Google My Business is designed primarily for local businesses, though there’s a box to check if you service customers offsite. It’s a free service that offers quite a few important benefits for businesses. Like most tools, understanding how to optimize your Google Business Listing will maximize the results you get from it. Among the benefits:
- If someone searches for you by business name, you’ll earn a big chunk of real estate on the right side.
- It improves the odds you’ll show up when people search for a business like yours.
- A marker for your business will show on Google Maps.
- It contains a lot of information about your business including contact information, hours, photos and more – as long as you provide this information.
- It aggregates reviews including those you have earned on Facebook, Google Places and Yelp.
- Most importantly it helps drive targeted traffic to your website or store.
Create your Google My Business listing
Like most public commentary on your business, you want to have control of this information. It is to your advantage to sign up for this free service. Register here.
Complete the information required. Give as much information as you can. Include your phone number and website. Adding photos is highly recommended. Make sure you check the box to be notified anytime someone writes a review.
Google will mail a postcard to your business address to verify the account and address are real. Don’t miss that card! You’ll need the verification number on it. Log back into your Google business account and verify your account.
Repeat for all your locations if you have more than one. Every unique physical location needs its own listing. You can also list as many businesses as required from one account so if you have more than one business, list them all.
Business reviews on Google
Anyone with a Google account can write a review. If you checked the box to be notified when a review is written, you’ll get an email that looks like this:
It is to your advantage as a business to respond to your reviews, good or bad. Thank those who wrote kind words and respond by attempting to resolve negative reviews. All businesses occasionally get bad reviews and customers know it. How you respond to criticism reveals a lot about your business and can make or break a decision made by a prospect to buy from you. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to show off superior customer service.
Post added value content
Are you a restaurant? Post your menu or some of your menu items. Post photos of your best dishes. Do you sell products? Show them off in flattering photos or videos. Post a 360 degree video of the inside of your establishment. Try to illustrate what makes you unique.
Post an article weekly
Google recently added a new feature that lets you post a 100 – 300 word article. These articles can help show your expertise and encourage those who see your listing to click and learn more about your company. We post one per week (they seem to show for about that long). Each is a synopsis of a recent blog article. We use the “Learn more” button to link the synopsis directly to the full article. This helps build traffic and SEO value for the article and our website. The more of the available content features you can use, the more comprehensive the information will be about your business. Given that few companies maximize the use of Google My Business, this can be a competitive advantage for you.
So what are you waiting for? Is your listing optimized?