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Tips To Improve Your Google My Business

Looking to improve your GMB listing but to no avail? Here we are the best tips to improve your GMB with an extensive guide on everything you need to know!

Photo of Brodey Sheppard
Brodey Sheppard
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Technology and the internet have touched every aspect of our lives, and business operations are no exception.

With the advent of digital marketing, businesses today are in a never-ending battle of achieving online visibility. There’s just one rule- the higher you appear on search results, the more are the chances of increasing sales.

Tips To Improve Your Google My Business

Especially for Google, which controls almost 92% of the search engine market, businesses would want to leave no stone unturned. And this is where Google My Business comes to the rescue. But how do you get started and improve your chances of being seen?

To answer such questions, we have put together this extensive guide to help our readers with all the nitty-gritty about GMB profiles. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

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What Is Google My Business?

Before we walk you through the different ways of improving your Google My Business (GMB), it only makes sense for us to talk a bit about what does it do in the first place.

In simple terms, Google My Business is a free online platform or tool that enables users to create and run a business profile on Google. Once you create your business account or profile with this tool, Google officially recognises it as a business, thereby making the profile appear on the result listings for all related local searches.

Creating Google My Business Account

Long story short, Google My Business makes it easier for potential clients to find out about your business online. And this is why it’s crucial for users to constantly improve their profiles so that they appear higher on a related Google search.

Is Google My Business Related To SEO?

In case you didn’t know this, let us tell you that many users tend to overlook the fact that their Google My Business accounts directly impact the SEO rankings.

Every time someone performs a Google search for a local business in a specific category, the top results will comprise the websites that have optimised their SEO strategies and have a related Google My Business account.

This is because Google focuses on “fetching” websites that have been officially registered as Google My Business accounts on its backend. So, if you have a proper Google My Business profile, there’s a greater chance that your business will appear among the top results for a related local search.

Besides, setting up this profile will automatically put your business on the local Google map, which is a great added advantage.

86 Percent Of Customers Use Google Maps

Benefits Of Setting Up A Google My Business Account

In the following sections, we will quickly walk you through the main advantages of creating and maintaining a Google My Business account:

1. Increased Visibility

By appearing both on the top Google search results and its map, online visibility for potential clients or customers won’t be a problem anymore.

In fact, according to a recent survey, a GMB profile is one of the biggest factors that determine local pack rankings on Google. Hence, providing, verifying and regularly updating information about your business will help it stay on the top of the search engine rankings.

When users search for your kind of business, a credible Google My Business account will ensure that you appear among the first few recommendations of the “local packs” that pick up local listings. Hence, having the details pop up on the user’s screens (along with the related location and phone number) will enhance the conversation rate.

2.Control Over How Your Business Listing Appears

If your business has been around for some time, there’s a high chance that Google has already registered it on its maps. But with a Google My Business account, you can claim the location to control how it appears to users. This means that you get to personalise and customise its appearance as desired.

3. “Trial”Advertising On Google Maps

In case you didn’t know this, your GMB account will help you advertise the business on Google maps. All you have to do is perform a keyword search to identify the related keywords you want the said GMB profile to appear for.

This way, when users search using those keywords, your Google My Business profile will appear on the top of the list for the targeted geographic area. Besides, it will help you understand how to better launch an ad to facilitate maximum audience reach.

4. Provides Platform For Customer Reviews

According to a ranking factors survey conducted by the search engine MOZ, online reviews can contribute up to 10% in how Google ranks local businesses. And with GMB, your customers find a reliable platform to voice their opinion, which will ultimately result in higher rankings.

Distribution Of Reviews On Reviews Sites

Not only that, but positive reviews by existing customers also serve as unbiased testimonials for potential customers. As many as 93% of customers trust online reviews for making a purchase decision because such feedback is most authentic and unpaid. Hence, it goes without saying that good reviews play an instrumental role in sales boosting.

In addition to this, it will give you a better idea about the exact requirements of your potential clients so that you can make the necessary changes. And businesses that respond to reviews (whether directly or indirectly) are more likely to earn the consumers’ trust online.

By now, you must have figured out how positive reviews are directly proportional relationship to sales. But at the same time, it’s important to understand how to deal with negative reviews.

Remember that even the best businesses have negative reviews, which should always be handled in a professional manner. So, instead of taking criticism personally, use it to improve your product and service. There’s practically nothing better than first-hand customer experience to help your business advance.

What Is Said On Review Responses

5. Provides Helpful Insights

Aside from promoting your product or service online, a Google My Business account will provide relevant information that will help in better understanding the market the business is operating in.

For this, GMB employs multiple tools and features that facilitate valuable access to customer statistics. Among other things, it can show you the number of views for the photos, videos, and posts on your business website.

You can also get a detailed breakup report of how customers engage with all your Google My Business posts. Simply put, GMB helps users understand the type of content that is liked and shared by their customers.

