15 Tips To Optimize Your Google My Business Listing [Get More Leads]
While there is much to be said for SEO chops and good old-fashioned organic search results, nothing draws attention to your business the way a well filled-out Google My Business (GMB) entry does.
While Google My Business is free and generally straightforward, there are still strategies and tweaks you can make to enhance the way your business appears on the search page- after all, first impressions are valuable.
- Be thorough
GMB offers a great template for summarizing the information your potential clients and customers want to know, but that means you still have to provide said information.
Details that will go a long way towards enhancing your listing include:
- Business hours
- Phone number
- A concise description of your business
It’s worth noting that, although GMB provides some categories in which you can place your listing, a short summary of what you do, written in your own words, is far more appealing. This also avoids unnecessary pigeonholing.
- Pay Attention to Insights
One of the more useful features of the GMB dashboard is the “Insights” tab. This section provides graphs and data pertaining to your listing. You can access how many clicks you’ve gotten, and on which parts of your GMB space, or how your business compares to others (in terms of features and presentation).
This tool is useful for both the build and the maintenance of your GMB listing, and allows you to stay abreast of trends and information that keep you relevant and visible.
- Pictures Maketh the Post
This tip comes directly from the Google My Business Help page, which states that
““Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their website than businesses that don’t have photos.”
Although the presence of photos will do wonders for your GMB post in and of themselves, it is nevertheless important to make sure you curate them appropriately. Pictures only do so much for enticing clients if they don’t accurately represent the fantastic business you’re advertising.
- Keep Up-to-Date with the App
Optimizing your business’ visibility on Google is an ongoing process. It helps immensely to be able to stay current with things like reviews and site traffic based on your listing.
That said, there’s a very good reason why everything has an app these days. If you’re running a business, chances are it’s most convenient for you to be able to monitor and manage your GMB listing from your phone.
- Engage with Reviews
Feedback can be an integral part of consumer choices where businesses are concerned, and one of the best ways to control your business’ online image with GMB is to be sure you respond to each individual review your listing receives.
Note: this includes more than just thanking the sunny reviewers for their praise. It also means responding politely to the less flattering reviews- we all know how savage the Internet can be- and addressing any criticisms or complaints head-on.
Doing this ensures that those who read the reviews on your GMB understand that you are committed to integrating the feedback you get, and also gets your perspective into the conversation.
- Include Client Content
The beauty of GMB is its collaborative nature. While you are the authority on your business, you would be nothing without your clients, so make sure they’re in on your listing as well.
Some good ways to do this inside Google My Business are to feature client testimonials in your posts. Consider highlighting a particularly valued client every so often, or even allow them to make a guest post.
This shows your dedication to engaging with the community you serve, and does wonders for embedding you among those who can help you grow your business.
Fun fact: photos taken by clients can also be included in your listing. Consider a new profile picture with the “photos tagged of your business” option.
- Stay Active
It is not enough to simply create a thorough, professional-looking GMB entry and then simply bow out and wait for business to pick up. Snagging new clients and customers requires constant engagement with your listing.
Google Posts can help with this part of maintaining your GMB. This is an option that appears in your dashboard, and it allows you to make small, social media-esque posts to boost your online presence, and provide ever more content for those who do find your listing.
You can blog, do an employee spotlight, incorporate whatever kind of media you like. The possibilities are endless.
- Expand Your Research Base
Google My Business is, in and of itself, a very user-friendly tool. The features are straightforward and easy to understand, and there is no lack of help pages and tips from Google themselves.
It’s a very good starting point. What it is not, however, is the be-all, end-all for your listing. There’s a wealth of information out on the Internet for optimizing your GMB, so get creative in how you inform yourself.
One particularly good tip here is to know your statistics. Look up consumer reports, studies, anything that helps you get a feel for the way Google users engage with the content they’re seeing.
This gives you a huge advantage, in that you’ll be better able to advertise your business if you understand how your potential clients think and what they want to see.
