If you thought setting up Google My Business (GMB) account is just an optional thing to do to get your business listed. For people searching for your business on Google, your GMB listing is essentially a digital storefront for your company.
In this article, We will go through the benefits of getting and using your Google My Business listing. We will share 10 Google My Business hacks of 2019.
What exactly is Google My Business?
In Simple or layman term, it's an account that gives liberty to a user to put its business details over the Google with location map. Sometimes the user uses Google My Business services only to get navigation of business location. But more than that It is very much useful for an SEO / Digital Marketing Company or Business Enterprise to put its all information of company over Google My Business.
Let’s understand it with an example! "Company A " use Google My Business to navigate its location for the customer and put location details there. And "Company B" put all information with products details, Pictures, Video, and other information with proper review taken by its customer. He also put location details as “Company A" did. Now whenever a user (nearby location to the company A and Company B) come and try to search products related to "company A" & "Company B", then chances of Company B to appear on top results of Google is much higher than Company A.
So with this example, one can understand that Google My Business is more than a navigation tool. It's a formal way to get the business listed in local listings.
Benefits of Google My Business
There are three main ways that a successfully optimized Google My Business listing can take your online presence to the next level. There are many benefits of Google My Business, some of them are discussed below:
- Improve local SEO: Google My Business help in improving the local SEO. Local SEO is done by a company for people who are searching for their product and services in their business location. If your company is listed on Google My Business then you can get traffic from the location of your business.
- Direct More Traffic: A Google My Business listing helps in directing traffic from google and social media to your website. This direct traffic sees your business listing on the right side of the search results and can directly visit your website from the links provided in the listing.
- Easier to Find: When your business gets listed on Google My Business then its easier for your audience to find you. Direct search of your brand name will show your business listing. When someone searches for a product or service that you offer, at that time also your business listing shows up on google and it directs users to your website. It's very helpful in getting more organic traffic.
- Online Reputation Management: When you interact with your customers on your listing, then you are directing a step towards maintaining a good online reputation.
If you are a business owner and you haven't claimed your Google My Business listing then you are missing out on a lot of potential customers and leaving money on the table. That's why it's important to properly optimize your Google My Business listing.
Google My Business Optimization Tips
Optimizing your GMB listing is no big deal, anyone can list their business on google within a short amount of time. Below are the few quick ways to set your Google My Business listing up for maximum results.
1. Claim and verify your GMB listing if you haven't already.
nowadays google automatically creates a generic listing for businesses it identifies online, but the information is often incomplete or inaccurate. Claiming and verifying your listing gets you to control of what is displayed there. It is the first to step in optimizing the local findability of your business.
2. Correctly Fill Out All the Information on Your GMB Listing
Correctly filling out your business information in GMB listing is a crucial step. Because you are going to fill out important information about your business such as business description, location, phone, working hours, social media links and anything else that is applicable for your business. You want to include all this information to help your customers better find you and recognize you.
If you leave this information blank another user (perhaps a competitor) may fill in the gaps for you by making "suggestions" and the information may be incorrect. Take full control of your listing, revisit the GMB listing to make sure the information stays updated and accurate.
3. Use Quality Photos and Videos That Feature Your Business
Our brain processes images faster than text. In addition to having your company logo uploaded, you may want to add some additional photos to showcase your work, products or your company culture.
The type of photos you can upload will vary on your business. For example, at Vivid Techno, we use it to showcase our company culture, past projects and highlight members of our team.
If you are a restaurant, you may want to add photos of the food and drinks served in your restaurant. If you do work for clients, you may want to include photos from your portfolio. If you are a web designing company, you may want to add photos of your past web designs and projects. those are just a few examples- again. the exact images and videos you should use depend on the nature of your business.
Potential customers will often see these photos on your listing to decide whether or not to visit your location or buy your product and services, so make sure use always use attractive and useful photos in you Google My Business listing.
4. Ask Your Current Customers to Provide Google Reviews
When a user sees your business listing on google, they can leave a review and a star rating on the listing. These reviews will show up as part of your GMB listing. Many users will quickly decide whether to visit you or not based on the star rating alone, so if you can get your satisfied customers to talk about you online, then you are way ahead in the game.
So how do you get your customers to leave a review? well, you need to ask them directly. You can even make it extra easy for your customers by creating a link that directs them to leave a rating and google review.
5. Respond to Already Posted Reviews
Once you start receiving some cool reviews about your business, then it's important for you to respond to them. Interaction with customers on google reviews shows that your business is active and interested in positive customer experience. It also gives you an opportunity to see how many of your customers are getting satisfied with the service you offer. If you find anyone posting negative reviews, ask them how you can go ahead and make it a positive experience for that customer.
6. Answer Customer Questions Using the Q&A Approach
Answering your customer's questions can help you directly engage with your existing customers, as well as with the potential customers who are still deciding whether to visit you or not.
7. Post Relevant Articles and News Related to Your Business
You can use your GMB listing almost like a mini-social media account that display right on Google's search results page. You can post a link to your latest blog post, display a new product, announce an event or sale. In other words, you can do anything you want, to generate customer interest. I would suggest, Adding call to actions and photos for maximum impact.
Here at Vivid Techno, We use this feature to showcase our recent blogs, events and company announcements.
The essential tip is to update it regularly- even if you add a new post once a month or every few weeks, that's a solid start.
8. Set Working Hours For Holidays
If you are open on a holiday, then you can extend your business hours for that day, because you want your customers to know you are open. Again, if you are closed on a holiday, you can put it in the listing. because you don't want to disappoint a potential customer. You can keep all this information current on your GMB listing.
9. Do not violate Google’s guidelines
Avoid any sort of penalty including offenses that could permanently suspend your Google My Business account. Getting your account suspended can be very stressful and bad for your business. therefore, you need to make sure that anything you do to optimize your GMB listing is following the GMB guidelines.
Read Google's guidelines, so you have a clear understanding of od what is and what is not allowed to represent your business on Google My Business.
Some of the principal things to avoid are:
- Don't stuff keywords in your Google my business listing.
- Don't create multiple google my business listings for your business.
- don't harass, abuse or use any untrustworthy tactics with potential or existing customers.
10. Optimize Your Google My Business Listing Based on Insights
Google My Business has some amazing inbuilt tools that you can use to enhance your customer engagement. When you post something, Google gives you insights for the post that lest you understand how users are interacting with your business information on Google.
Using GMB insights, you can discover:
- How customers find your business online?
- Where do customers see your business listing on Google?
- What activities are being performed when a customer visits your business listing, whether they visit your website, click on directions, take a look at the photos or call you?
- Areas that your customers are living in?
- When people are using google for visiting your business listing?
You should always optimize your listing based on these insights. For instance, if a lot of people are searching for directs, you can conclude that the address on the listing is likely not detailed enough.
Optimizing your google my business listing is very critical to improve your online visibility. These 10 tips to optimize your Google My Business listing will put you ahead of your competitors and help you rank high on google search and maps. Implement all these tips, and you will see some growth in your GMB insights and in your business.