If you are a local business who want more sales and customers then performing local SEO is a must for you. The very first step of local SEO is setting up your Google My Business listing which improves your online visibility in your local area.
Google My Business is a free tool provided by the tech giant Google, it helps business owners to rank well for local queries in a local area. Through this tool, you can manage your online presence on platforms like Google maps, Google organic search etc.
For example, when you search for ‘restaurants in Singapore’ then you will see results like this:
All these restaurants that you see are Google My Business listings of these restaurants. These listings show some great decision-making metrics like reviews, ratings, address, photos, operational hours etc. These things help users to choose the best restaurant in their local area.
Such Google My Business listing can be created for almost all kinds of business which provides great online visibility and value.
Creation of Google My Business Listing
To create a Google My Business listing for your business, follow the below mentioned steps:
Step 1: Go to Google My Business home page and click on start now. (If you don’t have a Google account then you will have to create it first.)
Step 2: Now you will see an option where you have to enter the name of your business. After entering the name click on the next button to proceed.
Step 3: At this step, Google My Business will ask you whether you want to add a physical location of your business like a shop, store or office. Click on “Yes” and proceed further.
Step 4: Now you will be asked to enter the address of your business location. Choose the country from the list then mention the accurate address. Click on the next button to reach the next step.
Quick Tip: Make sure your address is complete and accurate so that customers can locate your business without confusion and extra efforts.
Step 5: At this stage, you will be asked to choose whether you serve customers outside of your business location. Choose yes if you do, choose no if you don’t.
Step 6: At this step, you will be asked to choose whether you serve customers outside of your business location. Choose ‘yes’ if you do, choose ‘no’ if you don’t.
Quick Tip: Your Google My Business listing should be accurate, complete, and well optimized to bring the maximum results.
Step 7: Now choose which contact details you want to show to your customers with your Google My Business listing. You can also choose the option to build a free website. (Google My Business uses contact information and other information provided by you and creates a free website for your business.)
Step 8: Now click on finish to verify the business.
Step 8: In this step, you will see three options. First two options are for GMB verification. The first verification option is a phone call and second is postcard by mail. You can choose any of these two options to verify your GMB listing.
Quick Tip: Make sure your phone number and mail address are correct with country code and postal code otherwise phone verification and mail verification will not be successful.
The third option is ‘verify later’, choose this if you want to verify the GMB listing later.
Step 9: Google will send a verification code depending on the verification method you chose. Enter this verification code and complete the verification process.
After following each step you will see your Google my business listing like this:
Optimization of Google My Business Listing
After Google My Business listing set up, it is now time for optimization of the listing. Some of the optimization you have already done while setting up your GMB listing. However, some advanced optimizations are still needed which you need to do now.
For this, you have to make good use of Google My Business dashboard which provides so many optimization options.
Google My Business dashboard looks like this:
Google My Business – Posts
With this feature, you can create posts for your GMB listing that will show up on Google. With posts, you can engage your audience by sharing news, offers and product etc.
These posts are categorized into four categories:
- Update: Share business updates, news and information with your audience.
- Event: If you are hosting an event then share it via this option with people.
- Offer: If you are running an offer on your service then show it to your audience
- Product: If you are launching a new product then let the audience know
Google My Business – Info
Info tab of Google My Business dashboard allows you to add extra information about your business such as an address, area code, business hours, phone number, website etc.
You can also add advanced information that helps users find your business easily. The advanced information is store code, labels, Google ads location.
Other extra information like menu URL, reservation URL, Menu items, attributes, business description, photos etc.
Among these, ‘attributes’ is a very important optimization option. It is like tags about your business, through the tags users can find your business easily and so it is very important that you assign right tags to your business listing.
Quick Tip: Google’s Knowledge Graph also fetches information from verified Google My Business listing to show helpful information about a business.
Check insights of your Google My Business Listing
After creating Google My Business listing and optimization it is the time to see how your customers and audience is interacting with your GMB listing.
This insight will help you to make changes to your listing for the betterment of your business listing.
The data you will get from insights will help you to increase your customer base. You can also compare your GMB listing with other businesses to see your listing’s loophole.
Check Reviews of your Google My Business Listing
Reviews are a very important part of a local business when a person searches for a local place he always checks the reviews to know whether the place is good or not.
In 2017, 97% of customers read online reviews for local businesses so the statistics reveal that people trust reviews. Thus it is very important to manage customer reviews from this section.
You can get honest feedback from your customers about your business and reply to the reviews to engage your customers.
Answer User’s Questions of your Google My Business Listing
In this section of GMB dashboard, you can easily answer the queries of your audience and customers. When your audience sees your business listing they see an option where they can ask a question about your business. You can answer all those questions and help your audience to more about your business.
Add Photos to Your Google My Business Listing
Photos have their own significance in the internet world. Since it is a virtual world and you can’t feel things, people often check photos and videos before going to any place.
So, GMB offers an option through which you can upload photos and videos of your products, menus, offers and business. Doing this allows people to know how your business place or services look like, how you work behind the scene. It helps your audience make the decision of buying from you.
It is a fact that people visit those local places more which publish photos and videos with their Google business listing.
Another great thing here is that your customers can also post photos on your Google My Business listing. This feature adds great value to your business listing and so you simply can’t ignore this feature.
With this option, you can easily publish, edit and remove the photographs of your business place. For different businesses, there are different options shown to upload the photos. For example in the screenshot below you can see there are options to upload the photos and videos for the menu, exterior, interior, team, food and drink etc.
Create a Free Website with Google My Business Listing
Google My Business provides a free website to all verified business listings. It develops the websites based on the information you provide like contact details, business description, timings, photos etc.
It is a nice way to deliver the information that users want to see to make a buying decision. The website builder provides so many options through which you can build a great interactive website that your customer will love.
Google My Business is a great tool that showcases your business to millions of people and you should really make good use of this tool. As you saw, the tool offers several different important features that improve search visibility for your local business as well as sales. So keep optimizing your business listing via this tool and keep engaging your audience to get more business.