Whether you’ve got a business that is just getting off the ground or one that is already well established in your community, setting up and optimizing Google My Business is extremely important for helping you get discovered by new customers. Google My Business will help put your business on the map (literally)!
Below, we’ll discuss how to optimize your Google My Business page to ensure that your business is appearing prominently in local search results. We’ll also run through the basics that your Google My Business page needs, as well as highlight some more fun stuff that you could do to help your business gain more online exposure!
1. If you haven’t already, claim and verify your business page.
Think of your Google My Business page as a compliment to your website and another great way for new and existing clients to learn more about your business and the products or services you offer. Google is the most used search engine in the world so it’s worth your time to set things up properly!
If you haven’t already, it’s important to claim your business and verify it with Google. This will allow you to update your page details and even gain insight into who is looking at your page. To claim your business page, follow these steps.
2. Ensure all information is completed and accurate.
New and existing clients are searching for your products or services on Google, so let’s make sure they find the information they need! Here are a few key pieces of information your Google My Business page should include:
- Full business name
- An appropriate business category (i.e. spa, dentist, or mover)
- Street address
- Hours of operation
- Phone number
- Link to your website
Think of it this way: the more information you can provide Google, the better your business looks online. Not only should you add this information, but you should make sure it stays up to date! Taking summer hours? Make sure your business page reflects it. Updated your website? Make sure to include the new link. The last thing you’ll want to do is mislead your customers!
When possible, it’s always great to add photos to your Google page as well – especially your logo. Keep in mind that if your clients come to your business in person, it may be worth sharing street-view photos to help them find you.
Remember, some clients will form their first impression of your business based on this page so let’s put your best foot forward!
Note: On your Google listing there is an option for anyone online to “Suggest an edit”.
The great thing is that if someone sees that your information is incorrect or missing, they can go ahead fix it for you. The con is that anyone can suggest the edit (yes, that means that even your competitors can, too) and often the change is published without approval from you. This is why it is important for you to keep an eye on your listing regularly.
Arguably, the most essential part of your Google My Business is your reviews. The average consumer reads 7 reviews before trusting a new business, so it is important that they can easily find these online. Your online reviews are a fantastic tool to use in distinguishing yourself from competitors. A high amount of ratings and high overall ratings builds trust, credibility and quality in the consumer’s mind.
Even existing clients tend to check reviews from time to time. Whether they are deciding whether to refer a friend or considering a new product or service you offer, make sure they have recent reviews to reference!
Quick tip: once you start getting reviews, don’t forget to respond! – bp –
4. Use Google My Business Posts.
These posts show up right on your Google My Business listing! It is a great way to share more about your business, let customers know about special offers or just list the various products or services your business offers.
Google lets you create 4 types of posts: “What’s New”, “Events”, “Offers” and “Products”. To create a post, navigate to your Google My Business page and select “Posts” in the left hand column. This is another opportunity for you to build trust and engage with your customers! Even simply having a post advertising a sale or expressing well wishes for the holiday will make your business stand out from competitors.
Tip: Want to have more fun writing your posts? Google is starting to index emojis since people are searching to perform emoji searches. Now, when people search “💐near me” and you are a local flower shop, you may have an SEO advantage if that emoji appears somewhere in your Google posts!
5. Let Customers Book Online.
If your business operates in an industry where customers have to book appointments and you have a scheduling software that integrates with Google — here is another great feature you can use! Click here for all the scheduling software that Google currently integrates with.
Allowing customers to book directly from your Google listing creates another area of convenience, which may lead to more new customers just from the ease of use.
Remember — some clients may not even make it to your website before deciding whether or not they’d like to work with you, so you should do what you can to give them a good first impression straight from their favourite search engine.
Also, Google is always looking at engagement from searchers and business owners. This means that the more interaction with your listing and your posts there is, it will likely improve your Google ranking!
To learn more about how OneLocal can help, check out our website or contact your OneLocal Marketing Specialist!