Google My Business is a free business tool that has become an indispensable tool in Local Marketing for local website traffic and local lead gen. Evolving from simple maps pin over the past decade years to a feature rich and powerful local marketing tool, knowing how to optimize your Google My Business profile listing will make you stick out amongst your competitors and increase inbound business for all sizes of organizations. Read on to learn how to optimize your GMB profile and harness Google My Business’s full potential.
Why is Google My Business Important?
First thing’s first, let’s start by understanding why you should prioritize marketing efforts on Google My Business:
Free Traffic – Google My Business sends you free traffic. As Google Ads ost Per Click (CPC) continues to rise for local business, each visitor you receive from GMB is saving you money. If you can spend a little time on your profile each month and get free traffic you are saving money on monthly advertising costs.
Proximity Traffic – Proximity is a top factor in Google’s local algorithm. Simply by having a live GMB listing you can appear for local searches in your proximity next to businesses who have been actively marketing for years. Get that GMB listing up ASAP and to take advantage of local searches in your proximity.
Near Instant Traffic – Based on the proximity aspect mentioned above, you can get traffic instantly as soon as you take your GMB profile live. As soon as you publish you can start getting inbound leads so what are you waiting for?
No Website Needed – GMB enables users to get more visibility and leads for their businesses without searchers even having to click through to their website. Searchers can contact businesses straight from the search results and can call and even schedule appointments without even clicking a search result.
Thanks to Google My Business potential buyers have an easier time finding businesses that meet their requirements or deciding whether a particular company is suited to their needs with a quick click or tap. This gives you a leg up on your competitors who leave their GMB accounts dormant. By routinely logging in and working on your profile you can improve your position in the Maps Pack and interact with customers interested in your products or services will visit your business straight away.
How to Set Up Google My Business Page?
The first thing on your to-do list when it comes to creating your Google My Business page is to ensure it is not only complete but ACCURATE as well. Accuracy is a huge issue for Google’s local algorithm. We need to ensure that NAP, Hours of Operation and Website URL match the information listed on your website – identically.
NAP / Name, Address & Phone Number – Your NAP information should match your local business citations, and the address on your website (footer and contact page) identically
Business Category – select the most appropriate Category for your business
Website URL – make sure you link to your Canonical URL
Hours of Operation – this should match the information on your website and local business citations
Photos – your logo, pictures of staff and your premises are all mandatory and will help welcome potential patrons to your business
Reviews – how many reviews does your profile have? do you have any? put together a list of your 10 favorite customers and ask them to review you. It’s important to get reviews ASAP or increase the number of reviews you have ASAP.
These are the basics that are absolutely mandatory. But the basics are powerful. If you execute the basics perfectly these basics are very powerful and can propel you to the top 3 of the Maps Pack and even help your organic website listings.
Remember and live by this – a Google My Business profile will not rise up to its full potential if you fail to include any of the important information mentioned above, period. So make sure at a minimum you fill all this info out and again pay attention to accuracy.
How to Engage in Google My Business Profile?
Once you’re done setting up your Google My Business page, you need to move on to the content so that your profile appears active and relevant to customers needs and overall just looks like somewhere they want to be and support!
What constitutes a strong and engaging Google My Business profile?
Log In & Update Your Profile Regularly
Google updates its algorithms constantly but one factor that will remain prominent for local is account activity. You need to login consistently and keep your Google My Business profile updated to attract local customers consistently and grow your business.
Schedule Weekly Posts
Come rain or shine, you should definitely add one post per week to your Google My Business page. Every post on Google My Business expires after seven days. Thus, you need to make sure that your business profile has a minimum of one active post at all times. These new GMB posts are showing up in the search results like website and image results so posting SEO optimized posts is a great way to take up additional spots in SERPs.
Pay Attention to the Quality of Your Content
Don’t post the same sort of content over and over again. Mix and match types of content for better engagement. Throw in some industry-related posts, articles, announcements etc. – high quality, engaging content.
