The Ultimate Guide to Optimise Your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is a free local listing tool for business and organization to manage their online presence. It lets you manage how your business looks on Google Search and Maps. That includes your business name, address, phone, website URL, and hours.
Claiming and verifying your local business on Google My Business (GMB) listing should be the first step in your local SEO strategies.
Visibility of your business on Google My Business can increase your odds of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general.
You can also monitor and reply to customer reviews, add photos of your business and learn where and how people are searching for your business, and more.
So, here’s how Google My Business can benefit your business:
- The most valuable benefit you can gain from Google My Business is creating a mighty online presence. Apart from listing your business to grow your visibility chances on searches and drive huge organic traffic to your website, You can also use GMB to extract data-driven insights by integrating Google Adwords and Google Analytics.
- With Google My Business review feature you get huge opportunity to build a solid relationship with your customer.
- The user interface of the dashboard is an easy, user-friendly tool allows you to manage your business listing over several Google based platforms.
So, now you understood what Google My Business listing is and you can make huge benefits to your business and local SEO strategies.
In this article, you’re going to learn how to create and optimize your Google My Business listing step by step.
Google My Business Listing Optimization
If you haven’t claimed and verified your Google My Business Listing yet, that’s the first step to get started, visit https://www.google.com/business.
As a businessperson, you seemingly try to grow your business online presence, so having Google My Business page is crucial.
If it was not worth it for your business, you probably wouldn’t be here.
Checking For Duplicates
Before creating GMB page, be certain that no other business is using your contact information by doing a search on your business contact information. A simple Google search would be enough to find duplicates.
If you don’t find any variances than you’re good to go on creating your GMB page. But if you do find duplicates or someone has already created a page that you haven’t, hang in there. You need to go back in the sign-up process which will provide you an option to fix this issue. This will be covered in this guide.
Google My Business Account Creation
Here are the steps that need to be followed for account creation.
Step 1: Log into your Google account for which you want your business to be associated (or create a new one if don’t have already one).
Step 2: Go to https://business.google.com and select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner.
Step 3: Enter your business name.
Step 4: Enter your business address
Step 5: If you go to your customers’ locations, instead they come to you, check the box “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” And if you work from your home or another address which you don’t show publically, Check “Hide my address (it’s not a store).” Finally, select your Delivery area.
Step 6: Choose a relevant business category for your business. Try to choose the category which best describes your business modal –you’re essentially telling Google which type of buyers should see your business listing.
Step 7: Enter your business phone number or website.
Step 8: Pick a verification option. There are several ways to verify you GMB listing. Some of them are listed below.
- Through postcard
- By phone (available for selected business)
- Email (available for selected business)
- Instant Verification (available for selected business)
- Bulk Verification (Available for businesses with 10+ locations)
Note: You can also opt for ‘Later’ option if you’re not ready to verify your business yet.
Google My Business Guidelines
There are some guidelines that you need to watch out for before you choose to create your Google My Business page:
- Be sure that you are registering constant and correct business information.
- Make sure that your business listing has a physical location unless you’re not someone who provide door to door service.
In addition to this, there are certain eligibility factors which need to be fulfilled to create a page on Google my business.
If your regular business duties include communicating with your consumers in person during business hours, you are eligible.
Although Google does make an exception for ATMs, video-rentals and express mailboxes. If you are adding these exceptions, it is important for you to add your contact information in the GMB listing for your consumers to contact you.
And these are the factors which can make your businesses ineligible to have a Google My Business listing:
- Business locations which are under construction.
- Rental or for-sale assets.
- An open-ended service, session, or meeting at a location that you don’t own or have the authority to represent.
Types of business information you can add to your GMB page?
- Business name, address and phone number (NAP).
- Business Category (Choose most appropriate category which best describe your business model).
- Website URL.
- Working Hours of business.
Once you’re done with account creation and verification process, you can go through this Google My Business guidelines Checker to check your account for any inconsistencies you might face.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Provide all the information that Google asks
There is the number of questions Google wants you to fill out to create your Google My Business profile. When you’re done, your listing will have all the valuable details of your business which make easier for your potential buyers to find more information about your business.
And if you don’t complete your profile by 100%, someone else could. Most businesspeople don’t understand that anyone can suggest an edit to your business listing — and that involves your competitors.
