Optimizing your Google My Business profile is a great SEO strategy available to any business owner to improve your local business and earn more leads.
Google My Business is a powerful free tool created by Google to help your brand’s digital visibility across several Google platforms like Search and Maps. As a bonus point, it will improve your small business local SEO game.
Here are 13 winning optimization strategies you should implement to improve your Google My Business ranking and obtain quality leads for your business
Claim Your Google My Business Profile
If your brand hasn’t claimed a Google My Business profile yet, then what are you waiting for?
Here’s how you can claim yours today:
- Visit Google Business Profile
- Click on “Manage Now”
- Add your business to Google
Google often tries to provide the best information for an unclaimed GMB profile, which means your brand might appear on Google with incorrect photos, contact information, and address.
Claiming GMB profiles allow you to validate and control the information about your business. You can also monitor and respond to your customers’ reviews.
Complete Your Google My Business Account Registration
After claiming your Google My Business Profile, the next step for your brand’s GMB optimization is completing every section to update your profile.
Google My Business optimization includes filling in business details, such as…
- Business name
- Business category
- Address for easy locating on the map
- Service Area
- Phone Number
- Check-in and check-out times (only applicable to hotels)
Complete these details with accurate information and verify your Google My Business profile. Incorrect business information tends to frustrate people, creating a bad customer experience and may lead to bad reviews.
Get Verified ASAP
Verification is a simple process of requesting Google to send a postcard to the address you have listed and inputting the code they mail you to validate your address.
With a verified profile customers are more likely to engage with you and Google is more likely to show your profile to more people. It’s an easy way to gain some automatic credibility.
Accurate Business Information
Did you know that local mentions of your business on the web are a key GMB SEO factor for improving your Google My Business rankings?
If you don’t claim your GMB profile, not only it’s a bad User Experience for your customers, but also other third-party directory sites will provide inaccurate business details, like a wrong phone number or old address. It would be almost impossible for your business to be featured in the Maps Listings or at the top of the Search Results for local searches.
Google also verifies the authority of your business with the help of citations from these online directory sites. It’s like having multiple witnesses attest to the fact that your business is real.
Clean up your local business citations and provide accurate contact information across the web to improve your customer experience and your small business’s local SEO.
Choose Your Business Categories
Using the right business category improves your Google My Business optimization and your brand’s digital visibility in Google Search and Maps.
A whopping 4000 Google My Business categories are available for you to choose from.
For example, if you are a local restaurant owner, there are approximately 300 restaurant categories you can choose from. First, select the category that best fits your restaurant, from ‘Fusion Restaurant, ‘Mexican Restaurant’ to ‘Vegan Restaurant’. Google allows you to select up to 10 categories, but you can only have 1 primary category.
Confused about how to properly choose the category for your local business? No wucking furries, we are your friendly SEO strategy agency of the future. Our team is fluent in GMB optimization, it’s part of our daily life. Let’s talk and see how we can best offer Google My Business optimization service for your local brand.
But for now, here is how you can add or edit your business categories.
- Click Edit to change the primary category.
- To add another category, click “Add another category,” then select the category you want to add.
- After you make your changes, click apply.
Use Relevant Attributes for Effective Google My Business Optimization
Let your customers know the details about your business by selecting various attributes available.
Fill as many as necessary to describe your business’s accessibility, amenities, crowd, dining options, highlights, offerings, payments, and planning. Some attributes are only available for certain countries, regions, or business industries.
When you add attributes to improve your Google My Business optimization, you increase your brand’s chance to show up in more specific searches.
Here’s how you can add attributes to your GMB profile:
- Select the ‘Info’ option on the left-hand side column,
- Mark off applicable attributes under services,
- Add some more attributes that describe your business.
Attributes show important information about your business like “Wheelchair Accessible Restroom”, “Women-Led”, or “Tours for Visually Impaired” and so on. These additional details on GMB attributes provide a better user experience for people viewing your profile, which can help improve your Google My Business ranking.
While there are many attributes available for your local SEO Google My Business, there are hidden attributes that Google applies automatically to your GMB profile based on what your customers think.
These attributes come from what’s your business is known for based on customers’ opinions. The information is subjective and valuable for other customers, and it’s another method Google uses to deeply understand your business.
Write an Engaging “From the Business” Description
The “From the Business” section allows you to write a brief description of your business. This section is only 750 characters long, so be as clear and concise as possible.
From 750 characters, only 250 characters are displayed to prospective customers in the knowledge panel on Google. They have to click to see the full description. That’s why you should make the first few lines of the description as catchy as possible for better User Experience and improve SEO for your Google My Business.
