20% of your local optimisation efforts will give you 80% of your results.
The answer to this question is Google My Business.
Google My Business (GMB): A free listing of your business’ operating information, reviews, posts, images and much more.
Most of the people you’d come across; consider GMB as just another place to display information about the business.
However, that’s not true!
If you haven’t used Google My Business to its core, you are leaving money on the table.
If used correctly, Google My Business is such a powerful tool that can bring you more and more business!
How? Here it is.
1) Ensure The Information Is Complete, Verifiable And Consistent
Don’t let your audience guess or assume about you. Make sure your listing details communicate enough facts. Try to provide as much information as GMB asks for.
If you’ve just entered NAP (Name, Address, Phone) on your listing and waiting for wonders to happen, then let me tell you, this is a complete waste of your time.
Ensure the information you’ve entered on the listing is EXACTLY THE SAME as on your website.
Inconsistencies in the information will deteriorate your search ranking.
2) Verify Your Listing (If You Haven’t Done It Yet)
This is the key to unlock all the GMB features.
To verify your listing, you’ll be required to submit a code that is sent to your business address.
If you’re expecting some business through GMB, it is highly essential to verify your business. With so many fake business registrations every day, a user would not prefer to purchase an unverified listing.
After verification, you’ll need to keep an eye on the inbox associated with your Google My Business Listing, for any emails from Google. Google may not verify any listing if it determines that the account is inactive for a significant duration of time.
3) Google My Business Descriptions ARE BACK!
Google My Business had descriptions back in 2015-2016. They were suddenly gone, and since then businesses had no descriptions; which left the users assuming your products and services.
Well, the good news is Business Descriptions are back!
With Google My Business descriptions, you have the chance to describe your business to your audience and explain what makes you different from your competitors.
Google My Business Descriptions come with a character limit of 750. So, you can get your message conveyed to the people and simultaneously optimise the listing by using relevant keywords.
4) Get More And More Reviews (And Respond To Them)
As described by Neil Patel in one of his articles,
‘Good reviews = sales.
More quality reviews lead to more sales.’- This is how the equation is.
90% of people read reviews before purchasing because everybody likes the second opinion.
Ask your customers to review your business. But just gathering reviews won’t help. You need to acknowledge them.
All of them!
The positive ones, the negatives, the neutrals.
5) Update Your Business Hours And Payment Options
Make sure your business operating hours are accurate. Update your working hours for any special events. Make sure that you don’t lose any customer because of incorrectly listed business hours.
Also, update your listing for any changes in the payment options.
6) Choose Best Google My Business Category For Your Business
Be specific while picking a category for your business. Consider your targeted keywords.
Be careful though. Don’t stuff your listing with keywords.
Remember to be specific. Don’t put “Dermatology” if you run a “Beauty Parlor.”
7) Pictures, Pictures, And More Pictures
Pictures speak volume!
According to Google, businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website and 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps.
Adding photos of your business is a great way to let your customers get a “behind-the-scenes” look at what your company is all about… Moreover, it can go a long way in promoting your business.
People don’t want to see stock images but the real face of your business – who you are, what you do and where you’re located.
The most important image in your GMB listing that gets the most exposure and has the most impact is your ‘Profile Picture’.
However, the cover image is also of paramount importance, as it shows up front and centre on your listing. You can also add other pictures based on the business you operate in; this might include pictures of interior and exterior of the business, goods and services your business, your staff or employees or any other picture that can summarise or describe your business.
8) Google My Business Videos
You can also add videos that have crisp content and should not continue for time after time after time….
Key recommendations for videos are
30 seconds or shorter
100 MB or smaller
720p resolution or higher
Unlike images, videos are not a ‘must have’. However, adding one makes you stand out among other businesses.
Creating a video will not demand you to use any extra equipment or any video editing software. Just pick up your smartphone; take, save and share the video. This video must be taken at your location. Any commercials or advertising videos will be removed.
9) Add Posts To Share Business Updates
Google launched its ‘POST’ feature on all businesses in 2017. With this feature, you can post updates and offers to your listing. You can advertise the latest offers, share updates about new products/services or any special event for free.
Google Posts allows you to add text, photos, gifs, and even call-to-action buttons like ‘Buy’, ‘Sign Up’, ‘Learn More’, ‘Get Offer, ‘Reserve’, etc.
You can create posts only after you’ve verified your Google My Business Account.
However, Google My Business Posts disappear after seven days unless you set a shorter time frame. So, be time specific while crafting the post.
Google My Business presents your business information to potential prospects. It gives you an opportunity to interact with your customers.
Not optimising your Google My Business listing is like not opening the door to a customer knocking at your door.
It’s an opportunity!
Local SEO takes time but can give you a big payoff. On the top of everything, it’s FREE!
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