When someone clicks on that option he or she can actually edit your GMB listing (and make some pretty tense changes, too):
And these user-generated changes can actually be made live on your listing without you being notified. That’s why it’s very vital to log in to your Google My Business dashboard on regular basis to make sure that no one has executed any undesired modifications to your listing.
Log in to Google My Business and switch back to the “Classic” dashboard.
After switching back to the classic dashboard, you may see Google updates notifications.
If you see updates, these are changes that Google made to your business listing. It is either a Google algorithm found new information about your business ( maybe from another directory/ citation sites or change they found on Google Map) or a Google uses suggested an edit that was published (Yes sometimes these suggestion made by users go live without you getting a notification).
Click on “Google Updates,” you’ll see “Review Updates” box. By the help of this box, you get an opportunity to exclude invalid information that may have been made either by some common user or by your competitors.
If you find any information which is incorrect and you’re having a problem in changing (like a false review), create a new post explaining the problem in details in Google My Business forum.
Add complete details in the info section
After the creating GMB page and getting access to your dashboard, make sure you complete your profile by adding complete detail about your business in the “Info ” section.
These are the information that will be visible in the search result and the website “section”. Once you’re in the info section fill the relevant information in the relevant fields.
You will also need to provide some additional details in addition to your business NAP, that includes operating days, payment methods, business timing, etc.
Google My Business Post
Google Posts are like “social media post” or “mini-ads” which show up in the Google search result in you GMB listing (in the Google Maps and Knowledge panel).
On your GMB dashboard, you get an option to create a 300-words post – just like your Facebook status. You also get an option to promote events or all different kinds of content with Google My business Post.
To get started with GMB Post – Follow this step
- Click on posts section on the left hand side.
- Click on Create your first post.
You can be creative with your Google My Business Posts by adding an image, a call-to-action (CTA), and even you can add a link to another page or website.
In total, you get an option to create 4 different type of post:
What’s New:- A simple post where can add image and 300- word description explaining what’s new happening in your business along with CTA.
Events:- Secondly you can create an event where you can add event details, image, description, title, start date, start time, End date, End time with CTA.
Offer:- Thirdly you can create a post related to offer which you’re offering by providing offer details.
Products:- Lastly you can create a post about your products.
Here are some pro-tips by a top patron for Google My Business -Joy Hawkins
- Add UTM parameters to the GMB posts don’t integrate it with Google Analytics naturally. Apart from the number of views and clicks which you get with the “insights” from your dashboard, you cannot track any other metrics.
- Aggregating keywords in GMB posts won’t boost the rankings.
- Square Images like 750×750 is the best image size to use. And Images smaller than 250×250 won’t be accepted. In additions, other multimedia like GIFs and video can’t be used.
- The first 100 words of your posts are very crucial as it appears in the Knowledge Panel.
- The most recent post will be the first to show on the carousel followed by the previous ones.
- Google doesn’t index these posts.
- Google allow the post to remains live for 7 days.
Making Use of Booking button feature
Google’s Booking button feature can really boost your business and make your business stand out from the crowd. If you’re someone who has a business which relies on customer appointments and you’re using scheduling software, people can now book an appointment directly from your Google My Business listing. People don’t have to leave the Google to make an appointment with you – This can help your business to get a new customer.
If you’re associated with one of Google’s supported scheduling providers, the booking button is automatically added to your GMB listing. Make use of this Google My business feature to drive new customers.
Google My Business Photos & Videos
According to Google, business with photos in their online pages gets 35% more clicks to their website than a business with no photos. It also get 42% higher calls for driving directions in Google Maps.
Most Business fails to identify the importance of adding photos to their GMB listings. These photos will be appearing alongside the map after your business get clicked on the search result page.
Google My Business allows you to add different kinds of photos to intensify your business listings.
Not sure how many photos to add — or what they should be of?
Here are some of the photos you must upload:
Make sure that your Page Photo leaves a good impression to your customers. Check your competition to make your Page Photo stand out. Photos should have a resolution of 250×250.
Your GMB cover photo is one of the most important, as it appears on the front on your listing. Your cover photos will also be showcased on your Google+ business page. The best resolution is 1080×608 for Google My Business Cover Photo.
Make sure your logo is of 250×250 resolution when you upload your logo image.
