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Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing

By on November 25th, 2020 in Google My Business, SEO

Google My Business (GMB) has become one of the most important online properties for a business on the web. In June of 2019, for the first time in history, more than 50% of Google search traffic ended without a click to a paid ad or a *website! This means your Google My Business page is even more important than your website from a Google Search perspective. Since Google eliminated the Google Plus social media platform, they have integrated social elements to the Google My Business product making it a key social media platform as well. On a well developed GMB profile, users can see a businesses products and services, it’s latest news, events, hours of operation, staff photos, 30 second videos, and more!

What follows are some basic but crucial tips for optimizing and actively managing your listing for maximum visibility!

  1. Enter Complete Data for Your Listing
    • Local search results favor the most relevant results for searches, and business offering the most detailed and accurate information will be easier to serve in search.
    • Don’t leave anything to be guessed or assumed; make sure your listing communicates with potential customers what your business does, where it is, and how they can acquire the good and/or services your business is offering.
    • Include Keywords
      1. Just like traditional website SEO, Google uses a variety of signals to serve search results, and including important keywords and search phrases to your business listing will be incredibly helpful, especially since your business website is listed directly within your GMB listing.
    • Keep Business Operating Hours Accurate
      1. It’s important to enter your business hours, but equally important to update them whenever they change.
      2. Google offers the ability to customize hours for holidays and other special events, and it should always be used to keep your site accurate and users happy.
    • Add a COVID Notice
      1. This new option in 2020 is featured prominently on the GMB public profile when used and should include a link to a COVID notice web page on the site.
  2. Add Business Information
    • Business name, detailed description, opening date, business categories, service area, address, hours of operation, special hours, phone number landing page URL, appointment links and more are all areas of the GMB profiles that should be included. Retail operations have additional information such as store code, label and Google Ads location extensions phone number can be entered as well.
    • New featured on GMB, as of 2020 include a COVID-19 landing page link and a “Virtual care link” if your business provides a website for virtual services, especially in light of the pandemic.
  3. Create Regular Posts
    • Google provides several different types of “posts” on a GMB profiles and occasionally changes the post options available. The COVID-19 support and update options are recent additions in 2020.
      1. COVID-19 Support
      2. COVID-19 Update
      3. Add Offer
      4. Add Update
      5. Add Event
  4. Publish Photos
    • Photos help business listings’ performance more than most business owners and marketers probably expect. Businesses with photos on their listings receive 42 percent more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35 percent more click-throughs to their websites than businesses that without photos, according to Google.
    • The most important piece of imagery in your GMB listing is obviously your profile photo. There likely won’t be an image that gets more exposure, and there likely isn’t one that will have more of an impact either.
      1. Your business profile photo should not be the brand logo itself, but of something appealing and encompassing of the brand, what it stands for, and/or what it offers.
    • Types of photos/video that should be added to your GMB listing are:
      1. Identity images 
        • Logo: Google recommends businesses use their logo to help customers identify your business with a square-sized image.
        • Cover photo: The cover photo is considered an “identity” image on Google My Business. It should showcase a brand page’s personality. It is the preferred photo to be shown on your listing in Search and Maps.
      2. 360 Photos: 360 degree photos allow users to experience an immersive and interactive view of your business both inside and outside. Use 360 imagery to showcase important rooms and public areas of your business. 360 photos must be at least 4K: 3840 x 2160 pixels or greater.
      3. Video: A 30 sec., 100Mb maximum video can be uploaded directly to the platform. One video is a minimum, but multiple over time helps with visibility on Google
      4. Interior: Provide photos of the interior spaces of your business. These are often the most viewed images on a google my business listing. Photos should not include people in the pictures.
      5. Exterior: Exterior photos help visitors find your business and provide additional opportunities for branding if you have signage. Photos should not include people in the pictures if at all possible.
      6. At work: Action shots of the business that include people and/or customers in public areas help set the stage for your profile.
      7. Team: Showcase headshots and group photos of employees and team members on this page.
      8. Additional photos: Other, different kinds of photos are used to spotlight features of your business that customers consider when making purchasing decisions. These photos will differ and are dependent on the kind of business you manage. These photos may include the goods and/or services your business offers, business staff working and/or assisting customers, the interior and exterior of the business, and other general photos that summarize the business and what it can do for its customers.
      9. See format specific criteria by Google: https://support.google.com/contributionpolicy/answer/7411351
  5. Get Reviews!
    • Reviews are a major ranking factor on Google My Business. Businesses with a higher quantity of reviews and reviews that are more positive rank higher. 
    • Reply to all reviews, both positive and negative. The reply you give to a review becomes keyword searchable so reply with a statement about the service provided.
  6. Add Services
    • Add all discreet services provided by the business. Enter the service title, then open the service to add pricing and/or a detailed description. 300 characters max are allowed for each service
  7. Add Products
    • If your business also provides physical products, include product categories and individual products. Photos, product name, product category, product price or price range, description and a call to action button are available for populating the listing.
      1. Button options include: 
        • Order Online
        • Buy
        • Learn More
        • Get Offer 
  8. Post Content Regularly
    • Begin posting content at least weekly with links back to your blog or website. Photos taken at your business from a mobile device get maximum visibility. Go for authenticity over highly produced content on GMB.

Check out these references and resources too!

* https://searchengineland.com/now-more-50-of-google-searches-end-without-a-click-to-other-content-study-finds-320574

https://theinkblog.net/2019/03/10/how-to-associate-an-email-address-with-a-google-account/

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