All business owners know it’s important to be visible on Google, but a free Business Profile on the search engine won’t do much on its own to increase exposure. You must first claim ownership of your business by creating a free Google My Business (GMB) account and then enhance your profile by optimizing it. GMB optimization makes your listing work for you as an effective SEO and lead generation tool.
Google My Business offers business owners the opportunity to enhance their listings by adding information that will be useful to customers, like details about your offerings, customer reviews, the ability to book appointments, and more. But, there are other ways in which GMB optimization can impact your business’s success.
Four Reasons Why GMB Optimization Can Help Your Business
1. GMB Optimization Can Improve Your Local Ranking
You’re probably aware that Google prioritizes relevant and valuable information for its users, so an optimized GMB profile should help rank your business ahead of your competitors. A better ranking can lead to more clicks on your GMB profile, which translates to more calls and visits. Plus, you should always consider what your competitors are up to. If the local competition is optimizing its GMB and only have the bare minimum information in your profile, you may lose customers to the business down the street or across town.
2. GMB Optimization Can Improve Customer Engagement
People turn to search engines like Google for information, and if they can find almost everything they’re looking for in one place, they won’t be tempted to search elsewhere to find answers to their questions. Give searchers a reason to stay focused on your profile by interacting with them, answering their questions, and making product suggestions. You’ll have an opportunity to build trust if they remain engaged with your profile and may be less likely to seek out your competitors.
3. GMB Optimization Can Help to Acquire and Convert Customers
A standard Google My Business Profile won’t attract searchers who are unaware of your name. But an optimized GMB account allows all Google users to find you through a keyword search. The better your GMB account is optimized, the more likely it will appear in searches for your relevant keywords.
If your profile includes the kind of information customers need before they take action, there’s a good chance they’ll decide to check out your website, read about your products or services, make an appointment, or request a quote.
4. GMB Optimization Can Help You Gain Insights About Your Performance
Because GMB is aligned with Google, you can use Google Analytics to get information about your profile’s performance and learn the paths and queries your audience is taking to find you. You can even learn which actions were taken on your dashboard and how you compare them to other profiles in your category.
What Does GMB Optimization Involve?
Now that you know how optimization can benefit your business, how do you get started? GMB optimization – just like website optimization – is an ongoing process. Some steps you can quickly cross off your list, like claiming your Business Profile and completing most of the sections on your dashboard.
But optimization should also include weekly posts, updated photos, quick responses to questions and reviews, and effective use of relevant keywords. Optimization is not only time-consuming but may require working with an SEO expert if you expect to see demonstrable engagement and results.
What Steps You Need to Take on Google My Business to Optimize Your Listing
A prominent Google partner1 has recommended that businesses take the following steps for GMB optimization:
- Claim ownership of your Business Profile.
- Complete all sections of your GMB account – some may take more time to fill out, and some require that continuous updating.
- Make sure your business name and address match other listings on Google (it must be identical) and that your name matches your physical signage.
- Include both regular and holiday hours.
- Write your “from the business” description, which will appear near the bottom of the listing. The one at the top is written by Google to ensure consistency across the platform.
- Choose a category. Be specific so you can be discovered in searches, but don’t overdo it. You can also add secondary categories if necessary.
- Select attributes, which are special features that customers make seek out (e.g., free wifi or parking available)
- Add photos that best reflect your business, and add new photos every week.
- Get reviews. Start by asking loyal customers to review you and then make it easy for new customers to leave their feedback. Reviews are a significant influence on consumer decision making so spend some time on this effort.
- Post regularly to your profile. Topics can include promotions, announcements, special offers, giveaways, new product information, or anything else that’s relevant to your business.
- Answer questions and take control of Q&A by making a list of FAQs, using keywords, and setting up alerts so that you can respond to questions quickly.
- Add descriptions of products and services you offer (and possibly the price if you are competitive).
- Enable messaging to allow people to get in touch with you directly from your profile.
- Maintain your profile by staying on top of it. Make sure to respond to any change that may impact your business. People are looking for current information and may click away if they see that your profile looks outdated or inaccurate.
Let Full Circle SEM Optimize and Manage Your GBM
Optimizing and managing your Google My Business account requires a lot of time and SEO expertise. Full Circle SEM can handle these tasks for you by writing your content and tracking performance. We’ll stay on top of the data so that we can further optimize your profile as needed. We are a metric-driven marketing agency that knows how to increase traffic, generate leads, and boost sales while managing your bottom line. Call us at 888-757-2714 or contact us here to learn about all the ways we can make a positive impact on your business.