How to optimize your Google my business and google profile for local SEO

by waqas Sun Jan 31

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To really get more customers, your Google My Business profile needs to work for you, you have to optimize it. Below are some quick and easy ways to do that.

Want to manage your online presence across the search engine and show up in search results when people are looking for you online?  

 A Google My Business account lets you grow your online portfolio. Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool from Google that offers the business owners the greatest impact for brands seeking local exposure. 

It’s FREE, which makes it an affordable marketing tool for small and big businesses alike.

WHY USE GOOGLE MY BUSINESS?

Creating a GMB listing is the first step to local search success.

Seasoned SEO professionals use GMB listings to leverage a location-based strategy

And for good reason.

GMB gives a list of businesses nearby and a lot of information needed to find a specific business like:

  • Business address.
  • Business hours.
  • Category.
  • Reviews.

To further explain how GMB can help your business, here are some reasons

  • Get your business in front of your ideal customers

To get started, Google my business gives you an edge in the digital world. A platform to showcase your product to your customers for free. 

Your customers and prospects are online and that’s where they’ll typically start their search for your company, products, or services. Even if you run an old fashioned brick and mortar shop.

Google My Business accounts also improve your local SEO. So when someone searches for you, you show up on page one—not page two or worse.

GMB listing doesn’t replace your business’s website. It only gives it a public identity and even if you already have a web presence, a Google business account ensures you get top results and also provides access to analytics, allowing you to fine tune your paid and organic advertising strategies.

The information provided about a business through Google My Business can appear in Google Search and Google Maps.

  • Keep customers informed

A Google My Business account lets you keep customers informed.

And leaving them up to TripAdvisor, Yelp and other review sites which you have no control over won’t cut it. Neither would leaving them guessing about your business details.

Make sure that when someone googles local business, they find legitimate information, straight from the source.

You can post updates to share that you’ve expanded services, temporarily closed, or fully reopened (an especially useful feature during emergency situations like COVID-19). Google business accounts have strong local SEO, so the information you share will rank above other sites.

Avoid misinformation as it can lead to bad customer experiences and missed opportunities. Imagine the letdown a customer feels when they make a trip to your store only to find that it’s closed. Or maybe you are open, but a prospective customer chose a competitor because they weren’t certain of your presence. 

  • Gain consumer’s trust

Trust is a key factor when it comes to making purchase decisions. The more confident a consumer feels, the more likely they are to buy. 

Credibility gained from Google is enough to sway people to be more likely to visit your store, and more likely to buy something.

Google My Business reviews help build trust, too. Research by Think With Google finds that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So to verify your business in the hearts of your customers, infuse reviews to gain consumer’s trust. 

Now, to show you how to get your account up and running 

Here is how to optimize your “google my business” and google profile for local SEO

Most companies claim their Google My Business account, add minimum details, and abandon it. They’re leaving money on the table.

Claiming the account is just the start. There are so many ways you can use it. 

When optimized correctly, Google My Business can lead to increased sales and improved customer loyalty.

Here are the steps you need to optimize it in order to make more money for your business.

1. Ensure your google profile is up-to date and accurate

Give Google as much information about your business as possible. Why? It makes it easier for Google to match your business to customer searches. In other words, it improves your search ranking.

As Google explains, “Local results favor the most relevant results for each search, and businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches.”

That means you should fill out contact details, category, attributes, and more. Make sure to use the right keywords where possible.

Using your core business information like Name, Address, Phone Number, Website, Description, Category and Attributes.

This information will be indexed by Google Search, Maps and Google+, providing a foundation for your local SEO.

It is advisable that the information provided should be consistent with what is currently listed on your website.

Actually, you need to ensure the information is exactly the same.

Inconsistencies in the information will negatively impact your search rankin

Plus, using the right keywords will improve relevance. Not sure where to start? Try Google Trends.

For example, if you run a puma footwear shop, search “puma footwear” in your location. Look at related topics and terms people are using for keyword inspiration.

2. Encourage and engage with customers reviews

When people google your business, it’s 90% certain that  people read reviews before purchasing.   

Almost everyone likes a second opinion. That’s why reviews are the lifeblood of local search.

It’s a really simple equation: Good reviews = sales. More good reviews = more sales and it also improves your Google ranking.

Bad reviews can also present you with an opportunity. 

The best time to ask for a review is after providing a great experience. 

But how do you get reviews from your customers? It’s simple. You ask them!

