Google My Business or GMB is one of the best tools for businesses right now. It helps you reach more people, increase brand awareness, generate high quality leads, and boost your revenue. And on top of all that, Google My Business is completely free.
If you are a business owner or a marketer and you are not yet using Google My Business, you are definitely missing out.
Google My Business controls local search results on Google Maps, Google Assistant, and even the Google search engine. A vast majority of consumers are now using Google to do research on businesses and products before deciding on a purchase. That’s why you need to be on this platform.
Now if you are using GMB and you want to get even better results, there are ways to optimize your listing so that it ranks higher on Google Maps. Here we will talk about how to do just that.
What is Google My Business?
Before we can optimize your Google My Business listing, we need to cover the basics first. Understanding what GMB is and how it works will allow you to optimize your Business Profile more effectively.
Google My Business is a tool that allows you to create a listing for your business on Google. With a GMB account, you can update your business information so that it’s easily viewable by your customers. You can also post updates, read customer reviews, and interact with users.
When a consumer uses Google to research your business or a keyword related to your business, they will be able to find your listing. With a GMB listing, your prospects will have all the information they need, including your contact number, how to visit you, and how to make a purchase.
Optimizing your Google My Business profile is all about managing your company’s appearance on Google. It lets you control what people see when they look you up online.
Why Use Google My Business
Google My Business is a must-have for businesses, especially since four out of five consumers are researching local businesses, products, and services beforehand. Search engines are now more accessible than ever thanks to the fact that almost everyone has a mobile device. In fact, almost 70 percent of these consumers are using their mobile devices for these types of searches.
In addition to these impressive statistics, 61 percent of all local searches lead to a purchase.
However, it is also very important to optimize your GMB listing because consumers are most likely to check the top three search results presented by Google. By optimizing your Google My Business profile, you can potentially rank higher in search results and get exposed to a lot more people.
What You Need to Know About Google Maps
Here’s something to keep in mind: creating the best GMB listing will not automatically increase your rank because Google has other things to consider. For example, Google Maps places a lot of value on proximity when displaying search results.
This means your business has the best chance of ranking high in search results if the consumer is located somewhere nearby. If a person uses a search engine to look for restaurants, for example, it always prioritizes the ones that are closest to them.
Other than proximity, Google also considers your company’s rank. This is because not everyone uses location data sharing. High ranking businesses automatically show up when the user has a fixed location.
Google Maps also considers factors such as reviews and testimonials. So while you can’t control the location of the people using search engines, you can at least strive for good reviews.
MasterMindSEO (https://mastermindseo.org/) shares some other effective ways to increase your rank on Google Maps.
Optimizing Your Google My Business to Rank on Google Maps
As a marketer, your goal is to land that top spot so that you can appear in front of leads before your competitors. First, let’s talk about properly setting up your GMB listing. Even if you already have one, you should go back and check your listing to make sure everything is set up correctly.
You can’t optimize a GMB profile if you don’t have one to begin with. So create a listing by signing in to the Google account that you want to be associated with your Google My Business.
Fill up the portion where it asks for your business’ name and click ‘Next’. Fill out the address information completely. Google Maps is entirely reliant on your location, so this part is very important.
Click on the checkbox marked with a truck icon if your business is a service-area type. This is to indicate that you are not serving customers from your business address. Otherwise, leave this unchecked.
Then you need to find and choose the category that your business fits in. Be as accurate as possible so you can easily connect with your target audience. You want your GMB listing to reach the right people. Finally, add your contact information, including your website and phone number.
Double check the information you provided and make sure everything is correct. Also keep this information updated so that your prospects can always reach out to you. Every piece of information in your profile will help your customers find your business.
Check your company’s description, including your services and service area. Add a schedule so that customers can see your operating hours. Most people who do research using Google end up calling or visiting a store’s location after finding them online. You don’t want to miss out on these opportunities to convert more leads into paying customers.
Choosing the Right Photos for Your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business lets you add photos to your listing. This makes it more attractive for viewers, and also gives them an idea of what your establishment looks like. If you set the right photos, you can help your potential customers visualize your products, services, etc.
Businesses that feature photos in their GMB profile receive 42 more requests for driving directions to their locations. By just adding pictures, you can also enjoy 32 percent more clicks to your website link than businesses that don’t have pictures.
It is easier for people to trust a company with pictures, especially if it is their first time encountering that brand.
It wouldn’t hurt to invest in professional-looking photos of your business. It can create a huge impact for your GMB profile and improve your chances of converting your leads. Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your building, your products, etc.
Also choose the best cover photo for your GMB profile. It is one of the first things people see when they click on your listing. Your cover photo will sit on top of your contact information—so make sure it is visually-appealing. Think of it as the centerpiece of your GMB profile: choose wisely.
As for your Google My Business profile photo, use a picture with a minimum resolution of 720 x 720 pixels. Only use JPG or PNG files so that your pictures won’t take a long time to load. Remember that people have short attention spans, and they might click away if your GMB photos won’t load.
According to Google, businesses should add more than just pictures of exteriors and interiors. You can actually add pictures of your staff too. It adds a human element to your profile and makes it that much more appealing to customers. Don’t be afraid to show off your employees.
