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How to Optimize Your Google My Business (GMB)

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How to Optimize Your Google My Business (GMB)

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a source of competitive advantage for a business. Everyone is making an effort to do it right so as to rank top in Google search engines. Traditionally, SEO has mainly depended on keywords to be able to stand out in search results.  In this case, keywords analytics provided the much needed support. SEO enables businesses to conspicuously show up their products or services to their customers. Local SEO strategy has since changed.

First and foremost, a local SEO strategy should be able to claim and verify your local business’ Google My Business (GMB) listing. Getting listed can greatly enhance your chances of ranking high in Google’s Local pack, Local Finder, Google maps, and other organic rankings. GMB is a free listing that includes basic company information such as address, phone number, business hours, and the types of payments acceptable.

Most local businesses do not proceed beyond claiming their GMB listing. They do not understand that there exist several other features that can be used to optimize GMB. A sample of these optimization features is as follows:

  • Provide all the information that Google requires

Provide answers to all the questions you are asked for the sake of your Google My Business profile. This makes your Google listing get some valuable data that enable your potential customers to easily find your business. Failure to provide the needed information may give others, including competitors an opportunity to supply unfavourable information. This is a risk worth taking note of and precautionary measures should be taken. Login to your Google My Business dashboard on a regular basis to find out login attempts that are suspicious.

  • Create Google My Business Posts

GMB posts are mini-advertisements that can be seen in Google local business search or Google My Business listing. You can make changes to your posts such as adding an image, or a Call to Action (CTA), or adding a link to another Google business page or website. These changes will support your “get my business on Google”efforts and ultimately improve your rankings. To create a post, you need to go to your GMB account and click on “posts” on the left side menu when you are in your Google business listing.

  • Use a booking button feature

For businesses that depend on customers making appointments, they will need to use integrated scheduling software to enable the customers book appointments directly with the business from the Google My Business listing. It makes it easier to access new customers. The booking can be added automatically to Google My Business listing if one has an account with one of Google’s supported scheduling providers.

  • Allow potential customers to send you messages

This is one of those good opportunities to connect with your potential customers. You can have the messages sent to your personal phone number or you can download a Google’s Allo App so as to use an Allo account. The Allo account should use the same phone number connected to your Google My Business account. For you to get started with the messaging service, you have to login to your GMB dashboard and click on “messaging”. For potential customers to message your business, they have to perform a mobile web search on Chrome. This is the ONLY available way so far.

  • Use Questions and Answers

This feature is relatively new to Google local search. It allows your potential customers to ask questions about your business and you can respond to them. While using this engagement feature, bear in mind the following:

a) The feature is not visible on the mobile GMB App.

b) When you want to check if there are any new questions for your response, you have to login to the GMB dashboard.

c) You need an Android enabled mobile phone to be able to monitor the questions from your potential customers.

d) Google Maps App on Android devices can be used to manage the Q&A feature. You will need to download the App, sign in with the email address you normally use for your GMB listing. After which, you will be getting notifications whenever a potential customer asks a question. The risk with this feature is that it can allow anyone to answer questions directed to your business. So, you will need to keep a keen eye to prevent any inaccurate answers. Incase of any abuse, you can reach out to the Google My Business support forums.

 

  • Seek Google My Business online reviews

Google does not mind business owners asking their customers for online reviews, so long as this is done ethically and within their guidelines. The reviews can assist your business to gain dominance among a very large number of search results. The reviews are also known to improve search result rankings, consumer trust, and click-through rates. As a business owner, you should remember to respond appropriately to your customer reviews. Your response shows your appreciation and your sense of customer care.

SEO strategy is just one among many marketing strategies that enable your business to increase customer traffic.

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