How to Optimise Your Google My Business Listing

More and more companies have already realised how important local search on Google has become. The competition for the placement in the search results increases steadily. For local search engine optimisation , having a business on Google My Business is one of the most important ranking factors. You can use the tool to control how your company appears on Google Search and Maps. Google my business is not rocket science and offers enormous potential.

How does Google My Business work?

You want it to be easier to be found by your customers and get them to know everything about your company with just a few clicks? With Google My Business, you can quickly and easily manage your online presence on Google including Google Search and Google Maps. Google My Business helps you interact with customers and make the most of your business on the web. The best of all, the tool is free and easy to use. It can do the following:

  • Manage Information: Your full listing is a great way to improve local visibility in Google Search
  • Engage with customers: Respond to customer reviews and add photos
  • Know and Manage Presence: Get insight into statistics on how users searched for your business and where they came from. You can then create Adwords Express campaigns that further increase your company’s visibility

How do you optimise your Google My Business listing?

Using the following scenario: A potential customer is travelling near your business looking for what you are offering. Maybe they already heard of your business or seen your company sign. If this potential customer is googling your business, what will they find there? Present your company in the best light. We’ll show you how to optimise your Google My Business listing. These are the main points:

  • Tip 1: Keep your information up to date
  • Tip 2: Insert pictures and videos
  • Tip 3: Promote customer reviews
  • Tip 4: Add all locations
  • Tip 5: Create business directory entries

Tip 1: Keep your information up to date

It is true: Google likes well-maintained entries. Make as much as possible all the information that can be deposited with Google. Say business hours, website, phone number and location. Recently, Google My Business listing owners can also enter a description of their business. Make sure that your short description contains a keyword, limit yourself to a maximum of 200 characters and if possible present the unique selling point of your business. An optimised description on Google My Business is ideal to stand out from the competition.

In order to keep your information up-to-date, you should check the following information at least every three months: category, company description, opening hours and the photos. Everything is up to date? Great. In addition, you have the option of special opening hours for your Google My Business profile. Your company is open on a public holiday or a Sunday sale is imminent? Let your customers know. Also helpful for your ranking: a neat Google+ profile that’s automatically linked to Google My Business.

Tip 2: Insert pictures

Photos can make your business easier to find on Google, like Google Search and Google Maps. Add company photos to showcase your products and services to potential customers. These can be: interior shots, outdoor shots, product photos and pictures of employees. Business owners and customers can also upload videos to Google My Business. Such videos appear both in local search results and in Google Maps. Photos companies get 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks for links to their sites than companies that have not added images.

Tip 3: Generate customer reviews

Customer reviews increase the relevance of the Google My Business entry and also represent a crucial SEO-Ranking especially in the local search reviews are among the strong ranking criteria. Google shows the asterisks in the general search starting from five ratings. As your business receives more and more positive reviews, it sends a signal to Google that your company is popular and frequently visited. So you go up in the Google ranking. The more good reviews you get, the more you get noticed by the Internet users.

The likely consequence: more customers. Indeed, as many as 88% of users read reviews online to determine the quality of a local business. But how can you promote your customer reviews? Post follow-up emails after a deal or after completing a project preferably with a direct link to make it easier for the customer. You can also personally ask for a rating or point it out on your business card or website. In addition, it is very important to answer the given ratings – also in a friendly way the negative.

But beware: never fake your ratings. Because that can be regarded as misleading advertising. Thus, in case of doubt, you are in breach as an entrepreneur, to make untrue and misleading statements. The result: There is a threat of a warning. Google is also using automated spam detection methods against fake reviews.

Tip 4: Add locations

In order for Google to be able to correlate a location listing with Google My Business and your website, you should also include that information. This means that the landing page referenced by your Google My Business listing should be clear. So create your own landing page for each location if your company has multiple locations – so that the address data of your locations can not mix and can no longer be clearly assigned to Google.

Tip 5: Local Citation – Add directory entries

They do not have the same status as they did a few years ago, but it’s still worth listing in business directories like Yellow Pages & Co. for your business. Because this entry is an important signal for Google about the reputation of your company on the Internet. So what does “Local Citation” mean exactly? The term refers to the mention of a company including local data (name, address and telephone) on the Internet. For local search engine optimisation, entries in local and topical business directories are extremely important. Pay attention to the desired SEO effect on a consistent spelling in the business directory entries. The following data is relevant:

  • Company name
  • Postcode
  • place
  • Street and house number
  • phone

Please note, however, that in the past, industry journals were often used to improve, or rather manipulate, the link profile of websites. Anyone who still operates this form of link spam is punished mercilessly by Google. Therefore, it makes the most sense to make a normal entry in the most important directories for Google and when setting links (if that is possible) first to examine the link profile of your own website. Therefore, it is important to achieve a certain balance, so a mix of different link types to certain proportions (which, however, cannot be precisely quantified).

