One of the most effective ways to enhance your online visibility and connect with potential customers is by utilising Google My Business (GMB). Google My Business is a powerful tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.
Google My Business is a free tool that helps businesses create a listing on Google Search and Maps, which can help them improve their online visibility and attract more customers.
Here are some other ways that Google My Business can help businesses:
Just for the record, Google My Business has undergone a major upgrade, and it’s now called Google Business Profile but I will still refer to it as GMB. Who knows what they will call it next year!
1.1 What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool provided by Google that allows businesses to manage their online presence and appearance on Google Search and Maps. It provides a dashboard where businesses can control their business information, interact with customers through reviews and Q&A, showcase images and videos, and share posts and updates.
1.2 Why is GMB Optimisation Important?
Optimising your Google My Business listing is crucial for several reasons:
2.1 Claiming Your Listing
Before you begin optimising, ensure you have claimed ownership of your GMB listing. Claiming your listing provides you with full control over the information displayed and allows you to make edits and updates. But please be aware this process may take some days or even a week or two.
To claim your listing:
2.2 Providing Accurate Business Information
Accuracy is paramount when it comes to your business information. Ensure that your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all platforms, including your website, social media, and other directories. Google’s guidelines can be found on their website.
Include the following information in your GMB listing:
2.3 Selecting the Right Business Categories
Selecting appropriate business categories helps Google understand what your business offers, improving the relevance of your listing in search results. Choose primary and secondary categories that accurately reflect your products or services.
Google also allows businesses to add additional categories, such as “services offered” and “products sold.”
To choose categories:
3.1 Your business description provides a brief overview of what your business does. Write a clear and engaging description that highlights your unique value proposition, key offerings, and any special features.
Here are some other tips for writing a compelling business description:
Tips for writing a compelling description:
3.2 Utilising Attributes to Highlight Features
Attributes are specific details about your business that can help customers make informed decisions. These include options like “wheelchair accessible,” “free Wi-Fi,” “outdoor seating,” and more. Adding relevant attributes can attract customers looking for specific amenities.
To add attributes:
Here are some of the most popular attributes that businesses can add to their Google My Business listings:
4.1 Visual content plays a significant role in enticing customers to engage with your business. High-quality photos can showcase your products, services, ambience, and team, providing potential customers with a glimpse of what to expect. Photos should always be clear, well-lit, and representative of your business.
Add photos of:
– Exterior and interior of your business.
Products or services you offer.
Ensure that your photos are well-lit, clear, and accurately represent your business.
4.2 Showcasing Your Business Through Videos
Videos are another powerful way to engage with your audience. You can create short videos that introduce your business, showcase behind-the-scenes footage, or explain your products or services in more detail. Videos should always be short and engaging.
Consider creating videos that:
5.1 Collecting and Responding to Reviews
Customer reviews can significantly influence potential customers’ decisions. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your GMB listing. You can do this through in-store signage, social media posts, and follow-up emails.
Tips for encouraging reviews:
5.2 Responding to Reviews Effectively
Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction. Addressing negative feedback professionally and promptly can help turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal one. Responding to positive reviews shows appreciation for your customers’ support. Always apologise for negative experiences and offer to make things right.
Here are some tips about encouraging customer reviews and offering incentives for customers to leave reviews:
Here are some specific incentives that you can offer to customers for leaving reviews:
It’s important to note that you should not offer incentives that are too expensive or that could be seen as bribery. The goal is to encourage customers to leave honest and genuine reviews, not to buy their reviews.
Tips for responding to reviews:
6.1 Utilising Google Posts
Google Posts allows you to share timely updates, promotions, events, and news directly on your GMB listing. These posts appear prominently in search results and can capture users’ attention. Posts should always be relevant to your business and target audience.
Tips for creating engaging posts:
6.2 Showcasing Promotions and Updates
Google Posts are a great way to showcase your latest promotions, sales, or events. You can include a call to action (CTA) button in your posts, directing users to take a specific action, such as “Learn More,” “Sign Up,” or “Buy Now.”
