Google is the dominant search engine for local searches. It is now controlling and shifting towards more precise results and actions. As a result of their unparalleled service, whenever someone is looking to make a purchase in their local market, they revert to Google.
Google My Business, also known as GMB, is a Google tool which allows your business to grow its presence on the Internet. So it gets easier and easier for someone searching the service you offer in your area, to be redirected to your website. And the most important benefit of the platform is that having an optimized GMB listing is completely free of charges!
Unfortunately it is not as easy as you’re thinking. To be well ranked on Google searches, you need to follow Google rules. The question that all business owners have to ask themselves, how do I follow Google rules? How do I optimize my business listing on Google?
What Happens Without Proper Business Listing Optimization
These days, not being found on Google means you’re dead in the water. Are you in Google’s good graces?
This blog post will give you a quick glance at the things you need to do in order to leverage Google and get found when your local audience is looking for products and services that you offer.
Here are some stats that show why optimizing your profile is mandatory in the current state of affairs.
- 3.5 billion Google searches are made every day. (Internet Live Stats)
- The volume of Google searches grows by roughly 10% every year. (Internet Live Stats)
- 90% of searches made on desktops are done via Google. (Statista)
- Half of all users who performed a local search on their mobile device visited that store the same day. (jotform)
- In fact, research shows that 63.6 percent of people are likely to check up on a business’ Google reviews before they visit. (reviewtrackers)
Some more statistics on the growth of Google.
The Benefits of Profile Optimization
Google My Business is the most powerful free tool at your disposal. Herein lies the opportunity for anyone wise enough to jump onboard.
Develop and utilize the platform to its maximum potential and get a prime placement on Google Maps.
- Only 61% of local businesses have even claimed their GMB profiles
- Only a fraction of those actually optimize properly
- And even fewer keep this information updated
When done correctly, you’re essentially rendering your competition a non-threat.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Claim and Verify Your Listing
Register with Google and get it set up. Many of your competitors may not have verified their listings and as a result, are getting penalized. It’s easy to sign up and claim your listing, the process takes up to five business days to send a postcard to your location. This process is necessary to prove Google that your business is real. Once you get your listing confirmed, ensure all data is 100% accurate. Google is helpful in this regard with claiming steps.
If you don’t verify your business, your GMB listing will not be optimized so you won’t be able to access some back end tools Google offers to you, your reviews is an example.
Choose All The Best Categories
There are likely several possible categories your business can be associated with. Get creative to find all the industries, professions, and categories you may relate to your products and services. Find all that applies to you and select what works.
Develop Your Business Description
Write engaging content that will persuade prospects to engage with you. Create a powerful copy that will be displayed on your GMB profile. Don’t forget to use specific keywords once you’re writing your description.
Develop Your Business Information
Fill everything out so that Google feels secure in suggesting you to their search audience. Keep this information up to date, and be as descriptive and complete as possible. A piece of information that your competition doesn’t usually mention is their business operating hours. I’m sure you won’t make the same mistake and you will keep your info up to date and your listing optimized (especially around special holidays).
Ask for, respond to and engage your reviews on Google. Your happy clients make the best crowd to ask for reviews. Once you have reviews, thank those who left good reviews, and also thank those who left bad reviews. A bad review can dissuade a prospect, but if you respond saying that you’re improving your service to account for the shortcoming, you might bring them back in. Answer to each review individually and carefully, you must give your client the attention they deserve. After all, they took some time out of his day to leave a comment on the impression they had of your service.
How To Know If Optimizing Is Working For You
Upon implementing all these things, you will start to see impressive results. Below, we have two images of separate local business dashboards inside of Google My Business. They show the number of times that their brand was found on the search engine. Keep in mind it all depends on your ability to show up first.
Google ultimately wants to sell you ads, and their infrastructure allows you to monitor all types of clicks, impressions, calls, conversions, and a myriad of tools to show their paid campaigns are performing.
Lucky for the average GMB profile, they also have a suite of free monitoring tools. These are inside the dashboard, known as Google Insights. The case studies below are derived from that dashboard.
You will definitely want to track and monitor your results. At first, upon claiming your business, you might not have anything shown, results will be dismal.
As you optimize and improve your profile, get more reviews, you will start to see improvements.
Google Maps delivers powerful leads into your world via click to call features, directions, and website linking.
Google Maps is the #1 free source of high quality leads.
We have two examples that display what is possible with a high performing Google My Business profile. One of the best features of GMB is that it allows you to track the results it is having on your lead generation.
This is the Google Insights feature, and here are those case studies.
Home Service Business:
Google My Business Is All About Lead Generation
If you want your business to grow, you need to be on GMB. If you understand this fundamental concept, then you understand that all the other aspects of lead generation are important too. But usually, most local business owners fall short in the marketing strategy, especially when they entrust outsourcers or agencies to deliver for them.
The best way to manage your Google My Business listing is to manage it yourself. Fill up this form and you’ll receive a free easy-to-follow GMB checklist directly to your email.
Follow our blog to get more helpful insights on refining your online marketing strategies. Here’s our blog about Market Research. That’s the first step to dominating your competition. Read on to find out more.