In this current age, searching for businesses of all types via the internet is the most popular method of discovery among customers. When searching for a business, customers take many factors into consideration including location, reviews/ratings, prices, features, menu, products, etc. An essential resource that gives customers all this information and more is your Google My Business listing. This is the search result that comes up when you search for a business as show below. Google My Business is an important digital marketing strategy without a doubt.
All businesses should take advantage of this impactful feature by Google, but it is incredibly important for local businesses. According to an article by SEMrush, 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. A well-optimized Google My Business listing can be the difference between gaining new customers and potentially going out of business.
Here are some tips to take into consideration while creating your Google My Business listing. If you follow these tips, your listing will be in tip-top shape and ready to show off your business and bring in new customers.
Before we dive into advanced techniques for optimizing your Google My Business listing, here are the basics. First off, a Google My Business listing is a placement on a search results page that shows all the information about your business that you put into the platform. By utilizing Google My Business, you are giving your business a chance to be featured in regular search results and local pack search results. Local pack search results are the top 3 local results that are most pertinent to a query and give a business a better chance to gain a new customer. Utilizing a virtual tour for your local business can help advance your Google My Business listing as well.
Google My Business has many benefits, but here are some of the most noticeable. Google My Business is completely free to use. You can set up and manage your listing for free and watch your business gain results. Google My Business also allows your business to appear in places that you would not be able to otherwise. Without using the platform, you wouldn’t show up anywhere and that can make you lose potential customers.
Google My Business also allows you to collect reviews and gain new insights into your company. Reviews are a very important part of your listing, as many potential customers read through them before deciding. In addition to displaying your reviews, GMB can also help you make business decisions via the use of analytics. The platform tracks the number of views, search queries where you were a result, engagement numbers, and clicks on your links. This information can lead you down the right path for the future of your business.
Now that you are aware of what Google My Business and its listing capabilities can do for you as well as some benefits, let us get into techniques for optimizing your listing.
The category that you choose for your business on your Google My Business listing is crucial for success. You want to be as specific as possible, and that should not be too hard because Google has over 3,000 different business classifications available. A good technique to use is to Google your competitors and see what their primary category is listed as. Compare what they are listed as and what they offer to what you offer and make sure that you choose the correct category. They may not be fully optimized, and you can avoid making their same mistake by checking out their listing.
Add questions and answers
In each Google My Business listing, there is the option to add questions and answers. You should take advantage of this section and add frequently asked questions that customers will likely search for. By adding this information and having it available when they search, they will view you as very helpful and trustworthy while becoming more likely to visit your website or your business in person.
This section also allows them to ask you questions directly and you can answer them. However, a customer-submitted question can be answered by anyone, not just the GMB page manager. It is very important to review this questions page and make sure that you are the first to answer the questions posed by customers.
Use high-quality images
As with many business outlets online, you want to present yourself in the most professional manner possible. One key to looking professional is to make sure that you are using high-quality images in your Google My Business listing that look good on both desktop and mobile devices. Unsurprisingly, Google uses different image sizes on desktop and mobile. Make sure you account for that by reading through their GMB photo guidelines. Optimizing your photos will go a long way for the presentation of your business.
Show unique attributes
Even though your Google My Business listing is a place for the utmost in professionalism, you can still show your business’s personality. Each business, especially local businesses, have attributes that set them apart from the competition. This setting is available in the “info” tab. You can add things from free WiFi, wheelchair accessibility, food specialties, and more. Be aware that your category dictates what attributes you can add to your listing. A good technique would be to compare your listing to that of your competitors and then add your unique attributes to set yourself apart in the right ways.
Make frequent Google Posts
Another underutilized feature of Google My Business listings is Google Posts. With Google Posts, you can add business updates directly to your listening and searchers will see them near the bottom. Here is an example of our Google Posts:
These posts are comparable to social media posts with the added benefit of being visible in Google search results. You can post things including your new content, new web pages, seasonal messages, and much more. By optimizing your Google Posts, you can gain new customers and feelings of positive communication with your audience.
As you can see, optimizing your Google My Business listing is critical for your success. There are so many opportunities available in the platform that we encourage you to take advantage of. If you are struggling with Google My Business, please reach out to us and we would be happy to assist you with your optimization journey.