7.1 Addressing Customer Questions
The Q&A section of your GMB listing allows users to ask questions about your business, which you or other customers can answer. Monitor your Google My Business in this section regularly and provide accurate and helpful responses to user queries. It’s extremely important to always respond to user questions promptly and accurately.
Tips for managing Q&A:
7.2 Providing Accurate and Helpful Responses
When responding to user questions, focus on providing clear and accurate information. Address any concerns or misunderstandings, and strive to create a positive impression of your business.
Insights and Analytics
8.1 Google My Business optimization provides valuable insights into how users interact with your listing. Insights include data on customer actions, search queries, and how often your listing appears in search results. Insights can also help you track the performance of your listing and make improvements.
Key insights to monitor:
8.2 Using Data to Improve Performance
Use insights to make data-driven decisions. For example, if you notice that a significant portion of users are searching for a specific product or service, you can consider highlighting it in your posts or descriptions. Regularly reviewing insights allows you to adapt your strategy based on user behaviour.
9.1 Building Local Citations
Local citations are online mentions of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) on various platforms. Consistent citations across reputable directories can boost your local SEO efforts. It’s extremely important to always get citations from high-quality directories.
Tips for building citations:
9.2 Earning Quality Backlinks
Backlinks, or links from other websites to your own, are an important ranking factor in SEO. Earning high-quality backlinks from authoritative local websites can improve your GMB listing’s visibility.
Tips for earning backlinks:
10.1 Ensuring Consistency Across Platforms
Maintaining consistent business information (NAP) across all online platforms is vital. Inconsistencies can confuse both users and search engines, potentially impacting your local search rankings.
Tips for ensuring consistency:
10.2 Managing Multiple Locations
If you have multiple business locations, create individual GMB listings for each location. This allows you to tailor information and updates to each location’s audience.
Tips for managing multiple locations:
11.1 Mobile Friendliness and Accessibility
A significant portion of users access GMB listings from mobile devices. Ensure that your GMB profile and website are mobile-friendly to provide a seamless experience.
Accessibility is crucial to ensure that everyone, including individuals with disabilities, can access your business information. Provide alternative text for images and ensure your website is compliant with accessibility standards.
If your business offers services that require appointments or reservations, integrate booking options into your GMB listing. This makes it convenient for users to schedule appointments directly from your listing.
12.2 Menu and Product Listings
For businesses in the hospitality or retail industry, showcasing your menu or product offerings directly on your GMB listing can be beneficial.
To optimise your Google My Business listing you need a multifaceted process that involves careful attention to detail, consistent management, and a customer-focused approach. By implementing the strategies outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can enhance your online visibility, attract more customers, and create a positive and lasting impression of your business.
Remember that GMB optimisation is an ongoing effort; regularly monitor insights, respond to reviews, and adapt your strategy based on user behaviour and industry trends. With a well-optimised GMB listing, you’re poised to stand out in local search results and drive meaningful engagement with your target audience.
How do I optimize my Google Business Profile 2023?
To optimise your Google Business Profile in 2023, ensure accurate business information, provide engaging descriptions and visuals, encourage and respond to customer reviews, use Google Posts to share updates, monitor insights, and maintain consistency across platforms.
How do I get my Google listing on top?
To get your Google listing on top, focus on optimising your Google My Business profile, obtaining positive reviews, building local citations and high-quality backlinks, and providing relevant and valuable content.
How Google My Business can boost your business growth?
Google My Business can boost your business growth by increasing online visibility, attracting local customers, and fostering engagement through reviews, posts, and accurate information.
If you need help then Webprecision will help you optimise your website and your GMB profile. Just contact us.
About the author
Steve Baron is the Founder & CEO of Webprecision. He founded Baron Marketing Ltd, an advertising company he ran for over 20 years, as well as several online startups.
He is a past mentor for Business Mentors NZ and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Waikato, Majoring in Economics & Political Science. He also holds an Honours Degree in Political Science from the Victoria University of Wellington.
He is a published author of three books and a prominent guest editorialist for newspapers throughout New Zealand. In his spare time, Steve is the Clerk of the Scales for New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, is a Bridge Grandmaster and enjoys walking, running and cafes.