Over 60% of users use their mobile devices to search for the local services and over 80% of searches worldwide are done on Google search engine.
Google offers a free tool that can help you drive customers to your website, control the local information regarding your business and interact with your customers and control your reputation. This is called “Google My Business.” But half of the small business has not yet claimed their GMB profiles.
Google My Business allows you to enter detailed information about your business, including contact details, URL, location, and photos. The customers can leave reviews about your business and claiming your Google My Business profile can help you address any concerns. One other feature is the ability to create Posts for Google My Business page, to share important updates and information about your company.
Here’s what a Google My Business listing looks like:
For local businesses, you can optimize to be displayed in the “Local 3-Pack”. Those are the first 3 results that are displayed in search results). The results, will of course, depend on the physical location, but the proper optimization of the GMB page will also play a role in the rankings of your business in local search results.
Publishing Your Google My Business Listing
Some basic but essential tips for optimizing your listing:
1. Enter ALL data for your listing
Business listings with the most detailed and most accurate information will be easier for search. Don’t leave anything left to be guessed or assumed – ensure that your listing communicates exactly what your business does, where it’s located, and how they can purchase the products and/or services your business is offering.
2. Keywords are Important
Like on a website, Google uses SEO by searching for important keywords, and search phrases.
3. Make Sure Your Business Operating Hours are Accurate
While it’s good to include your business hours, it’s also important to update them whenever they change. Google offers the ability to customize hours for holidays and other special events.
4. Manage & Respond to Customer Reviews
Interacting with customers should be a top priority when it comes to GMB. It gives those that see your listing a sense that your business values its customers and feedback that they receive.
Positive reviews will increase your business’ visibility in search results as well. Encourage customers to leave feedback by providing them.
5. Add photos
Photos help business listings. According to Google, those that have photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more click-throughs to their website than businesses without photos.
The most important photos for your Google My Business listing are your profile photos (which should not just be the brand logo itself), a logo image, cover photo, and any additional photos.
All photos should follow Google’s best practices:
· Format: JPG or PNG
· Size: Between 10KB and 5MB
· Minimum resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide
· Quality: The photo should be in focus and are well-lit. They should not have alternations or excessive use of filters. The image should represent reality.
Benefits of GMB Page
Many customers today turn to Google My Business page to learn more about the company. In fact, a lot of people don’t go past the GMB results when looking for a service or company, especially locally. If you do not have a well-optimized page you might be missing out on a lot of potential customers.
Moreover, a lot of people turn to GMB to research the company before making their choice: the GMB features 1-5 star ratings and reviews, meaning that the lack of this information might damage your reputation as a well-established business.
With information available at the fingertips, controlling and monitoring the feedback of your customers is crucial for any business. GMB page will let you stay in touch, get feedback and address any negative feedback your customers might have.