You’ve got a business, and you’re ready to broadcast it to the world. Whether it’s a brick-and-mortar shop or a service-based business, Google My Business (GMB) is an essential tool in marketing your brand. With a perfect GMB listing, you can attract more customers and build loyalty. Here’s how:
Optimizing Your GMB Listing
Google My Business is a free tool to help you manage your local business. It allows you to manage your online presence, including booking services and appointments, updating business information, answering reviews, and more.
The following are some of the most important ways you can optimize your GMB listing:
- Update Your Business Info
- Respond To Reviews
- Claim Your Listing
Claiming and Verifying Your Business
Claiming your business on Google My Business is the first step in the optimization process. It’s also important to verify your business listing so that Google can confirm that it’s legitimate.
To claim and verify your GMB listing, you’ll need to add a verification code to your GMB listing. This is usually done through an email or text message from Google, but you can also get a verification code from their website or app if necessary. You can then add this code to your listing by clicking on “Get verified” under “More actions,” followed by “Enter verification code.”
Nailing Down the Basics
When you’re starting out, and your online presence is just a business listing in a directory, it can be tempting to focus on the big guys like Google and Facebook. But don’t forget about Bing, Yahoo, and YP.com (formerly known as Yellow Pages). These sites are still popular with users—in fact, they account for 90 percent of searches in some markets. While they might not have the same reach or influence that Google does, they can still drive traffic and sales to your business if you optimize them correctly.
Here are the basic steps you should take:
- Make sure your business is listed on Google Maps. This means verifying that all information associated with your company appears correctly (address, phone number, etc.) as well as making sure any other listings associated with your company (such as a profile on LinkedIn) also appear under one name
Making Sure Business Information is Accurate
- Business Name: Your business name is the first thing customers will see when searching for your product or service. Make sure it’s accurate and attractive so that it stands out from the competition in search results.
- Business Category: This section should be filled out if you want to appear on specific pages of Google Maps or Google My Business. If not, leave this section blank.
- Business Address: This information is required by law and will be listed on all of your business listings across platforms, including websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. The address should include city/state/zip code as well as a country (if applicable). If you don’t have an address yet or don’t know what it is, enter “N/A” rather than leaving blank fields—this will alert Google that there’s no location set up yet without actually having to change anything else in this section until you do have an address ready for them!
- Business Phone Number: A well-written phone number can increase customer trust because customers don’t worry about whether they’ll reach someone who understands their needs when they call a business with problems related to its products or services; however, some businesses may prefer not to give out any telephone numbers at all due to privacy concerns raised by government agencies such as NSA or FBI.”
Choosing the Right Category
When choosing a category, there are four things to consider:
- Your business. If you’re an accountant and have been practicing for 20 years, it might be more appropriate to choose “Accounting & Tax Preparation” instead of “Accounting Services”. That way, when someone searches for “accountant near me” or something else like it, your listing will appear at the top of their search results because it fits both keywords (or at least one of them).
- Your customer base. If most of your customers are middle-aged men in suits who drive luxury cars, then you wouldn’t want them seeing ads from businesses with similar services but younger employees who don’t wear suits and drive sports cars (unless they’re also clients).
- Your competitors’ categories: You don’t want all their listings on page one while yours gets buried deep down the rabbit hole where nobody ever looks at those kinds of pages! By choosing a category that matches your competitors’, you’ll be able to compete against them directly and get noticed by Google’s algorithm as well as potential customers in that industry vertical who might be looking specifically for what both companies offer (like maybe accounting services instead?). Alternatively…
Using Keywords in your Category
When you optimize your Google My Business listing, be sure to use the keywords that are most relevant to your business. It’s important that you don’t overuse generic or unrelated keywords such as “best” and “top.” A good rule of thumb is to use one keyword per category, but if necessary, two will do.
When choosing a primary category for your business, choose one that is relevant to what you do and includes common words people might search for when looking for businesses like yours (e.g., “pizza parlor” instead of “restaurant). You may also want to add secondary categories such as “food delivery service” or “family-friendly restaurant in Downtown San Francisco.” Try not to go overboard with too many categories – try starting out with just three or four clear choices (e.g., pizza parlor) before creating more specific ones later on if necessary!
Being Specific With Your Categories
When selecting a category for your business, be specific. If you run a clothing store, choose a category that is specific to your business like “Clothing.” If you sell children’s toys, choose a category like “Toys & Games” or “Children’s Apparel & Accessories.”
You want to be as specific as possible. The more general the category is, the less likely it will indicate what type of business or service you provide and the more generic it becomes for consumers searching on Google Maps or search engine results pages (SERPs).
