As more consumers rely on the internet to find local businesses, it’s becoming increasingly important to optimize your Google My Business (GMB) profile for local search. A well-optimized GMB profile can improve your business’s visibility, attract more local customers, and increase your chances of appearing in Google’s coveted “Local Pack” of search results. In this blog, we’ll provide tips for optimizing your GMB profile for local search.
1. Claim and Verify Your Listing
The first step in optimizing your GMB profile is to claim and verify your listing. If you haven’t already done so, go to the Google My Business website and create a listing for your business. Once you’ve created your listing, Google will send a postcard to your business address with a verification code. Enter the code into your GMB account to verify your listing.
2. Provide Accurate and Complete Information
Make sure that your GMB profile provides accurate and complete information about your business. This includes your business name, address, phone number, website URL, hours of operation, and a description of your business. Double-check this information to ensure that it is correct and up-to-date.
3. Choose the Right Business Categories
When you create your GMB profile, you’ll be asked to choose a primary category for your business. This category should accurately describe your business and match the categories that people are using to search for businesses like yours. You can also choose additional categories to further define your business. Make sure that all of your categories are relevant to your business.
4. Add Photos and Videos
Adding photos and videos to your GMB profile can improve your visibility in local search results. Use high-quality images that accurately represent your business, such as photos of your storefront, products, or services. You can also add videos to showcase your business and give potential customers a virtual tour.
5. Encourage Reviews
Reviews are a key factor in local search rankings, so it’s important to encourage your customers to leave reviews on your GMB profile. Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, and use them to improve your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and their feedback.
6. Use Posts to Promote Your Business
Google My Business posts allow you to promote events, special offers, and other news about your business. Use these posts to keep your customers informed and engaged. You can also use posts to promote your business’s products and services.
7. Monitor and Respond to Questions
Google My Business allows customers to ask questions about your business, which you can answer directly in your GMB profile. Make sure to monitor these questions and respond promptly and professionally. This shows potential customers that you are responsive and engaged with your audience.
8. Use Local Keywords
Using local keywords in your GMB profile and on your website can improve your visibility in local search results. Use keywords that are relevant to your business and your location. For example, if you run a coffee shop in Seattle, you might use keywords like “Seattle coffee shop” or “coffee shop near me”.
9. Monitor Your Insights
Google My Business provides insights into how customers are interacting with your profile, including how many views and clicks your profile is receiving, and how customers are finding your business. Use these insights to improve your profile and your business.
Optimizing your Google My Business profile for local search can improve your business’s visibility, attract more local customers, and increase your chances of appearing in Google’s Local Pack. By following these tips, you can ensure that your GMB profile is accurate, complete, and engaging for potential customers.
Q1 – Are Google business listings free?
Yes, it is real! Anyone can add a business on Google and best of all, it won’t cost them even a single penny!
Google My Business is a completely free business listing through which Google is attempting to bring the physical world online. Your business listing not only help users find what they’re searching for but also lets you tell them the story of your business. So, it’s a win-win for both the Google users and the businesses.
Q2 – Is there a difference between Google+ and Google My Business?
No, Google+ and Google My Business are not the same! Instead, there is a considerable difference between both.
Google+, which was established in 2011, is a social network that was launched to compete with Facebook. But, due to the data breach that happened on the platform during March of 2018, it is shutting down soon. Just like Facebook, on Google+ one could share links, videos, pictures, and other content with whom they’re connected. Also, it lets people join public or private communities and follow Collections.
On the other hand, Google My Business is an online dashboard for your business that connects you directly with your customers through Insights, Maps, Search, and Analytics. Any additions or updates that you made in your information will be reflected in your online listing, that shows up when an individual searches for your business on Google.
Q3 – What to do if someone else claims my Google My Business listing?
This listing has already been verified by someone else!
This message showing up on your screen can be disturbing in case you’re the business owner, and you don’t know who has claimed your business. On Google My Business some wicked people and companies have been known to claim a business listing and divert users to their very own business. Or there’s even a possibility that the listing could have been verified by someone you know.
So, how to deal with this situation? Fortunately, Google gives directions on how to move forward and legitimately claim the listing for your business.
To request ownership of an already verified Google business listing,
- Go To business.google.com/create and fill in your Business Name and Address
- After choosing the right business from the search results, press Continue
If another person has already verified your business, you’ll see a message indicating that someone else owns this business
- Now comes the main step! Tap Request access and fill out the form
- Click Submit. When you’ve finished the way toward requesting the ownership, the current listing proprietor will have 7 days to respond.
