If you have a brick-and-mortar location for your business and you haven’t completed a Google My Business listing, you’re seriously undermining your local SEO. Plus, you’re taking your website out of the running to appear in a variety of specialized Google results across its different tools, like Google Maps, Google Local Pack, and others. It’s one of the most important online directories to be included in, but your organization shouldn’t just be there, you should also take the time to optimize your Google My Business listing.
To establish and verify your GMB listing, click over to Google My Business. Then, follow the advice below to get the most SEO bang for your buck from it.
Tips to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
- Fill out all the information that Google My Business asks you for, and double and triple check it for accuracy.
- If you omit specific information, anyone—including competitors—can add it in with the “Suggest an Edit” feature that all users have access to. Log in regularly to check for notifications of pending edits.
- Take advantage of Google Posts, small ads that appear with your GMB listing on certain Google tools and features. You can write some intro text and include a CTA and link. And don’t forget an image to grab attention. It’s a great way to advertise something timely, as Posts stay live for up to seven days and disappear after the event date. Google sends you reminders when it’s time to come up with something new.
- Take advantage of the Booking button too if your customers or clients make appointments (and you use one of Google’s integrated scheduling software providers). This lets new people who find you via Google My Business easily and instantly book an appointment, so it’s an excellent way to convert leads. If you don’t use an approved provider, consider starting.
- Find the Messaging feature, turn it on, and enter a phone number that can receive text messages. This allows people who find your listing to send you texts directly, so it’s another effective way to win those leads. Just make sure it’s a phone that’s answered promptly. If you don’t want to give out an existing number, you can do this through Google’s Allo app, which you can download from the Android Play Store or iOS App Store.
- Log in regularly to your GMB dashboard to see if anyone’s using the Questions and Answers feature. This allows people who find your listing to ask you questions, which you can respond to. It’s pretty new as of this writing and it has some limitations, but Google will no doubt address these if the feature proves popular. Also, note that anyone can answer questions—just like anyone can suggest edits—so definitely keep an eye on this.
- Read over Google’s guidelines for GMB reviews, then ask your customers for reviews. They’ll appear with your listing on Google Maps and other places, and they add valuable trust signals to your listing.
- Respond to all the reviews you get. The good and the bad ones. Show your appreciation for positivity, and brush up on best practices for responding to negative reviews.