Google My Business Optimisation: Our Top Tips
Looking to find more local customers and boost your business’ local visibility online? When you search for a business name on Google, you will notice an information box on the right-hand side of your screen. This is known as a knowledge panel, or a Google My Business (or GMB) listing. Optimisation is key to making sure you are managing your online presence in search and on maps.
Generally, the knowledge panel will contain all the important information a prospective customer may want to know about your business. It displays information including the business name, type, location (address), operating hours, website and social links, images, reviews, a link to Google maps and an overall star rating.
Here’s exactly how you should be optimising your Google My Business account.
Why Should You Care About Your Google My Business Listing?
So, why should you invest time in Google My Business optimisation?
Helps Your Website Rank Better
Google My Business is essential for local SEO. It can improve the chances of your business listing to appear in local search results for queries specific to your products or services.
GMB Allows You to Appear in Maps and Local Pack Listings
A Local Pack listing is a section in Google results that displays businesses related to a person’s search query and location. It displays as a three-pack listing and takes up quite a bit of real estate on that first Google results page. The information included in this section usually consists of your business name, location, contact number, business category and star rating (if applicable). To score a spot in this listing, Google My Business optimisation is key. Make sure you fill out all information accurately and optimise your description using relevant and location-specific keywords.
It Allows Customers to Leave Reviews
Reviews can influence the way your customers think and feel about your business, and the likelihood of a potential customer contacting your business or visiting your store. They can also improve your business’ visibility on Google. We recommend encouraging customers to leave reviews about their experience. One way to do this is to share a link directly to the page where they can leave a review.
Steps to Follow for Google My Business Optimisation
Ensure all Information is Accurate and Up-To-Date
If you’re creating a Google My Business account for the first time, it’s important to make sure that all information is up-to-date. If you’re looking to refresh and optimise your current Google My Business account, make sure the business name, address and phone number (NAP) is accurate, along with your opening hours and business category.
Choose the Correct Categories
When you initially set up your GMB listing, you’ll be asked to set a category for your business. Google My Business offers a wide range of categories (over 3000) to choose from. You can select up to 10 categories for your business, one being your primary category.
Make sure you are selecting a primary category that best describes your business. Your primary category should be very specific and answer the question, “Our business is a…….”. For example, if your business is a vegan restaurant, you should select the category ‘Vegan Restaurant’ over ‘Restaurant’. This will help improve your visibility for any terms related to your category.
Adding secondary categories will support your primary category, and also help improve your relevance on Google. Using the vegan restaurant example again, secondary categories could be “Restaurant’ and ‘Vegetarian Restaurant’.
Claim Your Business ‘Short Name’
In 2019, Google My Business introduced a new feature that let businesses create ‘short names’ - a custom, unique short URL associated with your Google My Business name. Google decided to create this ‘short name’ feature to give users an easier way to find your business while providing them with a URL (g.page/yourshortname) that directly links them to your listing. Make sure your ‘short name’ is associated with your business name or at least a name that customers use to refer to your business.
Your Google My Business profile allows you to write a 750-character description explaining your business and what you do. Only 250 characters will display in the knowledge panel before it prompts you to read more, so optimisation is key in the first paragraph of your description. To optimise your description, choose one or two keywords that have high-potential traffic and make sure your keyword appears early in the text. For local SEO, try including a location keyword like ‘best vegan restaurant brisbane’.
Upload your own photos, videos and logo
Using photos to spotlight certain features, products and services around your business can be extremely useful for customers looking to find out more about who you are. If your business is a shop, try incorporating both interior and exterior shots, as well as a couple of staff photos. Using team photos gives customers an idea of who represents your business. Whether you serve food and drinks, or your business is a hotel, upload the best images that represent your products and services. It is also a good idea to upload your logo to your account.
Monitor and respond to reviews
Your customers may not know this and YOU may not know this, but high-quality, positive reviews are an essential part of improving your business’ visibility in the search engines. They also increase the likelihood of a potential customer trying your products or visiting your store. It’s very easy for customers to leave reviews through Google My Business. The easiest way for you to let them know where they can leave a review is to send them a direct link to where they need to write it. It’s also beneficial for you, as the business owner, to monitor and respond to reviews. Responding shows that you value your customer’s opinions, and want to ensure their experience with your business is a positive one. You may feel the urge to disregard any negative reviews, but in most instances, it’s best to respond! This gives you an opportunity to clarify any issues they may have had, and a chance to turn it into a positive experience.
Post updates, blog posts, events and offers
Blog posts, products, events and offers will display in your business’ knowledge panel. All posts come with a CTA button, so it’s a great option to link directly to a landing page or page on your website. Sharing blog posts and offers that link directly to your website does help to generate more organic clicks. Keeping the content fresh and updated regularly will bring users back to your website.
Your Google My Business profile includes a Q&A feature where potential customers can ask questions about your business, and you can directly answer them. The great thing about the Q&A feature is that you, as the business owner, can answer as well as ask the questions. That means you can control what questions you think your customers would find useful to find more information on before they’ve even gone onto your website.
Need Help With Your Google My Business Optimisation?
Is Google My Business optimisation on your priority list for your business? Well, it should be now! While some of the tasks listed above are a one-off thing, remember, it’s highly recommended to regularly update your blog posts, offers and images. We offer regular GMB updates as part of our SEO strategy for our clients. Get in touch to learn more about our SEO services and what we can do for your Google My Business profile.