Creating an online presence is important for any business today. Businesses build their presence by building and optimizing their website. Various SEO or search engine optimization strategies can help them gain visibility on search engine results page (SERP). Another way to get your business more visibility is through Google business listing. Despite it being a powerful tool that businesses can leverage, many of them overlook it.
Google My Business (GMB) can enable you to create your listing or Business Profile that can provide all the relevant information about your business. This is the perfect tool for businesses who want to create brand awareness so that their local customers can find them. Creating a GMB account is the first step to get started. However, to get better visibility and ranking you will need to optimize your listing. In this article, we will discuss how to optimize Google My Business profile to improve visibility.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business or GMB is a free platform to add business listings that can help a business manage its presence on Google Search and Google Maps. This listing can be found directly in Google and Google Maps search results and does not require you to visit a third-party site. It has different features that can help you present your business information to your target audiences. It is not just a business listing but is also a very important SEO tool.
Getting Started with Google My Business
Here is a quick overview of how you can get started with GMB listing.
- The first step is to sign into Google My Business account. You can use your existing Google account or create a new one.
- Then enter your business name and fill out other information like category, location, and contact information to finish your profile.
- Next step is to verify your business. Usually, Google verifies your business by sending a postcard by mail or if you are eligible, it can be done through phone or email.
- Lastly, claim your business on Google by signing into your GMB account and searching for it. Then follow the remaining steps to confirm that you are the owner. Once you find your business you can select Own this business. You can then start editing once you are the verified owner.
These are the steps that will set up your account and list your business. For this listing to be more visible you will need to take some extra steps to optimize it.
Let’s take a look at how you can optimize your GMB listing.
How to Optimize Google My Business Profile?
Here are some ways that can help refine your GMB profile for better visibility.
Complete all the details for your listing
When you initially create your listing, you may just enter some basic information, but ensure that you go back and complete your profile. Give as much information as you can because this can enable Google to match your business with relevant customer queries. If your listing has already been published for a while, you can edit it to update any information. More information about your business can help improve your search ranking.
Ensure that you use the right keywords to be more relevant to your audience’s search queries. Google will determine local ranking based on the following factors:
- Relevance: How your listing matches a search
- Distance: A business’s location from a searcher
- Prominence: How popular your business is
Research the type of keywords your target audiences use to search for the relevant products or services in your location.
Show your audiences what your business is all about through good quality images. When creating your GMB profile you can add your logo and cover photo so that people recognize your business online.
You can upload images of your location, products, and more to give more information about your business. For example, a restaurant can post pictures of its menu, food, ambience and more so that audiences are willing to try out their restaurant. Ensure that your photos are of good quality that make your business and products look more appealing. This can encourage people to try out your business.
Enter accurate operating hours
Fill in accurate operating hours for your business. This helps the customers out when they want to call you or visit in-person. Ensure that you update your business operating hours during the holidays or other events.
Create posts for your business
GMB lets you create posts for your business if you want to tell your customers about any new updates, offers or events. This post is featured in your listing and can attract a customer’s attention. It can help you drive sales and encourage people to visit your store or business in-person or online.
With the posts you will also see options to add relevant CTA’s like ‘sign up’ or ‘book’. These CTAs can lead users to your website and encourage them to convert. If audiences want to take any action, they can easily do that by clicking on the CTA. You can also add images or videos in the post to make it more appealing.
Encourage customers to write reviews
Consumer’s buying decisions are heavily influenced by other consumers. When people come across your business, they are more likely to look for reviews. A good review can help influence the purchase decision of your potential customers. Reviews also contribute to improving your Google ranking.
After a customer has purchased from you or tried out your service, whether in store or online, you can ask them to review your business. You can send customers links to review your business through messages or emails. There are many ways in which you can ask customers to review your business.
Respond to reviews
To build trust and credibility ensure that you respond to reviews written by customers. This interaction can help you build loyalty with your customers. Respond to the reviews in a professional manner. This is especially important if you get negative reviews. Respond to the customer’s issues or offer an apology to show that you care about a customer’s experience with your brand.
This will ensure potential customers that your business is trustworthy, and you value your customer’s input. This is a great way to build long-term relationships with your customers.
Add features and attributes
Special attributes and features are available for your GMB account based on the category of your business. For example, restaurants can showcase their menu, dishes and provide link to order online. Small and medium sized businesses can add product catalog. Product editor enables merchants to showcase their products.
Depending on your business you can see if you are eligible for any of the features provided by GMB. You can also add attributes to share information that your customers are looking for or need. For example, if your business is giving free parking, then you can add this to your profile.
Optimizing your GMB profile can help improve your search ranking. If you want customers to see your listing, then you must take these steps that will ensure better visibility for your business. Your goal should be to provide all the relevant and useful information your potential customers would want about your business. Use different features to showcase your business. Add high-quality images that will appeal to your audiences. All these factors give you an opportunity to rank better. Good visibility can in turn improve your sales and contribute to the growth of your online presence.