What Is Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free and easy-to-use listings platform provided by Google. Business owners can create or claim a listing of their business. The purpose of a GMB profile is to add business information, display your business on Google Maps, provide searchers with relevant information, and obtain business reviews. Businesses can set up alerts to find out when they get new reviews, track how many people view their listing, manage posts about their business, and more.
- Claim & Verify Your Google Business Profile
Check your business name first. What is the name of your company? This is usually not the legal name of your business. It’s the name above your shop and what people say when asked. Don’t be tempted to add keywords to your business name to fool the system. Second, review your address if you share a business address with another business, you need to differentiate your address. Your address needs to be unique also if you add a suite number or room number to the end of the main address. Just be sure that nobody else is already using the number, and nobody does in the future. You need to pick one way of writing your address and stick to it. This is also covered in the NAP(Name, Address & Phone Number) section.
- Add relevant categories
There are over 4,000 different business categories to choose from in the Google Business Profile. Because Google likes to keep things simple and organized, you can only choose one main category and ten others. The list is constantly being updated, so it’s important to check regularly that the activity categories you use are still the most relevant. When your website is optimized, Google can already get a pretty clear picture of your company’s services through its sophisticated algorithm. However, by manually selecting business categories, you can ensure that they are always as accurate as possible.
- Interact with your reviews
With a Google My Business profile, you can receive reviews from customers. In addition to soliciting reviews, business owners need to respond to them in a timely manner. Not only is it good for your audience to see that you’re active and listening to comments, but Google recognizes this as a best practice. If you get a bad review, don’t feel bad, reach out to them and ask them to contact you individually to discuss their feedback. When you get good reviews, thank them for doing business with you and taking the time to share their experience.
- Keep your Google My Business profile active
Try to post regularly new information – updates, special offers, discount codes, new service launches, etc. You can add call-to-action buttons to your posts, letting customers perform instant actions. Keeping your profile active with engaging, relevant, and regular posts will help you get your customers more engaged before they decide to buy or book from you.
Things you can post
- Special offers
- Product or service showcase
- COVID-19 updates
- Company news
- Call-to-Action (CTA)
- Ask your customers for reviews
Customer reviews are another element that can affect your GBP’s online exposure. Sometimes asking customers to write reviews can be a little awkward, but Google wants to highlight listings of reputable businesses. So, getting reviews from your customers can help your business appear ahead of your competitors in the SERPs. While some SEO professionals promote the strategy of collecting many reviews, it’s best to aim for quality reviews that mention keywords related to the products and/or services you offer. This helps Google understand the nature of your business, so it can show your listing to more potential customers.
- Add Products and Services
Adding your products and services will not affect your ranking. But if you have popular products and services, add them to your profile. They appear on your profile when a customer searches for them and clicks on your profile. Although not a local ranking factor, showcasing your products and services can generate more customers. You can upload photos of your products and service, it will easily showcase your business.
- Upload Photos of Your Business
Recent pictures are an important part of your profile, given the positive correlation between the number of pictures a profile has and the number of organic impressions it receives. Start with high-quality images of your logo, interior and exterior photos of your location, and photos of your team. These give users a good idea of what to expect when visiting in person. Consider your customers when choosing images. Think about why they choose your business over a competitor and be sure to provide plenty of visuals to help them make their decision. Before uploading images, you can use Google Vision AI to see how Google’s algorithm interprets them.
Google Business Profile is free and easy to get started. However, this is only a small part of an effective local SEO strategy. Google uses Google my Business Profile to populate your website, review site profiles, and even your social media accounts. If you have any questions about how to set up or optimize your local business listing, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. If you do not have the time to do this yourself, we can do all of the above for you. Visit our page to learn how to build a website for your small business.