Three cases can occur now!
First, either your request gets approved, or second, it gets denied. In both the cases you’ll be notified by an email through Google My Business.
Third, it can be that you don’t hear back after 7 days. In this case, you might have the option to claim the listing yourself. Keep in mind; I said you ‘MIGHT’ have the choice! If you don’t see an option, there are chances that the listing is not eligible to be transferred.
Q4 – How do I edit my Google My Business listing if I’m relocating to a new address?
The data you enter on Google My Business plays a crucial role in determining your visibility, which also makes it easier for customers in the real world to discover your business. This is why it’s important to keep your Google My Business listing information correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date.
You’ll need to have a Google My Business account to make any updations in business information like address, hours, contact info, and photos. Those who don’t have an account can claim and verify their business by following our guide on Google My Business.
To edit your address,
- Make sure you’re signed in to your Google My Business account.
- From the GMB dashboard go to Menu and click Info.
- Click the Address field to enter the new address and click Apply. (Ensure that the info you fill in follows the Google My Business Guidelines
Q5 – Can two businesses share the same address on Google My Business?
2 Businesses, Same Location, Different Google My Business Accounts? This is a fairly common scenario.
Google is location based. If two businesses are legally independent businesses, i.e., if they are all individually operating businesses with separate names, telephone numbers, websites and even offer different services they can each have their own separate Google My Business listings.
Q6 – Why is Google My Business Page reviews so important?
If you are a marketer and you have doubts regarding why Google My Business reviews are so critical, these stats will clear all your doubts!
- About 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase
- 93% of local consumers use reviews to decide whether a local business is great or awful
- 72% of customers don’t make a move until they have read reviews
Reviews on Google My Business are something beyond the customer’s thoughts about your product; they are highly capable of significantly affecting individuals’ purchasing decisions.
That’s why in today’s competitive world, you’ll need more authentic business reviews. However, remember, Google customer reviews don’t occur themselves; you will have to make significant efforts to get valuable feedback from your customers!
Q7 – Can any random person make changes to my Google My Business listing?
It probably won’t seem fair to you, but in reality, any random person can suggest an edit to your business listing.
Try to think about it the other way round! Why would Google give any random person a facility to make changes to the business listings?
Assume, if Google gives full editorial control to the business owners there might rise a situation where they could make a lot of spam edits, which is also a problem. It is just a balancing act to avoid spams!
However, when these changes go live — Merchants are notified by an email from Google My Business.
Sometimes there may be a case when you miss out an email from Google My Business, and you might not even be aware of the edits that have been made to your listing. To avoid such scenarios, I’d suggest you to perform frequent Google My Business audits to ensure no inaccurate changes are made to your listing.
Q8 – Do Google My Business posts help SEO?
Besides making your business listing more relevant and active, posting relevant content and information about your business on Google My Business additionally helps in SEO — enables you to rank higher!
The posts you share on Google My Business will, of course, incorporate information about your local business, products, and services as well. Greater the information you share specific to your business and location, the richer metadata you’ll be building into your Google My Business listing.
Google My Business posts are a surefire way to gain tons of visibility, generate leads, and grow sales.
Q9 – What do I need to avoid doing at all costs when using Google My Business?
There are so many businesses that have gotten into trouble on Google My Business by violating Google’s guidelines. Don’t let yours be one of them!
See this post for top Google My Business mistakes.
Some of the key takeaways:
- Do not encourage fake reviews! Use legitimate ways to get a review on Google My Business.
- Don’t over-hashtag your Google My Business posts. Even though you have up to 1,500 characters for your post, but the character length is between 150-300 characters, so use these characters wisely and don’t waste precious characters by incorporating a considerable number of hashtags.
- Pin your business location accurately on Google My Business! If you are missing this, it is the biggest mistake that you are committing.
Q10 – Where can I find answers to other Google My Business questions?
Google My Business is constantly evolving, so don’t be surprised if your questions about it increase. So, where do you find answers to all your Google My business and its listing specific questions?
The best place where you could discover answers to those questions are Google My Business forum or Google Support. This is where you’ll learn everything from Getting started with Google My Business to what’s new in Google My Business from their product experts·
These assets not just help in the occasions when you have an issue, but they are a great way to help you learn extensively about the intricate details and the tips and tricks of Google My Business.