How to optimize Google My Business

Properly optimized Google My Business profile can help you reach more local clients who search for your services, products and businesses on Google Maps and Google Search in a specific area.

What is Google My Business (GMB)?

Google My Business or GMB is a free, easy to use, tool by Google that manages your online presence on Google Maps and Google Search.

Think of it as a social network for Google.

People rely on Google for almost everything

You should use it to create your business profile and promote it on Google Maps and Google Search with various local SEO strategies and tactics.

It’s important for your business to optimize your Google my Business profile to have a strong presence and attract your target audience.

Why is Google My Business or GMB important for your business?

Properly optimized Google My Business profile can help you reach more local clients who search for your services, products and businesses on Google Maps and Google Search in a specific area.

48% of online shoppers start their online journey on search engines.

Google holds 92% of the search engines market.

Everybody is online, everybody uses Google, Google has its own products and services to help your business grow in the online world and Google wants you to use them. 

50% of the people who search for local services end up visiting a store.

GMB is a part of the local SEO (search engine optimization) strategy that is focused on attracting leads and clients in your location, area, city.

GMB is helping your website to rank higher in standard Google Search results.

What specifically can you do with GMB?

You can give your clients complete information about your business, updates services and products using only your Google My Business profile

Post photos and videos that are related to your business.

Collect reviews. Positive reviews encourage more people to visit your business. The power of social proof is amazing.

You can interact with your clients directly from the app.

Why and how do consumers use Google My Business?

  • To find out a business’s opening times
  • To get directions to a local business, or find its address
  • To call or contact a local business without needing to visit their website
  • To write and read reviews about a local business
  • To see photos of a local business and its products/services
  • To visit the business website
  • To make online bookings
  • To view the available products and services
  • To ask and answer questions about a local business

How does Google evaluate the ranking of local business?

Google evaluates the ranking of local business on Google maps based on

  • Relevance. How relevant is your business to the search query
  • Distance. How close/far is your business from the person who is Google searching
  • Prominence. How well know is the business

 

Based on the information about your business that Google collected on the internet.

Conduct a Google search to see if your listing is not already existing

If it is, claim it. Google for your domain name.

If your business has been around for a while. Chances are that Google has created your listing by itself.

Claim it with any of these options.

  1. Sign in to GMB. Search for your Business and follow steps to confirm that you are the owner.
  2. Search for your business on Google Maps and click manage this listing once you find it.
  3. Search your listing on Google Search. Click on own this business once you find it.

Set up Google my business

 Pro-tips

  • Create a business domain with Google workspace
  • Buy your business domain with Google

This will allow for easier integration with other services that you absolutely need for your website as Google search console or Googe analytics

Go to www.google.com/business and sign in with your business email domain. EG: info@yourbusiness.com

Add your business

  • Name
  • Location of your business. If you don’t want to add a specific location, add a service area
  • Fill the area of your service
  • Fill in your contact info
  • Add your categories

Disclaimer. Google my Business has regular updates so this interface might be a little bit different when you will be setting up the GMB. 

Even though, Setting up a GMB profile is very intuitive and easy. Just follow the prompts on the screen.

Verify your GMB business

Sign in to your profile and click verify. Verification by postcard is the default method. Google will send you a postcard with a code to the location you have provided. Input this code into the verification field.

Optimize your GMB listing

Fill in your whole profile. Always think of this general rule. If there is a box to be filled, fill it. Give GMB as much information as possible.

The goal is to make your GMB as accurate as possible. So users can have the best customer experience on it. Meaning to find all the relevant info about your businesses. Show that your business is active and reliable.

The home page of GMB gives you ideas on how you can update your profile.

Browse the menu on the left to find out what information can you supply for GMB.

