In order to connect with local consumers, it’s vital for your business to achieve targeted visibility on Google. There are several things you can do to achieve that goal, including optimizing your business website and developing a strategic Google Ads campaign.
One element that may be easy to forget about is developing a Google My Business (GMB) listing. Keep in mind that GMB is a free service that allows you to provide consumers with vital information about your products, services, and hours of operation, all from the search engine results page (SERP). And, GMB listings are ranked heavily in Google’s algorithms, meaning that a well-optimized business profile will help you achieve greater visibility in local search results.
How to Optimize Your GMB Profile
For our purposes today, we’ll assume that you’ve already claimed and verified your GMB account. (We’ve written about this process in previous posts.) Once you’ve claimed and verified your account, here are a few additional steps you can take to enhance it.
1) Complete each section of your GMB profile.
Not only can a completed profile improve search rankings, but it also makes it more likely that visitors to your page will take action to contact you, visit your brick-and-mortar store, or review your website.
Before you do anything else, complete these basic profile fields:
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
For your NAP data (that is, your name, address, and phone number), be sure you provide consistent information across all online directories and platforms.
There are some additional sections that may be more time-intensive to complete but doing so will result in a much more robust and effective profile. These include:
- Category and attributes
- Products and services
- Questions and answers (basically an FAQ section that you can generate)
- Images of your business and products or services
2) Be precise about your contact information.
We mentioned the importance of consistency with your company contact information. More specifically:
- Be sure that the way you represent your business name on GMB matches what it says on your physical signage; this ensures that customers can easily verify that they’ve come to the right place. So, if the sign outside your place of business says Charlotte Hair Solutions, don’t abbreviate it to Charlotte Hair on GMB.
- Make sure you list your contact information the exact same way on every online directory or social media platform. Even the most minor inconsistency (like writing ‘street’ here but abbreviating to ‘St.’ elsewhere) can cause algorithmic confusion.
- Provide GMB with both your normal hours of operation as well as any special holiday hours.
3) Write a “From the Business” description.
Google will supply their own short, editorial summary of your business; you don’t have any control over this brief description, but thankfully, Google’s descriptions tend to be pretty accurate.
You do have control over your “from the business” description, which appears lower on your profile and allows you to provide a first-person account of what sets your business apart. Some general tips for optimizing this section:
- You have 750 characters to work with. Try to use all of them, or as close as possible, but put the really core information (including target search keywords) in the first 250 characters.
- Feel free to condense or repurpose information that’s contained in your company mission statement or on the About Us section of your website.
- Try to avoid repeating information that already appears prominently elsewhere in your GMB profile.
- Don’t use this space for hyperlinks.
4) Select a category.
You’ll have a chance to select the right category for your business; this helps Google classify your business appropriately, and it also makes it more likely that you’ll get found by search engine users.
Some tips for category selection:
- Get as specific as possible. Don’t settle for “restaurant” if “Italian restaurant” is more apropos.
- GMB will let you pick some secondary categories, as well; this can be invaluable for businesses that straddle different categories.
- Remember to represent your business accurately; don’t place yourself in any categories that could mislead customers.
5) Choose attributes.
In addition to your business category, you should also list some attributes; these are features, perks, or amenities that customers might look for. Think “free wi-fi” or “gift-wrapping available.” Again, try to list as many attributes as you can, but make sure you represent your business accurately. No need to overdo it.
6) Add photos.
Finally, upload photos through your GMB dashboard. Some general tips:
- Be sure you get some really high-quality photos that represent your business in the best light.
- Regularly upload new photos, which signals to Google that you have a very active business.
- Avoid using stock photos.
Make GMB Central to Your Local Search Strategy
More questions about developing a viable local search strategy with GMB at the center? Reach out to enCOMPASS whenever you’d like to chat.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE: