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Optimising your Google My Business (GMB) is the key to increasing your visibility in local search results. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about setting up, Optimising, and managing your Google My Business (GMB) for the best possible results.

Short Summary

  • Understanding GMB: Learn how GMB works and its importance. Use features like local SEO, customer engagement, and performance insights.
  • Create a GMB Profile: Follow steps to create a compelling profile. Use professional visuals, relevant keywords, and engage with reviews.
  • Optimize Your GMB: Monitor changes closely. Troubleshoot common issues like account suspensions and edits promptly. Stay proactive for optimal performance.

What is Google My Business (GMB)?

Google My Business is a free business listing giving local visibility across Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping.

GMB in SERP
How a GMB shows in search results

By providing essential details such as business hours, contact information, and services, GMB enables potential customers to find your business with ease when searching for products and services like yours in their local area.

With key features like Map location, customer engagement, reviews, and insights, GMB is a powerful tool that helps you showcase your business and stand out from the competition.

The Evolution of Google My Business

Since its introduction in June 2014, Google My Business has evolved significantly, providing businesses with a myriad of features and tools to optimize their profiles. By enhancing business details, leveraging visual content, utilizing keywords strategically, encouraging customer reviews, and responding professionally to reviews, businesses can make the most of their Google My Business profiles maximize their online visibility and customer engagement.

At Phoenix Media, we have been optimising GMB pages as part of our SEO strategy for the last 10 years, even if the business is not looking for local customers specifically, it’s still an important feature that should not be ignored, in this article we’ll cover all of the tips and features for optimising your GMB page.

Key Features of GMB

With its range of features, GMB is designed to help you make a lasting impression on potential customers. Local SEO optimisation, for instance, can be achieved by selecting appropriate categories, integrating visual content, and employing keywords effectively.

GMB features
Features on Maps include links to the Website, Directions, and Call.

Furthermore, fostering customer engagement and managing reviews is crucial to building trust and enhancing your business’s reputation. By accessing Google Business Profile Insights and keeping an eye on key metrics, businesses can gain valuable insights into their performance and make data-driven decisions to optimize their online presence.

Steps to Creating a Google My Business Account

As the GMB Page is a free feature the only thing you’ll need to get it started is an active Google account. Once you have that ready follow the steps below.

  1. Visit the Google My Business website: Start by accessing the Google My Business website at https://www.google.com/business/. Sign in using your Google account or create a new one if you don’t have an existing account.
  2. Add your business information: Click on the “Manage now” button and enter your business name, address, and phone number. Ensure that the information provided is accurate and consistent with your business’s real-world details.
  3. Choose your business category: Select the appropriate category that best represents your business. This will help Google understand your business and display it correctly to potential customers.
  4. Provide additional details: Include additional information about your business, such as your website URL, business hours, and a brief description of your products or services. Make sure to highlight any unique selling points or key features.
  5. Verify your business: To verify that you’re the owner or authorized representative of the business, Google will send a verification code via mail or phone. Follow the instructions provided to complete the verification process.

Claiming Your Business (if already listed on Google)

It’s possible that your business already has a GMB, especially if it has been established for a significant amount of time. In such cases, you’ll need to claim it by submitting a request to the account holder managing your listing and filling out a form with your personal details. If you don’t receive a response, you can claim your profile yourself through the GMB manager dashboard.

After claiming your business, it’s important to enter your physical address or service areas to be listed on Google My Business. Verification can be achieved through various methods, including postcard, phone call, or text message, depending on your preferences. Verification is the first step to full access to your new business listing on Google My Business. Once verified, you will be able to fully manage it seven days after owning it.

Optimising Your Google Business Profile

Optimising your Google Business Profile (GMB) for local search ranking is crucial to boosting your online visibility and driving more potential customers to your business. By ensuring that all elements of your profile are completed, verifying your location(s), incorporating real images and videos, and including relevant keywords in your profile, you can improve your local search ranking and make it easier for customers to find your business in the crowded digital marketplace.

Enhancing Your Business Details

To enhance your business details on GMB, it’s essential to complete all elements of your profile, verify your location(s), and add real images and videos that accurately depict your business and its offerings.

By providing comprehensive and accurate information, you can help potential customers find your business easily and improve your chances of attracting new leads.

Leveraging Visual Content

Visual content, such as images and videos, plays a crucial role in showcasing your brand, location, and team, especially if you run a restaurant or retail business. By utilizing high-quality images that accurately represent your business and following best practices, you can enhance your GMB’s appeal and entice potential customers to choose your business over your competitors.

Office Pics
Pictures of the entrance and local surrounds can help customers find you.

Creating visually appealing content can help you stand out from the competition and attract more customers. Investing in professional photography and videography can help you create content that is both eye-catching and informative. Additionally, you can use social media platforms to share your information.

Utilizing Keywords Strategically

Using relevant keywords strategically throughout your Google Business Profile can significantly improve your search rankings and help your business appear more prominently in local search results. Use tools like Google KW Planner to identify the most popular keywords associated with your business and industry, and optimize your GMB profile with these in-demand keywords to enhance your search rankings and attract new customers.

