Google My Business (GMB) is a free business listing through Google. This Google listing will help your business show on Google Maps alongside showing a nice big, eye-catching knowledge graph box to the right of the search results:
Whether you want to improve your local SEO power or you want the search result pages to look amaze-balls when a potential customer Google’s you, it’s essential you sign up for a Google listing AND you keep it maintained.
Here are 6 actionable and easy GMB tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your free listing:
1. Get on the map!
First things first, you need to create a Google My Business listing to be found. It’s a pretty straightforward process of filling in your business details and then waiting (1-2 weeks) for a physical postcard from Google to arrive in the mail with a pin code on it.
Once you have the pin code, you then will need to input this into your GMB dashboard so that your listing is verified.
Google must send a physical postcard out to ensure you have an address that is manned and can receive a post to. It is against Google GMB guidelines to list a PO Box or virtual office.
However, saying that, you can still list and verify online businesses who don’t want to display their physical address. Some business owners (like myself, who works from home) may not want to show their physical address because customers don’t need to actually visit their location.
Within the GMB dashboard, you can choose to hide your address from the listing.
2. Complete all fields
If Google is asking you to add a category, business description, your services, etc, then do it! The more information you can add about your business to the listing, the easier Google and people are going to be able to find it.
Take the time to fill out your listing 100%. Don’t take shortcuts!
3. Keep your business info updated
You’d be surprised at how many people turn to Google to get directions to your business, to find your phone number or look up your opening hours. Which is why it is essential to ensure your business info is up to date at all times.
It’s also worth noting that anyone can suggest edits to your listing. Sometimes these edits are made to your listing by Google without you knowing. Therefore, making sure you regularly check your details are accurate is very important. I’d recommend checking in at least once or twice a month minimum.
Pro tip: If your business is closed on public holidays or has a change of hours, ensure you note these hours via your listing. You can add these via the ‘Special Hours’ tab.
4. Add regular Google Posts
Google Posts are 100-300-word posts which show on your listing for 7 days. Google added this function in 2017 so that business owners can promote fresh content regularly on the search result pages.
Through Google Posts, you can highlight company updates, pages on your website/anywhere on the web, events, and offers, etc.
All that you need to do is add an image or video and the details about what you want to promote.
Via the GMB dashboard, you can see how many people view or click on your posts, however, adding Google campaign tracking URLs will help you see in Google Analytics stats for when users click through to your website.
5. Ask for reviews (and reply to them!)
85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations – BrightLocal 2017 Consumer Review Survey
Online reviews are so important for businesses. The more people who are saying good things about your business and its products/services, the more potential customers are likely to come to you.
Ensuring you have plenty of positive reviews will help you stand out to potential customers (and Google!). Not to mention you can then see 5 (hopefully!) bright golden stars show up with your listing.
What is also equally important is that you reply to reviews. If someone is taking the time out of their day to say nice things about your business, then you should take the time to say thank you.
Google promotes replying to all good and bad reviews. The response is not only for the reviewer but it’s also for everyone else who checks out your reviews. By responding to reviews it’ll show that you genuinely care what people are saying about your business online.
6. Add photos and videos
You can upload either JPG or PNG images to your listing as well as videos. Images and videos can show on both the search result pages and Google maps to help your business stand out.
Visual aids are a great way to further convey your business story and showcase your products and services. Therefore, keep these images fresh and make sure they accurately portray your business.
When it comes to SEO and online marketing, most things are easy to implement yourself. The caveat is: it simply just takes time.
A Google My Business listing is free, and it can really make you stand out online, so take the time to verify your listing, add all your business details, keep those details up to date, add weekly posts, ask for reviews and add photos and videos to your listing.
If you can tick all those boxes then you’re 6 steps towards a better online presence.