Claiming and verifying your Google My Business (GMB) listing is the first and main step in any local SEO strategy. Your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings generally are more if you get on Google My Business. This listing on Google is free for qualifying local businesses. All you have to do is put information about your company including address, phone number, business hours, and types of payments accepted. Google has added some great features to Google My Business recently. Companies can use that to enhance their Google My Business listing which will help them to grab the attention of the viewers and ultimately improve their ranking in local search results.
What is Google My Business (GMB)?
It is a free tool provided by Google that business owners use to manage their online presence across the search engine. It works great for brands seeking local exposure. GMB listing is essential for both new and established businesses as features like Google’s Local Search results show a list of nearby businesses and relevant information required to find a specific business.
There are many local businesses that claim their GMB listing but then forget about it. You should check your business listing frequently so that its accuracy stays intact. There are various features Google gives you that are helpful in optimizing your Google My Business listing.
Complete all the information Google asks for
Firstly, conduct a Google search to make sure that your business doesn’t already have a GMB listing because your business will have a GMB listing if it has been around for a while. In that case, you will just need to claim it. You can manage the information once you have successfully claimed it. If not then go ahead and provide all the required information to Google.
You will have to answer multiple questions to fill out your Google My Business profile. Once done, your listing will provide basic and important data to your potential customers using which they can get more information about your company. Make sure to fill out that information, because if you don’t then there are chances someone else will. There is a provision that allows anyone to suggest a change (or “edit”) to your business listing and your competitors might misuse this provision.
Add or edit service-area business details
Use “card view” when you Sign in to Google My Business. Switch to card view if you’re viewing your locations as a list instead of cards. Add the relevant information and save your changes.
Verifying your Google My Business Listing
You will have to verify your listing after you are have submitted the pertinent business information. This is important for the visibility and performance of your business listing. You can use your mail to verify your listing. It is easier for you and it will also tell Google that your business address exists and you get mail there. This is a way that Google uses to remove the false listings which ruin the utility of Google Search and Maps, among other tools. It takes less than a week to complete the verification process, after which your business will officially be live.
Publishing your Google My Business Listing
Enter complete data for your listing and optimize your listing. Include important keywords and search phrases to your business listing and keep business operating hours accurate. Update them if and when they change. Don’t forget to add photos. Most business owners and marketers probably won’t imagine how much photos help in business listings’ performance. Interact with your customers and respond to their reviews. Provide a link to your customers so that they can write reviews for your business. It shows that you value your customers and their feedback. Positive reviews will affect your potential customers positively and increase the visibility of your business in search results.
Photos for your Google My Business Listing
Pay attention to your profile photo as it gets more exposure and has an impact. Don’t keep the brand logo as your business profile photo, rather keep something that is appealing and shows what the brand stands for. Other images that should be added to your GMB listing include logo image, cover photo and additional photos that you use to spotlight features of your business.
Monitoring your Google My Business Listing Insights
Google has made remarkable advances with available analytical data for Google My Business listings in the last few years. It is now called Insights. A different way to understand how customers interact with business listings is offered to businesses by Google. It includes how customers find your listing, where they find you on Google, their actions, direct requests and much more.
Google My Business complements your existing website which helps your business to get a public identity and presence with a listing on Google. It is no rocket science to optimize your Google My Business listing. It is a simple and straightforward process but it can have a positive effect on your SEO. Ironically this area is usually overlooked by many businesses which mean there are lots of opportunities available for anyone and everyone willing to optimize their Google My Business Listing.