SEO Basics: How To Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Creating a Google My Business (GMB) account is one of the most effective ways to get noticed in organic searches as part of your marketing plan. While most business owners create their GMB accounts, they don’t realize its full potential. We have compiled a few neat tactics that follow SEO basics to help you optimize your GMB accounts so that you are not only found more easily on Google but also ensure that your account is always updated and accurate.
Keep your GMB account details complete and up to date
Fill out all the fields Google asks for when creating and verifying your GMB account. Many people are not aware that Google allows anybody to help out in pointing out things that show up in a search about your business profile by clicking the “Suggest an Edit” option. So, keep checking your My Business listings dashboard and reject any unwanted edits.
Another lesser-known feature of GMB is “Know this business?” People who know your business can click this link and answer questions put up by Google, about your business. Happy customers can post great reviews that can help your business stand out from the crowd.
Use Google Posts
Promote a new product or announce upcoming sales using Google posts that show up as “mini ads” on Google Maps and Knowledge Panel. Design the posts cleverly and direct traffic from search page to your website or sales page. You have the option of including an image, text, a call to action, and a link in a Google post. These posts are broadcasted for seven days and new ones can be created once a post expires.
Activate booking buttons
You can get customers to book appointments with you directly from the search page. This is possible if you use Google’s Booking button and a compatible automatic scheduling service. Customers have the option to schedule bookings and fix appointment timings, without even visiting your website or calling you.
Use Google’s Question and Answer feature
Another way of using Google My Business account to reach out to customers is the Question and Answer feature. It allows customers and prospects to ask questions about your business and you get to interact with them on a one-to-one basis.
A point to note is Google allows anybody to answer these questions. So, you need to monitor your GMB account closely else you risk trolls and competitors from posting inaccurate or misleading answers. Google notifies you, via email, when somebody asks you a question.
Make use of Google’s direct messaging service
Customers can send text messages to you from the listings page. If you wish to not get business messages in your personal inbox, you can subscribe to Google’s Allo application. The app will send a notification every time a customer sends you a text. Presently, messages are not available to the mobile app or PC users since Google has just introduced this feature.
Ask users for online reviews
Google has specific guidelines for asking customers to leave online reviews about you or your business. These reviews are shown on the search and Maps page. Google absolutely forbids offering an incentive in return for favorable reviews.
But you may gently remind clients to write about their experience with your brand. Inappropriate or biased reviews can be flagged for removal. Do respond to customer reviews to show that you value their opinion.
Today a lot of businesses, even brick and mortar ones depend on Google for their leads. Though ranking on search engines is vital, GMB listings are a very effective way to reach out to local customers.