Visibility is the key to success for online businesses. With most people searching for goods and services online, every business is now launching a website. But, how can you be sure that your customers will find you online, and not one of your competitors?
Google, my business and SEO share a close relationship. If you have a business profile on Google, make it perfect so that search engine optimization takes place without any glitches.
Google My Business and SEO – Your Key to Success
GMB (Google My Business) profile listing remains the first and the most critical task if you wish to make the most of SEO marketing strategies.
Follow the steps and processes mentioned below to know the right way to list your business on GMB to help your customers find you without any hassle.
1. List Your Business Properly
Before you optimize your business listing using smart SEO tricks, it is necessary to set up your business profile first. Without a perfectly set Google business profile, you cannot get started.
Let’s first understand how you should set up your business profile as a business owner. There are certain things that cannot go wrong while setting up a business profile. Here is a brief idea of how to go about it.
Don’t worry. It is not rocket science. You just have to be careful and strategic and the task will be over before you know it.
Setting Up Your Business Profile
- To begin with, search for the link ‘google.com/business’ and click on the link. Once the page opens, go to Manage Now and click on it.
- Look for your company there. If you don’t find it, click on “Create A Business with This Name”. A set of prompts will appear and you need to follow them all.
- Select the type of business carefully. You will find options like online retail, service business, local store, etc. The good part is you can pick more than one option for a comprehensive business description.
- Finding and selecting an appropriate business category is the next step.
- Do not make any mistakes while adding one or more business locations and service areas where you intend to serve your prospective customers.
- For contact details, enter your business website URL and phone number. Remember that your potential customers will try to reach you using this information. Therefore, try to be accurate while entering these.
- The next step will be entering the business address. Based on The type of the business, you can also choose to keep this information hidden from your listing in the future.
- Now you have to select the way you intend to verify your Google business profile. There are options like a phone call, Google PIN generation, etc.
The former option remains the fastest. The second alternative might take weeks. If you wish to finish the business verification process sooner, the first alternative is always the best choice.
Once you are done with all these steps, your business listing process will be over. After successfully setting up the business profile, consider the next task, improving the listing ranking.
To be more precise and flawless, try a listing grader that can help you comprehend your business profile’s status. Always keep in mind that if anything about the set-up process goes wrong, the entire set of SEO tools will fall awfully short of fetching a good ranking.
2. Fill in All The Available Fields
With Google My Business profile, providing information about your business to your prospective customers becomes easier than ever. Google gives every business owner enough opportunities to list all the information they need to convey to their target audience.
If you leave the fields blank and unfilled, you will not be able to use this opportunity optimally. Therefore, try not to leave any field (relevant to your business) blank.
Information such as an address, phone number, business URL, and operating hours belong to the basic category. But, you need to be more careful and descriptive while filling up this field.
Information regarding the exact business hours, holiday hours, etc., could be useful for your customers. If you miss out on mentioning the holiday hours and a customer visits your shop at the wrong hour, the impression of the business would be negative.
The idea about filling all the fields remains to offer your customers as much information as possible to make them acquainted with your enterprise.
Check The Fields You Need To Fill in To Optimize Your Business Listing
- Business Description: Adding a proper description of the business is critical for listing. While the description needs to be short, it should be catchy and effective at the same time.
Your business description should be all-encompassing to let the customers know about your products, services, offers, and more. Get to know about the tips to write an effective business description to make your business listing more purposeful.
- Products / Services: The products and services you add to your business profile appear to the customers directly.
So, make sure to add them carefully so that your customers get the right information and impression and feel confident about clicking on the website. Any mistake in this field might become costly as it would eventually result in loss of meaningful traffic.
- Business Hours: This field is mandatory for all businesses. Do not ever miss out on this. No matter your products and services, your customers should know when you remain operational.
After all, no one wants to waste their time knocking on the closed doors of your shop. If you have no brick-and-mortar shop and run the business entirely online, specify pick-up hours, senior hours, or any other relevant specifications. Never forget to mention the holiday hours and special operation hours.
- From the Owner: Let your customers know you better. Inform them if the business is veteran-owned, women-run, or black-owned.
Several customers look for enterprises they could support and be a part of the endeavor. Disclosing such information may help you secure a better position in the market and search engine results sooner.
- Accessibility: If your business has a physical store, inform your customers about the availability of wheelchairs, or seating areas in your shop.
