Google My Business is a must for any business owner looking to get discovered online. While you might think that simply having a website will get you found, Google My Business provides a powerful tool to increase your business’s visibility.
Why you should be on Google My Business.
Firstly and most importantly – it gets you seen. More than three-quarters of searches conducted on Google are discovery searches, rather than direct searches. This means more people are searching to find related businesses rather than directly searching the name of the business or brand.
Google My Business (GMB) is essential for showing up in those crucial search results and getting seen by potential customers. That’s not all; you will be able to interact with customers, receive and respond to reviews, make the most of free advertising and more.
Here is how to optimise your Google My Business listing to become more visible, gain more customers and boost your ranking locally.
Create your Google My Business profile.
You should begin by creating your profile if you haven’t already. It’s essential to note that Google My Business is different from your Google Business Profile.
You will use GMB to manage your business profile, so you will need to go to google.com/business using your usual business Gmail credentials.
Once this has been done, you need to ensure that every section is filled out. The more complete your profile is, the better it ranks with Google, and the higher this ranks, the more potential customers you could land.
Tip: Set aside some time to give this some proper thought. While initial sections such as name, address and website may be straightforward, sections like ‘category and attributes’ or ‘products and services’ require more time and refinement.
We talk about SEO (search engine optimisation) a lot, and just like SEO, your “from the business” description should include keywords related to your business.
Sum up the essential overview of your business within the first 250 characters and then expand on this with the rest – you should aim to use all 750 characters. This should include relevant and researched keywords related to your business.
This is an ideal moment to describe what sets you apart from your competition and to make yourself appealing to potential customers.
Choosing your primary and secondary categories.
Think carefully about which categories your business falls into. This will directly affect how Google categorises your business, which will impact on when you become visible within search results.
This will also give way to specific features available only within that category, such as a booking button or star ratings. So think about which fits your business the most accurately so that you can make the most of the features on offer.
Often businesses may identify with a range of categories, so a secondary option is available. It’s vital to be specific to ensure that you’re getting the right kind of customers, and you meet their expectations.
Add high-quality photos.
People love to see pictures of your business as it gives a more personable experience while providing peace of mind to potential customers. You will look much more trustworthy if you add some high-quality, relevant photos of your business, compared to a business who have none on their listing.
By adding photos, you could be increasing your click-through rate to your website by as much as 35%. Think about which photos you’d like to showcase, trying to avoid any that look similar to stock photos; don’t be afraid to show a bit of personality behind your business.
Tip: The more photos you have on your GMB profile, the more active your business looks. It is recommended to upload at least one photo per week rather than adding a batch all at once; this allows you to appear fresh, relevant and up-to-date.
Publish posts regularly.
Every business should make the most of this feature as it’s, in essence, free advertising for your business. These posts enhance your listing by providing well-presented content below your business’s information.
Google My Business has a variety of post-types available. Whether you’re posting about your products, any events or launching a new offer. To make the most of this, it is advised to post regularly.
These posts provide opportunities to engage with your audience, increasing your visibility and establishing your business as the authority within your sector. This is also where you can take advantage of the available formats – if your business has a sale on, create a sale event. Have an amazing blog? Add a link and take advantage of their advantageous content sharing options to gain an edge over your competitors.
Encourage reviews and respond to them.
Reviews are one of the top influences when people decide which business they’re going to contact. This makes it one of the most fundamental elements and will determine how your business ranks in Google’s algorithm.
This means, to rank highly, you should encourage customer reviews and start earning your stars. Begin by simply asking your customers! More than 60% of customers are willing to leave a review once asked, especially if you make the process easy by including a shortcut link.
Google My Business also has a section where anyone can ask and answer questions relating to your business. It’s not a feature you can simply switch off, so you’ll need to ensure that you stay ahead of the game answering people’s queries.
You can set up alerts for the questions and answers section, giving you a head start. A good method to keep your Q&A section tidy and professional is to ‘ask’ your most frequently asked questions and then answer them yourself.
Tip: don’t forget to upvote your own answers so that more people see them and potentially filter out less accurate answers.
With higher expectations on customer service and more businesses going online, it’s essential that you make it easy for any potential customers to reach you.
Google has made businesses extremely accessible by adding in the messaging feature; customers can get in touch via your GMB profile which will send a text message to your phone.
Ensure your profile is well-maintained.
A Google Business Profile that stands out from the others is one that is regularly monitored and maintained. It’s not enough to set up your profile and leave it there if you want to expand reach and promote your business.
By regularly providing quality content, staying up-to-date with any interactions and keeping up with new features you will be maximising your profile’s potential.