Hence, it becomes easy to gauge the effectiveness of your current campaign and whether or not it has generated the desired customer reach. Based on these findings, business owners may decide to change or modify their current marketing strategies.

Furthermore, there’s a section on your Google My Business profile that presents a summary of your audience or customer base in terms of age, location, and gender. Such information will be especially helpful in creating targeted campaigns to increase sales and revenue.

Similarly, the “search query” reports can help business owners learn how potential customers search for their business online and the specific keywords that people use to find their GMB listing. This, in turn, helps them formulate the right content marketing strategies to increase clicks and subsequent sales.

6. Ease Of Use

As we have already mentioned before, Google My Business is a free tool that assists business owners to promote their products and services online. But not every free online platform can help optimise your Google presence with the same ease of use and convenience as GMB.

By entering all the relevant and accurate information (like address, phone number, business hours, etc.), users can get their profiles verified within a matter of hours. Besides, there are certain tools that verify your Google My Business profile almost instantly!

And with the performance analysis features, users can keep constant track of their Google My Business listing to improve ranks and online visibility.

Rank Of Importance Of Gmb Profile

How To Set Up A Google My Business Listing?

As is evident, your Google My Business account is a key factor that determines the efficiency of local SEO. Hence, it’s extremely important to know the steps involved in creating a proper GMB profile and in this section, we will talk about just that.

Step 1

Start by creating a Google account meant for all business activities. Now, you may use your existing Google account, but we’d recommend using a separate account to keep things simple.

For the latter, you will find a drop-down list by clicking on the “create account” tab and choosing the “to manage my business” option. Fill in the required details, such as your name, address, phone number, etc., to complete setting up the new account.

Otherwise, just head to google.com/business and click on “manage now.”

Step 2

The next step is to enter your business name (or the name of the business page) in the “type your business name box.” Here, Google may use its autocomplete function to complete the entered name, especially in the case of a namesake in that region.

It also allows users to see if their business has already been listed to avoid duplication or create a new GMB profile for your existing business, especially if there’s a change in location.

Step 3

It’s now time to provide the location of your business where you can receive potential customers. If you’re a SAB (Service Area Business) that delivers goods and services from a particular store or facility, specify that by clicking on the corresponding option.

But if you don’t have a physical store or location where customers can visit you, leave the address field blank and tick on the “hide my address” option (in addition to the “goods and services” box).

Google Maps Business Listing Example

Step 4

In the case of SABs that don’t have a physical location, business owners should specify the area they will cater to. This is an important step to ensure that customers can find their businesses on local searches, so enter all the regions, cities, or postcodes where you plan to serve.

Step 5

One of the final steps in the process is to specify the accurate business categories you want your business to appear during local Google searches. This will also influence the list of categories that appear in your GMB profile, so we’d suggest spending some time going through how your competitors listed their businesses.

Besides, you can change or update the categories with time, which will require re-verifying your Google My Business profile.

Step 6

Believe it or not, but providing authentic and reliable contact information (phone number, email id, website URL) is a keystone of sales conversion. Your business information may not help your customers with all of their questions, so it’s important that they can reach out to people who will answer questions.

If you don’t have a business website yet, Google will also give you the option to create a Google website based on the provided information. But local businesses should have their own websites to stand out from the rest.

How Valuable Is An Online Presence Infographic

Step 7

As the last step, Google will verify whether the authenticity of the GMB listing by sending a verification code. The most commonly used method in this regard is postcard verification, where you will receive a postcard with a confidential code on the address of the listing, which needs to be entered into the GMB account.

Users should be receiving their verification postcards within 5 days of placing the request. If not, then you will have to place another verification request. Other than that, some businesses may receive the code via call or email, but this feature is not applicable to all users. The verification status will be updated in the Google My Business dashboard.

How To Improve Your Google My Business Listing?

With all said and done, it’s now time to address the elephant in the room- how to optimise your Google My Business listing to improve rankings. And there’s no rocket science here- all you need is accuracy and relevancy. These two factors will invariably encourage customers to consider your products or service and making the subsequent investment.

On that note, here are the top 5 factors that will help in optimising your Google My Business profile:

1. Add Photos And Videos

No matter how big or small your business is, adding visuals is a great way to stand out from competitors. Trust us- there’s no better way to help customers understand what your business is all about.

Just like Facebook or Twitter, GBM gives users the option to add a logo and cover photo to help find your business or brand online. But that’s the bare minimum you can do for your profile. Don’t shy away from exhibiting photos that describe your products or service as well as what goes behind them.

Here, we should mention that relevant pictures can increase direction requests by up to 42% and website clicks by up to 35%.

For example, if you run a cafe or bakery, post high-resolution photos of the food, menu, kitchen, and overall ambience. So, even if your customers don’t want to read through your business description, they’d still be enticed to try your products. And if feasible, hire a professional photographer for this purpose.