This will help many to visit your shop with their old parents or grandparents. Such provisions will also create a positive impression on your customer’s minds.
Therefore, all these fields can help your business listing perform better. With the best of the right SEO strategies, you can take your business to the next level in no time.
3. Upload Images and Videos
Do you remember how illustrated books used to capture your attention when you were a kid? This affinity for visual illustrations remains unaltered even when we grow up. Be sure that when your customers get to see images along with the business details, they find it more attractive.
Additionally, images also work as a source of credibility for many customers. Suppose you have a physical store and upload its image in your business profile, it creates a certain level of trust in your customer’s mind.
Images cast a prominent impression that every business might find useful in the long run. Only businesses can also attach a picture of the logo or the products to make their business more credible to the audience.
A cover photo, a business logo, and pictures of the interior and exterior parts of your shop are some good and impressive elements you can use for your profile.
List Of Videos Pictures You May Append To Your Google Business Profile
- Interior Pictures: If you have a physical store, make sure to upload at least 3 pictures of the interior space. Interior space images help the customers understand the quality and standards of the business.
Try to keep the images professionally framed so that the first impression you create becomes imposing enough.
- Exterior Pictures: Besides uploading the images of the interior space of the shop, you should also consider uploading exterior pictures. The best would be to attach at least 3 pictures taken at different times of the day from different angles.
A professional photographer would know how to make your business more presentable and attractive. Check the advantages of hiring professional photographers for commercial purposes. This way, it would be easier for your customers to identify your shop after reaching the location following Google Maps without any confusion.
- Product Images: No matter if you run an online business or a physical store or a combination of both, product images are critical for your listing.
Try to add pictures of the most popular products to attract customers. If you have any unique product to offer, displaying its pictures would be a great idea.
- Team Pictures: Another excellent way to improve the search ranking of the business profile would be to add the pictures of your team. This team might include delivery executives, customer care executives, or even the management staff.
These pictures associated with accounts of happy customer experiences can elevate your ranking without much ado. Always remember that high-resolution images are the best ones for uploads. Aesthetically taken, crystal-clear pictures tell your customers a convincing story about your brand.
- Videos: The best way to upload a video would be to get it shot by a professional. Professionals know how to represent your business in the best light.
However, if you do not have much time to hire a professional, you can also make a video of the shop, products, etc. using advanced mobile devices and upload it. Customers always prefer and feel more engaged when a business uploads videos with meaningful content.
However, make sure that the videos you upload are less than 100MB in size and do not run for more than 30 seconds. Long videos repel more audience than they attract. Try to be crisp and meaning-rendering with these videos.
4. Pick The Appropriate Business Categories
Google My Business offers a variety of categories to choose from. Experts suggest that every business should pick the primary category carefully and keep it unchanged throughout. Primary categories are like the identity of the business.
This must not change over time otherwise, the customers may feel confused. You can also learn how to choose the right business category.
On the other hand, for secondary categories, you get the liberty to upgrade. If your business offers season-specific services, you can change the secondary category at times to keep your customers informed about those special offers. You will find the list of secondary categories in the additional category box.
While picking categories, you should keep in mind that your customers will search for certain products and services with keywords. Search engine optimization would work at its best potential if you have marked the categories right.
If you deal with a wide variety of products, do not shy away from selecting different categories or else, some of your potential customers will not find your business.
Expert Tip: Experts suggest picking not more than three categories at a time. Make sure to choose these categories so that they represent your business adequately.
Way To Update The category of Your Google Business
It is a simple process that a novice can perform
- You will find the option in Google Search’s Google Business Dashboard.
- Now you have to click on ‘Edit Profile’.
- Come to the Business category by scrolling down and selecting the pencil-like icon. This tool will help you edit.
- Look for a primary category that best suits your business.
- Look for 1 or 2 secondary categories that are fit for your business.
- Now click ‘save’. Your category update is over and done.
Do not feel exasperated if the category change does not get reflected immediately. Google will review the categories with respect to your business before displaying them. This keeps the system error-free to a great extent. Additionally, these reviews save your business from sudden shocks if you accidentally pick the wrong category.
5. Manage your Google reviews
Have you ever noticed that Google has a filter for searching based on rating? If the customers know this trick you need a good rating and reviews to appear on the final filtered list.
If the keyword the customer is using has the words “top” or “best”, the final list would have businesses with at least 4 stars ratings and nothing less. Here comes the role of your online reputation.