Google My Business: best practises for your local SEO

Google My Business (GMB) is a powerful Google tool for free local SEO. This article offers you the best practises. Thus your GMB form will be displayed as often as possible in the search results, according to the request of the user. But also in Google Maps. Let’s go for the guided tour of Google My Business to examine its full potential!

Local Search: Be more visible to beat your competitors

More than 80% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses and stores. Smart phones and search on the move and via mobile are now dominant among Internet users. You need to gain visibility. According to a Google study, 50% of consumers who made a local search via their smartphone went to a store. And 18% of them made a purchase. It is therefore a powerful tool to gain visibility in Google. And besides, it’s free! Why deprive yourself?

Why rely on Google My Business to grow your business?

While more than 3 billion queries are made every day on Google, to be referenced locally on this search engine is essential. This Google tool allows you to reference:

  • Your address,
  • Your phone number,
  • Your website,
  • Your opening hours,
  • Opinions from your customers,
  • Pictures about your company / store,
  • Posts and events,
  • Tracking many statistics every month or over the last 3 months.

If not, create an account . You must have a physical address and your information verified and correct. Your listing should be as complete as possible to optimise your local SEO. When you register, choose your categories precisely and that correspond to your business and its core business.

Make sure your address and phone number are the same as your landing page or the homepage of your website.

Ask for advice (regularly) and answer it systematically

The opinions are essential to obtain the confidence of your future customers and make your business shine locally. Google also displays the recent reviews. So ask your customers regularly for advice to feed your Google My Business. Attention, as a rule, your satisfied customers are less likely to post a review on the Internet. On the other hand, a dissatisfied customer will more often want to express himself and criticise your company, notably via Internet. So go to your satisfied customers and offer them to post a notice. Every opinion should ideally have an answer. Negative opinions should be prioritised to open the dialogue, defuse the situation and find a solution with a dissatisfied customer.

Take your pictures

Do not forget to take your facade, your premises, some iconic products of your company in photos. Make yourself your own photos, while having a lighting and a correct framing of your photos. You have to occasionally add new photos of your business to renew them. The goal is also to promote the local SEO of your company. Our recommendation: name your photos using specific descriptive keywords.

Post My Business posts and regular content

In order to maximise the display frequency and animate your listing, you can insert GMB posts, with a title and a visual.

You can ideally create a publication on Google My Business once a week, from 100 to 300 words maximum. You can also turn this post into an event of your company. Several ideas are to be exploited with this opportunity: indicate a special offer, one or more promotions, a store animation, … and you can insert a customisable button (book, order online, buy, find out more, …).

Measure and track your Google My Business results

In your secure interface, you can follow many indicators over 1 or 3 months: clicks on your website or calls via My Business, display in the search, etc. Ideal to measure your efforts on My Business in time. We will soon be doing a more complete article on this subject.

Tips to optimise visibility

A Google My Business profile is essential for local SEO , because it represents the icing on the cake in the process of optimising the visibility of an activity. It is a free service and allows you to appear in local search results for specific requests for products and services that a company offers. Now even large volume searches show local results, making small activities part of the game. Using Google My Business is very simple and immediate, but following some tips you can maximise its functionality. Here’s what the experts say.

Google My Business is vital to local SEO

The information that is entered in the My Business profile is also shown in Maps, so that, automatically, the activity is marked on the map and highlighted when a user searches for the services and products that it offers. Without the registration to GMB the activity does not appear on the maps present in the SERP, with obvious damage of visibility: in fact it does not exist. Google has also increased the visibility of local results with regard to mobile searches, precisely to make it easier and faster to find the activity you need at opportune and urgent times, especially outside the home.

The steps you need to take to optimise your presence in Google’s local searches

First contacts : the phone number, e-mail address and house number in the Google My Business profile must be accurate and updated (as well as corresponding to those on the site, if there was one), as fundamental to guarantee maximum precision. Also the inclusion in the business categories must be correct. It is also important to include high-resolution, explanatory and representative images of the activity and business and perhaps update them from time to time.

If the business is located in a central area is busy, it is a point of advantage to add the possibility to park (private parking or nearby).

Finally, it is essential for the research to be specific For example, you should not just identify a business that sells fresh and organic food products as simple “food”, but also add terms such as “fresh products”, “organic products” etc.

Advanced tactics to improve local visibility

More than advanced, the tactics are the classic: accurate and captivating profile, quality content and positive reviews. A particular, beautiful and suggestive image and an original logo surely push users to click more frequently; in the same way, the photos that users upload are stimulus to click, because they represent a truer look on the activity (sometimes you can think that the photos posted by the owners are retouched).

Another important factor that favours the increase in ranking is the encouragement towards customers to release positive reviews; the evaluation is also displayed on the maps, so if it were high, the click through rate would improve in the SERP.

Google My Business is an extremely powerful visibility and positioning tool , if used professionally. Follow the guidelines just proposed, or request a call from 899 Design today for assistance.

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