Google is the world’s largest search engine, with numbers incomparable to that of any competitor. Ranking 91.75% in global search stats, if you’re a business, you’ll want to know about the Google My Business platform and how to optimize your profile. If tended to regularly, your GMB profile is a free SEO jackpot!
Essentially, GMB is an online business directory that allows you to manage your business’s appearance on Google Search and Maps. Google understands more about a company with an optimized GMB page, so the more they know about your business, the more types of searches your listing can appear in! When used correctly, GMB is a powerful tool for driving customers your way and dominating the first page of a Google search!
The information you display is what your future customers see when they search for your business. Your GMB listing features your business name, location, and hours of operation, along with space for customer reviews, the ability to accept bookings, and the opportunity to have a Q&A section. You can also upload photos, 360º images, post updates, products, and events. Click here to read our blog post: Quick Tips For Optimizing Your GMB Profile Right Now.
There are several ways to optimize your GMB profile for short-term and long-term results. Ultimately, it’s best to tend to your GMB profile consistently, posting photos and updates at least weekly.
The Map Pack
The Google Map Pack is a set of highlighted Google-Maps-based results featuring the most highly ranked businesses based on the factors that determine local ranking. This group of local businesses within the Map Pack appears in response to search queries.
Unlike organic search results, which are taken from Google’s index of websites, the listings in Local Packs originate from the Google My Business directory and get 44%-61% of the total clicks! The Google 3-Pack can position your business as one of the most relevant listings in a consumer’s eyes, as it holds the number 1 position in 93% of all Google searches.
The Map Pack massively helps improve your brand’s online visibility. If your business appears on the Local Pack, it means you will appear on the first page of Google. Click Here to read our Blog Post: How To Get On the First Page of Google Search Results. (What is the Google Map Pack?)
Does GMB outweigh your website in 2021?
GMB compliments your existing website and puts the power of free online marketing at your fingertips. If optimized, your business could be on top of search results, ranking in the top three of your niche organically! Google My Business can improve your visibility through local SEO, connect you to new audiences, and help you understand customer behavior.
While optimizing your GMB listing involves consistent time and effort, the benefits of GMB management far outweigh the challenges of startup and maintenance.
- 64% of consumers use GMB listings to find a local business address or phone number over a website
- Search result information will send 70% of consumers to a physical store
- 92% will choose businesses that come up on the first page of the Map Pack.
What this tells us is that consumers are almost always led to a “call to action” before they ever even make it onto the business’s website. As you can see, the importance of your business coming up in the top search results is more valuable now than ever.
What you can expect with Google My Business
By ensuring a complete and accurate GMB profile, and consistently utilizing the Posts and Photos feature, you are taking the necessary steps to optimize your GMB account in a big way. A few of the most popular features within Google My Business include Photos, Posts, Bookings, Reviews, Q&A, and Google Insights. By utilizing these features, you can expect that with time, your business’s local ranking will improve!
Google’s primary goal is for the digital world to replicate the real world. Strong visuals add tremendous weight to the visual proof a listing has and is crucial for good first impressions. Entice customers to click through your listing by posting relevant, high-quality content of your establishment, displays, products, services, and team members. Not only does this play a huge role in your local ranking, but it’s a significant player in a consumer’s decision to choose your business over someone else’s.
Additionally, there is a category within GMB photos for 360º Photography. Have a 360º photo taken of your storefront or lobby, or get a full walk-thru virtual tour of your business to put on your website, GMB Listing, and Google Maps. Click here to learn more about 360º Photography and hire a Google Street View Trusted Photographer near you.
Invite customers to engage further and make return visits to your listing by posting custom updates, products, offers, and events. Utilize GMB posts to increase clickability and time spent within your listing, your local authority score will thank you! Not sure what to post about? Check out our Blog Post: GMB Post and Photo Ideas Your Customers Will Love
Google integrates many of its services into one giant bundle for a consistent experience across the board. Email, Calendar, GMB, it’s all connected under one roof so you can conduct business seamlessly. GMB Bookings allows customers to schedule an appointment or book a service directly from your listing. Integrated scheduling partners help you to organize, track, and easily manage your bookings all in one place.
