In this tutorial, you will learn how to optimize your Google My Business (“GMB”) listing for more targeted traffic and leads.
Google My Business is a free service from Google that allows businesses to get found on the search engine giant’s platform quickly. It integrates with Google Maps and makes it easy for people to find your business through their mobile devices.
Why is it important to optimize your GMB listing? Because people who search for local businesses on Google are ready and willing to buy, making them high-value targets.
Optimizing your GMB Listing will often boost organic traffic without spending a penny on ads or waiting months for a search engine optimization campaign to kick in. In fact, I’ve seen some listings get 300+ visits per month in as little as 2 weeks after making some simple tweaks!
Why Google My Business is Crucial to Your Business
1- What is Google My Business?
Simply put, Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that lets business owners manage how their businesses appear on Google Search and Maps. For example, you can use it to help others find your business faster by providing your address, hours of operation, and contact information. You can also share photos of your products or services, special offers, etc.
It’s one way for you to connect with potential customers in relevant searches — especially those nearby. For example, if someone searches for “best coffee shop,” they may see your coffee shop as the top result right near their location. Or if they search for “offices near me,” they might notice your office building among the results of places nearby on that map.
2- Why Google My Business is crucial to your business
Think about how many times you’ve searched for something online in the past day: restaurant recommendations, flight times, or the weather forecast? How about a local store’s opening hours or what time a movie starts at that new theater down the road? In fact, over 88% of all consumers searching online first look at online reviews before making a buying decision, so if you want to make sure mobile searchers find you when looking for things like this (and much more), you need to claim and optimize your GMB listing!
Complete Your Google My Business Listing Profile
The first step in taking advantage of your local search ranking benefits is verifying and completing your profile. Your listing should be as complete as possible and accurate. It should also be consistent with other listings so that you don’t have multiple listings for the same business. The more consistent it is across directories, social media, and your website.
Here are some things you can do to optimize it:
- Verify your business. This can be done by going to google.com/business and entering a name for your business, followed by a zip code or city/state location.
- Once Google has verified that no one else is already using that name in the area you specified, they will send a postcard to the address you provided with instructions on claiming ownership of it in Google My Business.
- Even if someone else is using the exact name of your business, you can try adding your location to your business name. Then you can still claim ownership of it and verify via postcard just like above, from google.com/business.
Add Photos and Other Media to Your Listing
You want your business to be successful, and the only way to do that is by having a great listing on Google Maps. That’s right—if you want to attract new customers and generate leads, you need to optimize your business listing on Google My Business.
By adding photos and other media to your business listing, you will boost the visibility of your location and the engagement with people who are looking for that very same thing.
Encourage Customer Reviews
The more positive reviews your business has, the higher your rank on Google. Reviews also help convert potential customers.
One study found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. So, reviews are important for increasing search results’ visibility and converting clicks into sales.
To get more reviews, make it easy for customers to leave them by:
- Posting instructions on how to leave a review in places where your customers can see them (e.g., at checkout counters)
- Putting links to your review pages on social media profiles and other online platforms where your business has a presence
- Asking for feedback on customer surveys and other communications you send out
To encourage people to leave reviews, consider offering rewards or discounts for doing so or sending a thank you note with every purchase.
Local businesses should respond to all user-generated content they receive – including reviews – even if it’s just to say “thank you.” Replying is good manners and signals that you care about customers’ feedback (even negative feedback).
Respond to All Customer Reviews. Positive And Negative
- Respond to positive reviews with a simple thank you.
- Respond to negative reviews by apologizing, offering to take the conversation offline, and promising that you’ll work on coming up with a solution.
- Do not respond to negative reviews by making excuses, pointing blame at someone else, or denying everything.
- Do not respond to negative reviews with hostility or defensiveness.
Use Posts To Share Limited Offers
There are limited offers you can share on your business listing. So, for example, if you’re running a Chinese New Year Sale or something like that, you can post that to your listing.
In this case, remember to include a call-to-action that encourages people to click through and visit the event web page.
Share posts containing an offer as soon as possible to make sure people see it before it expires.
Also, keep in mind that when you post something about an offer on Google My Business, it won’t just show up in search results for local queries—it will appear across the Google Display Network (which is huge). This means that thousands upon thousands of people could see what you post.
Monitor the Insights Feature for Analytical Data
The Insights feature is a goldmine of information about how customers found your business and what they did once they arrived. It shows you how many users searched for your business, their actions, and how they interacted with your business listing.
This data will help you determine which types of posts drive the most interactions so you can optimize your content accordingly. For example, you might see that photos receive more positive feedback than videos or that customers are more likely to call if you post at a particular time of the day. This kind of analytical data is priceless!
Use Google Posts Regularly!
Google Posts are a relatively new feature to Google My Business. A Google Post is a status update that you can publish on your Google My Business page. It shows up under the “Posts” tab of your Google business listing, and in some cases, it shows up on search engine results pages (SERPs).
A Google Post can include an image, just like a Facebook post or a tweet. You can also include call-to-action buttons for your posts, making them incredibly powerful for generating leads and conversions from potential customers who see your post from the search results.
Here are the different types of posts you can use:
- Event post: Use this option to promote events you’re hosting on specific dates.
- Product post: Use this option to promote products or services you sell using an image or video.
- Offer post: If there’s anything special going on at your business at the moment, such as promotions or deals, let users know about it with an offer post.
- Blog post: This is the most versatile type of content that you can publish with a Google Post because it lets you share any message without being restricted by format or purpose (like events and offers).
Takeaways: How To Optimize Your Google My Business Listing For Targeted Traffic And Leads
In closing, let’s recap how to optimize your Google My Business listing so that you can start getting more traffic and leads.
- Optimize your name, address, and phone number (NAP) information
Be consistent with how you post your NAP across the internet. For example, make sure it is up-to-date in Google My Business and is identical across the web.
- Optimize all categories on your GMB listing
Please become familiar with the categories that are relevant to your industry so that when people search for something related to what you do, one of them can be attached to your listing. Remember, this will also help show up when people click on “nearby businesses” on a results page and give Google a better idea of what kind of business you have for their algorithm.
- Make sure you fill out everything under “Additional Information.”
This lets Google know more about who you are and shows searchers more about what services you offer or why they should use your business over another one listed nearby or at the top of the results page they clicked into. It gives them reasons why they should choose YOU! Plus, it helps tell Google even more about who you are. And we all know how much they love more information! 🙂
- Add photos of yourself, products/services offered, inside/outside of office space/building (if applicable), etc., and videos if available.
People want to see pictures before anything else nowadays; it makes everything look prettier, but it gives searchers a better glimpse into what could be waiting for them if they decide to become a customer or client at some point in time!
The more you optimize your GMB listing, the better the experience for your customers and the more likely they are to purchase from your company. After all, if your Google business listing is set up correctly and looks professional, there’s no reason for a customer to look elsewhere.