Are you worried about how to optimize your Google My Business Listing? We got you!
First, what is Google My Business? Google My Business is a free tool that helps small businesses create and manage their Google listings. Your Google listing is the profile of your business that appears when finding businesses on Google Search and Maps.
With Google My Business, you can attract new customers and share more information about what makes your business special. Simply put, when google users find you on the listing, they get to see all the information about you. The information sells you as a business worth patronizing or drives customers away from you.
Why you should Optimize your Google My Business Listing
It is important to optimize your online presence, especially on search engines. When it comes to how Google My Business works, the user who searches for a term like “spas around me” is more likely to visit or call one of the businesses that rank high. If your Google My Business listing is optimized, you just got a potential customer. Using the same example of a user, in this case, you are the user. You searched for “spas around me”, Google lists out the spas around you. Imagine the business did not include important information like opening hours or a phone number, would you proceed to visit the location? I guess not. You would rather go and check other listings.
This is exactly how customers are lost because your Google My Business Listing has not been optimized.
How To Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Set up your Profile
Before you get started on optimizing, you need to have a profile on Google. To do that, go to Google My Business Page and click “manage now” in the upper left corner (see image below).
Complete all Information
There are a variety of questions Google wants you to fill out to complete your Google My Business profile. The information includes your category, phone number, location, website address, etc.
Choose a specific and relevant category
The category you choose will determine the search your listing would show up for. There is a list of available categories for you to choose from, you can’t create your own. The best way to optimize your Google My Business Listing when choosing a category is to be specific. ‘Clothing Store’ is more competitive than ‘Women’s Clothing Store’. The chances of your business showing up in the top three for relevant searches is higher when your category is more specific and less competitive.
Add your Business Hours
Are you open all week? Are you open from 9-5 or 8-6?
You can optimize your Google My Business lIsting by using this feature to your advantage. How? Not all the businesses in your location and category will open on special holidays like Christmas, Sallah, etc. When such days are approaching, you will get a notification from Google to update your working hours for the holiday. If you will be open, state when, half-day or full-day. Just add the hours your business is open, When a user searches for a business in your location and category, they will be scrolling to find the one that is ‘open’, your business. This way you increase your chances of getting customers when your competitors are on break.
Add a reachable phone number
Ideally, your business should have an official number. The phone number should be managed by a staff and not left all weekend in the office. You can state that you are not open on weekends but a user may need to confirm some information from you. If that user calls the number in your profile and it is unreachable, your chances of getting a store visit drops.
There are other important pieces of information you need to add. Take your time and ensure you add accurate information that matches your profile in other listings. Pick a standard way to write your address, a consistent phone number and ensure the information on all your listings match those on your website.
Add Quality and Relevant Pictures
Quality, high-resolution pictures are eye-catchy, they help your listing stand out while giving your customers a glimpse of what to expect. Add your logo, your cover photo and additional images.
Additional images give customers a picture of what to expect. These photos will differ and are dependent on the kind of business you manage. These photos may include the goods and/or services your business offers, business staff working and/or assisting customers, the interior and exterior of the business, and other general photos that summarize the business and what it can do for its customers.
Hotels need to add some pictures of their rooms. If you run a spa, add pictures of the different sections in your spa. For product-based businesses, you can add images of some of your products. When adding pictures, the most important thing is to spotlight the features of your business that customers consider when making purchasing decisions.
Upload Google Posts Weekly
Just like other types of SEO, your local SEO is not a ‘once and for all’ action. Adding at least one photo every week helps your profile stay updated. If you sell products, you can upload images to replace the products that are out of stock. Also, adding photos regularly signals to Google that you are active with your profile, which positively impacts your ranking. Photos are not the only things to update weekly. When you have events and offer posts, upload them on your profile and choose a timeline for them to remain there. Optimize for conversions rather than just visibility.
Use Google Reviews to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
The insights from SOCI‘s First Annual Summit show that:
- 70% turn to social and reviews for customer care issues.
- 60% of consumers seek an alternative if they see more than 3 negative reviews.
Google knows that reviews have a huge impact on purchasing decisions, therefore, one of the ways to optimize your Google My Business Listing is to ask your customers for reviews.
When you search and get a list of businesses, you are more likely to go for the one with a good rating than the one with no review at all.
So when you have customers, encourage them to review your Google profile and give you good ratings. To do this, start with your long time customers, ask via email, social media, through conversations when they visit you.
Also, do not stop at requesting reviews, respond to the reviews. When people ask questions under those reviews, answer the questions.
Optimizing your Google Business Listing is a local marketing strategy that requires skill, strategy and ongoing action to see relevant results.
Always remember that the ultimate goal of Google is to connect searchers with the best solution to their needs.
To get more help with setting up or optimizing your Google My Business Listing account, reach out to one of our best SEO strategists. Contact DEBO from Endive on 2348095763213 or send us a message here.
Did you find the strategies listed in this article useful? What are some of your favourite ways to optimize your Google Business Listing?