Google My Business is a free tool that allows local businesses to manage their online presence across Google Search and Maps. Optimizing your Google My Business profile is invaluable for driving website traffic, customer footfalls, and sales. This comprehensive guide covers how to get started and optimize your GMB listing.
Google My Business (GMB) allows businesses to control how their name, address, products/services, and contact information appear on Google. It helps you connect with local customers right when they are searching for companies like yours on Google Search and Maps.
Key benefits of GMB include:
- Increased visibility on Google Search and Maps for searches related to your business
- Ability to add store information like address, hours, photos, attributes, etc.
- Customer insights like how many searched for or viewed your business
- Verified listings that build trust and credibility for prospects
Using GMB effectively is vital for any business with a local brick-and-mortar presence aiming to drive nearby customers.
Creating Your GMB Listing
Follow these steps to create your free GMB listing:
Go to the Google My Business website and click on “Start Now”. Choose to manage an existing business. You will need to log in with your Google account.
Enter Business Details
Enter your company name, category, and address. This should match how customers would search for your business.
Verify Your Business
Google will mail a verification PIN to your address to confirm you own the business. Enter the PIN when received to complete verification.
Once done, your GMB listing will be created which you can start optimizing fully.
Completing Your Business Profile
A complete and optimized GMB profile establishes credibility and provides customers with the necessary information.
Business Name, Address, and Category
Double-check check these details are accurate. The category should clearly convey what you offer.
Add phone number, website, email, and store timing so customers can reach you easily.
Profile Photos and Videos
Add at least 10 high-quality photos of the storefront, products, offerings, interior etc. Videos help further.
Provide a detailed description of your offerings, history, strengths, and unique differentiators.
Select all relevant attributes like parking availability, payment modes, etc. to highlight what you offer.
Define the geographic regions you serve for accurate visibility for nearby searches.
Optimizing Your GMB Listing
Follow these tips to optimize your GMB profile fully:
Get Customer Reviews
Encourage happy customers to post reviews about your products/services. This builds social proof. Respond professionally to any negative reviews.
Use Google Posts
Frequently share photos, announcements about offers or events, and other updates through Google Posts. This engages customers.
Check metrics regularly in the Insights dashboard. Look for trends in impressions, calls, direction requests, and other engagements.
Respond to user Q&A questions promptly. Update business hours or other attributes immediately if they change.
Use Local Keywords
Include commonly searched local terms like “near me” in the title, description, and services to get found more easily.
Run Local Campaigns
Run Google Ads for location-based targeting like city radius keywords to drive nearby customer actions.
Integrating GMB With Your Marketing Strategy
Blend your GMB presence across channels:
- Embed map, directions, and contact info on the website
- Link to your GMB listing from emails, ads, and other marketing content
- Promote happy customer reviews from GMB on social media
- Run GMB posts promoting any in-store events, sales, etc.
This omnichannel approach will maximize your local SEO visibility and footprint.
GMB Listing for Multi-Location Businesses
For companies with multiple locations:
- Create separate listings for each location with unique content
- Identify primary listing location based on business, prominence, reviews, etc.
- Set up a master account with sub-accounts to allow easy multi-location management
- Ensure NAP (name, address, phone) consistency across listings
Having tailored listings for each branch improves local findability.
Measuring Your GMB Success
Track these metrics to gauge your GMB listing performance:
- Organic traffic growth from localized Google searches
- Increase in phone calls and in-store visits
- More customer reviews and photos added
- Higher impressions and engagement on GMB posts
- Improved local search ranking for target keywords
- More direction requests, calls, and bookings from the GMB listing
Assess what’s working through analytics to further optimize your presence.
An optimized Google My Business profile is vital for local businesses to stand out on Google Search and Maps, guiding nearby customers to your brand. Ensure your listing is completely filled out and promoted across channels. Measure success through metrics like calls, direction requests and foot traffic. Use these best practices to maximize your GMB visibility and reap the benefits for your local store or business.