How To Optimize Your Google My Business
Google My Business also referred to as GMB is a free tool that Google offers to business owners to manage their business information in the search engine. With Google My Business your potential customers can see your hours of operation, business posts, customer reviews, and different photos you or your customer’s posts. Google my business also gives you the business owner or GMB manager some useful insight metrics such as number of calls, number of people who visited your website from, number of times your photos and post have been viewed.
Half of the consumers who search for a local business withing Google visit the business that same day, therefore making sure your GMB is optimized is very crucial for your local customers to find you. In this article, I’m going to give you 8 things that if you implement will guarantee your GMB rank higher than that of your competitors within your service area of city jurisdiction.
1. Claim Your Google My Business
The first thing you need to do is claim your Google My Business Listing if you have not yet done so. Go to Google My Business page and click the “START NOW’ button on the top right of the page. The next step is to fill out all the relevant information you see. Be sure to complete your business profile as much as possible including adding your website URL, services you off (add ALL that apply), products (if you have any), business attributes (i.e veteran-owned; women ran. etc), a brief description of your business, and a shortened name your clients can find you easier (i.e “g.page/[yourcustomname],” which will take them directly to your Business Profile.
2. What if You Don't Have a Storefront?
Similar to Spinach Video, if you are a business such as a plumber or a locksmith don’t have a storefront or if you are a service-based business you can still list your business in Google MY Business. If you can afford a virtual mailing address, I highly recommend you get one to better maximize your chances of ranking in the maps. However, if you don’t have an address you will be asked to add a location that customers can visit, you can choose NO and list your business as a “service area business” to indicate which cities or postal codes you cover.
3. Choosing Your Google My Business Category
These categories you choose will help Google decide what business to show its users when they search for specific keywords. These terms are prepopulated from a list of categories, you won’t be able to create your own but you will find a category that closely describes your business. I recommend choosing as many categories that describe your business as possible.
4. Upload High Quality GeoTag Photos
The purpose of your uploading to your GMB is to give your customers a glimpse of what to expect when they visit or hire you, not to mention they make your listing stand out against your competitors. However, this is not the only benefit, you can go above and beyond and GEO-Tag your images for higher chances of ranking above your local competitors.
How to GeoTag photos and why
GEO-Tagging your images help include relevant information about your business that only search engines can see. In this case, Goole will use this data to determine whether they should hep photos from your GMB listing rank for local search queries or not. You can use tools like https://tool.geoimgr.com/ and GeoTag multiple images at once.
5. Make Sure Your NAP is Consitant
Google’s algorithm is sophisticated enough to verify the legitimacy and consistency of your business by making sure your information is the same across different websites across the web. This is usually easier said than done. Everything MUST BE THE SAME. For example, if your list your business address as “58 West Portal Ave #515 San Francisco CA 94127” on yelp but list it as “58 West Portal Ave Suite #515 San Francisco CA 94127” this would be considered non-consistent. To audit check on the consistency of your NAP across the web, you can use this free online presence tool Moz offers. Simply put in your business info and you will be able to see how accurate your business is on different online directories. Which leads us to the next step in optimizing your business
6. Add Your Business To Top Online Directories
There are many online directories you can list your business one. Whether you are a corporate videographer or a plumber, directories like YellowPages and Yelp help not only users find you but help Google’s search engines in determining who’s business to show its users. Our friend at HubSpot has listed the top 57 business listings your business should be on. The major benefit is that virtually all of these directories allow you to add your website which sends a link back to your website. This is considered a backlink, which helps in ranking your website higher in the google search engines.
7. Add Google My Business Post
Taking the time to make a GMB post is important. Google Posts are similar to social media posts, they show up the knowledge panel when someone clicks on your GMB page.
8. Start Building Up Your Google My Business Reviews
At the end of the day, Google’s main mission is to give its users the most useful information. This is why you will notice that virtually all business rankings in the map pack have a review or a rating next to them even if they are not necessarily good reviews.
The best way to get reviews is to ask customers to leave a review right after you have sold them a product or completed service. Furthermore, to maximize your chances of getting a review, you can create a link for the customer to write a review. This will help minimize any friction of them having to take the extra step and find you online. You can also send email this to your past clients and kindly as for an honest review.
9. Make Sure Your Website Is Optimized For SEO
Your Google My Business reflects your website in the sense that the better both are optimized the higher your chances are of ranking. Here are 3 tips you need to make sure to do:
- Add local schema markup to your website
- Create content focused on your local area
- Prospect for local link building opportunities (i.e gues post on local bloggers websites)
Making sure your website is optimized for both customers and search engines will ensure that you are more likely to make it into the top 3 local Google map pack.
Local SEO is can hard, intimidating and takes a long time. But the payoff is well worth the investment. Google is the best way to get in front of your customers giving that 83% of searches are made within google. So while others might pay to show up in front of their customers you can do it organically by investing. Make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to properly optimize your Google my Busines by implementing these 8 steps.