Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most powerful ways to improve a business’s local search engine optimization and online visibility.
If you’re a local brick and mortar business or service area business with a physical address, claiming your Google My Business listing is one of the first things you should do to expand your company’s online presence.
As long as your business meets Google’s guidelines, your GMB business listing or profile can help give your company FREE exposure on Google’s search engine and in Google Maps. Not only can potential customers quickly see your business name, address and phone number, but they can also see photos of your business, read online reviews, find a description about your company, hours, complete a transaction (like book an appointment) and see other information that grabs a searcher’s attention — all without them even visiting your website!
Google My Business Helps You Get Ranked locally
Not only is your GMB Profile easily visible to potential customers when they search on Google using keywords/phrases with location intent, but Google My Business is a combination of key Google local ranking factors. In fact, according to local ranking factor industry research, Google My Business is the most important ranking factor for local pack rankings (which includes reviews, consistent name, address, and phone number across multiple sites, including detailed information, having a more complete profile on GMB, among others). Google My Business signals had a significant increase in ranking importance between 2017 and 2018 — rising from 19% to 25%.
Many people mistakenly think that just claiming your Google My Business profile is enough. However, optimizing your Google My Business profile (adding engaging photos, responding to reviews, making sure business information is up-to-date) and frequently logging into your Google My Business dashboard to make sure that no unwanted updates have been made to your profile is critical to improving your rankings and ensuring the integrity of your business profile’s accuracy.
Google My Business Features that Make Your Profile DOMINATE!
Google offers a variety of ways to optimize and enhance your Google My Business profile. You can add photos, videos, business hours, a description of your company, frequently asked questions and answers, communicate with customers via messages, allow customers to book appointments, respond to online reviews and more.
One of the most powerful ways to grab a searcher’s attention is by creating Google My Business Posts. GMB Posts are almost like mini-ads or social media posts for your company, products, services, sales, or events. While Google continues to change when and what is displayed, Posts or snippets of recent Google posts are often displayed when someone searches your business name or a local keyword phrase that your business shows up for in the local pack rankings.
Google offers a variety of Posts you can create to promote your business:
- What’s New
Posts also allow you to include a call-to-action (CTA) so you can better control what the visitor does after they view your post — creating the ultimate marketing experience. Current CTAs are:
- Order Online
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Get Offer
- Call Now
Posts use a combination of images, text and a CTA to creatively show your message to potential customers. A Post shows in your GMB profile when someone searches for your business’s name on Google or views your Google My Business profile on Google Maps.
Once you create a Post, you can share or repurpose the content across your social media channels to get extra exposure or vice versa!
Despite the name, Google My Business Posts are not actual social media posts. Typically the first 100 characters of the post are what shows up on the screen (the rest is cut off and must be clicked on to be seen), so make sure the most important words are at the beginning of your post. Don’t use hashtags — they’re meaningless. It’s best if you can create new posts every seven days or so.
Google My Business Posts are a great way to show off your business in a unique way at the exact time when a searcher is looking at your business online.
GMB Posts Are Worth It
If your business is in a competitive location and industry, you should definitely use Google My Business optimizing strategies and features like Google My Business posts if you want to improve your local SEO, expand your local search real estate to engage more prospects, and get an edge on your competition!
HONE Digital Marketing is a digital marketing agency based in Texas.