Optimizing your Google My Business listing is a crucial step in your business's local SEO strategy. By ensuring that your Google My Business listing is correctly claimed and verified, you're more likely to show up in search results when potential customers search for the services you provide. Make sure to read up on the guidelines that Google has created for Google My Business listings before beginning this process to ensure that your business qualifies for this free listing.
1.) Claim your Google My Business listing
To get started, first claim your listing. This is obviously the most important step in the process, but it isn't the only one. Many businesses simply claim their listing and then leave the site without optimizing their GMB listing for SEO success. Don't make this mistake! It's not difficult to set up your GMB listing to boost your local SEO rankings.
2.) Fill out all of the information Google asks for
Personally go through all of the questions that Google asks about your business and make sure that everything is filled out accurately. It's important to either do this yourself or have someone close to your business complete this step.
By filling out all of the necessary information, you're creating a richer listing that will provide more information to people searching for you or the services your business provides. Any lines that are left blank are especially likely to be filled by "suggestions". These can come from anyone on the internet. This includes your competitors! Don't chance it - make sure you fill every blank and log in on a regular basis to check your listing for edits and misinformation.
3.) Make use of Google My Business posts
Posts are small ads that will show up in your Google My Business listing and stay live for seven days. You can use posts to direct traffic anywhere on the internet or spread a message about something going on at your company. You can be creative with posts and use them for almost anything. Try a few of the following ideas to generate post topics for your business. Be sure to include images in your posts rather than simply pasting in text - this will generate more interest and clicks. Read through this guide to best practices for creating posts.
4.) Utilize the Booking button if you're able to
Does your business use appointments to book timeslots for customers? If so, take advantage of the Google My Business booking button feature. By using this simple appointment-scheduling feature, customers can make appointments quickly and directly as long as your business has an account with any of the supported appointment-scheduling solutions Having the booking button activated on your listing will make it easier than ever for new customers to commit to taking that first step: Making an appointment. You'll be able to track all of the appointments made through the booking button in your Google My Business Dashboard.
5.) Monitor Questions & Answers
In addition to checking your Google My Business listing for inaccurate edits, you'll want to make sure that you're checking for questions that are being asked about your business. Just like listing edits, anyone is allowed to answer questions. Respond to questions quickly to remove the probability that the question will be answered by someone with false information. Using the Questions & Answers feature, you can also add an FAQ section to your GMB listing, making it easy for potential customers to get their questions answered without having to call or email you.
6.) Respond to all of your Google My Business reviews and ask your customers to leave them
The vast majority of consumers use reviews to decide whether or not they will try a business's product or service. Make sure that you're showing potential customers that you care about their experience by responding to any positive or negative reviews that you receive. The more reviews you have, the more likely your business is to get noticed over your competitor's business listing.
Unlike Yelp, Google actually encourages businesses to ask customers to leave reviews for them. As long as you're not violating Google's policies related to Google reviews, you're allowed to encourage your customers to leave them. Don't be discouraged if you get a few negative reviews. Reach out to the reviewer by leaving an apologetic comment and a special offer, if possible. By doing this, you're leaving solid proof that you care about your customers. All of this will be seen by future customers who are searching for products and services to purchase. You don't need a perfect five-star rating to benefit from Google reviews, either. A recent study showed that the optimal rating is anywhere between 4.2-4.5 stars! Your potential customers are looking for a real business, not one that is suspiciously perfect.
7.) Use the "Messaging" feature to allow your customers to get in touch with you
Potential customers can send you text messages through Google My Business's Messaging feature. Login to your GMB account and click on "Messaging" to get started. This is a relatively new GMB feature that will likely be updated and added to in the near future. For now, people who find you using a Chrome mobile web search are able to send you text messages through this feature.
That was just a few ways for you to get more out of your Google My Business listing. Hopefully, you've found some helpful information to get you started on optimizing your GMB listing. By creating a listing that is entirely filled out and utilizing some of the powerful features that Google provides through GMB, you're setting your business listing up for higher search rankings and better customer relations.
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