We all know how important Google search is for businesses. You hear it every day – you need to keep your website up to date, optimised and full of useful content to be found on google. But there is another part of Google that a lot of businesses forget about – and that’s Google My Business. Google My Business helps you hone in on the local search, boosting your rankings for relevance, distance and prominence for searchers near to you. So if you want to show up in local searches, this is something you need to focus in on. So today, we’re going to show you how to set up and optimise your Google My Business listing.
Set Up The Basics
Before we get into the ongoing stuff, first you need to get your listing set up properly. This gives you a good solid foundation to start optimising your listing to get the most from it. This includes:
Claim & Verify: the first thing you need to do is work out if you already have a GMB listing and claim it if you do. Even if you personally didn’t create a listing, a loving customer, overzealous employee or even Google could have generated one for you. To find out if you have a listing already, just do a quick search for your business name on Google, and see if a profile pops up for your business. If it does, then you can click the listing to claim it as your business. Once you have done this, Google will send you a code through the post to verify that listing as yours, and you’re good to go!
Basic Information: No that you have control, it’s time to fill out your information. This is as simple as filling in all the boxes with the right information. You can add special opening hours or holiday opening times, and even add a description of your business. But don’t try to sneak keywords into your business name or anything funny like that – Google will notice and remove your listing! Stick to accurate and enticing information, adding services, locations and other information.
Upload Photos: Photos are perfect for drawing in the eye of casual browsers and attracting new customers. Which is why we’re so surprised that more people aren’t using them! Good photos help build a positive impression of your brand, show customers what they can expect and effectively promote your business online. So grab some of your best promotional images, office photos and staff headshots and get uploading. Just make sure that they are:
- JPG or PNG format
- Between 10KB and 5MB in size
- 720 x 720 pixels
- High quality, well-lit photos
Google reviews have been around for a long time now, and it’s no secret how influential they are, both on Google itself and for users who are searching. In fact, Google discovered that positive reviews make 68% of customers trust a local business more, and increased their likelihood to buy. But don’t just sit around and wait for reviews to come. Be proactive! Ask your customers to review you on Google, and when you finish a job for a new customer, include a link to review your business as part of the feedback process. When you do start getting reviews rolling in, it’s good practice to respond to them all as well – even if it’s just to say thank you. If a review is negative or a bit rude, it’s even more important that you respond and try to resolve it!
One of the most under-utilised features of Google My Business is Google Posts. It’s essentially a blog section for your listing, with mini-posts displayed as a carousel on your Google My Business listing for users to read. Although the posts expire after seven days, they are really valuable for your SEO. As with a standard social media post, you can add links, photos and some copy that’s useful for your users. Google My Business posts are featured highly in search results, so you can gain valuable exposure by uploading posts regularly.
Monitor Insights & Suggestions
Did you know that anyone can suggest edits to your Google My Business Profile? Its just a case of clicking on to it and typing out an edit suggestion. But it’s a bit of a double-edged sword – on the one hand, the suggestions could be helpful and allow you to improve your profile, and on the other hand, they could be from people who are unhappy with you and trying to sabotage your business. Users can also answer questions about your business, without any involvement from you, which can be a little scary. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your suggested edits and answered questions, to make sure your listing is still saying what you want it to say.
At Ad-Extra, we help businesses leverage local search through optimised Google My Business listings. From setting up your listing to managing them going forward, replying to reviews and updating your hours, we make sure that your listings are up to date and performing well. For more information or tips on creating your Google My Business listing, just get in touch with us today.