. Have your staff communicate every detail about what your company does. The more data, the better the chance of getting great SEO.
2) Use keywords.
The SEO process of GMB listings is similar to normal websites. Google looks for relevant keywords and search phrases when doing GMB ranking. This means both your website and listing should get optimized with tons of keywords. What’s a great trick to do? Examine the keywords that your high-ranking competitors are using. Then you apply those keywords to your own listing and website.
3) Display your company’s operating hours.
It’s not good enough to have your company’s official hours displayed on GMB. The key factor many businesses overlook? Keeping the hours updated whenever a change takes place. For example, if your holiday hours differ, add the changes to your listing ASAP. You are less likely to stay optimized if the business hours are inaccurate.
4) Embrace customer reviews.
Don’t feel satisfied when your listing is getting reviews on a consistent basis. That’s good. But it’s not good enough if you strive to have the best optimization. Your team should interact with each review. It doesn’t matter whether the review is positive or negative. Google rewards companies that respond to customers. Also, do all you can to encourage your customers to leave positive reviews. More positive feedback equals greater optimization. You can even have your team create a link where customers can share reviews in an easy-to-use format.
Your Google My Business Photos Matter
Many business owners fail to realize the importance of featuring photos on GMB. It’s easy to assume that having one image is enough. But it’s not—if you are seeking great optimization. In fact, a recent study found important information. Companies with GMB photos received 35% more click-throughs. Also- companies with GMB photos received 42% more driving direction requests. What was the source of the study? Google. And what was the message? Load your GMB listings with as many pictures as you can. Here are some ways to do so:
1) Have a profile photo.
Yes, this is obvious. But many businesses fail to feature one. Or, they assume that the profile photo has to be the company logo. This is a misconception. The profile photo can be something unique that represents the brand’s message. This will make the photo appear more interesting to potential customers.
2) The logo image.
This is where your company’s logo comes into play. This is so people can recognize your brand in a simple, square-shaped image.
3) The cover photo.
Now it’s time to show off your brand’s personality. This is the large picture that sits on top of the GMB listing. Make sure your team knows how to crop the picture into a 16:9 aspect ratio.
4) More photos.
Again, the more pictures the better. Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes. What would you want to see that would drive you to your company’s website? Whatever your answer is, jam-pack your photos section with cool, relevant content.
Updating Your Google My Business Account During COVID-19
It’s very important to update your Google My Business account whenever a change takes place. And the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the operations of tons of businesses.
The global crisis continues to affect the working hours and roles of so many employees. Say that your company’s hours are now different. Or, say that there are new mandates, safety guidelines, or restrictions. No matter the case, you’ve got to let your audience know about the changes.
And you can do so by reconfiguring your GMB profile. Doing so will ensure that your customers have accurate information. Google has even added some new features making it easier to communicate to customers. For example, you can mark a store as temporarily closed. You can even update your account with new health and safety attributes. And if your business delivers, there are new delivery options that you can provide.
Observe the Insights on Your Google My Business Listing
GMB analytics used to be difficult to track. Not anymore. Google now offers an “Insights” section. This is great for observing data that you can use to your advantage when it comes to optimization. Your team can track how people interact with the following in your listing:
- How each person discovered the listing
- Where each person found your brand using Google
- Phone calls
- Who is viewing specific photos
- Actions were taken by each customer
- Who is seeking direction requests to get to your company
It’s clear that search engine optimization for Google My Business can take your brand to new heights. Please contact IMMS today if you would like to learn more. We’re ready to improve your Google My Business Listing. You can get right to the point and say, “please optimize my business today!” Our team of experts knows the ins and outs of GMB optimization like the backs of their hands.
Also, IMMS offers plenty of Google My Business Optimization training courses. You can find out more about them during a free consultation. We will help you come up with a Google My Business strategy that will get results fast. Those results can lead to increased profit margins and ROI. Our mission is simple. We strive to turn state-of-the-art SEO tricks into money in your pocket.