It's more important than ever to optimize Google My Business to boost your SEO and help customers find you. Consumers look to Google for their product and purchasing direction in today’s digital world. With approximately 5.6 billion daily searches, Google is a vital platform for businesses, especially when optimizing Google My Business (GMB).
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free platform that lets businesses control their listing appearing in Google searches. This is critical for location-based searches, as a GMB listing will quickly display the business’ name, location, hours, reviews, Q&A, posts, and photos to consumers. GMB is an excellent asset and an essential step for any small business’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
An optimized GBM can attract customers and boost revenue by increasing the search ranking. In a recent Bright Local GMB report, over 75% of all listings were found through organic search, many of which are achieved through direct and discovery searches. An optimized and maintained GMB listing will make it easy for customers to find your business while boosting your local search ranking.
- Direct searches contain people searching for a specific business; they know what they’re looking for (I.e. GROWL Agency Grand Junction).
- Discovery searches are related to your business and relevant to your area (i.e. marketing agency Grand Junction).
GMB is all about local search
GMB focuses on optimizing small business pages and promoting local activity. Consider a general search query and the yielded SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Typically, you’ll see keyword search ads, local listings, and general web pages. Next, Google displays GMB listings in Google Maps, allowing users to see locations and select a local listing to view fully. Lastly, Google includes related search options and cross-web results (i.e., top stories).
Your business needs to appear in the Google Maps SERP when it comes to local searches. When a GBM profile is verified, updated, and recommended, it is more likely to engage the consumer.
Get the most out of your GMB listing:
1 Immediately claim and verify your business
Google will walk you through the steps to claim your business so you can have control over the listing. You can verify your business by phone, email, or postcard. After your business has been verified, you can monitor and manage your business listing.
2 Update all information
All information must be accurate, from location and hours to phone numbers, website, and FAQs. When a local customer views your listing, over 56% are likely to visit your business, and 24% are likely to call you.
3 Check your listing regularly
As information changes or users provide feedback, Google often tries to automatically fill in missing information in your listing. Sometimes, this will incorporate automated searches and consumer suggestions that could be inaccurate.
Optimize GMB in 5 steps:
Local searches, such as “near me” and “close by” queries, have grown by over 900% since 2017, so not utilizing or optimizing your GMB is detrimental. Optimizing your GMB is critical.
Step 1 Complete your profile
Get your profile started on the right foot by ensuring all information is completed and accurate. Be sure to check the following fields when completing your profile.
- Business name
- Launch date (date you first opened)
- Service area
- Contact information
- Verify your page via phone or email
Then, cross-reference all contact information with your social media and web pages. When your brand leverages the same information across the internet, your SEO strategy improves. Next, follow these steps to maximize your SEO potential on GMB. Include a short business name, something your business is frequently called (i.e., GROWL Agency’s short name would be GROWL). The short name will make it easier for consumers to find your listing. You’ll also want to thoroughly review the listing and build out your business description in 750 characters.
Be sure to incorporate keywords, locations, and keyword phrases early on.
Step 2 Add photos to your listing
Businesses with pictures are more likely to drive traffic to their website. Adding photos to your listing is an excellent way to showcase your business, build credibility, and gain the trust of your audience.
Your cover photo is the first thing customers see in their search, so choosing a photo that represents your business well is important. This should be a solid profile picture that will go along with all your posts. Additionally, adding photos of your physical location or products can help viewers quickly learn more about your business and get an idea of what to expect when visiting your location.
Step 3 Consistently post to Google Posts
This is like any social media platform, but with bolstered SEO. Here, you can share company updates that act as mini ads. From generic company news to events and special deals, Google Posts are a great way to show your brand’s personality.
- Share company updates as generic posts>
- Post about a company event, including dates and other necessary details as events
- Promote a special offer to entice a person who started with a discovery search to follow through with a service
This content, including images, will appear in your listing search results. Be sure to add a CTA to control a consumer’s next steps. Currently, you can use the following Google CTAs:
- Learn More
- Order Online
- Sign Up
- Get Offer
- Call Now>
Step 4 Build out the Google Q&A section
This section provides consumers with FAQs and gives them a chance to learn more about your business. Use this section for information that didn’t fit within your 750-character description and provide more insight into your business, products/services, and operations.
Step 5 Encourage customers to leave Google reviews
Lastly, one of the greatest tools GMB has to offer is Google Reviews. Across your marketing, request reviews and recommendations from consumers. Then, respond to all reviews. Engagement shows consumers that your brand is thankful and thoughtful, resulting in a positive perception. Additionally, it helps improve your SEO reputation. Be sure also to address negative reviews in a kind and courteous manner so that you remain professional and enhance your credibility.
Google My Business is an excellent tool for businesses, especially those impacted by local searches. Contact the GROWL team today to start bolstering your GMB and SEO ranking!