To add photos, simply sign in to your Google My Business profile and open the location of your business. Then, click on “photos” and select the type of images you want to add. Finally, upload the photos from the device or choose from the ones already uploaded.

Uploading Videos And Photos Screenshot

Also, update the picture gallery every time you add something new to your product list or make any changes to the business operation. In other words, post picture updates like you would for your social media accounts!

2. Post Updates

Be it a change in contact information, any special discount, or opening a new location, make sure that your GMB page has only current and authentic information. Users can create google posts.

Beyond that, always ensure that the business hours are up-to-date. After all, the last thing you’d want is for your customers to leave because Google search fetched the wrong opening and closing hours. Keep in mind that accuracy is of paramount importance.

Users can edit the hours by clicking on the Info tab on the GMB profile and add special hours for specific services (if any) or weekends and holidays. You will find this option under the “more hours” option on the “add hours” section on the same tab.

Apart from that, users can create Google posts to inform customers about any promotional offer or events for effective internet marketing.

Simply click on the “posts” option on the left-hand side menu and select the type of post you’d like to create. Fill in the required information, but avoid being too pushy. Plus, some post templates may allow you to add rich media, such as images, GIFs, and videos to promote customer engagement with your physical or digital store.

Before publishing, click on the “preview” option to check and remove any grammatical or formatting mistakes.

3. Ask For And Respond To Customer Reviews

Customers trust reviews from fellow customers more than they trust the business, and a good review can be the single biggest factor that sells your product or service. So, the best way to gain more reviews is by asking your customers to provide them after the sale.

Many business owners prefer sending out appreciation emails containing the link to the review site so that customers find it easy to access the review platform. Another way is to send a text message with the link after the transaction is complete.

We’d suggest taking a look at the competitors’ GMB pages to see how many reviews they have, and the goal should be to at least match that number. But the more the reviews, the better are the chances of a higher rank for a local search.

However, only piling on positive reviews is the job half done. Why you ask? Well, a recent survey found out that 70% of the respondents were likely to opt for a business that responds to their reviews. Hence, a simple response of appreciation can go a long way in building trust and brand loyalty for years to come.

Citations Seo 78 Percent And 40 Percent Statistic

In case of bad reviews, it’s important that the business remains apologetic and accepts responsibility without giving excuses. If possible, structure your response around a solution that will help the customers overcome the problem. Otherwise, state your intention of improving future customer experience.

In either case, don’t make the customer feel as if it’s an automated reply- try to make it as personalised and individualistic as possible.

4. Writing A Good Business Description

Although a business description on GMB can be about 750 characters long, it’s only the first 250 characters that get displayed on the screen. Hence, the focus should be on writing a clear, concise, yet compelling description by highlighting the key attributes of your business.

Here, you can include the best selling products or services, the area you cater to and the region where the business is located. All these details make it easy for customers to approach you without taking much time.

Writing A Detailed And Structured Description

5. Picking The Right Service Area

When it comes to choosing the service area, many business owners find themselves tempted to specify a large area, which may have a negative effect on the GMB rankings. Since Google My Business mainly deals with local searches, include only the areas or regions near the location of the business, even if it has a pan Australian presence.

In this regard, users can specify up to 20 locations in their GMB listing, and we would strongly recommend filling out all the fields.

A good way is to list the locations chronologically from the closest to the farthest, which will ensure focus on local area servicing. And there are more chances of the GMB listing finding a spot in the top search results for every local search.

Some Other Tips

1. Manage Customer Reviews

Customer review management is a very important factor that can influence how your brand is perceived by potential customers. And although GMB doesn’t allow users to turn off Google reviews, they can flag and report inappropriate or false reviews to maintain the legitimacy of the business operations.

If you don’t see the reviewer’s name in the customer database or the review doesn’t mention anything about the product or service, chances are that it’s a false review. Beyond that, your business may be the victim of “mistaken identity” where reviewers describe another product or service that doesn’t belong to you.

2. Add Special Features To The GMB Listing

Depending on the business category that users opt for, GMB offers a range of special features or attributes that help the GMB pages stand out among similar businesses. You can add up to 10 such attributes, but do not mention anything that your physical or digital store doesn’t offer.

Navigate to the “info” tab on the Google My Business dashboard and click on the “add attributes” option. Then, select the “edit” menu to add the relevant attributes and click on “apply.”

From different payment modes, wheelchair accessibility to free Wi-Fi and outdoor seating, anything can become a highlight for certain sections of your customer base. However, if you don’t find the required attributes, then you might have selected the wrong business category.

How Gmb Assigns Business Attributes

3. Select The Right Category

Among other things, the business category you choose can have a significant impact on where your GMB profile ranks for specific local searches and keywords. This is one of the main reasons why Google My Business allows users to specify both a primary and secondary business category.

