5 Simple Steps to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business (GMB) has changed the face of Google — quite literally. When users search for any business, service, or product the first thing Google displays are the Google My Business listings.
You can see this in action below. A search for ‘Solar Companies Australia’ shows the GMB listings before the organic results.
This could have a significant impact on the businesses that find themselves in those top three spots in the GMB Listings. In one quick glance potential customers can see a company’s phone number, review ratings, opening hours, and in a single click visit their website, call, or get directions.
As a business owner it’s important to ask yourself, how easy would it be for customers to find my business information on Google’s first page? And how easy would it be to find my competitors’?
Showing up in the first three results of the GMB listings can generate huge increases in traffic, leads, conversions, brand reputation, and ultimately your bottom line. With this guide, we are going to help you tap into this free resource, and show you five simple steps to optimize your Google My Business Listing.
Completing Your Google Business Listing
The way customers search online has changed, with over half of all Google searches now being conducted on mobile devices. This has resulted in 50% of customers that conducted a local search on their mobile visiting a store within a day.
Google dominates the online search engine market with over 70% of all online searches. Most people will find what they are looking for on the first page and rarely look past this. If you have not yet claimed or setup your Google My Business listing, follow our step by step guide here.
Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing
Once you have your GMB listing setup you may be wondering what’s next?
There are a bunch of features within the GMB dashboard and a few ways you can optimize your GMB strategy to break into the top three results.
Here are five simple steps you can implement today.
1. 100% Business Information Accuracy
Your collective business details or NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number), need to be 100% accurate. This is vital as any inaccuracies here will impact your search results negatively.
Anywhere your business NAP details are listed online, you need to ensure they are accurate and match what you enter here in your GMB listing. This includes:
- Your website
- Yellow Pages
- Online directories
- And any other website with your NAP details
Google is extremely strict when it comes to this. You’re registered business name has to be exactly the same on your Google My Business as it is everywhere else online.
Let’s say a company is registered under the name ‘Solar Suns’ and this is also how it appears on their website. However, for their GMB they decide to add some keywords ‘Solar Suns Commercial Solar Solutions’ or there is a typo ‘Solar Sun’s’. Both examples would result in Google penalizing Solar Suns in search results for inconsistency.
Getting your contact details correct online is, of course, very important for your potential customers. If any of the details are incorrect you might miss out on connecting with them as they may not be able to call you, find you, or are left frustrated by inaccurate information.
2. Use the Google Posts feature
Google Posts are like social media posts or mini ads for your business that display on the local panel and on Google Maps. They can include a picture, call to action (CTA) button, and up to 300 words, as you can see below.
You can create Google Posts from within your GMB dashboard. Once you create a post, it will show up immediately and remain active for a week.
Google Posts can be used for:
- Promoting events ― simply set up a post with all the details and add a link to your registration page
- Have a specific sale or an awesome new product being launched? Create a post with all the details and high-quality images.
- Extend the reach of your new blog post by including a short description and link
- You can drive customers to your most important pages, or even allow them to book online through a well-written post
You have several call to action buttons to choose from ― learn more, sign up, reserve, get offer. and buy. This gives you a wide range of possibilities for driving traffic and leads to your website.
When creating your post it’s worth taking into consideration:
- The maximum word count is 300, but try and keep it to 150-300 characters
- Only the first 100 characters show up in search engine results, so make them count
- Make sure the image you use is high-quality, ideally 750 x 750. and no smaller than 250 x 250
- Use language that speaks directly to your customers, rather than industry jargon, and include a clear call to action
3. Customers and Google My Business Love Reviews
Google encourages reviews and reviews encourage potential customers to act! Studies show that 85% of customers read and trust online reviews.
Google My Business simplifies the review process by providing you with a link from your GMB dashboard, which you can send to customers asking them to leave a review. Although reviews will not directly impact your search results, they will play a role in potential customers choosing your business over your competitors’
Imagine you’re interested in converting to solar, but know very little about the industry. You might search for ‘the best solar companies in California’. Let’s say both ‘Solar Suns’ and ‘Golden State Solar’ come up in the GMB listings. If Solar Suns has over 300 good reviews and Golden State Solar has just seven, customers are much more likely to go with Solar Suns.
It’s important that when a customer does leave a review, that you reply to them, even if it’s just to say thank you.
If someone does leave you a bad review, this can be a blessing in disguise and provide you with an opportunity. Responding to negative reviews might help you to understand a potential business issue, and still encourage potential customers to choose your business when handled correctly. According to studies, 44.6% of customers will still use a business with a negative review if the business responded to it.
Whether your business is left positive or negative reviews, responding to them all showcases an exceptional level of customer service.
4. Include Photos…and Videos
One of the first things potential customers will see is your profile picture. The goal of this picture is to encourage users to learn more about your business.
Whether it’s your logo or storefront ensure that the profile picture is high-quality, as it’s a representation of your business. According to studies. listings with a high-quality photo are twice as likely to be considered reputable and get 35% more clicks.
User-generated photos can be a great way to humanize your brand and create a sense of 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 an exciting one. You can now add a 30-second video highlighting your company and what makes it unique straight into Google. However, Google does have guidelines to ensure your videos are directly related to your business location. This is can be a great opportunity to share your business story with potential customers.
5. Write Localized Content
Content is still one of the most important search engine ranking factors, as it provides value to users which is exactly what Google’s mission is.
Content is also a great strategy for increasing your brand awareness and authority. This can be done by providing local news, insights, events. or educational content.
For example, if your business is in the solar industry, partnering with a local school to provide educational information, insights, and possibly a competition for kids to enter, can increase your brand awareness.
Here’s How We Can Help…
Google My Business is the most valuable and cost-effective method of generating high-quality leads.
Investing your time into increasing your organic traffic through high-value keywords and optimizing your GMB listing can increase your brand awareness naturally.
Google My Business places all your vital business information in front of potential customers at the exact moment when they’re looking for your services. It’s powerful, impactful. and free.
Leaving your GMB listing unclaimed is allowing your competitors an opportunity to get ahead. At Sacha Agency, our search-obsessed marketers have ranked clients in some of the most competitive spaces.
Our world-class growth marketing strategies help our clients generate new leads to such an extent, we have broken their systems
Get your free Sacha Agency growth audit today, and begin your journey to accelerated business growth and high-quality lead generation.