If this is still news to you, it’s either you’ve been living under the rock, or you came from another planet. Google has been the focal point of any online business success all these years and it continues to grow to become a more stable avenue for promotion. Being visible in Google as a local business owner is a must!
According to Hennessey, stats were reported that 46% of searches in Google are actually looking for local information. Also, 4 out of 5 consumers are using search engines, particularly Google to find the same information. This means that if they look for a certain product or service via Google search and your business isn’t showing up, most likely, it would be your competitor.
Local search engine results aren’t just the usual organic ones that we commonly see. These days it’s mostly powered by Google My Business or GMB. This will be your tool if you want to increase visibility as a local business through SEO. There are a lot of Google My Business Optimization Tips available today but let’s start from the basics.
Getting to know GMB
Google My Business was formerly called Google Local and Google Places. It is a venue where Google powers business listings on a local level. This gives you an opportunity to promote your business and be able to achieve a presence in search results. With the help of this platform, you’ll be able to control the information that you want to display on these results.
As a local business owner in the internet age, this is a must. It’s because the information that you give to your listings can actually appear in a lot of ways on the search engine like the knowledge panel, the local pack, maps, and more.
Benefits of Google My Business
Google My Business brings a ton of benefits to a local business owner like you. This will help you reach new customers, increase overall visibility, and make sure that clients will be able to find the information that they need as quickly and as easily as possible.
However, it’s more than just discovering new businesses. It also involves searching for directions, contact information, reviews, operating hours, and more. Here are a few benefits that you can get with the help of GMB.
Appear on listings
This is the most common benefit that you can get with this tool. Without GMB, you can’t appear on Google Maps. These listings are highly prominent and it’s a huge loss of opportunity if you miss out.
With the use of Google My Business, you’ll have the opportunity to collect reviews from clients which will show the quality of your products and services and eventually attract more customers. Most potential customers are looking for proof that a certain product or service is good enough before they even inquire. One of the bases on which they would be assured of this is through reading reviews. A 5-star review will always stand out as compared to a 2 star or 1 star.
Apart from that, it has also been reported that reviews actually affect the ranking factor for local pack results which means that most businesses can’t just afford to exist without strong trust signals that go with the listings.
Get More Insights
GMB can give you insights that you won’t get from any other platforms. It’s a factor in which you can evaluate, recalibrate, and renew your strategies. The insights include the number of views, search queries, engagement ratings, audience profile, and quantity of website clicks, phone calls, and direction queries.
All you need to do is to set up your GMB profile properly and it has to be correctly optimized.
What’s good about this powerful tool is that it doesn’t take much from you. Yes, GMB is free to use, and it won’t cost you anything to set up your profile. Unlike other services, it has no premium option, and you can have full access to the tool simply by setting up your business properly. GMB is accessible to all types of businesses, and you can get started right away.
Google My Business isn’t like any other similar tool which usually offers tiers of services including the free or trial version. It will give you what you need, and you can access all the features that your competitors are seeing.
Strength Amidst Trials
Since last year, a lot of businesses have struggled to maintain their operations. Due to the global crisis and the pandemic, some industries had to close down or lay off their employees. The budget for ads and marketing was also cut for some huge companies. Just imagine its effect on small local businesses.
Without taking roots or a basic foundation – surely your local business will not survive. If you don’t take your strategies up to the next level, it won’t be long ‘till you will be affected as well. There’s no telling when this global crisis will end, and everything will be back to normal.
However, maintaining your presence on search engines or listings will indicate that your brand is still strong and kicking. The only escape from the crisis is through online marketing as many people are staying at home for safety.
Using powerful tools like Google My Business can be one of the best tips you can ever receive in these trying times. So, push forward. Strategize well and give your local business promotion a boost through holding a strong stand on search engines with these tips:
Google My Business Optimization Tips
Check your NAP
Let’s get started with the fundamentals first. The accuracy of your Google My Business NAP (name, address, and phone number) is critical for search engines and customers alike. I’m referring to the fact that it should accurately reflect the name of your business. On your business cards, signage, and website, what is the name of your company? You should use that!
Be Descriptive as Possible
Your Google My Business listing description is among the first things potential customers see when they visit, so it’s critical to get it right.
- Don’t include any links or HTML code in your description.
- Add keywords your audience could use to discover a business like yours in this location.
- To get the most out of your 750 available characters, load the most crucial data in the very first 250 characters.
- Consider reusing information from your website’s “About” section.
- Discuss what sets you apart from your competition and what customers prefer most about your business.
Despite the importance of avoiding overdoing it with keywords, you should keep in mind what your potential buyers could be searching for while writing your product description. To describe your establishment, for example, it may be described as a ‘family-friendly pizzeria that serves plant-based toppings in a laid-back atmosphere’ Ask yourself if the description is grammatically correct and useful to a searcher before you worry about keyword stuffing.
Categorize your business properly
With so many categories to choose from, it can be difficult to select the right one. If you’d want to see what categories your rivals are using, we recommend doing so.
Don’t be afraid to go specific! It’s best to keep looking until you locate the category that perfectly represents your business on Google.
Once you select a category, Google will provide you with a list of additional attributes that you can use to further describe your business. Special features like “delivery,” “takeout,” or “free wi-fi” are examples of attributes.
Use Photos of the Highest Quality
If you want your business to stand out from the competition, Google encourages you to add photos to your listing.
During a customer’s visit, offer incentives for them to take and share images of your business. For instance, you could include a series of questions on the store’s signage or other printed materials. Encourage your staff to take photos of happy customers so that they can post them on social media.
React to reviews and feedback Promptly
Customers may leave reviews on your Google My Business profile, and those evaluations will be available to the public. As a result, it’s critical that you take charge of the message and reply to reviews as promptly as possible whether it is a positive or a negative one.
Google has become a pivotal platform where we can promote our local business without any hesitations. Every year, it improves its services to get the best and the most accurate information to its users as well as business owners. It’s always a good thing to take this opportunity as it won’t cost you anything, but it will pay you back big time. So, push your cart forward and be successful.