Follow these steps:

  • Open www.google.com/maps 
  • Search the name of your company In the top left corner, 
  • Click the menu option in the top-left corner after selecting your business, 
  • Click “Share or Embed Map.”
  • Copy the Link
  • Share with all your previous customers by sending the link via email or text.

You can also create a custom shortlink to make leaving a review easy. It will look like: g.page/[yourcustomname].

How to get a custom URL for your Google My Business account:

  1. From the dashboard, click Info and then Add a short name.
  2. Enter your short name. It can be up to 32 characters. You may need to come up with alternatives if the name you want is taken.
  3. Click Apply.

When it’s ready, your short name will show on your business profile.

After you start to gather reviews on your listing, you need to respond to them.

All of them. Every last one of them. The good. The bad. The neutral.

Take time to write a message to each reviewer using the Google My Business dashboard.

Be honest and be sure to offer an apology when it’s warranted. If the matter is sensitive, ask them to send you a private message.

For it provides enough insights and trust for new customers.

3. Post news, updates, and special offers

Information on your Google my Business profile such as you address, hours, and contact info, should always be accurate and up-to-date. Make sure to edit this information if it changes.

You can also create posts for your business to inform customers of updates, new products, offers, and events. Depending on your goal, these posts can keep your profile fresh, drive sales, and encourage visits to your physical or digital storefront.

How to create a post on Google:

  1. Sign in to Google My Business and open the location you’d like to manage.
  2. From the left hand menu, click Posts.
  3. Choose the type of post you’d like to create from the options given.
  4. Enter the relevant information in each field. Copy should include necessary details and be concise. Avoid commercial slang and too much punctuation (!!!!!).
  5. Click Preview to double check formatting and spelling. If you need to make an edit, click the back arrow.
  6. When you’re ready, click Publish.

Now that I’ve shown you how to manage user-generated content on your Google My Business listing, let’s focus on the content you create.

This is where Google Posts come in.

Google opened its post feature to all businesses in 2017. This feature allows you to share content about your business in a variety of ways. Some examples include:

  • Highlighting a new line of fall clothing with various product images
  • Showcasing an upcoming event you are trying to promote
  • Using a gif to relive a game-winning shot with your audience
  • Sharing a text update on a recent company advancement

The Seattle Mariners are a great example of how a brand is using Google Posts to promote highlights of their games.

Google Posts allows you to add text, photos, gifs, and even call-to-action buttons including:

  • Buy
  • Sign up
  • Learn more
  • Reserve
  • Get Offer

You can begin creating posts after you have verified your Google My Business account. Once the verification is complete, your “Posts” option will appear on the left-hand menu.

After clicking “create post,” you can add text and visuals.

When creating your post, you should consider:

  • Google allows a maximum of 300 words per single post but only 60-70 characters will show up on the mobile and desktop display if you use a CTA button.
  • The entire text post will show on mobile if no CTA button is used.
  • The image you select should be a high-quality representation of your business. Google uses a 4:3 ratio, so the minimum dimension required is 400×300 pixels.
  • Speak directly to your audience. Don’t use industry jargon, but rather focus on sharing content that will move your audience to engage with the post.
  • Google provides insights (more on that in a bit) and engagement metrics for each post, but it’s also a good idea to set up UTM parameters for links as well.

After clicking “publish,” you can check out your post on your listing.

Now, it is ready and waiting for view by all those searching for your business.

But not for long.

Google Posts disappear after seven days unless you set a shorter time frame. That’s why it’s important to be timely and hyper-specific when crafting your posts.

Consider having a strategy in place and drafting an editorial calendar designated for your Google Post content.

That way, you can better integrate posts into your marketing plan and examine their impact on your business.

Conclusion

Google Search is an incredibly powerful gateway to your website, there is no denying that even though there are many other ways customers can find your business.

Google My Business positions your important business information in front of the eyes of potential customers who are looking for your product, service, or experience.

It helps with your local SEO, offers a chance to engage with your customers via reviews or posts, and provides useful insights on your customers’ purchasing paths.

On top of everything, it is a free and valuable tool that you’d be crazy not to use.

Your customers are looking for you.

Is your digital presence ready?

Not claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing is like saying, “No thanks” to someone offering you a free digital sign for your restaurant right off a highway exit.

It’s an opportunity to manage interactions with your customers and present key business updates in a place your customers are already looking.

You need to take control of it today.

Hope you’re planning on optimizing your Google My Business listing to generate additional revenue for your business?


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