Google My Business (GMB) listings are an absolute necessity for all local businesses. Without them, drawing in new customers from the internet will be nearly impossible. However, there’s a good chance you know about this and have already set one up. If so, that’s great. But that’s the easy part.
If you truly want to get the most out of this program, you need to take additional steps to fully optimize your Google My Business listing. This quick guide will walk you through the most important ones you should try to take advantage of.
Fill Out All Sections of the Profile
Putting in your company’s basic information, such as its location, store hours, and website links, is only a small part of the first part of setting up a detailed GMB listing. So is verifying that you’re the owner. You need to ensure you fill out the rest of the information as well. While some of it might not seem important to you, potential customers might disagree. Here are just a few of the many things you should have filled out in your listing.
- All possible forms of contact
- Business description
- Busy hours
- Ways to shop
- Menus and prices
- Health and safety precautions
- Payment types accepted
- Places to park
- Accessibility options
Google is always adding more, so be sure to keep up with any additional sections that you can fill out. The more you tell viewers ahead of time, the better the chance they’ll decide to shop or dine with you.
Add Plenty of Pictures
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s no exception here. Sure, people don’t need to see your establishment to determine if they’d like to visit it. But seeing what it looks like and what you have to offer will certainly help those on the fence about it.
You need to post pictures of both the inside and outside. The interior photos will give them a feel for your store or restaurant, while the outside ones will show them what they should look for when they arrive. This is especially important for crowded strip malls and busy streets.
On top of that, you’ll want to make sure your profile and cover photos grab viewers’ attention. It’s unlikely that your store will be the only one they’re looking at. You’ll need to wow them with either an enticing picture of your goods or an eye-catching logo.
Encourage User Reviews
One often-overlooked way to optimize your GMB listing is to encourage customers to review your services on Google. Sites like Yelp can help convince people to come to your store, but Google’s reviews actually improve your SEO rankings. Of course, the challenge here is convincing others to help you out since this is the only section of your listing that you can’t edit. Some owners try to game this by posting fake reviews, but that’s extremely unethical and causes you to lose customers if you ever get caught.
Reminding people is simple, though. Have your cashiers mention it after completing a purchase or set up a sign near the exit. Even though this isn’t something you can force, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try.
Utilize All Forms of Online Marketing
An important thing to remember in all of this is that most people aren’t going to come across your GMB listing by accident. You need to put in the work to send them to it. That means posting content and implementing some targeted advertising.
When you use standard SEO practices and set up some pay-per-click advertisements through Google Ads, you’ll draw in tons of new customers to your listing. These things might not be a direct part of the GMB ecosystem, but they certainly have an effect.
Update It Regularly
Once you’ve completed all of this, you’re still not done. You never truly finish optimizing your online image. There are always more things to add or change things to improve. Keeping your customers updated is an essential part of keeping them satisfied. If you change your hours but don’t update them on GMB, people won’t be happy when they show up and find you’re already closed.
If you stay up to date with all your information, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Plus, most businesses are very bad about doing this themselves, so that will give you a leg up on the rest of them if you actually do it.