If you want to appear on Google Search result pages, you need more positive reviews and star ratings from your customers.
Tricks To Improve Google Business Reviews
- Train Your Team: Reviews can be critical for your business. If you have a dedicated customer support team, make every executive learn the basics of the job – they should all ask for customer reviews from the customers with whom they have engaged in a positive interaction.
Review requests should be an integral part of the business. This will help you gather several reviews and your business profile ranking will improve.
- Link Website With Review Page: Another excellent way of amassing positive reviews could be linking your website with Google Business Profile. Once the customers land on your page and find it useful, they can click on the link and leave their experience written as reviews.
Additionally, ask your team to send the emails to the customers integrating the review link into the mail body.
- Ask For Reviews: If your business has repeat customers, you can ask them to share their experience with your business on Google Reviews.
Repeat customers generally write positive reviews and can help your business profile gain a lift in the search engine result page. There will always be some who will post a review without any requests.
However, some customers may need some persuasion. Here you have to be careful about the margin between persuasion and compelling. Getting positive reviews is necessary. But, you cannot afford to lose a customer just for a review, right? So, be humble and do not push too much.
- Deal With Negative Reviews: All businesses come across some negative reviews from customers. No matter how good your products and services are, you cannot avoid this feedback entirely. The best way to deal with negative reviews would be to learn the ways to answer such criticism.
As a business owner, you should always keep in mind that every customer is precious and especially if some are not happy with your services, you need to take special care of them.
Do not be outright aggressive and stay as polite as possible while replying to these reviews. Make sure that none of the negative ones gets unnoticed or unanswered. Other customers might consider your silence on the matter to be your consent.
Offer a remedy to the customer who has posted a negative review without fail. This gesture will convey the message to all your customers that you and your team care and do not leave any stone unturned to make your customers happy.
If you can handle unsatisfied customers intelligently and apologetically, you can turn many of them into loyal customers as well. With the right approach, they might agree to post a positive review based on their transaction experiences with your brand in the future.
Benefits of Using Google My Business Profile
While Google My Business and SEO can be a highly productive combination for all enterprises, let’s first know why you should have one. SEO refers to search engine optimization and SEO strategies ensure that most people find your URL when they search with relevant keywords.
The above tricks will help your business profile stay easy to find. When you follow the tips mentioned above, the SEO strategies perform optimally. Here is how Google my business helps your business grow.
Be Visible and Reachable
When you list your business on GMB (Google My Business), you enter the location and address of your office or shop. Google integrates this information with Google Maps and helps your customers reach your shop or office without any hassle.
With GMB, you can skip the hassle of the how-to-reach direction to each customer and enjoy huge footfall minus any additional effort. Even an online business brand has an office location and a location point on Google map makes your presence more palpable and real to the customers.
Get Reviewed and Rated
A positive review from a customer is always the best advertisement you get. GMB allows your customers to leave as many reviews as they wish on your business profile.
If you have served the customers well and the customers feel happy and content, you can be sure of getting hundreds of positive reviews that will keep your business on top of the SERP.
Additionally, positive reviews also help new customers feel confident about your products and services. Therefore, the probability of conversion improves when your business gets several good reviews with 5-star ratings.
On your GMB dashboard, you will find an option – ‘insight’. This can help you figure out what is happening in real time.
From the number of new customers you have acquired in the past few weeks to the number of repeat customers you have gained, everything about the sales and customer movement remains integrated into this segment.
If you wish to know more about your business, GMB’s insight can help you in more ways than one.
The insight parameters like views, click on the website link, engagement, audience, search queries and more can help you understand the needs of the business. You can talk to your marketing team and devise an appropriate SEO strategy based on this data.
Get It For Free
Are you concerned about the investment part? Here comes the good news for you. Google My Business is free. No matter the scale or domain of the business, you can use this tool to effectively grow and expand your enterprise within or beyond the local territory.
Especially for start-up businesses that lack enough brand recognition, this can be an excellent tool to promote their business overcoming their investment limitations.
Now you know why you should focus on the combination of Google My Business and SEO strategy. These two are complementary to each other and a perfectly done profile helps enhance the SEO impact.
Regardless of the size and domain of the business, make sure to avail yourself of the Google My Business advantage to grow your business. Google My Business is helpful for all businesses and start-ups can bet on this tool to establish their businesses at any time.