If there is one thing businesses are seeking on the web, it is greater visibility. While there are many time-tested ways of doing this, such as website, SEO services, and ads optimization, the role of a high-ranking Google My Business listing cannot be ignored.
A Google business listing is one of the most powerful ways of establishing yourself as an identifiable, searchable business entity on the world’s most commonly used search engine. Your GMB profile is like a dynamic snapshot of your venture, bringing the most relevant details and best insights before the potential customer.
To add to that, your GMB profile appears to customers and potential customers in the Google SERP (search engine results page), without you having to spend any money on it at all!
So, looking back at the perks again – your customers can find you and learn about you in an instant, they can engage with your services or get in touch with you directly, and all this is completely free!
So, why is my GMB Profile not helping?
Despite the brilliant features and advantages of Google My Business listings, business profiles see 5% or lesser engagement rates out of the total volume of Google searches. Even your business might be faring poorly on the statistical front when it comes to your GMB listing.
The reason behind this poor performance is not the GMB platform, but the inadequacy in using its features to maximum advantage. Most businesses fail to realise that with some special tricks up their sleeve, they can use the GMB features optimally, rank higher and drive more conversions than the industry average. We have compiled a few for you.
Get your Google My Business Listing Verified
The first step to ranking your Google My Business Profile higher in the SERP is to verify your GMB listing. Google provides multiple options to do this, including email, phone or post.
Verification by email is the most convenient and the most resorted way of verifying your GMB profile. Alternatively, you could also be given the option to verify your business on phone. If these options are available to you, we suggest you take them, for this is the fastest way of getting your business verified.
The other option, which is available invariably to all businesses, is that of verification by mail. Google sends you a postcard on your business address carrying a verification code. Once you enter this code on the portal, you are good to go.
Once verified, your GMB profile is eligible for an array of features such as Google Posts, Questions & Answers, Direct Bookings, Messaging and so on. At the same time, you can enjoy comprehensive control over your business profile, letting you edit and update any sections.
Fill Up Every Section that Google Wants from You
Completing your business information on its GMB listing is of utmost importance. The completeness of a GMB profile will not just provide myriad engagement channels to customers and leads, but also help Google rank you higher in its SERP.
Fundamentally, your GMB profile must have the below information filled at the earliest:
- Business Name
- Business Address
- Phone Number
- Business Categories
Additionally, some sections usually take longer to fill out and must be filled in with some prior thought. These sections include:
- Products and Services
- From the Business
- Questions and Answers (predetermined queries generated by you, like FAQs on websites)
Lastly, there are yet other sections that also need to be attended to with relevant content, but are best maintained dynamically over time. These sections are:
- Google posts
- Questions & Answers (queries generated by consumers and leads)
Be Consistent when it comes to Google Posts
Just like other social media networks, Google Business profile is an important medium for updating the most relevant content about your venture, products and services for customers. You can even post important announcements and offers on your GMB listing.
The dedicated ‘Updates’ section towards the bottom of your Business Profile takes care of this aspect. The idea is to post consistently so that you can enhance the number of actions taken by consumers as well as send positive ranking signals to Google by way of more content.
Another fact to note is that customers are more likely to seriously consider your business from how it appears on the GMB profile and Google updates, compared to social media platforms. This is because unlike social media, where they are casually scrolling, they have higher intent on search engines, and are thus more likely to engage with your Google posts.
Yet another reason for posting frequently on GMB is because some types of posts get automatically expired every 7 days. It would be best to stick to a timeline and schedule SEO rich posts with relevant links and CTAs.
Actively Respond to Questions, Reviews and Messages
Being prompt in replying to questions, reviews and messages on your GMB listing present you as a reliable, authentic and approachable business. At the same time, customers are always looking at these sections for getting common queries answered. Your insights will be more accurate than any random person filling in these sections for you with their feedback.
It is important still to keep keywords in mind when answering questions or penning down feedback on reviews. This can help improve the search rankings of your GMB for that keyword.
Submit Your Business to Directories
As the next step towards verifying and validating your GMB profile and business location, Google uses citations from multiple business directories. A properly validated business is sure to rank higher on Google than other competitors which are not.
Therefore, you must make it a point to submit your business to dedicated online directories. Always make sure to approach the ones which serve either your area or your business category. This enhances the relevance factor and location authority, indirectly also impacting your ranking on Google’s SERP.
Getting your Google My Business listing to rank higher has a positive impact on your website traffic as well as direct customer engagement, thus leading to greater sales and revenue. Complete the 5 steps for optimising your GMB profile and extract maximum advantage from this master marketing tool at your disposal.