  • Use categories and subcategories in your GMB.
    • Use your main service as your main category.
    • Don’t overdo the subcategories
  • Post photos.
    • Logo.
    • Cover photo.
    • Interior photos.
    • Post other photos that summarize the business and what it does.
      • Goods and services photos.
      • Business staff.
      • Photos of the exterior of your store.
    • Regularly add photos in all the categories.
    • Images increase engagement on your local GMB profile, especially on mobile phones.
  • Post videos
  • Create a post in all categories.
    • News, events etc.
    • Make each post high quality.
    • Include visuals, images and links to trusted sites.
    • Post relevant and unique content for each GMB location.
  • Always update the information if there were some changes to your business.
    • Opening hours, offers, products, contact info etc.
  • Add special features and attributes based on the business listings category.
    • Black-owned
    • Woman-led
    • Outdoor seating
    • Healthcare-related news
    • Gender info.
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews
    • Offer great service and ask for reviews on postcards, e-receipts.
    • You can create a custom short link of your profile to send to your clients to leave reviews easily.
    • Respond to all reviews in 24 hours
      • Non-negotiable
      • Manage negative reviews.
      • Try to get your clients talking about specific services that helped.
      • How you were able to help your clients
  • Answer to questions that clients posts about your business.
    • Engage with customers
  • Set up and answer/questions in the FAQ or Q and A section.
    • Ask questions that your clients might be asking you and answer them before anyone else can.
    • Incorporate keywords into your sections and descriptions but use them in the natural language flow. For people to notice, not search engines and bots.
  • Enable direct messaging
    • Use automatic answers.
    • Reply in 24 hours.
  • Set up associated alerts
  • Incorporate keywords through your profile in important places like the business description.
    • Use keywords also when using Google posts.
    • Use them in “from the business description”, your responses to reviews, your answers to questions, posts you publish.
    • Incorporate them naturally in the flow of language. Don’t write for robots, write for people to see them naturally.
  • Always think in terms of user experience.
    • The better experience you offer on your profile, the better.
    • Think of all the information that your client might want and give it out on your profile.
  • Maintain quality and accurate information in every section of the GMB dashboard.
    • Be consistent. Consistency builds trust.
    • Write everything the same way.
    • Avenue versus ave. Everything needs to be the same same.
    • Keep your info updated and accurate as your business evolves
  • Update information on COVID19

Insights

  1. Use insights to understand your business, audience and local search performance
    1. How do people find your business
      1. Queries used to find business
      2. Total search
      3. Direct
      4. Discover
    2. Where they find you
      1. Total views
      2. Search view
      3. Maps views
    3. Direction searches
    4. Actions
      1. Visits to web
      2. Direction requests
      3. Call
      4. View photos
      5. Total cations
      6. Website actions
      7. Directions
      8. Phone call
    5. Phone calls

Tips

  1. Try Google trends for trending searches and adjust your GMB listing
  2. Start a blog on your website that reflects local events and news
    1. Share these blogs on your GMB and direct link to them
  3. Link to GMB from your website city pages
  4. Embed your GMB profile on specific web pages
  5. Add your city page URL in the GMB listing
  6. Include tags
    1. Use keywords that represent your niche and business
  7. Use your niche category in the title
  8. Use media that allow more time spent on your profile
    1. Videos, virtual tours or images
    2. The more time someone spends on your listing, the more authority you’ll get
  9. Create virtual tours
    1. Even higher engagement than images
  10. Think of GMB as a customer service channel
  11. Investigate GMB features specific to your industry and use them
    1. Hotel vs restaurant
    2. Again look everywhere that you can fill in
    3. Keep an eye on the new features
  12. Enter complete data 
    1. Be as thorough as possible
    2. Make sure to specifically state what your business does, where you do it and how can a person get the good
  13. Use product catalogue.
    1. Prices
    2. Details
    3. Photos
  14. Use call tracking to measure performance

Conclusion

Google My Business is an amazing tool to drive your local audience to your store. By optimizing and maintaining your GMB, you can achieve great results with minimum effort.

Hop on to Google my Business before it becomes super popular. This is a great time to invest in your local SEO strategies.

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