Apart from your profile, logo and cover photos, you should upload other photos to make your listing more engaging.
Here are the list of photos which you can upload to make your business more informative.
- You can upload a Preferred Photo that will be appearing alongside your business name on Google search and Maps.
- Exterior Photos can help your customers find your store. Think of it as an extension of your address. When you upload the photos, make sure that you cover every direction of your street.
- When you upload Interior Photos of your store or business keep in mind that these photos resemble what a customer feel inside your store.
- Likewise, don’t forget to add Product Photos and Team Photos to your page as well.
Google My Business Videos
You can also add videos to your GMB listing. A video must be
- 30 seconds long or short
- 100 MB of size or smaller
- 720p resolution or higher
You can also make use of Messaging feature offered by Google My Business to connect directly with your customer. It is a great way to connect with the people who are interested in what you offer.
To Make use of this feature, log in to your GMB dashboard and click on “Messaging”:
You can then set up the business welcome message to give your customers a great experience.
If you don’t want your personal phone number to be used, you can download Google’s Allo app. When you create Allo account, use the same phone number connected to your Google My Business Account. Now when you get a text message, the message will be sent to Allo app.
Google now allows business owners to add 750 characters business description on their Google My Business listing. But only 250 characters appear in the knowledge panel. So be careful while creating your business description and try to put the most important information and keywords -including your city-towards front of the description.
Note: Make sure you follow Google guidelines while creating your business description because Google really does review your business description to avoid spamming.
You can get analytics in Google My Business insight option. You can monitor the number of clicks and search query that drive traffic to your business. You can also find out the number of customers ended up on your page on SERPs through Direct and Discovery.
You can customize the date range to get insight from a specific period and also to focus on certain area to find specific information.
Managing Online Reviews
Unlike other business directories, Google encourages business owners to ask their customers or clients for online reviews. Reviews are important for business. According to study 84% of customer trust online reviews over personal recommendations.
Now you can understand why online reputation needs to be good and what it can do for your business. Online Reviews help customer in making buying decision. With Google My business you can manage your reviews with ease.
- Make Use of review handout generator
- Use review widgets
- Just ask based on research, eight out of ten customer will leave you a review if you ask them
Answering to reviews is very crucial. Make sure that you respond to all kinds of reviews, be it either negative or positive.
What if someone has already verified your GMB page?
You might have faced this issue when your GMB page is verified by someone else. Don’t worry it is fixable. There are 3 ways to do it:
- Be sure the email in your page and the email by which your listing was verified be the same.
- Contact the owner of the page and request for the access.
- Third, Request access from Google.
The first two methods are very simple, and you can do it yourself. Here are the steps you need to perform for requesting Google to claim your business listing.
- When you login into your account, locate your business on the map in the search bar.
- Once you’re done with locating your business, Google will prompt you to ask for admin access.
- Now, you will get verification question from Google that you need to answer about your business.
- After successfully answering to the question, Google will contact the owner and request him/her to get in touch with you.
You will receive management level access to your listing once your request is verified. If not, your request still may be under Google verification process.
In case you feel your issue is not being attended, you make use of micro-blogging site twitter to tweeting your issue to Google My Business at @GoogleMyBiz. Read about it here.
Google My Business Agency Dashboard
The new dashboard which was announced a month ago is now live and available for use.
The Agency Dashboard allow local marketing agencies and local SEOs to manage multiple listings in a more productive and efficient manner.
If you’re marketing agency you can register here to gain access to the new dashboard.
Here are the top features that are available within the new Agency Dashboard:
- Google My Business new dashboard can sync with Adwords.
- There is no longer a limitation of 100 location per account. Now you can manage all your location under one account in this dashboard.
- You can send and receive invitations to manage listings and also see the status of those invitations.
- Location Groups previously known as a business account, you’re required to add all your businesses into a Location Group to help with location management. Customer can invite an agency’s Location Group or Agencies can request access to a customer’s Location Group to co-manage their listing.
- You can perform quick search for location within your entire account or within a particular Location Group.
Here’s everything you need to create a page on Google My Business which drive more conversion to your business.It is very important for business to have good online presence. By creating a page, you’re making easier for your customers find you through both direct and organic searches.
So, What do you think about optimizing your Google My Business Page?
Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.