Google My Business Listing Optimization Made Easy
Google My Business or GMB is Google’s free tool that makes it easier for business owners to manage their online presence in the search engine itself and the rest of its utilities. SEO agencies in Thailand and around the globe use listings in GMB to improve their location-based strategy.
There is a good enough reason why the first step to become successful in local search is to create a GMB listing. GMB packs the biggest and most significant impact for any brand that seeks local exposure.
The question now is, how do you optimize your GMB listing, then? Below are a few basic but critical tips to optimize your listing in Google My Business.
Make Sure Your Listing Contains Complete Data
Local search results always favor results most relevant for searches. A business that offers the most accurate and detailed information is easier to serve in search. Ensure that you don’t leave out anything to be assumed or guessed.
The listing must communicate what your business is all about, its location, and how they can get the services or goods that your business offers.
Use and Include Keywords
Similar to traditional SEO for websites, Google also uses various signals for serving search results.
It can be very helpful to include important search phrases and keywords to your business listing, specifically if it directly indicates your business website.
Keywords should be used in business description and when posting Local Posts to the audience.
Ensure the Accuracy of Your Business Operating Hours
While it is a must that your business hours are included, it is equally important that you update these every time they change. Google lets you customize business hours for holidays as well as other special events.
You always need to update this so that your site is accurate and your users are happy. You need to set your regular hours before additional hours can show up.
Photos can help the performance of your business listings more than what you might expect. A business with listings that include photos tend to get more requests on Google Maps for driving directions and more click-throughs to their sites compared to businesses with no photos at all.
Manage and Reply to Customer Reviews
When you interact with customers through replying to their reviews shows that your business really values your customers and any feedback they leave about it.
More positive reviews will create positive effects on prospect customers as they look into your business. These can also boost the visibility of your business in search results. Create a link that your customers can click to write their feedbacks for your business to further encourage them to do so.
Allow Customers to Send You a Message
You might sometimes find it inconvenient but messages from and to customers are allowed only through Google My Business app.
Go to the app, tap on Customers, Messages, and Turn On. Once enabled, your customers can send you messages through your Business Profile using the Message button that pops up.
You can use customized automated responses for these messages to welcome your customers for their incoming messages.
It helps with your business’s visibility and responsiveness since your response times won’t be negatively affected.
For better visibility and performance through your GMB listing, it is imperative that the message response time is less than 24 hours. However, it is better if you can respond faster. Customers never like waiting for answers and most of the time, how fast you answer can make or break your business.
Use Local Posts
Posts on GMB let you publish products, services, offers, and events directly to Google Maps and Search. Posts allow you to reach out to your audience and maintain a fresh presence on Google. You can even send these even if you are on the go using your laptop, tablet, or phone.
Your business can also influence your Knowledge Panel breakouts with the direct feedback regarding your business and the people representing it.
A tip from Google on how to take advantage of Local Posts is to be sure that you only go for high quality posts that don’t contain useless or gibberish information, broken characters, and spelling errors. These should be non-offensive and respectful as well.
The best posts contain links and visuals, with links being directed only to trusted sites. It is not allowed to use links that direct to pornographic material, phishing, viruses, or malware.
Businesses operating on regulated services and goods can use posts but are not allowed to post product-related content. These industries usually include:
- Adult services
- Tobacco and alcohol
- Medical and health devices
- Recreational drugs and pharmaceutical products
- Services related to gambling
- Financial services
Such posts will and can show up in Google so it is important that these remain PG.
Remain Connected During the Pandemic
As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still felt in different parts of the world, it is important for businesses to update their business profiles on GMB to give their customers the most accurate information. This is especially if the stores have different operations because of safety guidelines, mandates, and restrictions.
The latest features make it easier to communicate with potential and current customers during the pandemic.
Aside from customizable Local Posts and business hours, businesses can also:
- Manage delivery options
- Mark shop temporarily closed
- Add safety and healthy attributes
Take Advantage of Special Attributes
The newer GMB features allow highlighting women-led and black-owned businesses on the profile. Other features are also allowed such as outdoor seating and other similar ones.
For healthcare-related businesses, additional attributes can include:
- Editing gender information
- Providing customers a direct method to receive and schedule online care
- Informing customers if the business provides online care
Use the Product Catalog
The Product Editor feature of GMB allows merchants to showcase their products. Most types of business are allowed to do this provided that they are medium and small-sized businesses and some business verticals.
Larger businesses must showcase products with Local Inventory Ads.
Providing product information such as pricing, photos, and details gives customers better idea of offered products and lets them engage more with businesses. The product details also let Google get a better understanding of the business.
Go ahead and optimize your Google My Business listing with these tips!