If you’re looking to get ranked locally with SEO, you need a Google My Business (GMB) listing. GMBs are the perfect place to begin your SEO efforts and it’s easy to setup and use!
If you have a business that you would like to get local traffic from (people in your area), this is the best place to start. After all, thousands of people take to Google every day to search for products or services near them…and these people are ready to buy!
You want your site to show up on their screen as one of the first choices, right? Of course you do! That means more traffic to your site and more money in your pocket!
The key to a successful GMB listing is making sure the information about your business that shows up when people search for your product or service is accurate, complete, and fully optimized.
If you’re ready to learn how to set up Google My Business and make your listing as strong and optimized as possible, read on.
Before we jump into how to setup your GMB, let’s talk about what it is. Google My Business is a FREE tool that was created to help businesses manage their online presence across the entire Google platform.
GMBs are kind of like an online directory and a social profile mixed together. Business owners can create and claim ownership of their GMB listing and put all their vital information on there like hours, location, photos, etc.
You can also publish posts to your GMB profile, as you would to your social media accounts. The posts you create are not permanent, they will delete after 7 days, but they can be a great tool to utilize. Additionally, customers can leave reviews and upload photos of your business as well.
All in all, this is an excellent tool to help customers find you, while allowing you to manage your customers by replying to reviews, adding in photos, learning where and how people are searching for you, and more.
Want to learn how to setup a GMB for your business and start increasing your local SEO?
Here’s our step-by-step process that will walk you through the entire thing:
1. Search for your business on Google – Does your business show up as a GMB listings? IF YES -> CLAIM YOUR BUSINESS then follow these steps. If no, move to step # 2.
2. Create a listing
3. Fill out your profile completely and double check to make sure that all the information you entered is accurate!
4. Pick a business category that is closely aligned with your business (the more detailed the better)
5. Make sure your profile/logo picture includes a picture of YOU if you are the face of your brand. If not, use your brand logo.
6. Pick a cover photo that clearly and visually states your services.
7. Note the EXACT way you listed your address, hours, etc. This will come in handy down the road for additional SEO strategies.
PRO TIP: Use that exact address formatting on your website and any other listings you sign up for so you don’t confuse Google and your customers by putting conflicting information about your business out there.
8. Verify your website by requesting a postcard.
9. Select your service area (This is optional but it’s best to fill it out if you can)
10. Add your social links.
11. ADD YOUR WEBSITE URL IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY!!
12. Add a secondary URL (contact page) for an “Appointment URL”.
13. Add your services/products, along with your prices.
14. Add business highlights! This is anything that makes you unique (i.e. veteran-led, woman led, etc.)
15. Include an enticing description – this should stand out and be aligned with your brand while explaining EXACTLY what you offer and what you do.
16. Include the day that your business started/opened.
17. Add photos – as many as you can! – Make sure ALL photos are optimized for SEO (see how to optimize here)
PRO TIP: create photos of your testimonials AND results to build more trust!
18. Add videos! – Possibilities are endless here (tutorials, welcome video, about video). Again, this will add more trust to your brand and build a stronger connection to your target customers.
19. Complete the “Advanced information section” if you have multiple locations – It’s best if you have different phone numbers for different locations.
20. Start posting! These are like mini blogs (Can have up to 1500 characters) – DO NOT copy posts that are already on your website, this would be seen as duplicate content by Google, which is a no-no.
PRO TIP: Instead, you can do a teaser for a blog post you have. Give a good hook and some leading information then include a call to action that links the reader to the full blog post. Don’t forget that call to action button and link! This will get more traffic on your website, creating more brand awareness and increasing the likelihood that your traffic will convert to paying customers.
21. ASK for reviews! Don’t be shy here. The more reviews you have, the more trust you build, both with Google and with potential customers.
22. Setup “messaging”. This will help your conversions – (download the GMB app then set up through there). Potential customers can send you a message through your GMB, you’ll get an alert when they do and then you can instantly respond to their inquiry.
23. Make sure your notifications are turned on if a potential client tries to reach out to you
24. Add a promotion! You do this under posts, and it's just another great way to convert visitors into paying customers.
25. If you have any issues, contact GMB support on twitter at @GoogleMyBiz. Their team is very responsive and can provide any additional insight and guidance you may need.
In order to fully grasp the awesome benefits that having a GMB for your business can bring you, take a look at our list below:
This should be a no-brainer. GMBs are a completely free marketing tool that can dramatically increase your visibility online. More online exposure equates to more sales, and I don’t know of any businesses who aren’t looking to create more sales.
Helps Customers Find You
If your business has a physical location that customers need to be able to get to, having your exact address in your GMB will allow them to find you easily.
Increased Search Visibility
Your GMB can help you gain a coveted spot in the “map pack,” or the few listings located in the high-visibility panel near the top of the search engine results page (below the paid ads and above the organic results). Aside from ranking number one organically, this is one of the best positions to be in for increased traffic and conversions on your site.
Displays All Your Crucial Information
GMBs contain all the critical information about your business, its services, prices, hours, etc. all in one convenient place. If you happen to have any updates or changes to your business, you can update it and customers will immediately see the changes.
It’s Another Communication Channel
Between the messaging options and the ability to make posts, you can interact, update, and respond to your customers quickly and easily. The more places potential customers can find you and get more information about your products and/or services, the better.
You Can Encourage and Respond to Reviews
Reviews build trust, so the more you have out there, the more people will trust you and whatever you’re selling. Be sure to send your satisfied customers to your GMB to leave a review. You even have the option to respond to reviews, showing your commitment to customer service and appreciation of your clients.
Gain Customer Insights and Track Website Traffic
There’s an insights tab in Google My Business that offers you a whole wealth of analytics. In fact, you can actually customize the information that you see. You can pick the stats to compare and they’ll put it in a handy chart for you.
The main stats you can see are; visibility, engagement, and audience. These will tell you the number of views to your profile, posts, photos and more. You can also see your engagement, so clicks, shares, comments, etc.
Lastly, you’ll be able to see a breakdown of the people who are following your business by age, gender and country.
As a business owner who’s looking to drive more traffic to your website and increases sales, this is a great place to analyze the data!
It Makes Managing Your Online Presence Easier
Our last benefit is the fact that GMB makes managing and navigating your online presence even easier by tying everything together in one place. Your GMB is closely tied to your AdWords, Insights, Google+, Maps, and Search.
If you haven’t done so already, head on over to google.com/business and get started setting up your GMB today!
Use our step-by-step list, packed with tips and tricks, to make the setup process smooth, easy, and optimized.
Need additional help? Want to learn more about SEO strategies that can help you amplify your business and sales? Check out our digital marketing services, and get in touch today!