Your Google Map Listing Is Free! How To Fully Optimize Google My Business
In the digital world today, it’s very important to understand why optimizing your online presence is key to your business’s success online. You can optimize your website and Google Ads, but have you thought about your Google business listing? This powerful listing is a dynamic snapshot of your business that highlights your best features and enables potential customers to quickly find, learn about, and engage with you. The best part – it’s completely free!
Create a Google My Business Account
A Google My Business Profile is separate from a Google My Business Account. Head to https://www.google.com/business/
and sign in with the regular Google/Gmail account you use for your business (as opposed to your personal Gmail, if you have one). Then connect your Google My Business profile to your account.
Now you are ready to start optimizing! But How Do You Get the Most Out of Your Listing?
One thing to remember is the more information you can provide the better when it comes to your listing. The more information equals more results not only from local searches but also in the number of actions customers take while viewing your profile on Google.
- Phone Number
- Hours of Operation
Section 2: Now that the basic information is added, it’s time to add more advanced features. These will help your business get found in search engines.
Add Categories and attributes
By adding your business category it allows for customers to find you on discovery searches when searching for a product, service, or categorical term. After you add a basic category you can add category specific features as well to help make your profile more optimized and maximize your attractiveness and results. You can add secondary categories as well if your business falls into multiple categories.
You can also set attributes for your business. These are special features that potential customers seek out. This includes things like “dine in” “take out”, “delivery”, “free wifi”, “women owned”, etc. By setting up, it allows for people to find your listing easier and to reach more potential customers.
Add Products and Services:
By adding these it is helpful for potential customers trying to find these products and services as well as can help your rank for even more relevant searches. When adding these products and services include the name, description, and price so it is easy to find! Customers live for micro moments and want information all in one place instead of having to search for it. That is why these are so important.
Photos are a great way to maximize your Google My Business for it allows for potential customers to engage more with your business. According to Google, customers are 42% more likely to request driving directions to a business if its Business Profile has photos, and 35% more likely to click through to its website. There are several types of photos you can add to your Business Profile:
Your logo: Help your customers recognize your business on Google.
A cover photo: Set a cover photo at the top of your profile that best represents your business.
Business photos: Add different photos to highlight features of your business to attract and inform customers.
Photos should be at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall, and either a JPG or PNG. Another note to keep in mind, Google wants to represent your business as it appears in the real world so upload actual photos not stock photos with no special effects or branding to maximize your use of images on your listing.
Add a “from the business” description
Google automatically populates a written description which is not in your control, BUT you can add a “from the business” description. This 750 character description helps showcase your business’s services and information from your “about us” page on your site or your mission statement. This can help you add keywords for your audience and helps you get found on searches!
Add Holiday and Special Hours:
Adding holiday and special hours to your listing can help customers interact with your business in a more positive way. You don’t want unhappy customers who take a trip to your business just to find out it is closed! It can lead to bad customer service and reviews.
Post on Your Google My Business
By posting to your business listing, you can create leads and engagement just like on social media! People love visuals and by using those to draw attention to services, announcements, specials etc can help draw more engagement!
Customer reviews are extremely important to your business and its reputation online. Did you know that 85% of consumers will take a product-related action (reading reviews, comparing prices, making a purchase) within 24 hours of discovering a product that meets their needs. Google knows that reviews are the #1 influence on consumer buying, so this is a key ranking factor in their algorithm. When Google assesses a website, one of the goals is to measure the expertise, authority, and trust of a business. And Google reviews play a key role in achieving these goals.
Google trusts what other people say about you much more than what you say about yourself. And so do your customers! Most people look at reviews from others to determine whether they use the product or service. And when customers leave positive reviews that are detailed and describe your products, services, features that you sometimes can’t express just from yourself as a business that is where reviews can play a major role. It is proven – good customer ratings drive more traffic.
But what about bad reviews? By not responding to these reviews can leave a bad taste in customers’ mouths when they start to read negative reviews. It’s like a red flag being thrown up saying “don’t trust this business or product!!” But by managing your reviews and handling the situation quickly and appropriately, it can help show that you are a trustworthy business who serves your customers, even when a bad experience happens. Another thing you should be weary of is fake reviews, if Google spots fake reviews your business could be penalized. Google wants the most accurate representation of your business as possible.
So, if reviews are utilized to their fullest extent, your ranking and your local SEO will thank you later!
By setting up messaging on your Google My Business, this allows customers to send a text message directly to you from your business listing. This number is created via Google’s Allo app, so you don’t have to worry about using your personal number. But just be sure to enable notifications from Google My Business messaging! With 82% of smartphone shoppers using their device for local search, this allows for customers to interact with your business and allow for quick response times
Menus and Online Ordering:
For restaurants especially, during the pandemic, Google My Business was a great way for customers to get information they wanted all in one place by adding menus and direct ordering to their business listings! Customers want all the information in one place instead of having to go to your site and look up the menu, you can either add your menu to your listing or add a direct link to your menu that will populate for customers to interact with. Another way you can utilize this is by adding online ordering directly from your listing or a direction of where they can order food like doordash, Grubhub etc. You can also add reservations to your listing so people can reserve tables directly as well. Having everything in one place can help your customers not only find what they want easier but also help increase your restaurant’s traffic online.
Set Lead Generation Goals on Google Analytics:
To track the number of leads Google My Business brings in, you need to set goals in Google Analytics that are triggered when someone takes a particular action on your website. This could be someone either signing up for an email newsletter, submitting a form, calling you, etc. This can help you track where your traffic is coming from and can help you target and retarget potential customers and make smarter decisions in your marketing strategies.
Be Google Guaranteed:
The next step you can take is becoming Google Guaranteed. This is a verification service that supports local businesses and prevents fraudulent services. But you do have to meet and pass some requirements and qualifications first!
The first step of becoming Google Guaranteed is to register for Google Local Service Ads. This will display basic information including your business name, address, reviews, contact information, and hours of operation.
Then once you are registered with Google Local Services Ads, you must pass the screening process to be featured as Google Guaranteed. This process includes background checks, verification of general liability insurance, and business or owner licenses.
But keep in mind, it is very important that you make sure you are up to date and maintain your status to prevent your badge from being revoked. This includes: maintaining proper license and insurance, responding to negative reviews and asking for positive reviews, regularly updating your Google My Business, and checking for regular updates from Google themselves.
When you become Google Guaranteed, people are more likely to trust your business online in searches!
But you can’t just leave this information once you set it up! Just like website SEO you must constantly update your information and actively engage with your customers. It’s a lot of work!
Do you need help to maximize your Google My Business profile to its fullest potential? Then our experienced staff at AD-IOS Digital Marketing can help! Visit our website or give us a call to learn more https://ad-ios.com/