Do you own a local business? Like a store, a barbershop or a maybe an office? Because if you do, you should get a Google My Business Page.
People search online for all sorts of stuff. From general queries to directions to the nearby amusement park, they use the search engines for many tasks. One of those tasks is to find local businesses.
Thanks to the entry of voice search and assistants (Siri, Cortana, etc.) the number of these queries has also increased.
The internet is a great place to attract customers. And a GMB page will help you in the same.
Why Setup a GMB Page?
Everything should have a purpose. And if it doesn’t benefit your business, then why would you do it?
However, creating a Google My Business Page is an extremely beneficial thing. Following are some advantages:
• It is essential for local SEO
With a GMB page of your business, you can get to the front page of search queries. It is an essential factor of local SEO.
Having a strong presence on the first page will surely boost your traffic and increase your brand awareness.
• It improves your visibility on Google
Your GMB page will make you visible on Google Maps as well, apart from basic searches. For example, if you have a retail store, then you will appear in the local searches for retail stores.
• It enhances your accessibility
It will become easier for people to reach you and get in touch with you. They can give you a call, find your business website and get recent updates from you easily when you have a GMB page.
These were only a few benefits. To avail them, you will need to improve your GMB page.
This article throws light on how you can optimize your GMB page for the most impact:
How to Setup your GMB Listing?
If you don’t have a GMB page already, you should start here.
A GMB page is completely free. It doesn’t require any kind of payment. All you are doing is providing Google with information about your business.
This helps them in serving their audience better. It helps you by making you easier to find.
Here are the steps:
#1 Search for your business
You’ll first need to search for your business online. If your business is active, then it is possible that somebody posted information about your business already.
Don’t worry if someone has already provided some information about your business. You can verify the information by going to the Google My Business page.
You can claim your business on that page. If a person has already claimed your business, you can resolve that issue as well.
#2 Go to Google My Business
Now, that you know if your business is listed or not, you can start setting up your GMB page. Doing so is easy because you only have to provide the information they ask for.
#3 Sign Up
Once you visit the page, you only have to start providing the information they ask for. You’ll have to keep checking your page in case some adds further information about your business.
How to Optimize your GMB Listing?
Don’t stop after setting up the page.
Instead, focus on optimizing your GMB page to increase its reach. The more people find your business the higher will be your customers. The following are the ways you can optimize your GMB page:
Enter Accurate Info:
Google will ask you many questions when you are setting up your GMB page. It is your responsibility to provide the right information.
Enter the right name, address and phone number (NAP) along with the proper category and attributes of your business. If you provide wrong NAP information then you can get penalized by Google.
They will ask you to verify your business address and it is highly recommended that you do it by mail. This way they know it is your address and it actually exists. Using this tactic, they get to remove fake pages present on the web.
Verification is essential because, without it, Google doesn’t display the business online. So entering any information is useless if you aren’t going to verify it.
All the information you will provide to Google will eventually help your business. Here are some other pieces of information you will need to add:
• Provide Photos
You should add pictures of your business to your Google My Business Page. Those businesses which have photos get 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps. They also get more click-throughs.
You should provide a logo, a cover photo which highlights your brand along with additional photos showing the kind of business you do. All of these photos are essential as they clarify the situation and make it easier for new users to understand who you are and what your business does.
• Enter your Opening Hours
Enter accurate opening hours of your business in your listing. Chances are, people will visit your store after seeing the online listing.
You don’t want them to reach your office when it’s closed just because you added an hour extra in your listing.
• Don’t add the Keywords
Keep your business name intact. You don’t need to add keywords in the name of the business. Experts also suggest avoiding this practice. This indicates the search engine that you’re a spammer, and spammers get punished.
However, you can add a few keywords in the description of your business. Remember not to add any keywords in your business name.
This is a great advantage of having a GMB listing. You can get reviews on your business from people, which increases the credibility of your business.
The more reviews you have, the more credible your business looks.
People trust businesses with reviews because everyone loves a second opinion. In fact, 90% of people prefer to read a review before making a purchase.
Getting reviews isn’t difficult. That’s because you can ask your customers for reviews.
How to ask your customers for reviews?
First, follow these steps:
• Go on Google Maps
• Click on the Icon of your Business
• In the menu, select ‘Share’
• You will get a link, copy it
Now that you have the link to your business, send it to your existing customers, asking them for reviews. You can use the email list or the available contact information.
Don’t be afraid of receiving negative reviews. Be sure to respond to every review whether it’s bad, neutral or good.
It will make your business look credible and easily accessible as you’ll be showing that you value your customers’ time.
You can display your amazing customer servicing by reaching out to negative and neutral reviews. Ask for areas of improvement and you’ll surely get more engagement.
Connect with Prospects:
Google provides you with many facilities through which you can connect with your prospects.
Connecting with prospects and customers increases your brand’s awareness. Customer service is a vital factor for any business’s success and these features let you do the same.
How to connect with customers?
Use the following features:
• Google Posts
This is the broader term for the kind of things you can do with a Google My Business page. You can inform your clients of any latest openings and post photos about your recent updates.
Your post can be of maximum 300 words. You can also include images in the post. It is a great way to promote your business effectively.
People don’t like calling companies. That’s why you should send them messages. Your GMB page will help you in this regard as you can get connected through messages.
According to a study, almost every business lead prefers text messages over phone calls. So it is an effective tool to get in touch with your leads.
Google tracks the time you take to respond to user messages so keep that in mind. Your response time is displayed in your GMB listing as well.
Under the ‘Overview’ section, you can add a video (around 30-seconds in length) for your business too. Videos are great when you’re using GMB for lead generation.
Make sure the video is of 720p or higher resolution. You can add multiple videos about your business highlighting events or services.
This way, people can find out valuable information about your organization easily.
• Appointment Booking
Law-firms, dental clinics, and many other business require their customers to book an appointment before visiting.
You can give a link for booking an appointment with your business in your GMB page as well. There’s a dedicated URL section in every GMB page, where you can add the link to your personal site.
• Answering Questions
As people become aware of your business, they will inquire about you. Answering their questions is a great way to increase customer engagement and boost your credibility.
Google lets you do this task through Google Maps. Currently, this feature is limited to the Android OS.
Use Insights to Track your Progress:
You can not only connect with prospects but also increase your knowledge about them.
The insights tell you how people find your business (direct searches or discovery searches) and where are they finding your listing (Google Maps or Google Search).
It also informs you where most of your customers live and how many times have they called you. The actions your customers take on your listing (messaging you, seeing your photos, or watching your videos, etc.) are also available in insights.
You can check the views of your business’s photos and compare the number with the photos of your competitors’. Such insight is greatly helpful in developing your content strategy and understanding where you stand in respect to your competition.
Google is the biggest search engine currently and having a Google My Business page will definitely help your business. A strong online presence is critical for the success of any business right now and a GMB listing will help you in establishing the same. Have you optimized your GMB page? What benefits have you availed from it? Let us know.