Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most important free SEO tools a business owner can use.
When a potential customer searches for your company on Google, your GMB listing should be the first thing they see.
That being said, this listing needs to be as optimized and as accurate as possible.
The main goal of optimizing your GMB listing should be to rank higher in search results for relevant traffic. This will get you a lot more website visitors and phone calls.
In order to do this, you’ll need to implement the following:
1. Gain access to and verify the listing
The first step towards optimizing your GMB listing is gaining access to it. Oftentimes, an old employee may have created the listing years ago and is no longer with the company.
Fortunately, you can request access to the listing and automatically take over if your request hasn’t been responded to within a couple weeks.
Once you’ve gained access, you’ll be asked to verify the listing via phone, address, or email. This step is arguably the most important part. A non-verified listing will ask, “Is this your company?” at the bottom, decrease your credibility, and rank lower than verified listings.
2. Fill out every last detail
Add all of your products, services, keywords, hours, photos, and additional information to your listing. Verify the consistency of your name, address, and phone number (NAP) across all platforms. If Google sees that your NAP doesn’t match your site, it will lower your ranking. Make edits to any inconsistencies.
Writing a good description
A good GMB description will consist of 750 – 1250 unique characters and include:
- Who you are and who you serve
- What you do
- How you do it
- What makes you different
- A call to action
Auditing the address
Go to Google and search your company’s address. Make sure that there are no other businesses associated with your location. Oddly enough, it’s not uncommon for two businesses to utilize the same address on Google, and this can really impact your rankings.
If another business does pop up and you know it’s been closed for a while, suggest an edit, and let Google know that this business is no longer in service. If you notice one that’s using your same address and is still open, suggest an edit that includes its correct suite number.
Choosing product descriptions and categories
Write one product description per service that you offer. Each should be around 50 words and must be unique. Google gets upset when you use copy-and-pasted text–even if it’s from your own website.
Check out the categories that your competition is using. It’s also important to note that your primary service should match your primary category. If there is no category for your main service, use the relevant categories that your top-ranking competitors are using.
Adding alt tags to images
Always use real images over stock images. This will make you look more authentic and give potential customers a better visual of what your company and employees look like.
Don’t skip out on naming these images. Add keywords and specific neighborhoods to the title of each image when relevant (e.g., “New Concrete Driveway Pour on Brentwood Blvd”).
3. Create posts
GMB’s posting feature allows you to create social media-esque posts that pop up on your listing. Utilizing this feature is a great way to showcase current updates or tidbits that you want your potential customers to see. Posts should be around 150 – 250 words, and we recommend publishing at least 6 per month.
4. Accumulate reviews
Reviews carry the most weight when it comes to Google ranking factors. If your competitors have more reviews than you, chances are that they’ll rank higher no matter how well you optimize your listing. You need to be consistently asking your customers to leave a review.
5. Track your performance
Google offers several free tools to track your search performance, and GMB is just one of many. Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google Search Console are a few others that will provide you with valuable statistics. By taking advantage of these tools, you can watch your conversions and phone calls increase in real time!
Want more insight on optimizing your listings for search and SEO tips? Check out the Bizzuka blog!