You can also include one or two high-value and relevant keywords to your business description to improve your Google My Business ranking.
Here’s how you can add your business description to your Google My Business profile.
- Open your Google My Business dashboard,
- Click on Info on the left-hand side column,
- Click on the pencil icon next to this field.
- A text box will appear where you can enter your business description.
- Once you’ve entered your description, select “Apply.”
Frequently Publish Google Posts
Google My Business posts are short and simple updates for communicating with people who are already actively searching for business information like yours.
Posting on your Google My Business profile allows your business to stay updated so that when potential customers perform searches, they have access to more business information that influences their decision-making process.
Regular posting on your Google My Business profile can make you appear more authoritative and indicate to Google that you’re an active relevant business which can influence your local business SEO.
To create a post and improve SEO for Google My Business, Navigate to the “Post” tab from the left-hand side column, select the type of post you want to create. Available options include:
- What’s New
- And lately, COVID-19 Updates where you can inform customers about any changes to your business due to the Pandemic.
Always try to craft posts to be clear and concise and be sure to use HQ photos that do justice to the product/service you’re trying to promote. Also, don’t forget to click Preview to be certain that the post looks great before hitting Publish.
To see how the post performs, remember to check back in on your post analytics to understand how customers engage with them. Your most engaging posts will make it clear what type of content you should be posting more of.
Frequently Publish Google Posts
Uploading new photos of your business, products, and services means you’re very active with your profile, improving your Google My Business ranking.
You can add different photos to your business profile, including your logo, cover photo, and business photos.
Here’s how you can add a picture of your storefront, product, or service to your Google My Business profile.
- Open your Google My Business dashboard and click the Add Photo button,
- Select the type of photo you’re uploading, you can also select the video option if you want to post a video,
- Choose the photo/video you would like to upload from your local device or google drive and then tap “Upload.”
Google has some set standards for photos and videos, and your photos should meet these standards so that they look best on Google.
Answer Their Questions
Customers searching for local businesses on Google usually have questions they would like to find online before contacting the business.
GMB has a Q and A section that allows the business owner to post their most frequently asked questions and for potential customers to find the answers that they’re looking for. In addition, adding FAQ to your GMB profile help improves your ranking and increases your local Google SEO.
Here’s how you can answer a question on your Google My Business profile.
- Sign in to the Google accounts associated with your GMB account,
- Navigate to the questions you want to answer,
- Type the answer and click “Answer” to post the answer.
Collect and Respond to Reviews
Reviews on Google significantly influence prospective customers’ way of thinking about your business as 90% of people read reviews before making a purchase.
These reviews can also improve or hinder your local SEO. This is because the search engine uses reviews to rank your business’s relevance and prominence.
To collect reviews from customers, send a review request to existing customers asking them to review your business on Google.
To see your Google reviews, Navigate to the “Reviews” tab from your GMB page.
To reply to reviews, go to the “Haven’t replied” tab or filter by “Haven’t replied” to see reviews that are not replied to, and then click on “Reply” to reply to each review.
As much as possible, try to get positive reviews and then reply to each review as soon as you can to further boost your local business SEO.
Add Your Products and/or Services
When people come across your business profile on Google, you want to inform them and keep them engaged. Listing the products/services you offer is an excellent way to do this. It also improves your Google My Business ranking as you have more relevant information on your profile.
Here’s how you can add a product/service:
- Navigate to the ‘Products” tab
- Click on Add Products,
- Add product pictures,
- Select the product category or create a new product category,
- Add other necessary product information, including product price and description. You can also add direct links to where customers can easily purchase products using the “Add a button” function, make sure not to use dead or incorrect links,
- Click “Save” to add a service;
- Navigate to the “Services” tab,
- Click on the service category to edit details or create a new custom service rendered by your business,
- Add the pricing information
- Add the service description and then Save.
Set Up Messaging
Messaging allows customers to directly reach out to you from your GMB profile to ask any questions. By responding in a timely fashion you can win customers and sales real time.
To set up your messaging, navigate to the “Messaging” tab from your GMB dashboard and then turn on messaging.
Be sure to set up alerts that notify you when customers message your business; from All Settings, check the Customer Message’s option to turn on alerts.
Maintain Your Business Profile Effectiveness
A good Google My Business Optimization service does not end with just all the strategies above.
You must continuously take regular actions such as posting new photos and content (at least until your customer starts submitting photos for you!) that will help you stay relevant.
Our standard strategic SEO service pairs GMB optimization with artfully crafted, keyword driven content earns attention and drives engagement to generate you more leads from Google.
Ready to partner with our creative digital agency and get your digital marketing firing on all cylinders? Let’s do it!