Add Some Personality
Whatever type of business you have from a car wash to a restaurant to a chiropractor give potential patrons a snapshot into your business and give them an idea of what to expect. Emojis and modern lingo are OK light use makes your organization human but overuse is a common mistake we see as well.
Make sure to use a call-to-action CTA button in your Google My Business profile to nudge patrons toward the direction you would like them – your business! Add a link a link and give people a chance to click through to your page. Use image call to actions and photos to promote.
Add Photos and Videos on Google My Business
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to add images and video content. Like any other post, accompanying visuals increase the appeal of the content to visitors and get’s infinitely better engagement.
Google My Business Photos in Posts
It’s simple to post videos in your GMB status updates. Posting photos keeps your profile active, engages visitors and also takes up space in the SERPs taking up potential real estate that would otherwise be filled with competitor listings.
Google My Business Videos
Videos are the best way to improve engagement on your GMB listing. When it comes to in-store purchases, 55 percent of consumers feel more comfortable buying an item once they see it in action. So make sure you post a preview of you playing with the latest gadget, and letting your potential customers know you have what they are looking for in stock. Again – Google My Business posts are showing up in the SERPs like website results and we are seeing Local GMB Posts of products showing up as a result for E-commerce intent, effectively hacking local traffic originally intended for global e-commerce.
GMB Video Length
The best part about enriching your listing with video, Google has set a time limit of 30 seconds for videos featured in your Google My Business profile. That means you can use brief, engaging clips to add teasers, previews, tutorials, and tips to your page. Do a short tour of your company in video format so customers have a better idea of your company. No need for highly produced expensive content. Which leads us to our next point…
Keep It Short
In Google My Business, your posts need to be brief and to-the-point. While there is a character limit of 1500, only the initial 100 characters are seen on the listing, so it’s best to include all relevant info as succinctly as possible. Also, avoid using any technical or fancy jargon that your target customers might not be familiar with.
Never use hashtags in your Google My Business profile. While hashtags have different advantages, they are useless here as they don’t factor into the platform’s search functionalities. They merely take up valuable space that you could otherwise use to include interesting details capable of convincing users to click on your post.
Promote Offers and Events in Your Profile
Businesses can now include their content like special offers, promos, and upcoming events on Google maps and Google Search. This is a unique opportunity as it allows your buyers to know your business better along with your services and products.
Most people consider different businesses before making the final choice. Thanks to Google My Business, you’re able to share relevant, timely updates on Maps and Google Search so your business stands out and draws the attention of prospective buyers.
Moreover, by including customized CTAs on the business listing, you’re able to choose how you wish to connect with potential customers. Keep in mind, however, that including more than one promotion in a single post is likely to confuse buyers. In fact, some might get overwhelmed and avoid taking any action.
Monitor Your Brand Reputation in Google
The reviews section in Google My Business can be quite effective if used carefully. After all, 84 percent of users trust online reviews so you need to monitor them properly. You should respond to both positive and negative customer reviews.
Try resolving issues and ensure customers come back happy. This will show other potential buyers that you value your customers and hear them out. You will also pick up new reviews this way.
Set up Google Alerts for your Business Name to be alerted when Google indexes content with your businesses name. This is super important for local businesses as a Brand Search of your business name can result in potential unfavorable information. By using Google Alerts to monitor your brand mentions you nip these problems in the bud.
Maintain Your Google My Business Listing
Updating your information is crucial to staying relevant and gaining customer’s trust. Change your contact info even if it’s something as small as taking a second business number. Your pictures should be lively and current.
If your physical space has undergone some change, make sure you share pictures of it. Keep your customers in the loop and make sure they come in and see for themselves. Also, list your holiday hours so customers stay in the loop.
As Google My Business continues to evolve, regular adjustments will be necessary. But with a little attention and knowledge, you’ll soon be at the top of the game.