Is your Google My Business account optimized?
Marketers and businesses today are aware of the benefits of optimizing their websites to drive more organic traffic. However, not many are as familiar with the importance of optimizing their Google My Business (GMB) profile, one of the free tools that Google offers. If your business relies on digital and foot traffic, GMB will be a crucial tool to include in your digital marketing strategy.
Statistics showed a 61% increase in calls through GMB from January to July 2020, which shows how effective an optimized GMB listing can be. In addition, now that the pandemic has restricted movement, users rely on the Internet to find businesses in their area. You want to make sure you provide all the relevant information online—enough to convince them to call or visit your store.
So, to elevate your local SEO efforts and increase local search traffic, here are 10 steps to optimize Google My Business effectively.
Claim Your Profile
If you have never used GMB before, the first thing to do is claim your profile and verify it. Doing this allows you to add your business to Google services like Google Maps and Search and manage how your information shows up online.
To do this, visit google.com/business, sign in with your business email, then verify your business profile. The verification process gives you the authority to edit your profile and take ownership of the business. There are many ways to complete it, postcard, phone, email, or Google Search Console, so choose from the options and follow the steps given.
Choose the Right Categories and Subcategories
Categories are one of the most critical parts of your GMB listing since they help Google understand the nature of your business. The primary category should describe your overall business, while the sub-categories can refer to more specific products or services you offer.
While you can choose multiple sub-categories, you can only select one primary category. You have to think about this carefully to increase your chances of reaching the right users and appearing in more search results.
On the other hand, selecting the wrong categories can lead to huge missed opportunities.
Make sure you choose those that accurately reflect what your business does.
Write Your Business Description
When you look at your GMB profile, you may notice a short description under the business name. Google writes this section for consistency, so you cannot change it. However, if you scroll down your profile, you will see a “From the business” description, which is the part you can edit.
Optimizing your business information will be vital in attracting potential customers. Make sure to use all 750 characters and incorporate your targeted keywords to drive organic traffic. Avoid repeating information that can already be found in other parts of your profile and focus on what makes you unique from your competitors.
Complete Your Contact Information
Contact information will be critical to optimizing Google My Business since your main goal is to get customers to visit your place. Check to ensure that your business name and address are the same as other channels. Aside from your contact number, remember to include your business hours for easy access.
Add Photos to Your Listing
Photos are a great way to make your GMB listing more attractive and eye-catching. Research shows that business profiles with over 100 images get 520% more calls, 2717% more direction requests, and 1065% more site clicks. These numbers should be enough to show you how important it is to add photos actively to your profile to boost engagement.
Collect and Respond to Reviews
Another critical step to optimizing Google My Business is to collect Google reviews by collecting feedback actively. Reviews greatly influence users’ purchasing decisions, so you should post reviews and respond to them to show that you care what your customers think. It allows you to build trust with new customers and increase your GMB page rankings.
Interact through Messages
GMB has a messaging feature that allows you to communicate one-on-one with customers via text messages. However, not all users like making phone calls, so activating this feature allows them the option to send you an SMS directly from your profile. This way, you can build strong relationships with potential customers and show your transparency from the very start.
Another useful feature you can leverage to optimize Google My Business is Google posts. It is a great way to engage with your audience by posting offers, updates, and other content through text, photos, or call-to-action (CTA) buttons.
For example, you can tease upcoming products or events or share about recent things that have happened in the company.
Utilize Google My Business Insights
If you have an active SEO optimization strategy, you will understand how important it is to track your results. The same logic applies to GMB, you should monitor your page to ensure that you maximize your online presence. Fortunately, Google makes it easy to do this.
Under your Google My Business Dashboard, you will find an Insights panel that gives you data on user engagement. These include the number of views on your listing, where users are located, what actions customers are taking, and other similar interactions. From here, you can identify gaps and improve your strategy.
Engage in the Q&A Section
By default, the Q&A section is turned on in every GMB profile. Thus, you can take advantage of it by asking and answering questions to give customers more useful information.
Set up your alerts to be notified whenever someone asks a question so that you can respond right away. Aside from this, you can also post FAQs and answer them proactively on your profile. Google encourages doing this, so you need not worry about violations.
Work with Professionals to Optimize Google My Business
Need help optimizing your GMB profile? P3 Agency is here to build you an effective local SEO strategy. As a full-service digital marketing agency, we can assist you in reaching your goals and maximizing your online presence. Contact us today at 1-800-515-9422 to get started with a free marketing assessment!