We found that using Keywords in the business name, did provide a quick boost to rankings, i.e. adding Digital Marketing, after the company name Phoenix Media. However we noticed Google was noting this was not part of the registered company name, and would remove it shortly after (reverting back to Phoenix Media).

Adding Essential Information

Include essential details in your Google Business Profile, such as business hours, contact information, services, and additional information, is vital as it enables customers to locate and get in touch with your business through the contact information provided.

Essential info in GMB
Be sure to list the correct opening hours and contact information

Geo Tagging Images

Geo-tagging images is an essential practice for businesses to enhance their online presence. By attaching location data to images, businesses can provide accurate geographical information to potential customers, enabling them to locate the business easily. Geo-tagging also plays a crucial role in local search results, as it helps search engines like Google determine the relevance and proximity of a business to a user’s search query. Furthermore, geo-tagged images contribute to the credibility and authenticity of a business, reinforcing its physical presence and attracting local customers

At Phoenix Media, this is our process to Geo-Tag and image;

How to Geo Tag an Image

1.    Find the business in the Map section

Finding business in Maps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Right-click on the listing and select ‘What’s here”

Whats Here on Maps

3. Copy the Latitude and Longitude

Long and Lat in Maps

4. Visit https://tool.geoimgr.com/ and drag and drop the image and add the coordinates and an image description

(you might need to write the coordinates manually)

using geoimgr

5. Click Write EXIF Tags and Download

Exif Tags

6. Upload the image to your GMB profile

Customer Engagement and Reviews

Customer engagement and reviews play a crucial role in establishing trust and enhancing your business’s ranking on Google. By actively encouraging customer reviews and responding professionally to both positive and negative feedback, you can foster a strong relationship with your customers and present your business as a trustworthy and reliable choice.

Customer reviews in GMB

In addition, the combination of positive and negative reviews is seen as more reliable by Google, further emphasising the importance of managing and engaging with customer reviews.

Encouraging Customer Reviews

Encouraging customers to leave reviews for your business is a powerful way to boost your online reputation and attract new customers. By inviting customers to provide feedback and responding professionally and honestly to both positive and negative reviews, you can create a sense of trust and authenticity that will appeal to prospective customers.

Replying to reviews in GMB

One effective way to solicit customer reviews is to provide a direct link to your Google review form, making it easy for customers to share their experiences. By actively encouraging reviews and engaging with customers, you can enhance your business’s visibility and reputation, ultimately driving more customers to your doorstep.

Responding to Reviews Professionally

Responding professionally to reviews is essential to maintaining a positive online reputation and building trust with your customers. When responding to both positive and negative reviews, it’s important to remain composed and honest, while also refraining from using the reviewer’s name.

By expressing gratitude for the reviewer’s feedback and addressing any concerns they may have, you can demonstrate that your business values its customers and their opinions. If necessary, invite the reviewer to contact you directly to resolve any issues, providing them with a direct contact method such as a phone number or email address.

Making the Most of GMB Features and Tools

By leveraging the features and tools available on Google Business Profile, you can optimize your online presence and drive more potential customers to your business. Some of the powerful GMB features include creating and sharing Google Posts, adding products and services, and utilizing free marketing resources like stickers, social posts, printable posters, and custom videos.

Booking features in GMB
By linking your booking feature, customers can book directly from your GMB page.

By making the most of these features and tools, you can enhance your business’s visibility and reputation in the competitive online landscape.

Creating and Sharing Google Posts

Google Posts allow businesses to directly target users on Google Search and Maps. They are a great tool for advertising offers, events, products and services. Creating and sharing Google Posts is simple: log in to your Google Business Profile, select the location you wish to manage, and create a post by selecting the desired post type and adding relevant text, images, or videos.

Once you’re satisfied with your post, click “Publish” to make it available to others. Google Posts provide an effective way to engage with your target audience and showcase your latest offerings, helping you attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back for more.

Adding Products and Services

Adding and highlighting products on your Google Business Profile can significantly enhance its appeal and functionality. Most small and medium-sized businesses are eligible to display products on GMB, providing information such as pricing, details, and photos of their offerings.

Adding products to GMB
You can also add your products via a product / data feed

By using the Product Editor feature, you can showcase your products and services, making it easier for potential customers to find and choose your business.

Utilizing Free Marketing Resources

Take advantage of Google’s free marketing resources to boost your business’s online presence and attract more customers. These resources include stickers, social posts, printable posters, and custom videos, which can be used to promote your business both online and offline.

By leveraging these free marketing tools, you can enhance your brand’s visibility and make a lasting impression on potential customers.

Monitoring and Analyzing Your GMB Performance

Monitoring and analyzing your Google Business Profile performance is crucial to understanding the effectiveness of your optimisation efforts and identifying areas for improvement. By accessing Google Business Profile Insights and tracking key metrics such as impressions, clicks, calls, and directions, you can gain valuable insights into how your business is performing online and make data-driven decisions to optimize your online presence further.

GMB reports
GMB provides easy-to-understand reports on customer use and activity.

