Marketing a local business is no easy task. Unfortunately, many local businesses struggle to control their online presence, especially when there are so many places online that need managing. At Rank Fuse, we also recommend creating a Google My Business account to smaller, local companies that need to get the correct information out to the public. Let’s learn more about Google My Business.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool from Google that allows business owners to manage their presence online across the search engine’s platform. GMB is especially important for brands that need local search help. GMB helps local businesses create a “profile” in Google Search and Google Maps that showcases what they are about.
A GMB listing displays a lot of information for a business. This information is listed in the “Knowledge Panel.” For example, users can see a business’ address, hours, category, reviews, and more in the Knowledge Panel. With this type of listing, users can also be directed to the company’s website. Think of your GMB listing kind of like a phone book listing but with even more valuable information. Your listing can appear in Google Search and Google Maps.
However, GMB can be used for so much more. For example, you can use your listing to learn more about your customers.
How to Optimize Your GMB Listing
When it comes to optimizing your GMB listing, there are five basic steps.
- Fill out all requested GMB information
First, you need to complete the basic business information and add a description of your business. When you create your business description, you are allowed 750 characters. However, there are only 250 characters that show up in the Knowledge Panel, so craft your description to show the most important pieces of information first. There are a few guidelines that Google requires you to follow, and you need to follow them because Google reviews these descriptions. Include important keywords in your GMB description to ensure that it is easier for potential customers to find you.
When you create a GMB listing, you also need to include other information, like the correct address and phone number listed. It is also important that you include the proper category. These pieces of information help Google rank you and users find you in the sea of all of the other businesses. There are other optional pieces of information that you can include. Be sure that you fill out any information that you believe will be valuable for your customers.
- Upload high-quality images
You can add a few different images, and having more than one image can be beneficial to your business. Images show your customers and potential customers more about your brand and products or services. Customers can also upload photos to your GMB listing, which can provide you with even more great shots of your store or products.
- Respond to the reviews on your listing
When people take the time to review your business, it is important that you acknowledge these reviews. Respond to both positive and negative reviews. Responding to reviews makes your company seem personal. However, it is very important that you respond to all reviews tactfully.
You can also find graceful ways to ask customers for reviews. Since reviews are very important for obtaining new customers, it is a good idea to politely request reviews from existing customers on Google. In fact, unlike Yelp, Google encourages business owners to ask for reviews in ethical ways. These reviews help your results in the search rankings by building trust with consumers.
- Make and upload videos
Videos are a great way to get the attention of customers. Whether you are having videos created by a professional videographer or you are quickly making a video with your smartphone, users are likely to view your videos. These videos don’t have to be about anything in particular. Maybe you want to show your customers how to use a new product; maybe you want to brag on one of your amazing employees. No matter what kind of video you choose to upload, make sure that it looks nice.
- Create GMB posts
GMB offers posts, which you can use to promote any events or special offers you have going on. Additionally, posts can be used to share the content you have created for your website. These posts are a lot like social media posts. You can consider them to be mini ads, as well. Posts can include text, an image, a call-to-action, and a link.
Common GMB Mistakes
The most common mistake that business owners make when it comes to their GMB listings is not optimizing the listing. It is one thing to claim and add in details to your GMB listing. However, it is another thing altogether to make sure that your listing is properly optimized.
Make sure that all of your business’ information is accurate and up-to-date, which is the first step in optimizing your GMB listing. Then, follow the steps we have outlined above to make sure that your account is optimized.
Another common mistake is to leave your listing unclaimed altogether. Without claiming the listing, you have no way to manage the information out there about your business. Additionally, if there is no listing for your company at all, you are missing out on all of the potential benefits of having a GMB listing.
Benefits of GMB
Your GMB listing can help your business in three ways. The first way that GMB can benefit you is that it can increase your visibility in searches. When you have your GMB set up, your listing will pop up on the right side of the Google search results pages when appropriate. As Google learns more about your business, your GMB listing will start to appear in more and more searches. When Google is able to trust you, it might start adding you to the coveted 3-Pack display, which is the listing that shows three of the top companies for a product or service in a list at the top of the search page.
Having a GMB listing can also help you provide a better shopping experience for customers. Before coming into your location, customers can see directions and other information that will help them determine if you are the correct business for them.
Finally, the true benefit of GMB is that it can help increase the traffic to your website, social media channels, and your business location. At the end of the day, everyone wants more customers. GMB is a great way to find and earn the trust of new customers.
If you are a local business looking for help with a GMB listing, Rank Fuse can help. Contact us today at 913-703-7265 to learn more about our SEO marketing techniques and how they can benefit your business.