You’ve probably noticed that a lot of businesses list their locations, contact information, and more with Google. That way, when you look them up, you don’t need to hunt for a website to find the information you need. All of this is possible thanks to a service called Google My Business (GMB).
With GMB, you can ‘claim’ your business on the search engine, and then customize what people will find when they look for you. Listing your business on Google this way can help get it more attention and customers. Of course, you’ll only reap those benefits if your profile is complete, thorough, and informative.
In this article, we’re going to teach you how to optimize your GMB listing to get the most out of the service, in just three steps. Let’s get right to it!
Step 1: Publish Operating Hours and Contact Information
Keep in mind that before you can optimize your listing, you’ll need to create one. Fortunately, the process of setting up your GMB listing and verifying it is straightforward.
After that, you can access your GMB dashboard, which enables you to customize all of your listings:
To the right, you’ll see a section labeled Complete your listing, which is exactly what you’ll want to do first. Click on the Add hours option, and you can indicate on which days your business is open. For each day you enable, you’ll also be able to specify your operating hours:
Save the changes to your listing when you’re done, and return to the dashboard. Then, your next step is to make sure your listing includes a phone number and a link to your website:
You’ll notice that there are a lot of other fields you can edit. For example, it’s smart to create a description for your business. Once you’ve filled out all the relevant information here, you’re ready to move on.
Step 2: Add Photos of Your Business
If you want your GMB listing to attract new customers, it’s a good idea to publish some photographs, so people know what to expect. This is relevant for nearly any type of business with a physical location. If you’re running a restaurant, for example, and you set up a listing without any pictures from your menu, then you’re missing out on a golden opportunity.
As long as you already have a website for your business, you probably have a lot of pictures you can use. To add them to your listing, return to the GMB dashboard and look for the Add photos option at the bottom of the screen:
Click on it, and a lot of new settings will appear. First, you’ll want to upload your business’ logo and a cover image for your listing. There’s also a video option if you prefer to use that:
Next, you’ll want to click on the By owner tab, which enables you to add any photos that are relevant to your business. If you’re not sure what to upload here, we recommend focusing on photographs that highlight the products and/or services you offer. Just make sure that any images you add are high-quality, and they show off your business in the best possible light.
Step 3: Respond to Customer Reviews and Questions
At this stage, your listing is ready to go. It should already include just about all the information searchers will need. It’s still missing one key element, however, which is customer feedback.
As people visit your business and make purchases, they’ll start leaving reviews on your listing. This is important, because a lot of internet users rely heavily on reviews and ratings to decide which businesses they want to visit.
The most important thing you can do is strive to provide amazing service, so every customer leaves happy. However, it’s also smart to keep an eye out for new reviews (both positive and negative), and respond to them when you think it’s needed. This offers an excellent first impression, and shows potential new customers that you care about their experience.
New reviews will show up under the Review option within your GMB dashboard, and you’ll see a Reply option next to each one. Whenever you do reply to a customer, keep the interaction positive and concise, and remember to take the time to thank them for their patronage.
Also, keep in mind that users can leave questions on your listing, which are different from reviews since they don’t include ratings:
You can check out questions in the Messaging tab of your dashboard, although you’ll need to use either the iOS or Android GMB app to do so. With those apps, you’ll also be able to answer questions even if you’re not in front of a computer, so it’s worth your while to pick one up.
One of the best things about GMB is that it enables other users to answer questions about your business. However, you’ll still want to keep tabs on those questions, in case someone offers incorrect information that needs to be corrected. Plus, that way you can make sure that no customer inquiry goes unanswered.
If you want to expand your visibility, getting a listing on Google My Business (GMB) is an excellent first step. However, you also need to make sure you’re sharing all the information people want to see. For example, if you run a front-facing business, but you don’t include easily-accessible details about your opening hours, that can frustrate a lot of searchers.
Therefore, once you’ve claimed and verified your listing on GMB, you’ll want to:
- Publish operating hours and contact information.
- Add photos of your business.
- Respond to customer reviews and questions
Do you have any questions about how to get the most out of Google My Business? Ask away in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.