LOCAL SEO - GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PROFILE OPTIMISATION
HOW TO OPTIMISE YOUR GOOGLE PLACES (GMB) PROFILE
Have you ever wondered why some businesses rank in the top three local search results and others don’t? In this post, you’ll learn how to give your Google Business listing the best chance at ranking in the top local search results.
We’ve all seen it: that little map and list sandwiched between the Ads and the SERP results. Those, are the Google My Business results, and in this post, we’re going to give you some helpful tips to easily get your local business listed!
THE QUICK THREE STEP PROCESS TO GETTING LISTED IN THE TOP GOOGLE MY BUSINESS RESULTS:
Step #1: Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Step #2: Fill in your Google Business Listing with Optimised Content
Step#3: Grow Your Review Count
Read on for more details…
The Google My Business results are not to be overlooked! Not only are they colourful but they’re useful! By providing the map first, Google presents all of the Local Business results is an easy-to-consume format that enables you to see straight away which one is closest to you and the most convenient. For a lot of people, this will be enough for them to make up their mind on where they're going to go or which business they’re going to go with. For the others, there’s a list of business names, all with reviews (or no reviews……#awkward) and easy buttons to take you to their website or to give you directions to their business.
Now compare that with the alternative of a searcher having to go to search, scroll down the SERP results and find a site, find the address details on that site then copy and paste them into their navigation app of choice to get directions! Or they’ll have to peruse that site and find some reviews or testimonials to help them make their decisions. Time is precious in today’s society, and the quicker + easier something is, the more people will like it and use it (assuming the service is good, which this is).
So now you know how great a Google My Business listing can be, here are our tips for getting your local business listed and ranking!
CLAIM YOUR LISTING
Chances are high that Google already has a business listing for you. It’s one that’s been created by default to help searchers find what they’re looking for. There are probably no images, no link to your site, no reviews, it’s probably not ranking, the opening hours might be wrong, maybe there’s not even a phone number! You can change all of this very easily. Just start by performing a Google search of your business name. If there’s an auto-generated listing for you already, that’ll show up with this next to it:
All you've gotta do is click “Own this business?” and follow the instructions.
Side Note: If you start to feel overwhelmed or are thinking “I ain’t got time for that!” - we DO have time for that and would love to help you out!
If you can't find an existing auto-generated business listing for your business, then head on over to the Google My Business signup page here: https://www.google.com.au/business/
Once you’ve claimed your business or signed up fresh, you're going to have to do some optimising.
OPTIMISE YOUR LISTING
Google loves to rank profiles that have been filled in thoroughly and updated regularly. Here’s a list of a few things you need to fill in and optimise across your website and your local Google My Business listing (these will help you rank):
Make sure your business title is descriptive of your location e.g. if your business location is Sydney, you may want to include your location as part of your business name to help users and search engines understand that your business is relevant for that particular location. For example, if you’re a furniture store that services all of Sydney, adding ‘Sydney’ to your business name can help.
In the photos section, make sure to add your logo, team photos and interior and exterior photos of your business. The more photo categories you fill in, the better. If you’re selling products online, it’s also a great idea to add your product images, pricing and descriptions to the products section of your Google Business Profile.
• In the info section, make sure all of your business info is completely filled in:
Description - make sure this includes a helpful description of your business and also addresses any keywords relevant to your product or service.
Business short name
Open times (including any special business hours)
Tags for your business
Other important details to check/update:
• Is the phone number the same between your site + the listing?
• Is the address on your site a physical address & is it the same between your site + the listing?
If you’ve got one, it needs to be.
If you don’t, Google has an option you can check that allows you to not display the address to the public on your business listing. They’ll still use it for verification though.
• Is the business name the same between your site + the listing? (Check the spelling!) • If you’re a suburb-specific business:
Is the suburb in your website page title? (If you don’t know what that is, let us know!)
Can you put the suburb in the Google Business details? (Think any description/about sections but be sure to use it naturally. Try not to keyword spam.)
• Are the opening hours the same between your site + the listing?
Are they on your site? They should be.
• Is your website listed on your Google Business listing?
Free Tip: A good place for all of your business details on your site is in the footer. This makes it viewable (by visitors) + indexable (by Google) on every page, highlights its importance to Google and makes it easy for your customers to find. If you can’t do this for some reason, then the contact page is your next best bet.
Having all this information on your site + listing and having it all consistent is going to help Google verify you and view you as a serious business that their searchers are going to want to find.
GROW YOUR REVIEW COUNT
This is the most challenging part of the Local SEO optimisation process as it needs to happen naturally. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to nudge nature along a little bit. The Google Business review process is dead easy - for anyone with a Google account, which isn’t everyone, so it’s important to check before asking for a review.
If your happy customers do have a Google account, it’s possible to leave a review one of two ways:
#1 - You can provide them with your review link, which can be found by googling your business search results while logged in as a business manager or owner:
#2 - The customer can Google your business name, look to the right at your Google Business listing then click on ‘Write a review’.
An easy way to get some reviews quickly is by asking recent customers to write a review directly after fulfilling their product or service. Automating this outreach process via an email that is triggered within a certain time period of the customer being invoiced can help to increase the consistency of reviews.
Getting your review process humming doesn’t take long and really helps get your business to rank in local results as well as helping it look appealing to searchers.
There’s no doubt that investing some time into optimising your Google Business profile can yield some great results. If you’ve got any questions, why not leave us a comment or get in touch via our contact form below. We’d love to hear from you!