Google My Business profile optimization techniques are simple. You just need to allot less than an hour to complete it and make sure that you share posts on it just the way you do on your other social media accounts. By doing this, be sure that you are on the right track to rank higher in your local listings.
If you are talking about local SEO, registering your business on Google My Business is a must. After successful registration, Google My Business profile optimization is wherein you put your local SEO efforts to use.
Without much ado, let us leap into Google My Business profile optimization techniques.
After successful verification, Google My Business takes you to your dashboard. It is here that you define your business and get more people to visit it. And, of course, our Google My Business profile optimization techniques start here.
What are Google My Business profile optimization techniques?
On the left side of your dashboard are the features of Google My Business like
You have the option to even create ads or add/manage locations. Let us see what relevance each one holds for local search optimization.
Here you fill in all the basic and necessary details of your business. This is the first and foremost thing that is visible to the customers. You have to fill in/edit details like-
1. The name of your business
2. Its category and sub-category
4. Service areas
5. Timings of service
6. Special hours if any
7. Contact details
8. Website address
9. Attributes (like special highlights, wheelchair accessible entrance, amenities, offerings, accepted payment modes, planning)
10. Description (750 characters in total, of which only the first 250 characters appear in the viewer’s page succeeded by ‘Read More’ link)
11. Opening date
Fill in all the details as it helps customers to know more accurately about your business. Apply and save the changes you have made.
Use your business-related keywords and search phrases in the description. The description can include a brief introduction to your business or any other important message that you want to convey.
You can also customize working hours for holidays or special events.
1. Anyone can suggest an edit to your business listing. So, you must fill in the right details rather than someone suggesting it for you.
2. Sometimes, it takes time (2-3 days) for Google to make the changes visible on the local listing.
Business listings with photos receive 35% more clicks and 42% more requests for driving directions to the business location.
The photos help the customers in locating your business. It also gives them an idea about your store, your team and the products or services. In the photo section, you have can upload photos regarding the-
1. Interior of your office or business location (upload the photos of interiors so that the customers know beforehand how your business looks. It is very useful for restaurants, coffee shops, library, clinics, studios, classes, service centers and so on.)
2. Exterior (this helps customers identify the building from the exterior as they approach it)
3. Products (the customers know and get a better understanding of the available products or services in your business)
4. Logo (this gives a distinct identity to your business)
5. Cover photo (Google does not guarantee you that this will be the first image displayed for your business, but add it to boost your local SEO)
6. Team (Add lively team photos either individual or group so that customers feel connected)
Depending on your business type you even get to upload photos of-
--> Common areas
--> Food & drink
--> Photos at work
The best standards in photos for Google My Business optimization are-
· JPG or PNG
· 720*720 pixels
· 10KB to 5MB
· As natural as possible (No use of excessive filters.)
You can also upload videos about your business and its offerings. A short video regarding the products and services you offer will help you stay ahead of your competitors. Remember, it is best when you get your video done from a professional. The video guidelines are-
· At least 30 seconds long
· 100 MB file size
· Good resolution of more than 720p
The problem with uploading videos is that it gets mixed with the photos. So, a video will not be placed at the first of the photo list. Nevertheless, product photos help customers in their purchasing decisions.
This photo section on the dashboard segregates photos uploaded by the owner and the customers. If you find that any of the customer-uploaded images are irrelevant or offensive, then you can remove them.
The ratings and reviews hold considerable importance in customer decisions. We all know that better reviews are good for any business. Encourage customers to review you on Google and leave feedback.
But, sometimes, businesses do get lesser ratings and bad reviews. You can always ask for one more chance from an unsatisfied customer. This will imply to the customer that you take the complaints seriously and work to resolve them.
The review section shows all the ratings and reviews. Reply to these reviews for better local search optimization and customer satisfaction improvement.
Moreover, replying to reviews helps in trust-building and influences other people to leave their reviews.
Google My Business now provides a shareable link for ratings and reviews that can be shared with your customers. This link directly takes them to the rating section to encourage them to leave feedback.
This new feature of Google My Business helps you to connect even more with your customers.
Posting at least 2-3 times a week helps you get more clicks and boosts your Google rankings. Google offers the option to share this post on other social media accounts directly or through a copy link option.
Let us see how we can optimize posts on Google My Business.
Offer- Write posts about the discount offers or limited-time deals on products or services. This allows you to set a start and end date for the promotion offer. You can also add coupon code, link to redeem the offer and terms & conditions.
Event- Just like other social media accounts that allow you to post events, Google My Business also allows you to create a post for the event.
1. Event Title
2. Start & End Date
3. Event Details
4. CTA button like Call Now, Buy, Sign Up, Order Online, Learn More, or Book
What’s New- Whenever your business launches a new product or service, make it known to people using the ‘What’s New’ post. Moreover, adding the Learn More button gives you the option to add a link so that viewers can be taken to your business website.