Review management is not only a gigantic contributor to your local ranking but to your customers’ trust. Did you know that 91% of consumers read online reviews and 84% of them trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends? Now, those are some numbers! It’s imperative that your GMB has a healthy engagement rate for strong Social Proof. This shows Google that people care about you, and you care about them. If your business is worth talking about, it’s worth mentioning in the top search results, makes sense to us! Engage with customer comments and reviews and Google will reward you for it!
The Q&A section is a great place to increase your profile footprint. It adds to the helpfulness of your listing by pinning frequently-asked questions for easy viewing. Responding to customers’ direct inquiries about your business is a great way to get frequently asked information out there and for the knowledge base around your business to be more broadly explained. It shows Google that your listing is updated and active which is an excellent thing for your Local Authority Score.
Google’s dashboard provides vital insights into customer activity and interaction, allowing businesses to learn what is working on their listing, and what is not. Also, Google Insights can help a business to understand their community better as they target new customers. How did searchers find your business? How are your photos performing? Google My Business insights highlight the answers to these questions and help companies optimize and improve their performance over time.
YOUR GMB ACCOUNT
- Google accounts for 92% of all desktop and mobile search traffic worldwide.
- 46% of all Google searches are linked to something local.
- Only 12.6% of all Google clicks go to one of the top 100 domains.
With stats like these, Google My Business is hard to overlook. As a small, local business, you can largely benefit from utilizing this free SEO strategy. Optimize your profile and allow Google My Business to assist your company in becoming more visible, visited, and accurately represented.
If your business already appears on Google Maps then you have a GMB listing. If you need help acquiring your account then log in to your business email and follow the instructions below.
STEP ONE- After logging in to your business email account, click the icon on the top right with the nine small dots.
- Click the “My Business” Icon
STEP TWO- Follow the necessary prompts.
Getting started with GMB
Follow the steps below to set up your GMB profile
STEP ONE- Choose the Google account you want to be associated with your business and Sign In.
STEP TWO- Visit Google My Business and click “Manage Now”.
STEP THREE- Click through and enter the following information into the prompts.
- Name of your business
- Address and service areas of your business
- The category that best fits your business
- Your company’s contact information
STEP FOUR- Verify your business. There are a few ways to go about this, so follow the instructions Google has on each method of business verification.
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a GMB Listing! The next step in this exciting SEO journey is to optimize your profile. Once you have your business verified, you can visit your Google My Business dashboard and start updating information. Upload photos, services, products, attributes, and descriptions. The more details you supply, and the more you maintain the listing, the better your results.
Take it a step further and, if you haven’t already, set up Google Click-to-Message. Google CTM allows potential customers to text your business directly from your listing. Finally, do some keyword research to determine the best keywords to use for optimum views.
If you have the time and resources, there’s a lot you can do to get your Google listing to the top of search results. Consistent photo uploads, post updates, positive reviews, and timely responsiveness go a long way with local ranking.
Additionally, you can perform a data sync across all location directories, as well as optimize the photo footprint with location data and EXIF data to fully optimize your GMB content. This service is included with our Online Reputation Management Services- Read More. Ultimately, the more detailed you are the more opportunities for Google to notice you, and for consumers to find you.
Invest In Your Listing and SEO
If you’re eager to make some investments in your Local Ranking, check out our Online Reputation Management Service. Additionally, invest in a text-based review product to see your ratings and reviews skyrocket. Consistent and quality Google Reviews are imperative and will help boost your GMB listing to the top of search results.
Google My Business is an essential tool for local business owners and helps your business become more accurately represented, visible, and visited. Within a few minutes, you can have your listing verified and start showing up in local search results. If despite the importance of SEO Strategy, it doesn’t seem to make it on your daily task list, or you’re simply overwhelmed and want to press the easy button, we don’t blame you at all. Let us do the daily work for you- hire SCL360MEDIA. Read about our Online Reputation Management service here.