You Set Up Your Google My Business Listing. Now What?
To optimize your Google My Business listing, the first step is to fill out all of the information fields available for your business profile. Fill them out exactly and correctly.
Google encourages you to update your GMB listing with any changes immediately. This increases your chances of your business website showing up better in search rankings. The following business information is essential:
In this field, put your business’s name and only that. Because of the way your Google My Business listing is set up, you do not need to add any taglines or business location information in this field. It will not help. That comes later.
Fill out the other fields for additional information. For example:
Business Locations (Essential for Google Maps)
Ensure that your business address is correct for all locations, and that your website address is always up-to-date. Only add your address, phone number, and direct contact information. This will ensure your business shows up correctly on Maps.
Doing so helps customers find your location during a direct search on their mobile device, which is a must for your local SEO strategy. They will be able to you easily if they request directions on their GPS.
Google also posts your location on Google’s Local Pack from a laptop or desktop search. (These are the maps you see on a search engine results page (SERP). Also, under your location, you’ll want to be sure to list your business hours correctly.)
Business Description (Critical for Google Search)
Be very precise about what your business does. List your products and all of your services clearly. You get 750 characters to work with, and only 250 of them will display during a mobile search. For this reason, your first 250 characters need to be accurate and concise. Avoid promotional and marketing language as well as external links. They aren’t allowed in this field.
This field is to inform customers about what you do and what you provide. Be concise and helpful. If you can do that in 250 characters, you can include more concrete details for the rest of the character limit. You can include keywords here, but avoid unnecessary fluff. Doing so will help your ranking in organic search results. It will also help Google correctly identify your business category to ensure it’s listed during a customer search.
Google My Business provides space for you to add business photos—so use it. Businesses with photos receive 42% more GPS requests and 35% more website clicks: Great images matter.
You don’t need a professional photographer for this, but learn what makes for a compelling photo. Look at your competition for inspiration and how to outdo them. At the same time, be precise. For example, your cover photo is the first thing customers will see. Business profiles with clear, colorful, and informative photos will be helpful to customers during direct searches.
Keep in mind that there are some recommended specifications for GMB images: JPG or PNG format images with 720×720 pixels that are no more than 5MB large. To help customers find you during a Google Maps search, a picture of your storefront can be immensely helpful to them. However, also include pictures of products, services, and other compelling events.
Google My Business also gives you the option to upload 30-second long videos that are no more than 100MB in size—again with an optimal 720-pixel resolution.
Consumers Trust Online Reviews
Google My Business advises businesses to ethically collect—and actively respond to—reviews. These reviews are listed in your GMB listing for all to see, and customers heavily rely on this information to make purchasing decisions. Your star-rated reviews will appear in the Knowledge Panel and in Google Maps. It’s estimated that at least 97 percent of consumers read, and rely on, the reviews and star ratings they see. That means more positive reviews lead people to your business!
Handling a Negative Review
It’s good practice to log into Google My Business once every day for important business insights. Here, you can proactively answer questions about your business and acknowledge and address unfavorable reviews. Respond directly to the customer and offer to make things right ASAP. It’s best not to make excuses, and don’t be afraid to apologize, even if it was something out of your control.
How customers interact with your business online can have an affect on ROI and, if you can turn a negative experience into a positive one, you’re likely to receive a boost in reputation and more.
Fine-Tuning Your Google My Business Listing Will Help You Stay Ahead of the Competition.
If you feel overwhelmed with all this or want us to perform a free audit of your website and local listing, give us a call! We’d love to help you figure out an effective game plan for your SEO to help your online standing and increase your business’s ROI.