Are you Doing These 6 Things to Improve Your Google My Business?
Every day, millions of people search for businesses like yours. We live in an era of data & knowledge all at your fingertips, but how can you differentiate your business, cut through the clutter and get in front of your customers?
Enter Google My Business
Google My Business is a free platform for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. The search engine goliath is making it easier for customers to research a company without ever leaving the search results page. This means your GMB listing is now the most significant local ranking factor for your business. Essentially, it's your new home page. Keep in mind, however, it shouldn't replace your website (more on that later).
Creating and optimizing a Google My Business page can increase your chances of showing up in Google's Local Pack, which is a highly-coveted space of three listings that pull up when someone searches for businesses in a specific area. (e.g., Advertising Agency in Utah).
Unfortunately, many local businesses create their GMB listing and abandon it. What most companies don't realize is that there are a variety of features Google offers to help improve your local ranking.
Want to know more?
6 Tips to Improve Your Google My Business
Here are just some of the significant GMB features that have been released in the past year or two:
Google posts drive pre-site conversions, so they should always be purely promotional.
There are four different types of posts:
- What's New
Google's algorithm is always changing, but their main goal remains the same: to provide accurate, authentic, relevant results. So by aligning your GMB posts with Google's mission, you can maximize your chances of appearing in the local pack.
Google Q&A is a consumer-facing, crowd-sourced FAQ feature that allows both consumers and businesses to ask and answer questions about the company. Think of it like Yelp’s Ask the Community feature. This often-overlooked component is a great way to promote your business and stay ahead of the curve.
To build your brand and avoid risking your reputation, be sure to participate in the conversation by answering customer questions with both accurate and helpful responses.
According to Google, 60% of small businesses lack their own website. To increase that number, Google recently launched its Website Builder within Google My Business. Website Builder is an extension of Google My Business, which means you'll need to have a filled out GMB listing in order to use this feature. Google will pull the information from your listing to create a website, which can then be customized with themes, photos, and text.
Keep in mind that GMB website builder is limited, lacking many of the bells and whistles you'd find in a more robust content management system.
Online reviews are an essential SEO component for ranking higher in search engines. Not only do online reviews correlate with higher local rankings, but positive reviews can also build trust and brand credibility. In fact, nearly 90% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchase decisions.
Once you're crushing it on Google, branch out and get reviews on other important review sites, including Yelp, Facebook, Amazon, Trip Advisor, and more.
Before 2018, only restaurant owners could add their menu of services to their listing. Now, every service-based business can add a whole menu of different services they provide.
Businesses can now add links to their GMB listing to carry out specific actions. Possible action links can include:
- Book an appointment
- Place an order
- Reserve a table
- Search items
- View the menu
So, what's the takeaway?
Your customer has several touchpoints in a local search, and Google My Business is considered the most critical touchpoint. In fact, GMB signals now make up 25% of the local pack/finder pie chart, up from 19% in 2017. The remaining top factors included links (16%), reviews (15%), on-page signals (14%), behavioral signals (10%), citations (11%), personalization (6%), and social (3%).
And according to a recent study that compared Google My Business insights from 2017 to 2018, direct searches increased by a whopping 38% and discovery searches grew by 6%. Businesses also received 29% more website clicks from their GMB listings in 2018.
The data is clear. Since a GMB listing is a major local ranking factor for a business, keeping listings up-to-date with content improves findability in search. As GMB continues to add features to help businesses connect with their customers, local businesses must invest in these aspects of local search by adding as much content and useful information as possible.
How to Optimize Google My Business
Now that we've touched on features, let's get into the nitty-gritty of optimization.
An important step in any local SEO strategy is to claim and verify your GMB listing. Surprisingly, more than half of local retailers haven't done this crucial task. While you can request a postcard with a verification code, most businesses prefer verification by email, phone, or Search Console.
Once you've created and verified your profile, you'll need to add relevant information about your business, including:
- Phone Number
Don't skimp out on details, and make sure to be as consistent as possible.
On top of that, you'll want to provide pictures to showcase your page's personality. Businesses with photos receive 35% more clicks to their websites than businesses that don't have pictures.
Jumpstart Your Local SEO Efforts with Max Connect
At Max Connect, we identify customers in the market for your product or service and deliver content to them across all channels and devices.
Our crew creates fresh and forward-thinking digital marketing campaigns that have made us an industry-leading digital marketing agency. Let's create something amazing together. Hit us up at (801) 260-2835, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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