In my experience as an online marketer, I see numerous business opportunities being missed. One of the most important of all is a Google My Business page listing.
Setting up a Google My Business page is a simple step-by-step process that anyone could work their way through. For this reason alone, I can’t think of a valid reason why your business should be missing out on the advantages of Google My Business.
A Google My Business page is not a substitute for a good website, rather it complements your website by giving your business’ key information a presence in the most popular search engine in the world.
For local SEO, Google My Business is a powerful tool to have at your fingertips. In this post, we’ll show you how to optimise your Google My Business listing to its full potential.
So what are you waiting for?
What is a Google My Business page and how does it benefit my business?
Google My Business is a free tool with the aim of helping business owners increase their chances of being found in search.
You want to be found, don’t you?
Of course you do. Which is why your Google My Business listing can feature often in local search results, displaying an overview of your business information. Your services, hours, location, reviews and logos are just some of the many pieces of information searchers will be able to see at a glance.
You may have noticed Google My Business listings before without thinking much of it. The essential information was right in front of your eyes and you didn’t have wade to go through various websites.
Needless to say, Google My Business is all part of a strategy to maximise your business visibility. Living in the here and now, Google is by far the most common way to find businesses. Even if your potential customers are not tech-savvy, they’ll know how to type a few keywords into the search bar to find the goods or services they need.
In a competitive world, you want to stand out at all costs. A Google My Business listing is a great place to start.
Google My Business listings are easy to set up
The best part about setting up a Google My Business listing is that all the instructions are laid out before you. By simply working through each step, your listing will appear in search once you have completed the easy process. Google is also constantly adding features to Google My Business that help to grab searchers’ attention and increase your rank in search results.
Step 1. Check if there is already a listing set up
To check if you already have a listing set up, enter your business name into the ‘create Google My Business’ page. If there is an active listing, your business will appear automatically – simple as that! If your Google My Business page has been set up and claimed by someone else, you can request access by the person who originally created the page.
If it’s not already there, head straight into the setup wizard.
Step 2. Add your business information
Add your information as Google prompts you to do so. Ensure all your details are correct and up-to-date. Upload your logo and any recent images that would work within your listing. Ensure they are clear, relevant and only upload images with a decent resolution.
Step 3. Verify your listing
Once you have completed the steps to creating your Google My Business listing, you need to verify it before Google will display your business. Again, this is easy and can be done either by phone or mail. You won’t have access to any analytics or insights until the listing is verified.
Now you’re ready to optimise your listing
Once you have verified your Google My Business listing, you can get into the fun stuff and start optimising. There are so many great features that are infrequently utilised. Take your listing to the next level with some of the following functions.
Carefully construct your business description
Google allows 750 characters in your business description but only 250 show up in the initial search screen. For this reason, make sure the most important information and keywords are early in the description. With such a short space to write about your business, make sure it’s concise and compelling.
It is completely ethical to ask your customers for reviews if they have used your business for a product or service. Encourage them to write a review on your Google My Business listing as this is often the first place searchers will go to check reviews. It will greatly help you stand out among a sea of competitors.
Respond to reviews
Make sure you respond to your reviews, good and bad. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to receive a negative review as long as it’s handled appropriately. Consider ways to rectify the issue and turn a negative into a positive. Report any that may be fake.
Add regular posts
Google My Business has a social media-like function where businesses can regularly post updates into their listing. These posts show up within the listing and can be helpful if you have business news to report or an upcoming event to promote. Posts are created through logging in to your Google My Business account and selecting ‘Posts’ from the left hand side.
Posts add further visibility to your business information and give you an even better chance of standing out. Don’t be afraid to add relevant emojis (without going overboard!) as Google searchers are known to simplify their search these days and using emojis instead of words. If your post has the emoji they’re looking for, you might just be the business they contact.
Make use of the Questions & Answers feature
This is a great feature and encourages conversation with your searchers. It works exactly as it sounds, searchers ask questions and you answer them. Until recently, you may not have been notified if someone asked a question which is why we suggest regularly checking in. Google now sends an email to let you know there is a question waiting but to avoid your questions being answered by Joe Bloggs, check the listing often and make sure all answers are accurate.
Add a booking button
The whole point of a Google My Business page is that searchers don’t have to leave Google to find the information they need. That’s why Google has introduced a booking button feature. If you run an appointment-based business, add the booking button so your customers can book right then and there.
Add your services
If your company sells services, make sure you have an up-to-date list of what you provide. Here you can also include prices and add or remove services whenever you like. Just make sure this is a current list and amend if any prices change. Your searchers will check prices in this window and you don’t want to give out any misleading information.
Keep a regular eye on your listing
Once your business is live, it’s extremely important that you log in regularly to check on your listing and ensure all the information is correct. The reason for this is the ‘suggest an edit’ option that shows in the listing once it’s live can be accessed by anyone, even your competitors. The word ‘suggested’ is a loose term and often you won’t be notified if an edit has been made. Although we don’t want to believe it of people, you don’t want to find your listing has been sabotaged.
If you find that your listing has been tampered with, send a post to the Google My Business Forum and have one of the Google Top Contributors help you out.
Google also encourages searchers to add information about a business. They do this through the ‘Know this place? Answer quick questions’ link. Many businesses have disputed this function, claiming it opens them up to malicious activity, but Google say it helps to improve business information through user-generated content. Chances are, your listing will be safe as houses, but just keep checking in to be sure.
Setting up and optimising a Google My Business page is all part of the work we do for our clients. Focusing on the smaller details has a big impact on your overall SEO strategy. If you really want your business to stand out on the world’s largest search engine, call us today and find out the many ways in which we can help you.
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