Almost every business optimizes its website and Google ads to attract local customers. Unfortunately, most of them fail to optimize their Google My Business (GMB) account for local SEO. Companies can miss a lot of opportunities because the GMB account is a great way to highlight the appealing aspects of a business.
If you ask experts at any professional SEO company, they will tell you that optimizing your GMB listing should be the first step of your local SEO strategy. There has been a significant increase in the search for local businesses after the COVID-19 pandemic. A well-optimized GMB listing can be an ideal way to ensure visibility and significance among local customers.
Moreover, GMB listing allows you to engage with existing and potential customers. Interacting with the consumers can help your business promote brand loyalty and trust, thus creating repeat buyers. So if you have been struggling to optimize your GMB listing, here are a few steps that can help you get started.
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
If you have not claimed your GMB listing already, that should be your first step in optimizing your account. Google My Business is a free service that allows you to direct your firm’s digital presence for Google searches as well as Google Maps.
You can use your existing Google account to claim your GMB listing. Alternatively, you can create a new Google account to manage your business and claim your GMB listing.
The platform allows you to configure what users can see when they look for your business through Google search. You will also get insights on how your prospective customers look for your business online as well as their geographic locations. The GMB page allows you to enhance your brand’s SEO for local searches and optimize your overall business.
You can visit google.com/business to claim your GMB account and initiate the verification process. Google sends a postcard containing a unique PIN to your business’s physical location. If you do not have a physical store, you can provide your home address as well. Please do not use PO or UPS boxes, as using them for verification is prohibited by Google.
Categorize Your Business
When you claim your GMB listing, Google asks you to select a category for your business. It will enable you to connect with your target audience and offer your products or services. Accurate categorization increases the chances of your business appearing in the top result pages for relevant searches.
You should make sure that the primary category you choose describes your overall business. You can also add additional categories that relate to specific products or services that you offer. For example, if your primary category states ‘Investment Services,’ you can add a financial planner or financial consultant in the additional categories.
In addition to categories, you can also add a description of your business on the GMB listing. You can find “Add business description” by clicking on the Info button on the left menu bar on your GMB account. You can use up to 750 characters to write a brief description of your business. Use your existing content if you want or write a fresh one for the section.
But make sure that you use the most relevant keywords associated with your business in the description to maximize your chances of appearing on local searches. These keywords can be phrases that your target audience might use in search queries while trying to find your business. Or you can find the relevant keywords using a free keyword research tool.
Businesses that use images on their GMB listing receive significantly more clicks than others. Images can attract more engagement than text and help your GMB listing stand out from the rest. You can use them to convey characteristics of your products or services that you cannot express through words.
Images can also convey aspects of your business that can answer questions that your potential customers may have. Make sure that you use high-quality images on your account to reflect your professionalism. You should include images of your products, team members, work settings, and business premises.
That way, you will be able to encourage your visitors to get to know your brand and feel interested in what you have to offer. Google also allows you to add virtual tours of your premises shot by Google-approved photographers.
Choose Locations and Service Areas
When you are creating your GM B page for the first time, you can search for your business on Google and claim it if it is already listed. It prevents you from creating a duplicate GMB account that can hurt your local SEO. You will also be asked to choose the areas where you can provide your products or services.
Alternatively, you can also mark a service area that you will cover on Google Maps. Make sure that you add your business name, address, and phone number accurately, as these also have Google to localize your business page. These details should match other local directories as well as your website.
Invite Reviews and Engage With Them
As a consumer, you must know the importance of reviews while choosing products or services. Almost 88% of your customers rely on online reviews and give them equal importance as personal recommendations. Moreover, positive reviews increase your star ratings which also help your page rank higher for local searches.
Reviews also offer a great opportunity to interact with your existing as well as potential customers. You can highlight features of your products or services and discuss new arrivals. Positive interactions through reviews can also help you build your brand loyalty and increase repeat business.
We hope these steps can help you get started on optimizing your GMB account. However, make sure that you remain consistent and actively update your profile with relevant information and images. It will help you create a positive reflection for your business through your GMB listing so you can start reaping the rewards. Last but not least, you can also use tools like Grid My Business to conduct local rank tracking.