Google renamed its local listing platform GMB (Google My Business) recently to Google Business Profile. That means businesses can now manage their profiles directly on Google Maps or search. In this article, we will use GMB and Google Business Profile interchangeably.
Your business needs targeted visibility on Google and other search engines. Most business owners know that this requires a carefully optimized website and Google AdWords. However, some of them don’t know that there’s a third entity that must be optimized – Google My Business listing. This is a powerful but dynamic snapshot of your brand that highlights your profile. It allows your target audience to find your brand, learn about it, and engage with you – all this is done from the SERPs.
The best part? Google My Business profile is free. All you need is a well-thought-out Google My Business optimization strategy and start reaping the benefits of this tool.
Yet, despite the over 167 billion Google searches performed monthly, a recent BrightLocal study revealed that a typical GMB profile gets about 1,260 views a month. That’s about 0.00000075%, and only 59 (less than 5%) actions may be taken.
You probably think that the problem is the GMB platform. But you’re wrong. To reap the benefits of the GMB platform, you must create and implement a great Google My Business Optimization strategy. Here are the Google My Business Optimization essentials to help you rank in local search, particularly mobile search.
1. Create a GMB account
It’s important to mention that a Google My Business listing is different from a Google My Business account. The latter is used to access and optimize the GMB profile. That means to make various changes to your GMB profile, you need a Google My Business account that should be connected to your GMB profile.
2. Complete each section in your GMB profile
The completeness of a GMB profile helps Google rank you better in the relevant search results. It also increases the overall number of actions users take whenever they find your GMB profile. Here are the essential sections you must complete as part of your Google My Business optimization strategy.
- Business name
- Location address
- Business website
- Business hours
- Primary category & attributes
- Products & Services
- Questions & answers (owner-generated)
- Reviews and star rating
- Questions & answers (consumer-generated)
3. Add correct contact information
To optimize your contact information in your GMB profile, ensure your business name is identical to the name on your store signage. That means it must be exactly as in the real world. Also, ensure that your business name and address match all other profiles or listings you have on the web. So, if you decide to use “st” instead of “street,” ensure it’s consistent across all other profiles you have on the web. Remember, Google’s algorithm takes inconsistencies into consideration when evaluating a business’s credibility.
Be sure to indicate your regular and holiday hours to encourage clients to visit your premises. Also, specifying operational hours prevents negative reviews from people who visit your premises only to find it’s closed.
4. Create a “from the business” description carefully.
You have probably seen the short business description that appears just below the business name in a GMB profile. This is the editorial summary Google creates to ensure consistency. The good news is that Google does a great job creating that short business description.
The specific description you can write is the “from business” section in the GMB account dashboard. It often appears lower in your GMB profile, under the positive reviews section. Create a brief business description (about 750 characters) and add relevant keywords that your target audience may be using. Use this opportunity to talk about what sets you apart from the competition and what your clients like about your business.
5. Choose the correct category.
Picking the right business category is crucial to your Google My Business optimization strategy. Approximately 84% of business profile views come from discovery searches. That means consumers searched for a service, product, or category term and a business profile appeared. This is particularly true for companies whose name does not indicate the services or products they provide.
Google allows you to choose several categories. So, it’s essential to pick the correct ones. Be specific and avoid general categories. Choose “nail salon” instead of “salon.” If you own a restaurant, choose a specific category like “Egyptian Restaurant” instead of “Restaurant.”
6. Add the most appropriate attributes.
These are the specific features such as “free WiFi” or “gift shop on-site” that potential clients seek out. Google will give you a long list of attributes that you can check off to describe your business better. Be sure to choose the correct and appropriate attributes.
7. Upload photos
Photos are one of the Google My Business optimization essentials you shouldn’t ignore. Adding authentic and high-quality photos to your GMB profile can ensure your business listing looks best, appear in search results, and boost user engagement. A recent BrightLocal study revealed that businesses whose GMB profiles have excellent photos are more likely to get higher levels of user engagement.
8. Get Google reviews from previous customers.
Google and other search engines know that customer reviews have a significant influence on consumer purchase decisions. For most searches performed on Google, the top three local results in the “local 3-pack” are ones with solid star ratings and multiple online reviews.
For this reason, it makes sense to request or remind your potential customers to leave a review on your GMB profile. This is one of the Google My Business optimization strategies that work. Remember, you can get a negative review or a positive review. But your response matters.
9. Create optimized posts for your GMB profile
Another Google My Business optimization technique is to create authentic posts for your GMB profile. These posts can be product details, announcements, events, or offers. Your posts will show on the “updates” section of your GMB profile. But they can become more prominent depending on the search query.
10. Questions and answers section
GMB dashboard allows you to create questions and answers or respond to questions from your target audience. Note that you can create a list of FAQs your business gets on your profile. This doesn’t violate Google’s terms and conditions. When creating these questions and answers or responding to questions from your potential customers, keep keywords in mind.
Do you Google My Business optimization help?
Generally, Google My Business optimization improves engagements, boosts your business’s rank in the local results, and drives conversions. If you need help to optimize your GMB profile, contact our Google My Business optimization experts.