Initially known as Google Places for Business, Google My Business is an important tool for businesses looking to leverage location-based marketing. It is a free marketing tool from Google that enables business owners to manage the visibility of their business on search engines. GMB is best suited for businesses looking to improve their brand awareness and visibility to local clients.
Below is a guide on how to optimize your GMB and its benefits.
Google My Business is part of Google’s Knowledge Graph. This is a service that businesses and individuals can optimize to position their services on the first page of Google search results. Knowledge graph displays various information, including phone numbers, operational hours, address, customer reviews, offers/promotions, and photos.
Below are Google My Business optimization steps:
• Create or claim your business — Begin by creating or claiming your business listing on Google. Some businesses, especially those that have been operational for some time, can show up automatically on Google maps. If your business doesn’t show up, you can easily create a business listing. If it shows up, simply claim the business.
• Verify your listing — After creating or claiming your business, Google will send a postcard with detailed instructions on how you can verify your business within five days. Ensure that you verify the listing. Otherwise, your performance and visibility on Google will be affected negatively. Without verification, Google won’t display the business, allow edits to your business information, or provide insights.
• Complete your business profile — Like social media accounts, you should complete your business profile with accurate information for the listing to rank higher. The main goal of completing your profile is to provide customers with sufficient information about your listing.
The basics include, choosing an accurate business category, writing a clear description, and completing all other important fields. Also, remember to include your phone number and local area code. Some other important tips to optimize your business profile include:
- Adding your business hours
- Using keywords
- Answering questions
- Responding to reviews
- Featuring special attributes
- Listing your products and services
- Adding photos and videos to your posts
The main benefit of optimizing your Google My Business is to improve your business’s local search visibility. Current Google algorithms factor user intent as search queries increasingly become location-specific.
For instance, if you’ve searched for a business near you before, Google often shows results of open business within your current locality. The businesses displayed have GMB pages and are one step closer to getting online customers than businesses without GMB listings.
Mike Gingerich is president of Digital Hill Multimedia (www.DigitalHill.com), a Goshen web design, web software and social media marketing firm. He is also a business blogger on tech, marketing, and growth. Find out more at www.MikeGingerich.com/blog/.