By understanding the performance of your Google Business Profile, you can make informed decisions to improve your online presence and reach more potential customers. With the right optimisation, you can increase your visibility and reach more customers.

Accessing Google Business Profile Insights

Accessing Google Business Profile Insights is simple: log in to your Google Business Profile and select the “Insights” tab from the left menu. Here, you can investigate insights such as customer inquiries, activities conducted on your profile, and photo performance.

By monitoring these insights, you can gain a better understanding of your business’s online performance and identify areas for improvement.

Key Metrics to Track

Tracking key metrics on Google Business Profile Insights, such as impressions, clicks, calls, and directions, can provide valuable insights into your business’s online performance and help you make data-driven decisions to optimize your profile. By closely monitoring these metrics, you can identify trends and patterns in customer behavior, enabling you to tailor your GMB optimisation efforts accordingly and maximize your return on investment.

Managing Multiple Locations and Profiles

For businesses with multiple locations, managing and Optimising each individual GMB can be a daunting task. However, by creating a business account with bulk location management features, you can manage multiple locations and profiles in a streamlined and efficient manner. This feature is available to businesses with 10 or more locations and allows you to add, verify, and manage all your locations in one go, simplifying the process and saving you time and effort.

In addition to the bulk location management functionality, you can also utilize Business Groups to manage multiple locations on GMB. Business Groups act as a shared folder for your locations, enabling you to share management capabilities with multiple users and streamline the process of updating information across all profiles.

Using Business Groups

Business Groups on Google My Business offer a convenient way to share management of your locations with multiple users, acting as a shared folder for your locations. To create a business group, log in to your Business Profile Manager, select the “Businesses” tab, and then click “Create group”.

You can then add locations to the business group, making it easier for you to manage and update information across all your profiles.

Troubleshooting Common GMB Issues

Common GMB issues, such as account suspensions and user or Google edits, can be frustrating and time-consuming to handle. However, by following the instructions provided by Google and closely monitoring any changes to your profile, you can effectively troubleshoot these issues and maintain a strong and consistent online presence for your business.

This includes staying up-to-date on any changes to the Google My Business platform, as well as responding to customer reviews and inquiries in a timely manner. Additionally, it is important to ensure that all of the above are achieved.

Handling Suspensions

If your Google My Business account is suspended, it’s crucial to follow the instructions provided by Google to resolve the issue. A suspension may result from a violation of Google’s guidelines, so it’s essential to review the policies and determine the cause of the suspension.

GMB suspended status
Google can suspend users and listings if they are in breach of their guidelines.

By adhering to Google’s guidelines and providing any necessary documentation to demonstrate the validity of your business, you can work towards reinstating your account and regaining control of your GMB.

Managing User and Google Edits

Managing user and Google edits on your GMB can be challenging, but it’s crucial to monitor changes and revert them if necessary to maintain a consistent and accurate online presence.

By keeping a close eye on your profile and staying vigilant for any unauthorized modifications, you can ensure that your business information remains up-to-date and accurate, ultimately enhancing your visibility and reputation in the competitive online landscape.

Summary

In conclusion, Optimising your Google Business Profile is a powerful way to boost your SEO and visibility, in turn attracting more customers. By following the comprehensive guidance provided in this article, you can set up, optimize, and manage your GMB effectively, making the most of its features and tools to enhance your online presence. With a well-optimized GMB, you can stand out from the competition and drive more customers to your business, ultimately maximizing your return on investment.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Google My Business totally free?

Yes, Google My Business is totally free! Utilize the powerful platform to promote your business, reach potential customers, and get more engagement.

With no cost associated, why not give it a try?

How do I set up Google My Business?

Setting up a Google My Business account is easy and can be completed in a few steps. First, sign in to your Google account and go to the Google My Business page.

Next, enter the name of your business and choose its primary category. Then add your business address, phone number and website.

Finally, complete your listing and verify your profile.

How can I see my business in Google?

To get your business to show up on Google, you need to take advantage of Google’s My Business service. Through this service, you can create a listing for your business that will appear in search results and on Google Maps.

To do this, simply follow these steps: Search for your business on Google. Look for the “Claim this Business” button. Click “Manage Now”. Verify your business.

What is Google My Business and how do you use it?

Google My Business is a powerful tool designed to help local businesses gain visibility in relevant local searches. Using GMB, businesses can create and manage their online presence on Google Search and Maps with a free business profile, post updates, list products and services, display a menu, and more.

With GMB, owners of local companies have the power to control their online presence and maximize their reach in local markets.

What is the purpose of Google My Business?

Google My Business provides business owners with the ability to create a free profile page that is visible to potential customers on Google Search and Maps. This profile page contains all relevant business information, such as opening hours, contact details, services offered, and photos.

It also allows business owners to manage customer reviews, insights, and messages.

  • Published on : Tuesday June 13, 2023
  • Last updated : Thursday June 15, 2023

About the author

As the managing partner for Phoenix Media, Rob brings over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing and running successful agencies in the UK, Australia and Thailand. Starting in a sales role he has covered all aspects of the agency from sales and service to technical ad operations. Reach him directly on rob@phoenixmedia.co.th

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