How to optimize your Google My Business Listing?

Just in case you own a business, then optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing is an important thing to do to boost your online presence.  In the world of local SEO, your GMB listing is an important and pivotal tool that can offer many benefits to local businesses of all kinds.

However, merely setting up a listing is the first step in utilizing this essential and free platform.  In today’s post, let’s discuss the ways you can optimize your GMB listing to get more exposure online.

How to optimize your Google My Business Listing?

Without further ado, let’s get started. Here’s an overview:

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What Is Google My Business?

Google My Business enables businesses to gain a better online presence.  It also allows companies to showcase what they’re about to customers. 

To put it simply, if you are a local business who’s concerned about optimizing your online presence in search and maps, GMB is vital.  Google My Business is probably the most critical tool that you can start using today (and for free)!

Some of the benefits of using Google My Business include:

  • Provide customers with company information such as name, address and operating hours
  • Google reviews which can enhance a business
  • Provide services
  • Showcase business branding
  • Enable businesses to show up in Google Maps
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Why Should Businesses Use GMB?

Businesses should use GMB for a variety of reasons.  However, your primary aim should be to enable your company to show up in the valuable Google Maps Snack Pack or 3 Pack.

You can hire a company to do your Google My Business setup and optimization, or you can do it on your own. We will discuss the later and give you the step by step guide to setting up a business profile without the help of an agency.

When a potential customer performs a search on Google, they might search as indicated in the image below:

How to optimize your Google My Business Listing?

As you can see, a search was performed for “pizza near me open now,” and Google returned the most relevant listings in the Google Maps Snack Pack.  The listings that Google determined were relevant to the search show up for a few different reasons.

Factors that cause a business to show up in maps results include:

  • Proximity to the searcher
  • The simple fact that the business has a GMB listing
  • The type of business and its relevance to the search
  • The prominence of the business and authority as perceived by Google

The bottom line is that it’s not that hard to create a listing, and the difference it can make is truly invaluable.  A business that shows up in Google maps will get more free traffic and quality leads (and business) than a company that doesn’t have a listing.  So what do you have to lose?

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Steps To Optimizing Google My Business:

There are many different steps to properly optimizing Google My Business.  From choosing the type of business you are and whether or not you service customers at your location, to categories, consistency between listings, and more.   Here, we’ll go into a deep dive into what you can do to set up your listing for success properly!

STEP 1:  Create and verify your listing

Verifying your listing will begin the process of optimizing your GMB listing.  You will want to start by considering what type of business you are.  Do you service customer at your location, do you visit customers at their site, or do you do a little bit of both?  Answer these simple questions yourself, and you will know whether or not you should show your address on your listing.

STEP 2: Choose categories

In this step, you can choose categories that are most relevant to your business. 

Try this:

  1. Find the top 3 ranking competitors in Google My Business.
  2. Open into their GMB listings.
  3. Take note of their primary categories (you will see this when you open into their listings)
  4. Use the same primary categories that your top 3 ranking competitors are using.
  5. Use the same secondary and third categories by viewing page source and typing in the primary category (the second and third categories will be listed after)

Pro Tip: Be sure not to category stuff.  Choosing three business categories is perfectly fine and more than enough!

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STEP 3: Fill out business information

Step 3 requires that you fill out all critical business information.  Some of the information you will want to fill out in your listing:

  • NAP (make sure all of this information is consistent on your GMB listing and other online sources)
  • Hours of operation
  • a business description that is keyword optimized
  • Services that are also keyword optimized and descriptive
  • Products (if relevant)

When you fill out your business information, be sure that everything is correct and accurate.  You will want to be sure every bit of information reflects what is on your website and in other directory listings too.  If you neglect this important fact, it is possible that you could confuse Google and not rank the way you would if everything was consistent. It’s a significant part of your local SEO strategy.

STEP 4: Upload photos

Uploading photos is a crucial step for optimizing your Google My Business listing fundamentally.  The pictures of your business should reflect who you are, what you do, company values and branding, and more.  Geotagging photos is essential, although Google strips this information from the images.  Although it is unknown if image Exif data is read, why not be on the safe side and just geotag pictures anyway?

Be sure to have Geotagged images of your business, including:

  • Business location images
  • Your logo
  • Company photos
  • Team members
  • Anything else that provides good user experience and information on your company and services

STEP 5: Post Updates And Important Notices

Keeping your business up to date is the final step for optimizing your business on Google.  This part is an ongoing effort as hours will need to be updated during holidays, sales and offers should be reflected, and essential information should be showcased as it comes up.

You can post information from your website on your GMB too.  This is an integral part of having a well-rounded business listing.

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Last Words:

Google My Business is very valuable for business owners because it is a free tool.  Because it is free, there is no reason not to have a listing if you are a local business.

We hope this post has helped provide relevant information in optimizing your GMB listing and wish you all the best!

Thank you for reading. If you have any further queries that you want to clarify, don’t forget to get in touch in the comments below. I will be happy to help. Keep following HiTricks for regular tech updates.

Nirmal Sarkar is an M.Tech Engineering Student from the city of Joy, Kolkata. He is the founder of this blog and covers a wide range of topics from Gadgets to Software to Latest Offers. He is also active on the Blogosphere community on Facebook. You can get in touch with him via nirmal@hitricks.com

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