Most business owners know the importance of being present online and having an optimized website or even Google Ads profile. Surprisingly enough, there still are business owners that do not know about the existence and do not take advantage of the FREE power of Google My Business page.
Below, will be described the steps to take to set-up and optimize your very own FREE Google My Business page. If you think it’s not worth wasting your time, think again. Keep in mind that Google will send you a letter with a confirmation/verification code to ensure the authenticity of the page.
- Create your Google My Business account.
Head to https://www.google.com/business/ and sign-in with your regular Google account/email(preferably the one you use for your business if you have one). Follow the prompts.
- Complete every section.
The more info you provide the better it serves you. Google uses the whole information you provide to help your business rank higher in local search results and helps your customers make a clear choice before opening your website.
There is a lot of information to provide, therefore you could prioritize some over the other:
– Fill up NOW: Name, Address, Phone, Website, Hours.
– Fill up LATER: Category and Attributes, Products and services, From the business, Questions, and answers (Owner-generated queries).
- Be meticulous with contact information.
This step is identical to anything that has to do with BRANDING. Be consistent.
– Ensure your business name is identical to the one you use on your store signage or company name as everyone else knows it. Make sure it is exactly as it appears in the real world. Avoid using any name of the location(ex. Webndi Bethesda MD), unless that is part of your business name.
– Ensure that both your business name and address exactly match your other listings across the web. This means using “st” vs “street” or “co” vs “company” consistently. Google’s algorithm takes these inconsistencies into account when assessing your credibility.
– Indicate both your regular and holiday hours. This gives a clear idea of your working hours and discourages your customers from calling or visiting when you are closed.
- Fill up the “from the business” description section.
– Use all 750 characters, with key information in the first 250 characters.
– Repurpose content from your “About Us” page.
– Use keywords your audience uses to find businesses like yours.
– Don’t repeat any information already visible in the other sections of your profile. Use this space to talk about what sets you apart from competitors and what customers like most about your business.
– Don’t include links or HTML.
- Choose the category.
Google offers a set number of categories, so it’s important to choose the correct ones. Here’s how to optimize your Google Business Profile using categories:
– Be specific. If you’re a nail salon, choose “Nail Salon” and not just “Salon.” If you’re a restaurant, choose “Russian Restaurant,” “American Restaurant,” etc., rather than simply “Restaurant.” A drop-down list of categories will appear once you start typing.
– Choose secondary categories. Many businesses fall into multiple categories. Set your primary category to your main offering (for example, “Grocery Store”) and then choose additional categories that apply, such as “Grocery Delivery Service” or “Gourmet Grocery Store.”
– Don’t overdo it. You want Google to connect you with consumers who need your service, so choose only categories that match your offering. For example, if you’re an appliance repair business, select “Appliance Repair” only, not “Appliance Parts Supplier.” Technically you do supply service parts, but this is not a standalone offering of your business.
- Select applicable attributes.
Attributes are not specific to the Google My Business platform (review sites like Yelp have them, too). But Google’s attributes get really granular, like “good for working on a laptop” or “popular for travelers”. Pick the specific ones.
- Add some photos.
This helps to ensure customer engagement. Also, photos appear in the Google images section that leads to increased discoverability. Ensure having high-quality images. Do not use stock photos.
- Get Google Reviews.
If you do not have any reviews yet, ask your customers to leave you a review(4-5 star preferably). They help rank your profile higher than the businesses that do not have any reviews. Also, great reviews influence people in a positive way.
If a review(good or bad) is left, reply in a positive way every single time.
- Post to your Google My Business profile.
Same as blogs/articles on your website that help with your SEO, posting on your GMB page helps keep your customers informed and engaged.
- Ask and answer questions.
Answers to these questions may be the impetus for a customer deciding to choose your business. However, this section is particularly important to optimize because not only can anyone ask a question on a business’s Google profile but also anyone can answer. This can lead to inaccurate information on your profile.
- Add products and services.
Adding products and services is especially helpful if your offerings are not made clear in your business name. Populating this section also adds content to your profile that can help it to rank for even more relevant searches.
- Ensure to update any information that changes over time.
Keep things up to date. Reply to reviews. Respond to questions. Update your open hours. Keep posting new information. Add new services or products.
Make it a habit of updating anything that relates to your business.
Google My Business optimization helps you gain more customers by improving engagement, boosting your local rankings and simply making your customers know more about your business.
Have questions or need help optimizing your GMB page? Contact us anytime.