With a new year comes new opportunities! Google My Business is a free service that all businesses should be taking advantage of. It is not a new service, but there are step that you can take to bring your listing into the future. Following these tips will help customers find your business in a Google search.
What is Google My Business?
Let’s start with the basics for those of you who do not know what a Google My Business listing is and/or do not have one in place. Google My Business is an easy-to-use tool that helps businesses manage their online presence in Google Search and Google maps, and it’s free of charge!
If clients search for a business name, a Google My Business knowledge panel will come up. This contains important details about that business like their contact information, phone number, hours of operation, directions and more. The Google My Business listing gives just enough data about a business for potential customers to find what they need, or decide to visit the company’s website for more information.
Why is a Google My Business Listing important?
The short answer, because you want your business found. You want to make it as easy as possible for your potential and current customers to find the information about your business that they are seeking.
The benefits of Google My Business are:
- Increase Google Search Visibility
- Increase Traffic to Your Website and Storefront
- Provide a Better Online Experience for Customers
When you optimize your Google My Business listing, it helps Google understand more about your business, what you sell, what services you provide, what physical area you service, and more. Then Google can determine what searches your company should appear in.
How can Google My Business be Optimized?
Following these tips can increase your organic search results with Google this year and beyond. If you have not yet claimed your business listings online, follow the tips in this blog. Most importantly, ensure that your message is consistent across all channels.
1. Complete Your Business Information
Obviously, this is crucial and is a must do step.
- Update your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation.
- Add a description. Google gives you 750 characters, use them to the fullest. Tell your buyers and Google who you are, what you do, and use keywords as applicable.
- Choose up to 10 categories that best fit your business. Choose your primary and secondary categories wisely.
- Consistency is key! Be sure to keep your business information the same across all listings, especially NAP (name, address and phone number). By doing this, search engines like Google recognize it as the same business listed over many sites, trusts it as a valid business, and identifies its location.
2. Add Images & Video
Images and video will set you apart from the other business listings in your category. They grab the attention of your clients and give a visual picture of what your business is all about. Here are a few suggestions for what to photograph and film.
- Storefront and interior of your physical business
- Team posed and in action
- Products still and in action
- Services on-site and in use
- Your own ideas, you know your business best
Additional Tip: Videos can be added as a photo or post.
3. Promote Your Content Using Posts
Google Posts allows you to share content to your Google My Business Listing. This is yet another feature to use to optimize your business listing by deepening your customers’ knowledge about your business and get the word out about events, offers, news or blog posts, whitepaper downloads, new products for sale, and more.
4. Respond to Reviews
Take the time to thank anyone who took the time to post a review about your products, services, customer service, or business in general. Respond to all review whether they are 5 star or 1 star. High reviews provide an opportunity to engage with your best supporters. Low reviews provide an opportunity to improve your process, and make things right/turn a negative into a positive, or show that you understand.
Potential customers look at reviews to determine if they want to interact and build a relationship with your business. They don’t only look at the star rating. They also look at the reviews and how you respond to them. If you ignore a bad review, it may seem that you do not care about addressing it. If you ignore a great review, it may seem like you don’t appreciate your current customers. Make the most of your reviews!
Need Additional Assistance?
Want to ensure that you are getting the most out of your Google My Business listing? We are happy to help you, just reach out! Wishing you much success this year!