Every business should be listed online using the Google My Business (GMB) information system. Make no mistake that this system is your friend and will work in your favor when it comes to generating leads.
GMB pages generate strong signals for searches related to business categories. Having a complete GMB profile is also essential for locally focused businesses, especially ones that serve customers at the business’s physical address.
But even businesses without a brick and mortar location can benefit from a local search. So, whether you’re 100% online or 100% in-store, GMB is very much worth your time.
The best part about GMB is that managing it all can be way easier compared to most parts of digital marketing. So make sure you hit all the right notes and have everything you need in place by checking off these five essential components your GMB profile needs.
A Verified Address
Google needs a confirmable business address for the location you want to register as your business headquarters. The easiest way to confirm that this address is legitimate is for Google to send you a postcard. It cannot be sent to a PO Box. The postcard contains a code that when entered, activates your business.
You can choose to list your business address online within search results by checking a box in your GMB settings. The box says “I also serve customers at my business address.” Only check this box if you are fully staffed at all times during your regular business hours.
Use Complete and Accurate Information to Describe Your Business
Pay close attention to each entry form on your GMB page. Your business category, for instance, should be as specific as possible. Google has tons of sub-categories to choose from, so make sure you don’t just pick an option on a whim!
You also want to make sure your information stays accurate and up-to-date. For instance, if you put up tentative business hours, change them if you make any changes internally. In fact, your hours should be updated for all holidays and general office closings.
Optimize Your Description With Keywords
Keyword signals in your GMB profile work just like any other piece of content. Which is to say: don’t keyword stuff, but make sure the right signals are there. Ideally, anyone looking for services you offer but who has never ever heard of your business should be able to know for a fact you can satisfy their needs just from your description alone.
Use Great Photos
You will need a few different photos for your GMB profile:
- A profile picture that isn’t just your company logo. Many businesses choose to use a photo of their headquarters, a team photo near their logo, or some sort of symbolic representation of their business.
- An actual logo, uploaded in high quality at a minimum of 720 x 720 resolution
- A cover photo, which shows up when people click on your listing for more details
- Exterior photos of your business, if relevant
- Any other photos you want to include that reveal your business offerings or brand personality
All images except for the clean logo image should be real life photos with minimal photo editing and no overlayed text. They represent your business, so ensure they are in-focus, framed well and well lit. Note that image file sizes have a maximum of 5 MB.
Don’t underestimate the power of photos, either. According to Google, businesses that have adequate photos on their listings get 42% driving direction requests and 35% more click throughs to their website compared to businesses without photos.
Monitor Your Reviews and Insights
Once your GMB profile is running, people can leave reviews for your business. Encourage them to! Most customers are willing to say something nice about a business, but they have to be reminded. If you wait too long, the first person to leave a review will likely be someone angry.
Handle any negative reviews you have by contacting the reviewer politely and trying to address their concerns. If the review may be the result of fraud or things unrelated to your actual business, you can dispute the review with Google.
GMB provides insights for the number of times your listing appeared directly in search results. It also keeps track of how many phone calls you get, requests for directions to your address you get, referral sources, click through rate and more.
Monitoring all of this information can help you optimize your performance in search listings.
Get Help Getting Better Results From GMB With an Atlanta Digital Marketing Agency
Though setting up and optimizing your GMB listing can be simple, there are any number of factors that can make the process much more difficult. Don’t worry, we can help! EverSpark Interactive has the digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) experience to help your business perform better. Whether you need help setting up your Google My Business page or every aspect of your online presence, we’re here for you. Contact us today to learn more!