5 Simple Steps to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Google My Business has changed the face of Google — literally, when you search for any business, service or product the first thing Google displays are the Google My Business listings. Following the key steps highlighted below you will learn five key ways to optimize your business listings and take a step ahead of your competition. 

The way customers search has also changed, with over half of all Google searches now conducted on mobile devices. Studies also show that 50% of customers conducting a local search on mobile will visit a store, within ONE day. The local population delivers a significant customer base for local businesses and Google My Business delivers your business in front of customers.

Information for customers is now instant. One quick search and everything they require appears at their fingertips. No longer are there long searches through phonebooks or directories for a business’ phone number, opening hours or address. Just Google ‘pizzeria near me’  and the customer will have the top three choices appear with all of that information, before so much as a single click.

As a business owner it is important to ask yourself, how easy is it for customers to find your business information (on Google’s first page)?  And how easy is it to find your competitors?

If you have not yet introduced yourself to Google My Business now is the time to do so. With Googles free business listings service you can get your business to appear on Google’s front page when customers are searching for your service or product, ahead of search results and ahead of your competitors.   

Completing Your Google My Business Listing.

Google My Business will increase your visibility on Google’s Local Pack, Google Maps, Local Finder and boost your organic search rankings. For something that can make such a big impact on your website and business, you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t take advantage.  

There is no doubting that Google dominates the online search engine market, over 70% of all searches are conducted through Google. Most people will find what they are looking for on the first page of Google, customers do not look beyond this. This is just another reason why your Google My Business listing is important to your local SEO strategy.

To add your business listing visit: https://www.google.com/business/

If you have not claimed or setup your Google My Business listing, follow our step by step guide here.

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Optimizing Google My Business for Success

Now that you have the basics for Google My Business covered and your listing has been set up, it is time to optimize it and begin moving up those rankings. Below we have five simple steps for you to follow:

  1. Use the Google Posts feature:

Google Posts are like social media posts or mini ads for your business which display on the local panel and on Google Maps.

You create them from within your Google My Business dashboard, and they show up instantly in your local search results. Each Post can be up to 300 words, and best of all include an image, gif and even a call to action button.

To utilize the full potential of this feature you can use Google Posts:

  • If your holding an event, set up a Post with all the details and add a link to your registration page.
  • Have a specific sale or awesome new product being launched. Create a post with all the details and high-quality images.
  • Just published a new blog post, extend your reach and include a short description and link in a Post.

The possibilities are vast, with a range of call to action buttons including; learn more, sign up, reserve, get offer and buy.

Once you have verified your Google My Business Account, your Posts option will appear in the dashboard menu. Waiting for you to take advantage of.

When creating your Post take the following into consideration:

  • The maximum word count is 300, and the first 60-70 words will show on mobile and desktop if you use a call to action button. Make them count.
  • All 300 words will appear on mobile if there is no call to action button.
  • Make sure the image you use is high-quality. Google uses a 4:3 ratio, so the minimum dimensions needed are 400 x 300 pixels.
  • This is designed for your customers, don’t use industry jargon, use language that speaks directly to them.

Once you have created your Post and clicked publish. Check out your new Post waiting to be seen by those searching for your business.

2. Connect Directly With Your Customers Through Messaging

Google allows your customers and potential customers to directly message you and vice-versa. Although your phone number is provided on your Google My Business, don’t expect them to always call your business.

Studies show that more people engage with texts, wth 99% of texts being read, usually within 5 seconds of being sent. This can be a great opportunity to increase personalized customer engagement and take another step ahead of your competitors.

Not all business owners will want text messages sent to their personal phone, which is understandable. Google’s Allo App allows you to use the same number connected to your Google My Business account. A great way to keep business and personal text messages separate.

This feature can allow you to connect one on one with your customers, answer questions they have, field comments and increase customer loyalty.  

By allowing your business to be perceived as more transparent, you can increase your credibility and ultimately sales.

3. Keep up to Date With Your Insights

Google offers insights into how customers are finding your business. These analytics are vital for understanding how your online efforts are performing, and how to optimize for the way customers are interacting with your online presence.

Google breaks down how your customers are  finding you, whether it’s direct (directly searching for your business name or address). Or a discovery search (they searched for a product, category or service you offer and they found your listing).

Google will also break down where your customers are finding you, and how they are interacting with your business. Google will let you know which customers visit your website directly, request directions to your store, call you or view your photos.

Google will also tell you exactly where the customers are searching for directions from. This will allow you to understand where your customer base is geographically located. Keeping up to date with your insights will help you deliver maximum impact and develop a strong digital strategy for your Google My Business listings

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4. Include Photos….and Videos

The first thing customers will see is your profile picture. The job of this picture is to encourage users to want to discover more about your business.

Whether it is your logo or store front, ensure that it is high-quality and showcases the quality your business offers and represents. According to studies listings with a high-quality photo are twice as likely to be seen as reputable and have 35% more clicks.

Photos have been a feature for quite a while, with user generated photos a great way to humanize your brand and create a community. High-quality user generated content creates interaction with your business and can provide you with plenty of content for your photo gallery.

Video is a relatively new feature, and a very exciting one. You can now add a 30-sec video highlighting your company…straight onto Google. Google does have guidelines set out to ensure your videos are directly related to your business location. This is an amazing opportunity to share, in a personalized way, your business to potential customers.

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5. Google My Business Loves Reviews

Google encourages reviews and reviews encourage potential customers!

97% of consumers read local reviews, 80% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 68% of consumers leave local business reviews.

Google My Business pushes the review process, and simplifies it by providing a link from your GMB dashboard which you can send to customers asking for a review.

It is important to respond to ALL of your reviews. This shows potential customers you care and value your existing customers.

If you are left a bad review, this can be a blessing in disguise and provide you with an opportunity. Responding to negative reviews can help to understand a potential business issue, and still encourage potential customers to choose your business, according to studies 44.6% of consumers  will still use a business with a negative review if they have responded.  

Whether positive or negative reviews are written, responding to them all showcases an exceptional level of customer service.

Conclusion

Google search is arguably the most important gateway for customers to find your local business online and offline.

Google My Business places all your vital business information in front of the eyes of potential customers already looking for your services or products. It is powerful, impactful and entirely free for you to setup and use. It would be detrimental to your business to not take advantage.

Leaving your Google My Business listing unclaimed is giving your competitors an opportunity to get ahead. At Sacha Agency we specialize in local SEO and help our clients break sales records and leave their competitors wondering how they have pulled away so much.

To find out more about our GMB services and how we can accelerate your digital growth contact us today we would love to hear from you.

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