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, not all businesses know the key role Google business listing optimization plays in creating a successful online marketing campaign. Commonly referred to as your Business Profile, this useful listing offers a glimpse into your brand’s best features. It also allows prospective clients to discover, locate easily, 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:
- ‘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 the 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 of how you are doing. Although not covered in this study, keyword queries are valuable as they can show you what keywords you are displaying for.”
Regardless of 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 Google My Business platform. It’s that not enough businesses understand how to use all its features to their maximum capacity. This is why Ben Givon has compiled some easy yet effective tips on optimizing your Google My Business in 2020.
Why is Google business listing so important?
An optimized Google business listing gives your brand a better chance of ranking higher than your competitors. Therefore increases the likelihood of potential customers clicking on and engaging with your brand. Moreover, there are more advantages of optimizing your listings for effective digital marketing campaigns.
More internet users are browsing Google finding answers to their questions without clicking or entering a website. How? As Google’s algorithms become more sophisticated, the information on SERPs is more relevant and sufficiently meets the users’ search terms. Which leads to searches without clicks. More and more potential consumers engage with your business via the Google business listing as opposed to your brand’s website. Thus, you must optimize your 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 engagement rates and the quality and expertise of the content and information offered to users. By optimizing your Google business listing, you are essentially letting Google’s algorithms know that you are improving and doing everything 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 broader 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 listings, potential customers can find your brand and business offering through keyword search terms. Besides, with an optimized listing, potential customers can also contact you, browse, and engage with your site, research your business offering, interact with other users in comments, FAQs, etc.
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 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 listing into a useful 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 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. If you don’t have an existing account, then you should create one.
Avoid leaving 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. And widening the options 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. At the same time, these sections need to be updated continuously: 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. 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 a co or company. Ensure that you use precisely the same terms consistently as Google’s algorithms consider these details 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.