An important part of your local SEO strategy should be to optimize your Google My Business SEO listing. Setting up your Google My Business Profile increases the chances of your website showing up on Google Maps, Google Search, and Google+. This free tool helps businesses display their address, contact information, business hours, products, and services, in just a few simple steps.
Think about it this way: your website is the destination, and Google is the road that will take them there. Your job is to ensure that your website actually shows up on the map.
The Truth About Google
The truth is that Google is the king of search engines. More than 80% of all searches worldwide are made on Google, and it is estimated that there are 3.5 billion searches each day. With so many people looking things up on Google, it should be every business’s goal to show up whenever a user searches.
Customers stick to the first ten results, so if your business doesn’t appear there, you will be losing thousands of potential customers. Google My Business is an extremely valuable (and free) tool that can:
- Display relevant business information like location and contact details
- Gather insights such as reviews and ratings
- Show off user-generated content such as photos and videos
- Interact with customers conveniently
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free, location-based marketing strategy that leads customers to your website. If you search for “hair salons near me”, Google will show you a list of nearby hair salons across its various platforms. It is estimated that more than 50% of users who search on Google end up visiting the physical store of the business within the day.
Importance of Google My Business SEO Listing:
- Improve Engagement
Zero-click searches are becoming more and more popular these days. Customers enter Google without clicking through a website because the information is already on the search results page. You’ll want to optimize your Google My Business SEO so that your business is the first that they see whenever they look something up.
- Boost Local SEO Ranking
Google follows an algorithm that helps it select which GMB Profiles appear. It doesn’t just show which businesses are closest in proximity to the user, but also the quality of information, relevance, and activity. Optimizing your Google My Business Profile lets Google grant your website higher rankings in local SEO, which results in greater visibility and engagement.
- Convert Customers
Setting up a Google My Business Profile helps you acquire new customers. Optimizing your profile allows customers to find your business through certain keywords. Once they discover your business, they can find out your location, read your reviews, research about your products and services, book a reservation, and more.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing?
- Basic Information
Once you’ve set up your Google My Business account, you’ll need to provide important information such as your business name, address, phone number, website, etc.
Here are some things to consider for an optimized Google My Business SEO listing:
- Use a consistent business name: Make sure that the business name in your listing matches your other listings on the Internet. Be careful of things like “st” versus “street” and “company” versus “co” because Google can spot these inconsistencies.
- Indicate your business hours: Avoid negative reviews from someone who visits your store, only to find out that it’s closed.
- Business Description
This is what appears immediately underneath your business name. Google takes care of this part and generates a well-written summary of your business. What you can control is the “from the business” section below the reviews. To optimize this part, use relevant keywords (but don’t overdo it!), stay under 750 characters, and avoid using HTML.
- Choose a Category
GMB offers a variety of categories, so it’s important to choose the most specific one. If you’re a restaurant, choose “Turkish Restaurant” or “Seafood Restaurant” instead of just “Restaurant”. You can also choose a primary category and then select multiple sub-categories.
- Add Photos
Adding photos makes your business look more credible. It also increases engagement since 42% of users are more likely to click through to your website if your GMB Profile has high-quality photos.
- Ask for Reviews
Reviews can greatly influence customers’ buying decisions. Having several reviews and ratings can get your business to the top of the local results. You should also respond to customer reviews as this encourages other customers to write a review.
Just like any SEO strategy, optimizing your Google My Business SEO listing shouldn’t be centred only on polishing your profile, but providing as much relevant and quality information across your different platforms, such as your website, social media, etc. Your GMB profile is there to make your business visible, but you will still need to practice other SEO strategies to keep it on the map.