How to Optimise Google My Business to Rank Higher in Local Search
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 39 seconds.
This is an article from The Business Boost & Build Newsletter.
It’s once a week and includes one tip from me and three resources from others.
Rank higher and attract more local customers with these Google Business Profile optimisations — I’ll show you how I do it.
Google My Business is perhaps one of the easiest ways to boost your local SEO ranking, and one of the first things I’ll check for my “brick and mortar” clients.
It’s how you can get your business to show up in Google Maps and within the Google search map snippet.
Claim or Create Your Google My Business Profile
First you need to check if your business has a profile already.
Sometimes they’re automatically created, especially if your business has been around for a while.
A simple Google search of your business will let you know.
If you already have a profile then follow these steps to claim it.
If you don’t then you can set one up here pretty quickly.
Follow the simple steps and get your profile up and running, you’ll be asked for the following information:
- Business name
- Business category
- If customers can visit your business location
- Areas you provide business services (can be national)
- Website URL
- Business address
- Business phone number
Make sure you complete all of these sections accurately and use a business category that best describes the services you provide.
Don’t worry, you can add more categories and information later on, I’ll show you how shortly.
Verifying Your Google Business Profile
It’s important to verify your Google Business Profile.
This is done via a postcard send in the mail, which can take up to five business days.
It’s proof that you’re a real business at that location.
On the postcard will be a verification code that you will need to enter, once verified you can add more information about your business and your profile will then be visible to others using Google.
Without a verified profile, you won’t be able to access your profile analytics, reply to reviews and any changes/updates will not be visible.
Once your Google Business profile has been verified you can start to optimise it.
How to Optimise Your Google My Business Profile
Here are some important tips for optimizing your profile.
You have 750 characters for your Google Business description. Use as much of it as you can.
You probably have some good content on your website already, so I would advise repurposing that.
Make sure it’s easy to read, makes sense and doesn’t have any grammatical or spelling errors.
Make sure you get important keywords related to your business in there, but don’t make it look like spam.
Remember, people will see this in the search results. You need to look professional.
Your primary category should be a category that best describes your main service or offering.
Add others that are relevant after that, make sure you can actually provide these services to customers.
Reviews are something I’m always talking to my clients about. They’re so important.
Always encourage customers to leave a review, and don’t forget to ask your staff to encourage them too.
When you get a review, you should get a notification about it. Best of all, you can reply to them.
It’s a great opportunity to show you’re an active business.
It’s also a great opportunity to add some extra keywords related to your business services. As I said before, these are public and they need to be easy to read and spam free - add keywords where they make sense.
It’s true, a picture is worth a thousand words.
A Synup study found, “Listings with photos are 2x as likely to be considered reputable and get 35% more clicks.”
I would recommend hiring a professional photographer for the day.
Make sure all your staff are aware and the business and property is looking tip-top.
You can also feature photos that customers have taken and tagged you in, so be sure to check your profile regularly and highlight those special moments.
Attributes allow you add extra information about your business, such as free wifi, public toilets, air conditioning, free parking and more.
These attributes can be added to answer questions your customers will likely have and provide a better understanding of the business’ capabilities and offerings.
Make sure you add any and all that a relevant, they will make you stand out and draw customers in.