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November 16, 2017

How To Optimise Your Google My Business Listing

It is no secret that Google has an extensive range of tools available to help businesses make the most of their service, but were you aware that Google My Business is possibly the simplest yet most vital to use for local marketing? Even if you haven’t heard the name of the tool, you’re likely to have seen a Google My Business listing before – after all, any search for a business is likely to come up with a listing. How extensive this listing is, however, ultimately depends on the business and how far they’ve gone into optimising their online presence.

The Google My Business tool is completely free and relatively easy to use for all businesses, no matter what size they are, so even the smallest of business start-ups can have a GMB listing! Organisations and businesses alike can manage their online presence across Google through this tool, including the ‘search’ feature, their location on maps, the information that is readily available to searchers and plenty more. Business owners can interact with their customers by uploading photographs or replying to reviews, all while making the most of the Insights information generated to understand and expand your presence further than ever before.

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Now, you may have noticed that we mentioned optimisation – a common word in the world of SEO. You might also now be asking yourself how exactly you optimise a business listing. To help you, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to Google My Business Optimisation.

The Steps You Need To Take

Make Sure You Have A Listing

If you don’t already have a Google My Business listing, getting one up and running is the first step you need to take to optimisation. While setting up a listing may sound like the obvious place to start, the first step is to actually check that your business doesn’t already have a business listing. If your business has been around for a while, it’s possible that Google has already created one for you, and so all you need to do in this situation is claim it as your business. To claim, it’s as simple as Googling the name of your business. If there is already a listing for your business, click ‘Own This Business?’ and follow the steps from here! You can also go to the Google My Business add and claim page and enter your details to see if it flags up as a duplicate business.

questions-2212771_960_720Ensure The Information Is Accurate

As soon as the listing is set up or claimed, you can manage every little detail of your business information. This is the prime opportunity to make sure that you are easily found and locally visible. Make sure that everything about your business is filled in correctly and with the appropriate grammar. Capitalise what needs to be capitalised, double check your contact numbers and opening times and make sure that you categorise your business in the right sector. There are plenty to choose from, so take the time to find the one closest to your business and its services. Correct and reliable information will not only ensure that your business is fit for full optimisation, but that when it is found by potential customers, you represent yourself in the right way.

Verify Your Business

Verifying your business is the next big step to optimising your Google My Business listing and is crucial for increasing its visibility and performance. Google won’t even display your business or any edits that you have made to a claimed business until it has been verified. You can verify your business in a number of ways, including being sent a postcard by Google with a verification code on it, verifying by phone, verifying by email, verifying in bulk, and verifying instantly online where possible. Postcards are available for all businesses, whereas only selected business can use the other options, so make sure to check what your business is and isn’t entitled to before choosing your method.

user-satisfaction-2800863_960_720Get Reviews

Getting reviews is a must for optimising your Google My Business listing. Encouraging your recurring customers to leave a review on your listing adds visibility to your business in search results, and can have a positive influence on potential customers that are searching for your services. Feedback and word of mouth are priceless methods for bringing in new customers and clients. People trust people, not business listings. Having that personal touch attached to your GMB listing will ensure that potential customers feel a connection with your business, as long as you don’t forget to respond to customer reviews! With 84% of people trusting online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, a potential client is likely to take value not only from the initial review, but the response too.

The Steps You Should Take

Keywords

Google utilises a number of factors to form their search results, and keywords play a big part. Implementing SEO best practices onto your GMB listing is an important and beneficial way of ensuring that your business listing is included high up on Google’s search results. Just like the traditional on-page SEO that you may have on your website, Google will pick up on SEO keywords in your business listing to bring a higher ranking to your listing. Not only will this benefit your Google My Business listing, however, but linking your website to your optimised listing can increase the local SEO on your website too, by providing another link to the site with the relevant information and keywords attached.

photo-camera-2942255_960_720Photos

Images are perhaps the most important thing to include when it comes to your Google My Business listing. Taking out time to upload plenty of high-quality images will drastically affect your listing, improving it exponentially. Use and utilise all of the image options that Google gives you when uploading, and make sure you get pictures of everything relevant. If you have a store, images of the interior and exterior of your building can give clients and customers more of an idea as to where they need to go if they come to your building and what the atmosphere is like inside. If you provide products, whether that’s items or dishes, make sure to include these in your listing too. If you truly want to get professional, there is even the option to get someone from Google to come and take the images themselves, and even create a 360 degree view of your interior!

NAP Citations

“Name, Address, Phone Number”, or NAP listings, can be the making or breaking of a Google My Business listing. When it comes to NAP citations, local businesses looking to rank well within the organic search results of their local area need plenty of local listings that are all accurate and correct. Ensuring that the information on your GMB listing is the same as that on any NAP listings is vital for optimising your listing for Local SEO. List your business on any reputable business directories that you can, whether that’s Yelp, FourSquare, your local phonebook or something more industry specific. The more you’re listed, the more information Google has to ensure that you are a legitimate business.

Monitoring Your Google My Business Listing And Its Insights

analysis-1841158_960_720After you’ve optimised your GMB listing, it’s important to keep monitoring how effective your listing has been to adjust your optimisation as necessary. The analytical data that Google can provide for your GMB listing has gone on leaps and bounds over the past few years, and is currently known more commonly as Google Insights. There are whole new ways for businesses to understand how customers interact with your business listings, whether that’s through customer actions, how they find your listings, where they can find you on Google, the phone calls made and how they interact with your photos.

Understanding how customers find your listing and where they find you on Google is vital when it comes to optimising your listings. You can find out how many customers found you on Google Search or on Google Maps, and you can even adjust the settings to only show certain time frames. Knowing the total views and which source is the most popular can help you adjust your optimisation techniques as necessary. You can even find out how customers are interacting with your business, from visiting your website, to viewing your photos and calling you. You can even find out when your GMB listing visitors have requested directions to your company’s location, breaking it down as far as requests per neighbourhood or city.

Optimising your Google My Business is vital for improving your SEO, but monitoring and adjusting your listing as necessary are just as important for the optimum rankings and local visibility. Here at Absolute, we can help you optimise and manage your SEO, even offering a Free SEO Healthcheck for your website. If you’d like more information about our SEO services or any of the other services we offer here at Absolute Digital Media, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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Author:

Louise Austin

As a key influencer at Absolute, Louise loves nothing more than keeping up to date with the latest industry news and keeping the office in order. Heavily invested in the company, Louise has a passion for all things digital and with natural leadership qualities, she continues to be a driving force behind the company’s successes. Ambitious and creative, when Louise isn’t pushing the business forward, she’s spending quality time with her family.


Email l.austin@absolutedigitalmedia.com

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