Google My Business was launched in 2014 and has become extremely important to businesses for local SEO, especially since Google Plus was discontinued in April 2019. Let’s take a look at what Google My Business is, why it is so important, and what you can do to optimize your page to get the best results from it.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool from Google that helps you tell your target audience everything about you and your fantastic products and services. More than that, it is a way to engage your customers to keep them updated with news, offers, photos, and more.
You can even have conversations and make reservations for your business directly from the GMB. I see Google My Business now as an extension of our customers’ websites and, if well optimized, can play a role in directing customers directly to that business.
After all, it is a Google product, which gives you a clue that Google will value the page and weigh it against its competitors. The secret is to make sure that your GMB page is working for you, not against you.
Claiming your Google My Business listing
If you have not yet claimed your free listing, visit business.google.com/add and enter your business name and address and select it in the search results. You will view a message indicating whether someone different has confirmed the listing, otherwise, you can claim and verify the listing yourself. Request access”, fill out the form, and send. So easy!
How to optimize your GMB page for maximum reach
On the left side of the panel, you will see a tab called ‘Information’. This is where general optimization and information for your business are found.
On the Information tab, you can include:
Categories for your business
hours Special opening hours (Christmas, Easter, etc.)
Basically, anything you want to do on Google My Business can be done here.
Six tips to boost your results
1) Get the most out of “categories” for your company. You don’t just need to select a category. If you go through the different options, there are many overlays in this section and you can select multiple categories for your business.
Make sure the ‘Primary category’ is the most relevant, but my advice is to select as many as possible for your company.
View the full menu of available Google My Business categories here.
2) For ‘Service Area’, launch the network as far and as widely as possible … and be specific! Name the cities and regions you serve.
It sounds basic, but don’t forget that. Google doesn’t know unless you say so, and I’ve seen it make a huge difference in results.
3) The description of the company is evident, but it needs to be optimized with keywords relevant to your business. It also needs to detail everything you do, covering your main products and services. You have 750 characters to make it count, so don’t waste space on anything that isn’t essential.
For example, you are probably better placed to add targeted keywords around your products/services and locations than to spend an entire paragraph talking about awards, the team, or your story.
4) GMB has already allowed you to include its services on its page, however, it has now also launched a beta evaluation version for “Products”.
If you sell physical products, this cool feature is worth taking advantage of. You can categorize your products by range or type and display all of your products along with a description, price range, and image that will be transmitted whenever the page is displayed in searches.
5) The latest Google My Business feature release is called “short names”, which is a unique short name for your company, by which users can find you and is very useful to send when requesting GMB reviews.
You can now have your custom short URL. The URL structure for your Google comments is simply g.page/[nome-cortto)/review. Now it’s easier than ever to send people directly to your page! This will be excellent for marketing elements, emails, business cards, etc.
6) Last but not least, keep it updated with new content regularly. Google loves content! Whether it’s offers, products, photos, or events, Google offers all the tools for it, and posts only last 7 days before they expire – so, one more tip from Google that it’s a good idea to keep updating every week.
For photos, you can also define logos, cover images, videos, 360 tours, and more.
I found in particular that by regularly adding new images to customer pages, we were able to give the pages a boost with just that little change, so it’s worth keeping an eye on. This is always neglected over time.
So there you have it, everything you need to get started with Google My Business and make it a success. It’s free, it’s Google, and it’s pretty easy to get it right.