- Double-Check Your Maps
Although Google Maps will fill out its own part of your GMB listing once you have input your business address, anyone who drives with a GPS knows how often Maps get mixed up in navigating people to their destination.
This being the case, don’t let Google do all the work for you. Check the map and make sure your business actually is where Google says it is, and then check Google Earth to be sure. Remember, the whole point of GMB optimization is to bring people to you, so make sure you know where they’ll be going.
- Be Aware of Your Edits
If you have a GMB listing, it is vitally important that you know exactly who has access to said listing, and who does not. Unfortunately, it is a little known fact that almost anyone can access your listing to change it in whatever way they please.
The “suggest an edit” feature was presumably meant to be a help to GMB administrators with old or outdated information on their listing, to keep them current and accurate.
While it can certainly be used that way, there is also a serious risk that competitors, pranksters, or just badly misinformed clients can get onto your GMB entry and do anything from marking your business “closed” to tampering with the location.
The good news is, this risk can be easily avoided with just a little vigilance. Check your listing often to ensure that all the information is up-to-date, and that it is what you put there in the first place.
Note: this is a good reason that it is important to verify your listing, and making sure you enable email notifications in the settings will immediately inform you if something changes.
- Take advantage of the new menu options
Everyone outside the restaurant business that utilizes Google My Business should rejoice- GMB has added a menu option for all, even if you haven’t listed an eatery.
In the past, menus were only available for restaurant owners looking to list on Google My Business. This made it easy for folks to decide what to have for dinner, but more difficult to discern what that new nail salon down the street could offer them.
The new menu option is exceptionally user-friendly, as well. All one has to do is check out the info section on GMB, and then select “add or edit services” to get started.
This is a convenient way to lay out what you do and how you do it for anyone viewing your listing, and it makes that information much more accessible than it has been in the past.
- Get Creative, Stay Relevant
One of the more prevalent issues surrounding businesses and the Internet is the balance that must be struck between professionalism and efforts to appear relatable to younger generations.
A recent trend on the rise where online searches are concerned is- yes, I’m perfectly serious- emojis.
These adorably silly hieroglyphs are beginning to appear in Google searches along with keywords like “near me” or the name of the desired city. Surprisingly enough, it’s an effective tactic. Such a search yields a GMB “3 pack” trio of results like any other set of search terms.
This is a great way to expand your relevance and marketability. Try using emojis in your posts on the listing. It’s best to find somewhere slightly off the beaten path to put them, because professionalism is key, but still important to incorporate them somewhere.
This is a budding trend in SEO, and it can give you and your listing the edge you need.
- Be Friends with the Booking Button
If you have a business that offers bookings of some sort, it is definitely to your advantage to look into Reserve with Google.
This is a service Google provides that can be integrated into your GMB entry, and it makes booking a breeze for your clients. It partners with a couple dozen independent booking services (which means if you have favorite you are already working with, and it works with Reserve, there’s no need to find a new one).
Ultimately, making this part of your business as accessible as possible to your clients without requiring a lot of site navigation has the potential to make a substantial difference in how you get business, and how much.
While we have here highlighted the importance of having plenty of quality photos attached to your listing, you may also want to consider having videos posted as well.
Tours of your business are a good idea here, and testimonials from happy customers or clients are a great way to showcase the positive feedback you have received, whereas reviews are much less in your control where that is concerned.
Video content provides a more dynamic, engaging way of imparting the information you want people to know about your business, and it may help you reach more people than a traditional, plain GMB entry.
One of GMB’s other dashboard features is its messaging service, which connects visitors to your listing to a phone number of your choice. You can set up a custom automatic reply that will send after you’ve been contacted.
Of course, it may not be convenient or desirable to post your own personal number for this service, but Google has an answer for that as well. Allo is Google’s messaging app, and it can be downloaded and linked to the same phone number you’ve attached to your GMB.
This allows for easy compartmentalization of work and personal messages, and a next-level approach to engaging with clientele.