Google My Business (GMB) is how local businesses get on the map! It's a critical local SEO tool that cannot be overlooked. Recent studies have shown that 1 of 3 searches on Google mobile apps is a local search. So what does this mean? It means that you need to rank in local search results to get noticed.
GMB profiles provide a place for customers to leave reviews, find your contact information, see images about your business and find out what specials you are currently running. In order to show up on the map, you will have to verify your listing (typically done via a postcard). People trust Google, so having an optimized GMB profile not only increases your sales but also your business's credibility.
Why Utilize Google My Business?
Why wouldn't you? This is a Google product, and what better way to get noticed on Google than to use one of their own tools, right? Google is, after all, the most popular search engine on this planet with roughly 90% market share as to search engine preference.
The best news about GMB is that it is free. You easily can sign-up for a listing, or if you've already got an existing listing, you can verify and claim it, then update the information.
Additionally, once you have a verified listing on GMB you can add location extensions to your Google Ads PPC campaigns. Local extensions allow you to place search ads in the local map pack.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Page
You have to stand out from the crowd if you want to get ahead. It takes more than just signing up and filling out the info for your GMB listing. Optimizing your GMB is similar to on-page SEO. Let's start by reviewing various aspects of GMB.
- GMB Listing Dashboard - This is your "control panel". It's straightforward to navigate. You need to make sure and fill out your profile with complete information.
- Accurate Information - Make sure that all information is on point and up to date. You surely don't want anyone to tinker with that “suggest an edit” tab. You can add or edit the info you put in your GMB later, however it's not always instant. Some changes require a review from Google.
- Good Images - Images are the first thing a user sees when clicking into your GMB profile so make sure you included great images that strengthen your brand.
Exterior photos are also essential, so provide pictures of different angles and time of the day. It will help your potential client recognize and find your establishment with ease. For photos of the interior, give emphasis on the best area, the décor, ambiance, and space. The products, employees, services, food and drinks, rooms, and common areas must also be captured in a photo and uploaded. These are the highlights of your business so it must be present as well. Make sure the images are well lighted and clear.
- Video - Take it a step further and upload a video. The more information your potential client will have the better. So try to come up with a short video to provide them with a closer look and entice them, even more, to come and visit your business. But make sure that they are not too long, preferably a 30-second video with everything that your clients need to know about the services and products you offer.
- Respond to Reviews - Now this is one of the best ways to engage with your clients and attract potential customers too. Reviews influence buying behavior. Similar to that saying respect begets respect, positive responses begets positive reviews.
Whether you are a new or old local business, fully optimizing your GMB will help you reach more customers in your immediate area.
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