Any successful online marketing campaign requires targeted visibility on the world’s largest search engine, Google. Nearly all businesses understand that targeted visibility on Google calls for SEO (search engine optimization) of both the brand’s website and the Google Ads, however, something that not all businesses are aware of is the importance and key role that Google business listing optimization plays in creating a successful online marketing campaign. Commonly referred to as your Business Profile, this effective listing offers a glimpse into your brand’s best features and allows prospective clients to easily locate, find out about, and engage with your business offering, which all stem from the search engine results pages (SERPs). Could it get any better? It is all free.
According to a study of Google My Business Insights by brightlocal.com:
- ‘The Google My Business Insights Study explores 45,000 anonymous listings across 36 industries to help local businesses benchmark their Insights against the wider industry.’
- ‘The average business is found in 1,009 searches per month, with 84% of these coming from discovery searches.’
- ‘49% of businesses receive more than 1,000 Views on Search per month.’
- ‘Car dealerships receive the highest number of calls and website visits from GMB, while hotels have the highest views on Search and Maps.’
- ‘5% of Google My Business listing views result in a website click, call, or direction request.’
- ‘Local businesses have a median of 11 photos on Google My Business.’
- ‘Between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018, direct searches grew by 38%, while website clicks from GMB listings grew 29%.’
Ben Fisher, Google My Business expert said: “GMB Insights are far from perfect. As with any tool, these are merely a benchmark that points you in a direction. GMB Insights, in particular, are not very accurate, and can sometimes suffer from data outages. However, they can give you an indication as to how you are doing. Although not covered in this study, keyword queries are very valuable as they can show you what keywords you are displaying for.”
Regardless of the hundreds of billions of searches made on Google every month, the study by BrightLocal demonstrated that the average Google business listing gets around 1,200 views. Shockingly, from those 1,200 views just 60 actions were taken.
The issue is not with the Google My Business platform but it is that not enough businesses understand how to use all its features to their maximum capacity; which is why Ben Givon has compiled some easy yet effective tips on optimizing your Google My Business in 2020.
Why are Google business listing so important?
An optimized Google business listing gives your brand a better chance of listing higher than your competitors, and therefore increases the likelihood of potential customers clicking on and engaging with your brand. Moreover, there are more advantages of optimizing your Google business listings for effective digital marketing campaigns.
As time goes on, more internet users browsing Google find the answers to their questions and whatever it is they are looking for without clicking or entering a website. How? As Google’s algorithms become more sophisticated the information on SERPs is relevant and sufficiently meets the users’ search terms, which leads to searches without clicks. As more and more potential consumers engage with your business via the Google business listing as opposed to your brand’s website, it is crucial that you optimize your Google business listing for both quality leads and conversions.
Enhance your local ranking
The process that Google’s algorithms use to rank business listings does not just focus on relevance but on engagement rates and the quality and expertise of the content and information that is offered to users. By optimizing your Google business listing you are essentially letting Google’s algorithms know that you are improving and doing everything that is necessary to rank higher in search engine results pages. Higher Google Quality Scores equal more visibility, which in turn will allow you to reach a larger target audience therefore increasing your conversion and engagement rates.
A typical Google business listing on its own without any SEO is not as effective as optimized listings when it comes to gathering new consumers. With optimized Google business listings potential customers can find your brand and business offering through keyword search terms. In addition, with an optimized Google business listing potential customers can also contact you, browse and engage with your site, research your business offering, interact with other users in the form of comments and FAQs, and much more.
How do I go about optimizing my Google business listing?
Now that we have uncovered the truth behind why optimizing your Google business listing is the key to reaching more consumers and to show up on local search queries, differentiating your business from the large pool of competition. Let’s get straight into how you can transform your Google business listing into an effective marketing tool that will help improve your quality lead generation and boost your brand awareness.
Set up an account with Google My Business
First of all, it is worth noting that a Google My Business account is different from a Google business listing. A Google My Business account is the platform required to manage and optimize your Google business listing. To create and set up a GMB account, simply type in Google.com/business and sign in with your Google account credentials; obviously if you don’t have an existing account then you should create one.
Avoid leave your Google business listing with missing information
Providing all possible information for your Google business listing has many benefits including helping Google’s algorithms to rank your site higher on SERPs as well as widening the options that are available for your target audience when they come across or search for your business.
Information such as the brand name, address, contact details including phone number and email, website address, and working hours, all need to be filled out immediately without hesitation.
Elements such as From the business, Category and Attributes, Products and services, Questions and answers need more time and effort. Whereas these sections need to be constantly updated: posts, FAQs and customer reviews.
Optimize the contact details
Ensure that the name of your business is the same as the one you use on your branding. Including your geographic location and relevant keywords, within your business name for your business listing is not a good idea because Google’s algorithms construe this as spam which could lead to penalization.
Ensure that business names and locations are the same with other listings you have already running on the internet. This includes even small things such as whether you use co or company; make sure that you use exactly the same terms consistently as Google’s algorithms take these details into consideration when ranking sites on its SERPs.
Include all working hours; winter and summer hours as well as holiday closures. By having all your working hours on your Google business listing you encourage existing and potential consumers to visit you and you avoid any unnecessary negative reviews from disgruntled customers who tried to visit your business to find you were closed.