Google My Business provides a free resource allowing businesses to make themselves more visible to customers who search for products or services online.
By claiming and verifying your Google My Business listing, you increase your business’s organic rankings in searches and become more likely to appear in crucial search engine listings like Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, and Google Maps. Setting up a Google My Business listing also gives customers a convenient way to find and contact you when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Here’s how to optimize your Google My Business listing to improve rankings on search engines and boost customer outreach.
Making the Most of Your Google My Business Listing
To get the most SEO value from your Google My Business listing, there are a few steps you should take:
Claim your Google My Business listing and verify that you are the business owner for the listing. Claimed Google My Business listings tend to rank higher than unclaimed listings, and owner-verified listings tend to rank even higher.
Make sure your Google My Business listing has as much accurate information about your business as possible. The more information you provide when completing your Google My Business listing, the bigger boost you get in organic rankings, making it easier for customers to find you in searches.
Post content to your Google My Business listing and use all of the features that Google offers to further optimize the listing. Make sure your listing has photos, videos, and posts that represent your business. Features like Reviews, Q&A, and Menus and Bookings allow you to engage with your customers and give you more visibility in both paid and organic search results.
Claiming Your Google My Business Listing
Before you begin the process of optimization, first claim your Google My Business listing and check the listing information for accuracy. (Your business listing is probably already in Google's database, even if you haven't claimed it. Claiming gives you complete control over the listing.)
Once you've claimed your listing, Google will need to verify your business. They offer several options to do this including by sending a postcard to your business's physical location, verifying your listing by phone, and verifying via email.
Check the Accuracy of Information on Google My Business
Fill out as much information as you can about your business in your GMB listing for the best results, and focus on some key areas:
Make sure your business name, telephone number, physical location, URL, and hours of operation are all up-to-date and correct. Including correct information like business name, phone number, URL, and hours of operation ensures that customers can contact your business.
Select the business categories that best represent your business. Having the right business categories selected for your business will make sure your listing appears in the correct searches.
Clearly define the service area for your business. Providing your service area to Google will make your listing more likely to show up in searches for users in a specific targeted area.
Complete the "business description" section of your profile. Google added the business description to give users an idea of who you are and what you do. Filling out this section provides an opportunity to boost your organic rankings.
Optimize Using Google My Business Listing Features
Once you have all of the basics nailed down about your business, you can further optimize content with photos, videos, and blog posts. In addition, features like Reviews and Q&A can increase your search rankings.
Studies show that users are more likely to use a business for a product or service if their GMB listing has high-quality photos. At the very least, you should make sure that your GMB listing has a profile image, a cover photo, and a logo uploaded.
Features like Reviews and Q&A will increase your visibility with customers and help build trust with potential customers. Generally, GMB listings with reviews tend to rank higher than those without reviews.
The Q&A feature allows customers to ask questions about your business and the products or services that you provide. This increases engagement with customers and provides an opportunity to nurture leads. Include relevant keyword phrases to boost SEO rankings.
Monitor Google My Business for the Best SEO Results
Now that you’ve optimized your GMB listing, make sure to continue to monitor it. Although you've claimed and verified your listing, the information in the listing can change. Check back every so often to ensure that the correct information about your business appears during searches.
You can also use tools like Google Insights to track the performance of your listing. If you fail to reach your target audience, you may need to adjust the listing so that it performs better.
By claiming your listing, making sure all of the information is correct, using GMB features to optimize your listing, monitoring your listing's performance, and using SEO keywords in GMB content and customer engagement, you’ll get the most SEO value out of your Google My Business listing.