Here are the top 5 tips that will help you optimize your Google My Business listing and make it more visible.
Google My Business is always an important asset for your business, but right now, it’s having a real moment. Consumers are heavily relying on information listed on Google My Business as they navigate the reopening happening in their communities. Google My Business contains helpful information about location hours, special services, and more that have helped consumers continue supporting local businesses throughout the pandemic.
1. How to set up your Google My Business listing
- Go to Google.com
- Search for your business by typing its Name. (If it doesn’t appear, click Add my business to Google and follow the prompts.)
- If customers can visit your business location, enter your business address. If customers don’t visit your business (like many home services businesses), click I deliver goods and services to my customers, and enter your service areas instead. However, this is tricky: even though Google tells you not to list your physical address if this is the house or apartment complex, but if you do so it would be hard to optimize GMB via local directories.
- Search for and select a business category (we’ll go into this more later).
- Enter your phone number and website URL.
- Choose how you want to verify your Google My Business profile. If you have the option for a phone call, this will be the fastest. If you select to have your Google PIN mailed to your business address, it can take up to two weeks.
2. Add Real Images to your Google My Business Listing
The Internet used to be all about text and information, but more and more the visual appeal of the Internet is what grabs people’s attention — and that means photos and videos. Videos are so hot that you don’t even need sound. Studies show that as much as 85% of Facebook videos are viewed with the sound off.
However, many business owners are still under the misperception that to get into videos (or even photography) you have to hire a professional video production company or studio. Not true. Some of the best photos and videos are done on the fly — and with a smartphone!
Adding photos of your business is a great way to humanize your brand and let your customers get a “behind-the-scenes” look at what your company is all about… AND your customers can post photos on your Google My Business listing, too! (Surprise!)
- Take some good pictures of the inside and outside of your business, and include some images of your safety protocols, including any signage you have about social distancing, wearing masks, and more. This can help prospective customers feel confident about doing business with you safely right now.
- You can also take a quick video using your smartphone to include if you don’t have a professionally produced video to use. Give a quick tour of your business, show your storefront, and include anything you think consumers may be interested in seeing
TIP: All the images has to be in JPG format with added meta (Image description, keywords and geotag).
3. Google My Business Posts
Google Posts are almost like “mini-ads” or “social media posts” that show up in Google search in your Google My Business listing (in the Knowledge Panel and on Google Maps).
You can have fun with your Google My Business Posts by adding an image, a call-to-action (CTA), and even including a link to another page or website.
Not sure what type of Post you should make? Here are just a few Post ideas:
- If you’re having an event (like a webinar or a seminar about your chiropractic practice) you can set up an event Post with a date and time, then add a link to the registration page.
- Do you have a sale going on during a specific time? Create a “sale” event Post.
- Does your latest blog post rock? Add a short description and link to the post on your blog.
- New product you want to feature? Show a picture of this cool gadget and link to where people can make the purchase.
- Want to spread holiday joy? Give potential customers a holiday message Post.
The possibilities with Posts are endless! Posts show up prominently in your business’ Knowledge Panel, so don’t miss this opportunity to stand out.
TIP: To grab a searcher’s attention, you want to include an image in your Post, but on Google Maps the Post image can get cut off. You might have to test a few Post image sizes to make sure it’s sized appropriately for Maps and the Knowledge Panel on desktop and mobile devices.
4. Pay Attention to Your Business Categories
While we suggest keeping the same primary business category within Google My Business year-round, it might be worth looking into switching up your secondary categories seasonally – especially if you offer different services during that time or know that consumers visit you for a particular reason during different months of the year.
You can also adjust your categories based on what’s happening in the world. If you’re a retailer that predominantly offers sporting goods, but you have cleaning and disinfecting materials in stock, you can make some changes to appeal to searchers looking for those products.
TIP: Google recommends using as few categories as possible, so stick to two or three total.
5. Get and Manage Google My Business online reviews
Unlike Yelp, which vehemently discourages business owners to ask their customers for reviews, Google encourages business owners to ethically ask their customers or clients for online reviews. (Yelp takes it to the extreme, in my opinion.) Online reviews appear next to your listing in Google Maps and your business’ Knowledge Panel in search results. Online reviews can help your business stand out among a sea of search results.
Additionally, online reviews are known to impact search result rankings, consumer trust, and click-through rates. According to BrightLocal’s 2020 Consumer Review Survey:
- 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020, with 12% looking for a local business online every day
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more
- 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business
- Responding to reviews is more important than ever, with 30% naming this as key when judging local businesses
- 68% of consumers left a local business review when asked — with 74% having been asked for their feedback
- 79% of consumers have read a fake review in the last year
How to improve your Google My Business reviews:
- Make review requests part of your business process. Train your team to ask for Google My Business reviews after they’ve had a positive interaction with a customer.
- Include a link to your Google My Business profile on your website and in regular communications to customers, like emails.
- Ask your five best customers if they would mind leaving you a Google My Business review.
- Make sure to respond to every review – especially the negative reviews – promptly and professionally. This shows that you’re paying attention, that you value customer feedback, and that you’re willing to do what it takes to fix a potentially negative customer experience.
And last but not least. Add your company information to as many local directories as possible. Such as Bing, Yahoo, YellowBook and etc. Having your correct and matching Company Information on those directories plays a crucial role for your Google My Business Listing Rankings. Make sure the information 100% reflects what is on your Google My Business Listing.
If you really dont have time for all this and would rather concentrate on your business, we can help you optimize and manage your Google My Business Listing on a monthly basis. Ready to Start?