Ever searched for a local business and found their info in a box on the right of the Google search listings page? That’s a Google My Business profile, and it works wonders for local SEO. It’s the ideal branding asset for small businesses targeting customers in their vicinities. It even impacts the purchase decisions of international visitors as they go by the reviews received on the Googe My Business page.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free service that lets you manage how your business shows up in Google Search and Maps. This covers things like putting your company name, address, and hours of operation; monitoring and responding to customer reviews; uploading images; discovering where and how people are looking for you, and more.
If you’re just starting with Local SEO, your Google My Business listing is an excellent place to start. After all, when consumers look for a product or service near them, they’re frequently on the verge of making a purchase — one out of every two people who perform a local search (for example, “watch repair near me”) visits a store the same day.
As a result, it’s critical that the information about your company that appears in Google searches is as precise, full, and optimized as possible. Continue reading to learn how to create a Google My Business account, authenticate your business, and optimize your listing.
What Is the Importance of Google My Business?
Because, whether you like it or not, your company will almost certainly be listed on Google. Your business name can be entered and registered with Google by anyone. As a result, a Google My Business profile for your company will start to feature more prominently in Google Map results. It also aids in the appearance of your company in the Knowledge Panel.
Want to improve your online visibility? Then deliver essential business information through GMB optimization. You can include driving directions, business hours, and more to help people learn about your business.
Setting up Google My Business
1. Make a Google My Business account
Step 1: Sign in to the Google Account you wish to use for your business (or create one if you don’t currently have one).
Step 2: Go to google.com/business and click the “Start now” button in the upper right corner.
Step 3: Type in the name of your company.
Step 4: Fill up your company’s address.
Step 5: Choose a delivery zone.
Step 6: Decide on the type of business you want to run. Choose the most precise category you can; you’re telling Google which customers should see your business listing.
Step 7: Include your company’s phone number or online address.
Step 8: Select a method of verification. If you haven’t yet verified your company.
Google Verify Your Business
You can authenticate your GMB listing in a number of ways:
- on a postcard
- on the phone
- via e-mail
- Instantaneous confirmation
- Verification in bulk
Verification of Postcards
Step 1: If you haven’t already done so, sign in to Google My Business and select the business you’d like to verify. (You’ll be at the verification phase if you’re already logged in.)
Step 2: Double-check your company’s address. Optional: Include a contact name, as this is who the postcard will be sent to postcard-verification.png
Step 3: Select “Mail” from the drop-down menu. The postcard should arrive in five days if you don’t change your company name, address, or category.
Step 4: Log in to Google My Business once you’ve received the postcard. Pick a location to verify if there are multiple business decisions. Then click “Verify Now.”
Step 5: Type the 5-digit verification number (present on the postcard) into the Code area. “Submit” should be selected.
If your postcard never arrives or you misplace it, sign in to Google My Business and click the “Get another code” blue banner at the top of the screen to request a new code.
GMB URLs and short names
You may now add a short name to your profile. This will provide you with a more branded link to your GMB listing. This can be used to advertise your item and give customers a simple way to submit a review.
Go to the Info pane of your GMB dashboard to set your short name listing. The section where you can set it is just beneath the section where you can set your phone number.
How to Improve Your Google Rankings My Company’s Information
Businesses near your location are displayed in the search results. It’s like finding gold at the top of a Google search. But you’re aware of it, right?
If there isn’t a highlighted snippet, about 26% of all clicks go to the first result listed (excluding advertising). Otherwise, featured snippets receive 8.6% of clicks while the first organic result receives 19.6%.
Whether or not you were successful in verifying your business, you may still optimize your Google My Business listing. Establishing your listing is similar to laying the foundation and framing of a house; it must be done. It’s like making sure the roof isn’t leaking and the insulation is working properly. In order to represent yourself on Google, you’ll want to make sure you’re following the Google My Business rules.
The search engine results page (SERP) will be updated to include local results when someone searches for a service or product that Google believes can be delivered by a local business. Be content. Google is on the lookout for local businesses.
Optimizing Your Information Section
On the left-hand side of your dashboard, you’ll find an info option, which you should select. Fill your info pane with as much information as possible. It’s best if it’s as complete as possible!
Nailing Your GMB Description
It’s important to write a great description for your GMB listing. Make sure it reflects your local presence and the service you offer in your location. You can include some keywords in this description as well. You get 750 characters of space, so make sure to make a great first impression in the first sentences.
Did you know that in Q1 2020, Google allowed GMB listing owners to add videos and images to their posts? Yup! The limit is 10 videos or photos. Make sure to utilize this if you want your listings to stand out from the competition. Take customers behind the scenes, tell a story, or showcase your best sellers using multiple visuals on your GMB page.
Manage Your Posts
GMB users can also write posts and include various CTAs (like Buy, Sign up, and Reserve) on their listings. However, these posts expire in 7 days, so it’s crucial to make weekly updates.
What should I include in my information section?
- Hours of Operation for the Company.
- Number to call.
- URL of the website (if applicable).
- URL for the appointment (if applicable).
- You Provide Services.
- Description of the company.
- When did your company first open?
Reviews on Google My Business
One of the most effective strategies to encourage future customers to submit favorable reviews is to offer incentives. Respond to the current situation. Not only does sending an appreciative response remind the original reviewer that you appreciate their support, but it also highlights the positive review on your listing and encourages others to leave their own evaluations.
Here’s an example of a response to a happy customer:
“Thank you so much for your purchase, [name]! We’re thrilled you liked [product, for example, “the blueberry pie”]; it’s one of our faves, too. I look forward to seeing you at [company name] again soon.”
You should also respond to unfavorable reviews to show that you care about them and to pacify the dissatisfied customer. But be kind; criticizing them back will just make you look unprofessional, and their review will become more credible.
App for Google My Business
Both iOS and Android users can download the Google My Business app.
The app can be used to:
- Update your company hours, address, phone number, and description.
- Post status updates and photos.
- View the results of your search
The app cannot be used to:
- Remove your company’s listing.
- Modify the settings.
- Transfer ownership of the listing to someone else.
The process of creating a Google My Business profile is only the beginning of your local marketing journey. No matter how niche your business is, competition is fierce, so having local SEO tools on hand to assist you to understand your local search presence is critical.
That goes for both your website and your Google My Business page. In Google, the Local Pack made up of GMB listings is showcased above organic SERPs. So you’ll want a set of tools that can help you keep track of both.