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How To Optimize Google My Business In 4 Steps

Follow these tips for Google My Business optimization. When used correctly, GMB can help small businesses be found in local searches.

All local businesses must be visible online. However, in the increasingly competitive market, ranking on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) can be difficult. Small businesses are in a constant battle between saving money and doing more to generate buzz about their business, so it's no wonder why you might be searching for the most cost-effective marketing tools and strategies to help grow your business.

If you have a local business with a physical address, you might benefit from optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) Profile. If you've ever used Google to search for local restaurants, shops, or services, you've likely come across at least a few GMB listings.

GMB can help you attract more customers by increasing your online presence, and setting up and optimizing your Google business Profile is free. There's no reason for businesses not to claim their free GMB Profile and begin using it to increase sales.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business, also known as a Google Business Profile, is a free business listing service provided by Google. Business owners can claim or create a business listing that shows up on search engine results pages (SERPs) and Google Maps to improve their local SEO and marketing efforts.

If you're already blogging for local search results and investing in creating quality website content for local searches, you can enhance your overall marketing strategy by ensuring your business is visible on Google with a Google My Business Profile.

Google My Business Profile optimization is crucial for increasing your online presence. Adding your business information to the listing can help Google users find your business and become paying customers. Google Business Profiles can drastically increase local exposure to complement your marketing strategy and reach more customers. In addition, you can build your local reputation with reviews, allowing you to build trust and relationships with your target customers.

The benefits of an optimized GMB Profile

Without a Google My Business optimization, your business likely won't appear in local search results or Google Maps. This can be bad for business. Consider this: you're an owner of a hot new burger joint. When someone is craving a burger, they might search "burger" in Google on their mobile device. Google then displays a list of local restaurants that serve burgers. If your GMB profile isn't optimized, you won't show up in maps or the local pack, and the customer may go to the competition.

Of course, not having a Google Business Profile is bad for business, but having one and not optimizing it can be worse. If you don't invest in Google My Business optimization, it's possible for the business listing to be inaccurate, giving customers incorrect information about your business.

For example, if you close early on weekends and your business hours are not reflected on your Google Business Profile, customers may show up after hours only to find out you're closed, resulting in a negative experience with your business that can result in them never coming back.

Simply put, if you want your business to show up in local search results, you'll need to invest time into optimizing your Google Business Profile. Luckily, editing crucial information for your customers is easy once you claim or create your business listing.

Optimizing your Google My Business Profile

Google is partial to business listings that include as much information as possible. Therefore, if you want to show up for queries associated with your business, you should learn how to optimize Google My Business listings.

Of course, first, you'll need your free listing. To make a GMB Profile, head to https:/www.google.com/business to begin the process.

Once your business listing is created, follow these steps to optimize your Google My Business Profile:

1. Fill out all your information

Google shows users the most relevant results for their queries. For example, if someone enters "meatball subs" into Google, they expect to find local restaurants where they can get one.

Search engines find it easier to share relevant results with users when you complete your profile by filling in all the information Google My Business asks for. Your information should also be up to date, so if there are any changes to your business information, you should ensure they're reflected on GMB.

Google My Business optimization will require you to verify your physical address to ensure it can appear in search results. If you've already verified a location, Google may make the process easier by allowing you to verify via phone or text, email, live video call, or postcard. However, most first-time verifications are done by sending a postcard to your location with a code.

It's also important to note that the description is essential for helping Google determine whether your business is relevant to a user's query. While the business category is chosen from a drop-down menu, the business description is something you can write to let Google search users know exactly what your business does. This is also where you should highlight any achievements or messaging that makes you stand out from the competition. For example, if you do something unique or have won any local awards, mention them in your description.

2. Add photos

Business photos are essential for helping customers find you when they use Maps and arrive at your location and for helping to build trust among potential customers. Anyone can add photos to your Google Business Profile, so you'll need to review them regularly and update photos to ensure your business is seen in the best light. In addition, adding your own photos can ensure your profile looks more professional.

In addition to quality assurance, adding can help you rank on local searches. For example, Google prefers when Google Business Profiles are active, and regularly adding photos demonstrates that you're actively using the tool and available to engage users.

Photos will also increase engagement since users who see photos of your business on your listing are more likely to visit the business or click through to its website. Businesses with photos also get more calls and messages than businesses without photos, so they're essential to the success of your Google Business Profile.

Of course, you don't need to add photos daily, but you should aim to upload new photos regularly. Google My Business will ask for your logo, cover photo, and interior photos of the business.

However, you can also upload videos and additional photos to highlight the best aspects of your business. For example, if you sell the best hamburgers in the city, you can take photos of the food you prepare to entice customers to stop by.

3. Encourage customer reviews

Of course, Google My Business optimization goes beyond attracting customers; you can use it to improve your reputation. Google My Business allows you to collect and respond to business reviews online. You may already know the importance of reviews, but in general, most modern consumers look for reviews before they decide to spend their hard-earned money. Unfortunately, you can't turn off Google Business Profile reviews. A business with zero reviews will look as untrustworthy as one with negative reviews because customers want to know about other real people's experiences with your business.

Therefore, you should encourage customer reviews. You can do this in a few ways, but Google has rules for asking for reviews. For example, you can't trade reviews for gift cards or other offers. Instead, you can provide customers with a link or a card with a QR code and instructions for providing you with a GMB review.

In addition to encouraging reviews, you should respond to every review personally.

Potential customers may read negative reviews and wonder about the quality of your products and services. However, if you professionally share your side of the story or find a way to resolve the issue, you can improve your reputation and show customers that you're willing to improve their experiences.

When responding to reviews, always ensure you sound like a real person. You should refrain from using canned responses because they can make you sound robotic. Instead, respond personally to reviews to give customers a more personal experience.

4. Post regularly

Google My Business has a posting feature that works similarly to social media. These posts allow you to connect with potential customers through your profile by sharing announcements and other information about your business, like product descriptions or offers.

Your posts can include anything from texts and photos or videos, and they're visible on your profile. Posts can help drive more traffic to your website and demonstrate your expertise by sharing relevant information that can improve your local SEO strategy.

Show up in local searches

Optimizing Google My Business can help you rank in local search results to bring in more foot traffic and attract more customers while increasing web traffic. This free tool allows you to market to the right people at the right time based on their search queries, giving your business access to a range of individuals already looking for the products and services you offer.

Once you've created and optimized your Google Business Profile, you can ask your loyal customers for reviews. Mailchimp streamlines your GMB reviews by allowing you to create campaigns to target customers after they've visited your business online or in person. With email marketing, you can ask customers to review your business and send them thoughtful thank-you letters.

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