Your Google My Business photos don’t necessarily have to be just pictures of your building. You can also showcase your services and products. In fact, it’s recommended that you do. Add at least one image per product, and one per service you provide.
Finally, you should also add at least one video to your Google My Business profile. While other companies might think this is optional, it is actually important if you want to catch the attention of more leads. Since your goal is to optimize your profile for maximum engagement, this is one good way to do it.
Add a promotional video that showcases everything you want your prospects to see. It can be a tour of your establishment and an introduction to your staff. Of course, you can also add your products and services to make the video more informative.
MasterMindSEO recommends adding a GMB video because it’s a golden marketing opportunity. Humans are visual by nature and enjoy things that catch their eye. If your GMB profile can attract people’s attention and keep it, you have a better chance of converting them into paying customers.
Videos are also highly shareable content, meaning you can potentially reach a much larger audience. The more they share the video, the more eyes it will attract. Your video can even go viral if plenty of people find it interesting.
Even if you don’t have the resources for a professional video, you can go and shoot one yourself. Try your hand at editing your clips—you may be surprised by what you can make.
Keep it under 30 seconds. Any longer than that and your audience might get bored. As long as the video is concise and informative, it doesn’t matter if it’s just a short clip.
Just remember to incorporate your brand into all of your promotional content. This will help you stand out from the competition. Your GMB video is your chance to show all the great things about your business. When your business grows, you can invest in a more professional video.
Using Reviews and Testimonials to Boost Your GMB Listing
Reviews and testimonials are considered by Google Maps when showing search results. So to increase the effectiveness of your Google My Business listing, you need great reviews.
Reviews are a form of word of mouth marketing. They are valuable because they come from people who have already experienced working with you. They have tested your services and tried your products before. Therefore they are qualified to leave their opinions and share their thoughts online.
Regardless of whether a customer leaves a positive or a negative review, their feedback can be very useful for your business.
Good reviews provide great social proof. Prospects may read all the praise you are receiving from satisfied customers and decide to try it out for themselves. Bad reviews, on the other hand, can give you insight on what you need to improve and how you can do it.
Respond to negative reviews with compassion and understanding. Do not get overly defensive. These negative reviews need a more personal touch—so avoid canned responses. If you’ve already made the necessary changes and provided the proper solutions, include those in your response too.
In either case, reviews give you the opportunity to engage with your customers and show that you care about them. Responding to reviews can improve customer satisfaction. It also gives your brand the image of approachability. Take the time to respond to all customer reviews and try to get a conversation going. It will improve your engagement and encourage others to leave their reviews.
Just like reviews, testimonials are perfect for winning the trust of your prospects. Testimonials come from people who appreciate the value of your work and want to share their experiences with your company.
Reviews and testimonials are almost entirely out of your hands: you can only get them organically by waiting for people to leave their thoughts. You have to provide high quality customer service to get good feedback regularly.
But you can also reach out to your satisfied customers and ask them if they would be willing to leave a review on your Google My Business profile. This is the most proactive approach you can take.
If you want testimonials, you can interview your clients and ask them questions about their experience. Or you can ask them to leave a short video testimonial talking about your company or product.
Content Creation for Google My Business
To recap: optimizing your profile can make it more attractive to people doing Google searches. Reviews and testimonials give you social proof and the chance to engage with customers. There’s another way to increase your GMB profile’s chances of appearing in search results and that is through content creation.
Taking advantage of everything Google My Business has to offer will help you rank higher in Google Maps: that includes GMB posts.
You can use GMB posts to advertise new products and services, or share new content. Instead of just posting content on social media, you can also share it on your GMB profile to boost your visibility.
This is where SEO comes in. SEO, or search engine optimization, involves using keywords to improve your ranking in search results. If you include relevant keywords in your content, you can make it easier for people to find you in search engines.
Always create high quality content. This means your posts should be informative, interesting, and genuinely helpful. You can post tips, tricks, and life hacks that can make your target audience’s lives easier. You can share industry news and trends—anything that can attract their attention.
Creating a post for Google My Business is simple. Go to your GMB dashboard and click on ‘Posts’ from the left menu. You can then start writing your post. Make sure you include call-to-actions and use keywords that relate to your industry. Write about topics that are relevant to your target audience’s interests.
Content creation helps establish your place as a leader in your industry. High quality content makes it easier to gain the trust of your leads. So not only will you attract their attention, but you will also showcase your value.
Google My Business Insights
After optimizing your profile, you can begin tracking your progress by checking your stats. Google My Business Insights shows plenty of significant information about your profile’s performance. It can even show you what particular elements visitors are responding to.
These analytics are very useful for marketers and business owners. With these analytics, you can further tweak your listing based on how people are responding to it. It shows customer actions, photo views, phone calls, etc. It even analyzes how customers found your business.
GMB Insights can provide data that can be viewed by week, month, or quarter. To view these stats, just select Insights on your Google My Business dashboard.
Google My Business is now an essential tool for every marketer and business owner. The fact that it’s free means there is absolutely no reason not to use it to boost your business’s online presence. It can connect you with people conducting local searches, and help you engage with high quality leads. This may be just what you need to thrive in a highly competitive market.
Use Google My Business today, optimize your profile, start creating content, and take your business to the next level!