As the king of search, Google wrote the rulebook on SEO. So when Google releases a new product or feature, it’s in your business’s best interest to get involved and be rewarded with higher search rankings.
But it’s not just the latest features that you should be thinking about; sometimes it helps to go back to basics and start at square one—your Google My Business listing.
This should be the first port of call for any business looking to be easily found online—even before a website. This free tool allows you to set up a simple profile that tells your customers the bare bones information that they want to know: where you are located, when you’re open, a one-sentence summary of what you do, and a stripped back star rating of how good you are at it.
Get this right (and update it if things change), and you’ve got the very fundamentals of an online presence. Remember, once you’ve edited your basic information, you’ll need to verify it with Google. Only after they’ve given you a tick of approval will your listing be seen.
But it doesn’t end there—there are some clever ways that you can go the extra mile and optimise your My Business listing. It means you’ll appear more often, more prominently, and get more customers through your door.
4 Steps to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Customer testimonials are your best friend when it comes to Google My Business. Not only will good reviews boost your star rating that appears prominently on your listing, but they’re also a great way to interact with happy customers and boost engagement.
Head over to your listing and click ‘Write a review’. You can copy and paste this link into your after-sales communications to invite more people to leave a comment.
Just because you have a limited character count doesn’t mean you should throw your keyword strategy out the window. In fact, it’s more important than ever to get those phrases just right. Do your research into what people are looking for, and tweak it over time if you’re not seeing results.
Did you know that listings with images get 35% more website click-throughs? And, they get more than 40% more requests for directions on Google Maps? It’s clear that including photos is important.
Google recommends including an image of your logo, so that searchers can easily identify that you’re the business they’re looking for. Also include an eye-catching cover photo of your business—this will be the main image that most people see when they search for you or come across your business listing.
Share Regular Updates
Many businesses are unaware that you can actually use your Google My Business listing as a kind of micro social media. The ‘share’ feature allows you to post updates complete with a caption, image, and even a call to action button.
Perhaps you’d want anyone searching your business to know that you’re running a special deal if they purchase this week, or that your newsletter is now available, or that tickets are running out for an event you’re hosting next month.
And don’t forget that once you’ve optimised your listing, you can analyse how it’s doing thanks to the super simple tracking feature. See how they found you, where they’re coming from, and if they’re engaging with your updates. You can even track more concrete customer actions like calls and site visits too.