In order to boost your local SEO, a Google My Business (GMB) listing is essential. This free tool can help any enterprise or entrepreneur build a stronger identity by leveraging associated services like Google Local Search results, Google Maps, and even Google’s Knowledge Graph.
Here’s how to get started with Google My Business and optimise your listing for the best results possible.
Getting started with Google My Business
First of all, head over to the Google My Business page for adding and claiming listings. There is a chance your GMB listing already exists, you’ll just need to claim it.
From there, you can enter all of your essential information like name, address, number, website, and category of business. You’ll also be asked whether the business delivers goods or services to customers at that location.
The next step is to verify your GMB listing, which is crucial from a visibility and performance point of view. The easiest way to do this is by mail, as Google will know the address you’ve provided is legitimate.
Remember that Google won’t display your business or its edits until you have been verified. You won’t be able to access any page insights, analytical information, or business reviews either.
Don’t worry about how long this takes, as you should receive a verification code postcard within a week.
Optimising your Google My Business listing
Go into detail
Google wants to promote the most relevant results for local search and a detailed description of your business can help with this. Be clear about what your business does, where it is located, and how customers can buy the goods or services you offer.
Similar to traditional website SEO, keywords and phrases operate as ranking signals to tell Google what your businesses offers. So, when optimising your GMB listing, include keywords that your typical customers will search for.
Include accurate opening hours
It goes without saying that accurate opening hours will help customers know when they can visit your business. However, make sure you tell Google when they change and update your GMB to include public holidays or any other time when you close.
Businesses with photos on their listings enjoy 42 per cent more requests for Google Maps driving directions and 35 per cent more click-throughs to their websites than businesses without photos.
Along with a profile photo, which should be something that encompasses the brand, you may also want to upload the following images:
- Logo image – To help customers identify your business
- Cover photo – To showcase your brand’s personality
- Additional photos – To highlight other aspects of the business like your goods, services, working environment etc.
Manage customer reviews
Positive reviews not only look good and encourage action, they also increase your business’s visibility in search results. While you can’t always control reviews, you should make the effort to respond to your customers, as this shows you value them.
One final thing. Always analyse your GMB performance, which shows you how customers find your listing, where customers find you on Google, direction requests, and other valuable metrics.