Product- You can keep posting about your products frequently. This is one way of getting potential customers.
1. Photo or Video
2. Product Name
3. Category (create a new category or add it to the existing ones)
4. Price (either a fixed price or a price range)
5. Product description
6. CTA like Order online, Buy, Learn More and Get Offer
One more advantageous feature is that Google My Business shows you the brief post insight. What can you get from your Google My Business post summary?
--> Views of the post
Each time you go to the posts section, Google provides a ‘new post views’ analysis and this pertains to the new views that your posts got that week.
Posts are important when it comes to boosting your rank on Google. Google always sends post reminders to your mailbox. So, take advantage of it and upload posts on GMB at the same frequency as you post it on other social media platforms.
The holy grail of SEO, insights or analytics provides you with all the data regarding how customers reach out to you through Google My Business. It gives you reports on-
1. How the customers searched for your business (through direct, discovery or brand)
2. The search queries used by customers to find your business (keywords typed and the number of users for that keyword)
3. If customers viewed it on the search results or map
4. Action taken by customers (visited website, requested for directions, called you)
5. Photo views
6. Competitor analysis for the photo quantity
Remember, these insights are very important for every business to know from where it gets its customers. It even helps them to tweak information to get more potential customers to either visit their website or business location.
Now, Google allows you to get messages from your customers directly on your mobile device. For this, you have to install Google My Business app on your cell phone. One installed, you can view messages directly and respond to them on the go.
Here, you can add your products and services. You need to first name the product collection and then add the products under the collection. You can create as many product collections as you want and add products under it. Take for instance you own a home décor shop.
1. Dining- Product collection
Wood Dining table- Product
Marble-top dining table-Product
2. Living room- Product collection
Sofa set- Product
You organize the products in this way. You can also break it down further depending on how broad your business is.
Another feature is showcasing your product collection as best sellers or fall/spring/summer/winter collection.
In each product, you write the product name, its photo (compulsory) and other additional details (not mandatory) like the product price and description. It allows for a 1000 character description. Try to add keyword-rich product descriptions. After you have filled in the additional details, you can place buttons like-
1. Order online
3. Learn more
4. Get offer
When you opt for any of these buttons, you will have to provide a link for your button. Take for instance, if you opt for Learn More, provide a link to this particular product page on your website.
It goes without saying that many of the businesses are service-based like online classes, beauty parlors, repair services and many more. Such businesses can take advantage of the Services section in their Google My Business profile. The services can be categorized into primary and subcategories inside it. For the sub-category, you can add the price of the service and a 300 character description. Try to include ranking keywords inside the description.
The Menu section is for those businesses that are into the food business or even for spa and salon services. You can list the item, its price and description.
For those of the small businesses who do not want to invest in a website or find it costly to get one done, Google My Business has a solution. It offers you to build a minimalistic website for free. It collates all the data that you have provided in your business account and automatically designs a website when you click on ‘Create a Website’. You can
1. Change themes (the theme is basic with changes allowed in font design and color)
2. Edit text
3. Add photos
4. Change language (In ‘Settings’)
Once you are satisfied with the basic website, you can hit on the ‘Publish’ button. This website address will show on your local Google search listing. Remember, Google My Business can show only one website listing. So if you already have your own website, then you have to choose which one needs to be listed.
If you have more local business and your website is in English, you can take advantage of Google My Business free website to create it in the local language. Take for instance your business caters more to the local French population. If you already have a website in English, then publish your Google My Business website in French. List it on the Google My Business page. This will help you connect with the local customers. And, if you feel that it is not helping you get more customers, then there is always the option to ‘Unpublish’ (Settings-> Unpublish) your Google My Business website.
If you need to add more people to manage your Google My Business account, it is possible through this section. Basically, you can add users as-
1. Owners- Owners have all the capabilities as the primary owner but remember, there can be only one primary business owner. Owners can add and remove users and manage everything on Google My Business account.
2. Managers- Managers can also do the same as the owners, but cannot add/remove users and remove the listing.
3. Site managers- They can edit some main business information like address, contact number, working hours. In addition, they can manage posts, respond to reviews and download insights.
To add more users, click on ‘Users’. At the top right corner of the opened page, you will find ‘Add User+’. Click on it. Now, you can enter the email address or name of the user you want to add. Next, select the user’s role (owner, manager, site manager). The user will receive an email and when he clicks on the accept button in the email body, he will be added to your Users list. Google My Business also has provisions for canceling the user request or removing any added user.
Taking advantage of Google My Business for online businesses is easy. Once you complete your GMB profile optimization what remains is consistent post & photo uploading and review management.
Have you optimized your profile on Google My Business? If you want expert help, contact a good digital marketing agency that will help you set up the best profile so that your business comes on the top of the search engine’s rank page.