Does your business have an optimized Google My Business (GMB) listing? GMB has proven to be a gamechanger for many companies. There’s nothing quite like providing snapshot information about your business, complete with your business location on the map, directions on how to get there, images of your business premises and nearby landmarks, and more.
It’s basically one of the tenets of dominating local SEO in a world where many businesses are still struggling to rank for some vague, broad keyword. The best part? Optimizing your GMB listing is 100% free! Dollar-wise, of course — but the real cost of GMB setups and optimizations lies in the expertise and experience of whoever is doing it for you.
But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Let’s get started with the basics —
What is Google My Business?
For those who are just starting to hear about it, it’s a tool that allows you to manage and develop your Google Business Profile. When you log in to your Google My Business (GMB) account, you can update your business address, phone number, website, open hours, your business’s location, etc. Updating that information will make it easier for potential buyers in your local area to find and transact with your business.
Google My Business also has a mobile app, so busy business owners can update their business profiles easily while on the go. It is crucial because Google tends to prioritize GMB listings on a search results page. Updating your Google Business profile gives your business an automatic edge over those that are only relying on regular SEO.
With that in mind, here’s a quick checklist/ best practices for your GMB optimization:
1. Create your google my business listing, or claim it if there’s an existing one already
After creating a GMB account, you can now create a listing for your business. However, if someone has made one for your business already, you can claim it as yours, so you’ll have control over the info that goes into the listing.
- Verify your listing right away
While logged in, go to your listing and click the “Verify Now” link, and Google will give you several options to verify your business. Some of the choices could be sending you a postcard; through phone, email, or Google Search Console verification; a video chat that’s usually for exceptional circumstances; bulk verification for multiple locations; and the My Business Provider program.
- Give your team access to the account
Your Google My Business account has several user access levels, which is perfect for businesses with several people managing it, like your managers. You can do this by clicking on your listing, then click on the “Users” link. A Manage Permissions menu will appear, and it will show you who has access and change them.
- Update your business information as needed
Updating your business information is crucial — check if your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) is consistent throughout every material you have online (website, forums, social media, etc.). Having updated info will also help Google understand your business better to match relevant searches.
- Upload as many photos and videos as you can
Uploading pictures and videos to your listing will help you gain a good impression on your potential customers. Having images related to your business in your listing will not just create more trust and engagement, but Google can also give your business better rankings as a result.
- Be direct about the products or services that you offer
Add everything that you are selling in the listing. Make use of this space to use keywords for SEO optimization as well. Go straight to the point with what your company does.
7. Set business attributes
Set Business-Defined attributes by clicking “Info” on your listing and click the “Attributes” link. Select as many attributes as you can that apply to your business, like Free Parking, Family Owned, etc. Google will then confirm these attributes to its users through the User-Defined attributes. Google will ask questions like “Is this a family-owned business?” that people can answer.
- Encourage customers to leave a review and respond accordingly
One way of improving your business’s rank is to have a consistent number of reviews coming in and a corresponding response to each. It also helps you build trust with your potential customers when they hear from other customers about your business’s pros and cons.
9. Update your listing consistently
Google has a preference for regularly-updated listings that have accurate info. Optimize your GMB listing by uploading pictures or editing some information about your business to help Google know your business better to match you to many searches. And it would also help you gain a higher rank in a local SEO search.
10. Utilize the Google My Business Support
When using Google My Business, you may encounter some issues that you may find difficult to solve. And there is a Help Community on the web that you can use. GMB also has phone, chat, and email support if you can’t find answers to your questions. Utilize these channels as needed.
Why Do I Need a Google My Business Account?
Just about anyone can create a business profile, even those not related to your business. Once you complete this business profile, anyone can leave reviews about your business or upload photos and answer other customers’ questions. You can’t manage the information being put in by other people even if you own the business if you don’t have a Google My Business account. Wrong details about your business that’s being put by others can make or break your business. And Google prefers business profiles with accurate info to show up on their searches.
What Are the Benefits of Google My Business?
Google My Business allows you to attract prospective leads and interact with your customers by giving you a presence on Google Search and Google Maps. You can engage with your buyers through various ways, like responding to their reviews and posting photos about your business, and helping them find your physical store through Maps. The Google My Business dashboard also gives you insight into your local search performance and how well you are doing with your audience.
Is Google My Business Good for SEO?
Absolutely! Google My Business is still the biggest driver of local SEO success. Keeping your business information up to date will help Google My Business understand your business, which allows your business profile to show up in relevant searches in your area.
How Does My Business Rank on Google?
Many factors determine business rankings, but the three most important ones are prominence, relevance, and proximity. Prominence is how popular a business is. That’s why well-known brands almost always rank high in local search results. It can also come from Google’s information on a company found on the web, such as articles, links, and directories.
Numerous reviews and good ratings can also improve your business’s local rankings. Relevance is about what potential customers are looking for, and how well your business addresses that. That’s why it’s essential to update your business information to match searches.
Distance is calculating how far your business is from the location term a customer used in their search. Verifying your business’s location will make it easier to locate your business.
How Often Should I Post to Google My Business?
It is recommended to post every day since this approach is proven to deliver improved ranking and search results due to Google’s inclination for websites that are updated consistently and use Google products. But if posting every day is not possible, you can post once every seven days at a minimum because Google My Business posts expire after seven days. Posting once a week may work best when you’re trying to promote a sale or an event, and you don’t want to bury that specific post under new ones. When a post expires, Google My Business won’t delete it from your business profile; it just won’t show up on a Google result page.
How Do I Make My Business Show Up First on Google?
Maximize the use of your Google Business listing by completing all the sections in your profile. Ensure that your business name is consistently the same throughout to avoid confusing your customers and Google.
Check your business info regularly, so you’ll know that it’s up to date. Upload photos relating to your business, have a steady number of reviews coming in, and respond diligently.
One of the best ways to land your business on Google’s first search page is by applying SEO best practices on each of your pages. Identify the right keywords to use by knowing what keywords your prospective buyers are typing in a search engine.
While using keywords is vital for your business to show up first on Google, it’s also essential to incorporate the keywords naturally into the information you provide so your prospective customers won’t be confused with repetitive keywords stuffed into the content.
Having an optimized GMB listing will go a long way in complementing your SEO efforts and provide you with a potentially new traffic source. The benefits are simply too compelling to pass up. Let RxMedia help with your business’ GMB listing today. We are local SEO professionals with proven results in the addiction treatment and speech pathology space. Give us a call today at 503-974-3297 to get started.