Google My Business

Google My Business: how to optimise your listing

Last updated on July 25th, 2022 at 04:06 pm

Introduction

Do you have a Google My Business profile? It’s often the first place people encounter your business, and maybe make decisions based on images, reviews or opening times. It’s free to use, is highly visible and allows people to easily leave reviews of your business.

Google My Business

Benefits of a Google Business Profile

A Google Business Profile allows you to:

  • Promote your business
  • Showcase offers and promotions with photos and posts
  • Request Google reviews
  • Use the messaging feature to respond to customers who ask you a question via text message

The insights section allows you to view analytics such as how many people:

  • Visited your website and how they arrived on your website
  • Searched for directions
  • Telephoned your business
  • Viewed your business photos

Claiming and editing your profile listing

To edit your listing you can either login at https://business.google.com/ or you can search for your business brand and edit your profile from there.

Google My Business

Once you have claimed your Google My Business listing the next step is to optimise your business profile listing. 

Optimising your profile listing

It’s important to fill out as much information as possible, including:

  • Business Name
  • Address / Phone Number / Opening Hours / holiday hours
  • All Applicable Categories
  • Description (especially the first 250 characters)
  • Website
  • Profile Picture (which is shown when you reply to a review)
  • Additional Photos eg of your business, staff, products, services. You can add a short video if it is under 30 seconds.
  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
  • Safety Measures 

Attributes

Attributes, can be added to give customers a better understanding of what the business’ is offering. Some examples are ‘Debit cards accepted’, ‘Cash only’, ‘Women-led’, ‘Outdoor Seating’, ‘Wheelchair Accessible’, ‘High Chairs’, ‘Family Friendly’ and ‘Wifi (Free / Paid)’.

Services

The Services list allows you to categorise and list all your services (or food items) and prices so that potential customers can easily see what you have to offer.

Photos

Your images should reflect the products and services you currently offer, your current staff, behind the scenes at your business etc. Do not use stock images, as this is not allowed.

Categories

Look for the best fit. The categories available are ever-expanding, so there will likely be a category that matches your business perfectly.

Description

Make sure your descriptions is friendly, informative and descriptive. Searchers will want to know who you are, what you sell, where you are based and why they should choose to buy from you.

It’s your chance to tell prospective customers what makes your business unique. You can use up to 750 characters but only the first 250 characters will show before getting cut off. Your important information, keywords and location should be included toward the beginning.

Menus

There are two kinds of menu, depending if you have an eating / drinking establishment or a service business such as a hairdressers with a list of services.

Q&A

Q&A allows people to ask questions about your business and you can answer those questions. It’s a good idea to identify the questions people most often ask, such as ‘Do you provide high chairs’ and then add those Q&A questions to your listing.

Reviews

Collecting reviews, especially 5-star reviews from satisfied customers, is a great way to build trust in your business.

Potential customers depend on online reviews to help decide which local business to choose when it comes to products and services – 97% of people say that online reviews effect their decision making.

Google have made it easy for you to create a link to send to customers so that they can easily leave you a Google review.

Reviews can also make your Business Profile Knowledge Panel stand out more to searchers because ‘Review Snippets’ can appear.

Review snippet

Replying to reviews allows you to reinforce what is good about your product or service. Replying to negative reviews gives you a chance to respond in a positive way.

Make sure it’s a simple one/two-click process for customers to leave you a Google review.

reviews

Posts

You can also create posts, a type of ‘mini advert’ containing photos, text, gifs, short videos, a Call To Action and a URL that you can use to link to a landing page or your website.

When people search Google for your business these Posts shows up prominently, especially in mobile searches.

Posts have a word limit of 300, but only the first 100 characters (or fewer) of the Post initially appear.

Google My Business post

Posts show up prominently, especially in mobile searches. These are a great marketing opportunity for posting mini-updates to tell people that you’ve got a special offer on.

These posts used to disappear after 7 days but now they last for about 6 months.

There are currently six types of Google My Business posts:

  1. COVID-19
  2. Offers
  3. Products
  4. What’s New
  5. Events
  6. Hours Update

Offer posts are good for promotions and contests. Include a great piece of media, a clear promotion or offer, and a strong call-to-action.

‘What’s New’ posts can be used to share announcements about your business. For example, Are you hiring? Do you have a tip for customers?

Event posts are useful if you are having a sale, product launch, or to link to a new blog post.

To get started with Posts, log in to your Google Business Profile dashboard and you’ll see the Posts option on the left-hand side

You can read more about ideas for Google Business Profile posts here.

Messaging

By activating the messaging feature, you can respond to customers who ask you a question via text message straight from your listing. To get started with Messaging, log in to your Google Business Profile dashboard and click on “Messaging”

Bonus Tip

It’s worth checking that your pin location is correct on Google maps.

Conclusion

More than ever people are searching on Google for local businesses, and claiming your free listing is great for targeting local customers. Your listing is a powerful tool that can increase leads and sales and provide valuable insights about your customers.

Don’t miss out by creating a listing and just adding the bare minimum of details. Instead try to complete all the information Google asks for. An optimised listing can lead to increased sales and customers.

I hope you found this article useful. Why not get in touch to see how we can help with your website and SEO needs? Call now – 0777 169 1194.

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