Keep in mind that the former should be accurately related to your products and services, and the second category should be related to the primary category.

If you’re not sure about the right category, refer to the category listings of your top competitors. We’d suggest going with the category that most of your competitors are listed under, as this will enhance visibility during local, relevant searches.

Additionally, users are free to experiment and change the categories to find out the one that works best for them.

4. Fill In All The Fields

Whenever you’re creating a new GMB profile, furnish Google with as much information as possible to the best of your knowledge. Don’t be tempted to skip certain sections just because they don’t seem important at the first glance. The right keywords, attributes, contact information and categories will invariably lead to better search rankings.

Again, referring to competitors’ GMB listings can help you understand the keywords and attributes that are most suitable for your business. In addition, users can head to Google Trends to figure out how people search for certain businesses, products or services.

5. Switch To A Location Group Account

Honestly speaking, managing different Google My Business accounts for different locations or branches of the same business is nothing short of a hassle.

Even something apparently simple like securing the different login credentials can become a daunting task when running more than two such profiles. Plus, search engines can get confused about the authenticity of multiple Google My Business accounts under one business name.

Thankfully, Google understands this and it allows users to control multiple locations from a master Google My Business account called a “location group” account. However, make sure that the primary location or account is complete and verified before adding secondary locations.

6. Set Up Messaging

It’s no secret that a large number of people today use smartphones to search and shop online. And with a Google My Business Account, business owners can receive customer queries directly on their phones, resulting in quicker responses.

To enable this feature, select the “messaging” tab on the Google My Business dashboard and install it from the Google play store or Apple app store. And don’t worry; your personal number won’t be displayed for this purpose. But make sure to turn on alerts for customer messages from the settings menu.

7. Hire A Professional

Although creating a Google My Business account is relatively simple than many other digital marketing activities, the process of managing and updating the account may be cumbersome.

Especially if you don’t have any experience with digital marketing or want results from the get-go, it’s in your best interest to hire a professional for the purpose. Once you specify your goals, a professional agency will formulate the right plan of action to generate leads and convert them into sales.

What To Avoid In Your GMB Listing?

So far, we have discussed everything that users should do for creating an effective and high ranking GMB listing. However, it’s equally important that users know what to avoid for strengthening their digital marketing via Google My Business.

So, we have compiled this list of the most common yet avoidable mistakes that first-time users tend to make.

1.Wrong Location

Google should be automatically able to detect the location on the map when users enter the correct address. But if Google doesn’t recognise it, users have to manually pin their location directly on the map.

And while doing so, take special care to ensure that the pinning is accurate and precise. If the pin is located in the middle of the street or at the opposite building of your store, customers will be confused when following Google maps to reach the store.

2. Not Removing Old Information

In the midst of updating new information, many users neglect to remove older Google posts or photos that are no longer valid.

If you had a new year sale for the start of the year, it’s crucial that you remove any related posts soon after. Don’t assume that your customers will understand that the promotional offers aren’t valid in the later months.

3. Stuffing Keywords

Keywords, albeit important, can come across as “spam” or fake if stuffed in the business name. It’s for this reason that Google’s guidelines require users to use a real business name exactly as is registered with the authorities. Besides, using too many keywords for a name can make it difficult for consumers to figure out what the business is actually about.

4. Using The Less Recognised Name

It’s not unusual for businesses to have two names- one that’s more formal and the other that’s more popular among customers. In such scenarios, it’s best to stick with the name that’s used widely for your websites, logos, and signs. Discrepancies between names can result in reduced credibility and lower rankings.

5. Overlooking The Q And A Section

Aside from responding to reviews, answering queries in the Q and A section is a good way to communicate with customers. Not everyone may have the time to read through lengthy reviews, and even if they do, they might not find a suitable answer to their specific questions.

That’s why it’s important to monitor this section and provide accurate answers to all the customer queries. Another benefit is that it allows business owners to directly debunk myths and misinformation about their business.

Qa Section Of Google My Business

6. Not Crosschecking Information

Whether you’re entering information to create a new profile or updating existing information for relevancy purposes, always make it a point to double-check everything you write. Similarly, if you have social media pages or websites for the business, ensure that the information is the same across all these channels for consistency and uniformity.

Improving My Business In Google

With that, it’s time for us to wrap up today’s proceedings.

We hope that our efforts have helped you understand the basics of a GMB profile to the tee. At the risk of overstating, we’d say that the focus should be on providing quality and accurate information that aids in favourable decision-making.

We will see you again with more such guides. Till the next time, take care!


Photo of Brodey Sheppard

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey is the CEO of sitecentre and a data-analyst in the SEO, Paid advertising space who uses machine learning and AI to advance sitecentre as an industry-leading digital marketing agency across Australia.

Find them on their website: sitecentre, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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