If there are multiple categories available for your industry/location combination, choose one that most accurately reflects what services/products you offer and who your target market is by choosing:1) A category relevant to your customers2) A relevant competitor3) An industry-specific term
Using Good Photos
Your photos are the first thing that people see when they look at your business listing, so it’s important to make them as high quality and interesting as possible.
- Choose the best photos of your products or services. Look for photos that show off your product or service in a way that will appeal to potential customers.
- Make sure the photos are relevant to what you sell. Do not upload pictures of you playing football if you’re running an online shoe store! The most effective images are ones that reinforce what people want from the service or product being sold (e.g., if your store sells t-shirts, upload some close-ups of them).
- Get professional photographs taken by someone who knows how to use their camera well, with natural lighting and an attractive background etcetera; these things will help make sure that their page looks good even if it has no other activity on it which might otherwise distract from its visual impact (such as social media links).
Properly Titling Your Images
It’s important to title your images properly, as they will be the main text that appears in Google’s search results.
- Use descriptive titles. If you’re uploading a picture of a dog, don’t use the same title for all photos of dogs (e.g., “dog”) but instead use something like “Snoopy the Beagle” or “The cutest puppy ever.”
- Use keywords when possible. This is especially important if you have an image that is relevant to what people are searching for online, such as an image of a new product offered by your business or service offering details about how it works. The keyword should appear at least once in either the alt text or caption; otherwise, Google won’t know what those words mean and won’t index them as keywords!
- Choose the right images: Images should be high quality with no graininess or pixelation and must reflect well on your business’ brand image so as not to confuse customers into thinking they’re looking at something else entirely (which could result in negative reviews). It also helps if there isn’t anything unrelated going on around these things happening so much as possible–that way there’s less clutter
Adding Relevant Text to Your Images
Google My Business allows you to add text to your images. This is important because it allows you to add relevant information about the image and makes it easier for Google Maps users to understand what they are viewing.
You can use the alt attribute, title attribute, description attribute, image caption, or even image descriptions as ways of adding text content for an image that will appear on Google Maps when someone searches for your business address.
Providing All Relevant Services with Associated Prices in Service Descriptions.
In your business descriptions, you need to provide a description of the services you offer.
- Our company offers a wide range of digital marketing services including search engine optimization, social media management, and pay-per-click advertising. We can help you get more customers through our experienced team and extensive marketing knowledge.
- We have been providing photography services for over 10 years now. If you want to take professional photographs for your business or personal use then contact us today!
Encouraging Reviews and Comments
Responding to reviews as soon as possible is key. The longer you wait, the more likely customers will have forgotten about their positive experience with your business and might leave an unfavorable review instead.
When responding to reviews on Google My Business, it’s best practice to do so in the same place where a customer left their review: on your Google My Business listing. This allows users who find your listing from search results or organic search (searching for products or services without knowing all the details of specific businesses) to see that you’re active on social media and have a presence online; this encourages them to check out your reviews and consider purchasing from you if they weren’t already sold on you when they visited.
When responding to a user’s comments in answer to their question(s), make sure that you’re personalizing each response so it doesn’t seem like automated responses with generic replies are being sent out by bots across multiple pages—this will only frustrate them more than anything else! Thanking people who leave positive feedback can go a long way toward making them feel valued as customers rather than just another number in someone else’s database.”
Managing Negative Reviews, Comments, and Questions Quickly and Thoroughly.
- Respond to Negative Reviews, Comments, and Questions Quickly and Thoroughly.
- Be polite and professional in your responses. Keep the tone consistent with other reviews on Google My Business for consistency of voice, but make sure you are also being transparent about what happened so that people can see that you care enough about them as customers to address their concerns. If someone has a question or complaint about something they bought from you (or didn’t), be helpful in providing an answer – this will help build trust with customers who may not feel comfortable posting negative reviews if they were not satisfied with their experience purchasing something from your store/site/website, etc…
- Be Patient With People Who Post Negative Reviews About Your Business: Sometimes people just need some time before deciding whether or not they want to leave a review for your business online; sometimes it might take days or even weeks before people are ready! So don’t panic if there aren’t any new updates posted on our page right away after receiving feedback from customers who have had problems with our products – just keep checking back every few days until we receive enough positive feedback so that we feel confident enough sharing new updates publicly again soon!
By keeping these tips in mind, you can optimize your Google My Business listing for more customers and better reviews. Be sure to keep track of the progress you’re making as well so that you don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged!