Are you a small business looking for ways to increase the reach of your business? You may already have built your own website in order to do this and that is good! But did you know that there is another way for you to reach your potential customers? Yes, there is. In this post, we will share you simple, easy and effective Google My Business optimization strategies so that your GMB listing can rank well in the local search. We will also discuss how important reviews are and how they can help your business when it comes to your online visibility.
Google My Business listing is no doubt one of the most powerful platforms in local SEO today. If a business wants to rank in local search, a GMB listing is needed. Remember that almost 80% of consumers today use search engines especially Google to find information that could result in a local search query. Thus having a properly manage and optimize Google My Business page is important for your business to be found in the local search game.
Before we share you the things you need to do in your Google My Business listing, let us first talk about the benefits of being able to rank in local search. Talk a look at this screenshot.
In this query, we have used the keyword “local SEO Phoenix”. The image above is an example of a local search result or what is commonly known as the map pack. Most of the businesses today aim to rank in the map pack as this displays the top 3 businesses that are to be relevant to the query. Now, here is an example of a full local search result page. Take a look below.
Being able to rank in the map pack gives a business an edge of getting more sales and faster return of investment. This means that the chance of a business to grow is huge and can open endless potentials.
Here are other benefits:
- Huge website traffic
- Increase in calls from potential customers
- More people finding your business
- Increase in repeat business
- Build a good local community
What is it then that you need to do so that your Google My Business listing will rank in local search? Consider the following when optimizing your Google My Business listing.
- Create and Verify Your Google My Business Page. While it’s pretty easy to create a GMB page, a verification is required. Why? Refer to the image. As the image clearly states, you won’t be able to properly manage your listing if it is not verified. The GMB listing will not also rank in local search and maps unless it has been claimed and verified. Verification takes 3-4 days for a postcard but you need to make sure that you add the correct name and address for you to receive it.
- Optimize your Google My Business Listing. After you have verified the GMB listing, it is now time for you to fully optimize it. What are the things you need to optimize?In a case study by Google, it shows that 78% of consumers do a search before visiting a store. That is 8 out of 10 people that check what Google recommends for a certain location, product, and service. In this study, it was stated that these consumers are looking for business information such as hours of operation, directions, phone numbers, information about products or services and other useful information. In short, they need as much information they can get. So, going back to the question, what are the things you need to optimize?This will include the following:Name
Adding this information to your listings and keeping it up to date will help our potential customers know more about your business.
- Add Photos. Photos are not only important but they are very essential to your GMB success. It was reported by Google that businesses with photos receive 42% more request for driving directions and 35% more clicks to a business’s website. This means more customer for you, which of course turns into more profit. Who would not want that right? So how should you optimize your photos?Invest to High Quality and Engaging Images. To make your business stand out you need to make sure you add images that are in high resolution. Having a bunch of images that are low in resolution will not help your business especially in the long run. Take the time to take HD photos that will highlight everything about what your business is about. The image format is also important. Your images should be in PNG or JPEG format at a resolution of 720×720 pixels minimum.Add photos regularly. This is something a lot of businesses forget. You should not add photos all at the same time and then forgets to update it from time to time. That is not the case here. Based on Google’s algorithm, it always favors business that are regularly updating their GMB listing. It might be time consuming for some, but it is very much important in order for your business to rank well. Ideally, it is best to add 1-2 photos every 7 days if possible.Optimize Photo Information. When we say you need to optimize your images, this will include renaming your images with the correct keywords, tags, and descriptions before uploading it to Google. Business owners should also consider Geotagging all of their photos, geotagging adds a location to the photos using exact coordinates. This is important for Google My Business since your entire listing is based on your location and Google Maps.
Does Google My Business Reviews Matter?
In a study did by Brightlocal, it was said that “87% of their respondents say that a positive reputation is very important to business success.” This is where reviews come in. Having a lot of positive and good reviews could make your business but having a lot of negative reviews can burn your business down. So by looking at a customers perspective, reviews are really powerful in convincing whether a consumer will make a purchase on your business.
Now if we consider Google’s perspective, can reviews impact your local Google search rankings? The simple answer is yes. Google favors ranking Google My Business listings that have a good amount of reviews. Let’s a look at this example.
See how these businesses rank in the map pack? What are in common to these businesses? They all got a good amount of reviews. Reviews are really that powerful to put a business in the map pack. So if you are a business and does not get or has no reviews, it might be the best idea to get them. What else can reviews do for you? Take a look here:
- Potential customers tend to trust businesses more
- Helps a business to convert searchers into new business leads
- Makes you stand out from competitors
- Get you more clicks and calls from new customers
So how are you to get reviews? Here are a couple of ways to do it.
- Be active in promoting that you’re seeking Google Reviews
- Ask real customers to write a review
- Monitor and pay attention to negative reviews
These are the top things you need to do in optimizing your Google My Business listings and reviews. Following these steps and to-dos and it will improve your business’s local search performance in Google.