As part of our SEO services at KH Digital we are often implementing and claiming Google My Business (GMB) profiles on behalf of clients. Lots of people don’t necessarily understand what benefits a GMB profile can have on their business rankings and visibility on search.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool that can help increase a company’s visibility online and helps businesses manage their online presence on search engines.
When someone searches for a service or product, the search engine will serve a list of businesses nearby and display information such as their opening times, address and reviews. All of which is used to encourage more customers to the website or a brick and mortar store. Your Google My Business listing is designed to compliment your website and will increase your presence on search engines and provide you with a public identity.
Google announced this month that the name will be changing from Google My Business to Google Business Profile. In 2022 the GMB app will retire so that businesses can take advantage of the upgraded experience of search and maps.
What Are The Benefits?
The benefits for search engine optimisation (SEO) by using GMB for your business can be huge. You can implement a location based strategy to help improve your local search visibility. For example, when a user searches ‘places to eat near me’ Google will display a list of locations based on your current location. If your business does not have a GMB listing, then you would not have been displayed to this customer with high intent. Local searches are one of the best ways to give you more quality leads, as customers were already searching for products or services like yours.
Completing Your Profile
Once you have claimed your profile, it is important to complete as much information as possible. Optimise your page by filling out all necessary fields such as opening hours, address and services. Of the people that search for local businesses, 40% of people want to find out the hours of operation for local businesses. If these are not displayed, you may discourage or lose customers to other companies.
In the description of your business, make sure that you add keywords and try to make it as local as possible. The description is an overview of your services and what you offer, but by adding keywords you will increase the likelihood of it being displayed for highly relevant searches.
There is also a new feature to GMB, the option to edit your business profile directly from search or maps. If you search your business on Google you will see the option to edit, verify or solve issues. This does include being able to edit what users see from search or maps like address, business hours, create posts and respond to reviews.
This is especially useful as a lot of businesses do not realise that any user can make changes to your GMB profile, anyone can edit address, opening hours and photos. Therefore it’s very important to check that no incorrect information is published on your profile and that it remains compliant with Google’s policies, to ensure that your account does not get suspended.
When you input your opening hours make sure that you are as detailed as possible. Insert your main hours and days that you are closed (if applicable) but remember to update any changes such as temporary closures, bank holidays and Christmas. This provides good customer service as you are keeping them updated.
Products and Services
Adding products and services is a great way to showcase what your business sells and offers. It gives users more information about what you sell, so they can make an informed decision and are more likely to have a higher intent when it comes to purchase or clicking through to the website. On your profile you are able to add product names, prices, descriptions and imagery. Similarly with businesses such as plumbers, builders and electricians it is beneficial to add the services you carry out, users will be able to see what you offer and ultimately provide you with more qualified leads.
Businesses with photos get 42% more requests for directions. Use pictures to help engage with potential customers, people are more likely to buy a product or service if they can see what they will be receiving.
This is a great section to use to respond to reviews and reply to messages that customers may be asking or leaving. GMB also shows a question and answer section, which is a good way to display frequently asked questions and your answers. It’s a way of showing you are responsive to customers and answering any queries that they may have.
Insights is a great way of measuring how effective your GMB profile is. It shows how customers interact with your business listing. It can show you how customers find you, did they search directly for you business name in a direct search, or discovery, through searching for a category or product you offer and your business profile appearing. This can help you identify what to add and alter in your listing and overall strategy.
From Insights you can also see what actions customers are taking. Are they visiting your website, asking for directions or calling the business? It will also show what time of day customers call and most popular times in the week.
If you would like to know more about how Google My Business and local searches can improve your business search position and qualified leads, then feel free to get in touch with us at KH Digital, and we can arrange a no obligation chat.