Small business owners can leverage the free usage and business sign up from Google My Business (GMB). A digital marketing agency or an internet marketer knows the importance of local business exposure in one of the most used search engine. Hence, the first step in implementing local SEO is to submit, claim and verify a listing in Google.
A verified store listing in GMB increases a business’ chances of showing up in the search engine results page. It also increases one’s chances of being seen in Google’s local pack, Google Maps and in organic searches.
Submitting a listing in Google My Business is free. A business can sign up for an account, fill in important details such as your business name, address, store hours, contact number and website. Visit https://www.google.com/business to get started.
Steps to Google My Business Listing Optimization for Highest Exposure
Most business owners claim their listing in GMB and don’t fully utilize its full potential. Throughout the years, Google My Business has added features that help local business get more exposure in their local area. Let’s discuss in detail these features:
#1. Google My Business listing has now a description area. The description text area can cater up to 750 characters. A business can promote why their business is unique and why people should try their products and services. You can also leverage the text box and enter highly targeted keywords for more optimized business description.
Here’s a screenshot of a business, Tashman Home Center.
The best approach in optimizing a GMB listing is to fill out all information asked including the date where the store is first opened, hours, and payments accepted.
#2. Another feature which a GMB listing account holder can have minimal control is the ability of previous customers and clients to make or “suggest an edit”.
When someone clicks the suggest an edit button, they can update a business’ details. Changes can be updated and made without notifying the listing owner. The best practice to keep all your details intact is to log in to the dashboard on a daily basis.
Once suggested edits were made, you can see it in the “Google Updates” notifications tab. Most suggested edits fall in the business category. These notifications allow you to review and approve updates suggested.
#3. Another option a user can engage in a business’ GMB listing is to answer quick questions under the “Know this place” area. People can post questions and can also answer published questions. Business or listing owners are also able to answer questions.
#4. To get the most of Local SEO, Google My Business added a feature called “Posts”. Google Posts are similar to social media posts but is published alongside your GMB listing. If used properly, a business can promote events, discounts, and any other promotional offers.
Google Posts has a call-to-action (CTA) button that allows link inclusion back to your products’ page or website. Google posts can be used as:
- Promoting events – a webinar, a seminar with an option to add the event’s date and time. Registration link or more events info can also be added as the CTA button.
- Sale post event
- Promote new blog post utilizing the “learn more” button.
- New product feature that utilizes “buy now” or “get offer” button.
The type of content posted in posts are limitless but should be contained up to 300 words. These posts only last for an entire week. We suggest that you should update or publish new posts on a weekly basis.
#5. One of the coolest added features from Google My Business is the messaging or chat. This allows user-business interaction through their built-in messaging platform. To activate chat or messaging feature, enter your mobile phone number, follow the verification steps and the chat platform is activated. You’ll receive messages to your mobile phone via the “Allo app” from prospects and potential clients who left a message to your GMB listing.
#6. Online reviews strengthen a business’ online reputation. It’s also a factor to gain trust from prospects and leads. Online reviews appear alongside to your listing and in Google Maps. As a GMB listing owner, it’s best to respond to both positive and negative reviews given by a previous customer.
#7. Another strong feature to aid in optimizing your Google My Business listing is by adding photos and videos. Take a photo of your business or store’s exterior to give visitors an idea of how your store looks like. You can also generate interest by uploading photos on how your business looks from the inside. It’s also possible to upload your staff’s photos under the “teams” tab for a more personalized approach.
As a local business owner, you should get more out of your GMB listing to boost local SEO implementation. Engage and interact with your previous customers and possible prospects using the platform. This can give you an edge over your local competitors as you increase your chances of ranking higher in the local three-pack.