What is a Google My Business Listing and How Can it Help My Small Business?
Every day, more people are turning to the internet to find local businesses, so it’s more crucial than ever to have an excellent online presence. You need more than a good website to rank on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, however. Now, things such as your content, backlinks, social media, and online business directories factor into how search engines determine where you rank on the search engine results pages (SERPS).
One way you can increase your chances of ranking higher on Google is by claiming and optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing. In this article, we’ll go over how to do just that.
Google My Business: What is it?
Google aims to provide accurate information to its users while also helping local businesses. This is why Google provides qualifying local businesses with a completely FREE online listing that they can claim and update. Your GMB listing includes your business’s name, address, phone number, description, business hours, and other information that will help local customers find your business online.
To claim your Google My Business listing, visit https://www.google.com/business/ to get started.
When you claim and optimize your GMB listing, you’re increasing your chances of showing up in the Google “Local 3-Pack.” Here’s an example:
When a person searches for your business’s name on Google, the information you put into your GMB listing will show up in the knowledge panel that appears on the right-hand side of the Google results.
Many businesses tend to set up their Google My Business listing and then completely forget about it. What these business owners don’t realize is that Google gives you multiple options when it comes to optimizing your listing. Google also allows you to interact with potential customers through your GMB listing. Here are some of the best features of Google My Business:
Update Business Category
When setting up your GMB listing, you will be asked to select categories for your business. Sometimes people pick the wrong category, or maybe they choose too many, which can dilute your business type. Also, depending on the type of industry you are in, you might have the same category as some of your competitors that you’re competing with for rankings.
If your business isn’t showing up high in the local search results, research what your higher-ranking competition have as their categories. Select the same category as them or pick a different one. This is not something that will bring you success overnight – this method requires a bit of trial and error. With a little bit of research and testing, however, you could end up drastically increasing your rankings!
Google lets people ask you questions through your GMB listing, which will enable you to interact directly with potential customers. Since Google monitors every interaction between you and your customers, this is great for both parties. Keep a lookout on your GMB dashboard for notifications that a person has a question. Make sure you answer the question as soon as possible.
These are quite similar to social media posts. You can use GMB Posts to promote events, products, services, holiday specials, blogs, and more. Creating a Post is simple:
- Login to your GMB dashboard.
- Find “Posts” on the left-hand side.
- Here you can see all of your current posts. Click on the blue circle in the right-hand corner to create a new post. You can also use the blue buttons at the top to create updates, events, offers, and more.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your GMB Posts! Your Post will appear on your knowledge panel. It can help you grab the attention of potential customers and engage with them.
Posts will be visible for seven days. If you’ve made an event post, it will remain up until after the event date has passed.
Another great feature offered with your GMB listing is Messaging. This means that potential customers can send you texts with any questions you may have, or they may ask you to contact them about doing business. Sharing your mobile phone number may not be the best option for some businesses, but for others, especially service businesses, this might be an excellent way for you and potential customers to quickly connect.
Insights are great for figuring out how your business is being found on Google. Here are some of the things you can learn from the Insights dashboard:
- How customers are finding your listing.
- Search queries being made to find your business on Google.
- Where customers are finding your business on Google.
- Customer actions (what customers are doing after finding your listing on Google).
- Direction requests (where customers are when requesting directions to your business).
- Phone calls (how often customers are calling your business through your business listing).
- Photos (The number of images associated with your GMB listing and how often they are viewed in comparison to similar businesses).
This data allows you to understand exactly how customers are interacting with your listing, so you can determine what you need to optimize your content for and where to make improvements.
Check-in On Your GMB Listing At Least Once a Week
Anyone can make changes to your GMB listing, which means you need to check-in on it on a regular basis to make sure someone with bad intentions hasn’t made any changes that could potentially harm your business and ultimately your rankings.
These are just a few of the features that Google has made available to business owners and users. When you log into your GMB dashboard, you’ll find lots of other options available to you, such as Reviews, Services, Products, Bookings, Website, and more!
Make sure to engage with your customers. Not only will it be considered excellent customer service, but by showing Google that you are engaged, it may help you rank higher in the search results. If you need help optimizing your Google My Business listing or your website, feel free to reach out to us at AnoLogix. We are experts in search engine optimization and will make sure your business gets the results it deserves!
Let's bring the spotlight to your business today.
From brainstorming to implementation, AnoLogix has successfully designed, created, developed and implemented websites for people and businesses since 2000.
With AnoLogix your business can skyrocket. Do you want to learn how we can help?