Is Your Google My Business Optimized?
What is Google My Business, or GMB? GMB is what appears on the right hand side of a Google results page that supplies quick shortcuts to a business’s location, hours, phone number, website, photos & videos, reviews and more.
Example of a Google My Business
A benefit of having a GMB for your business is to appear on Google map searches. This makes it easier for users to discover your business’s location and brings them one click away from getting directions.
The Dog Stop on a Google Map Search
Another benefit of having a GMB is that it will improve your website’s rank in search results. Google shows websites they like the most first; websites with relevant content that provide a good user experience. Even though a user isn’t going on to your page to find the information they are looking for, the user is interacting with your page through the GMB, proving that your website provides relevant and useful information. This will prove to Google that your website holds what people are looking for and Google will give your page a high search ranking.
An optimized Google My Business will also set your business apart from competitors; for free! Owning and maintaining a detailed GMB is an organic SEO tactic that helps your business appear at the top of a Google search results page. Therefore, an optimized GMB thrives off of adequate and thorough information and the only cost is the time it takes to create it and keep it updated. This makes it easier for a user to click on your business’s information as it appears top of page and only requires a single click compared to a competitor’s typical search ad.
Category & Services
Assigning primary and additional categories is the most important factor when creating a GMB. The category that you choose will determine what searches will trigger your Google My Business. As you can see in the picture below, this GMB will likely appear when someone is searching for any sort of medical laboratory, wellness center, getting a medical test, etc. Be sure to assign the most significant category as your primary category!
Selecting Categories on Google My Business
Location, Phone Number & Hours
After you ensure your business’s GMB will be seen, it needs to hold all important information such as an address, service area, hours of operation, special hours, and phone number.
Location, Phone Number & Hours on GMB
Aside from your business’s specific address, it is also important to add a service area. The service area gives a more broad idea of where your consumers are located. In this case, the address 8601 Dodge St, Omaha, NE is located in Central Omaha and their service area is Omaha. This means that this business serves anyone within the whole city of Omaha, not just Central Omaha, and possibly its surrounding areas as well. One GMB can have multiple service areas if that business is able to serve customers within multiple areas. The service area, like categories, can help determine when your GMB serves. For example, looking at the image above, if a user enters a search for “*insert service* in Omaha”, Google will know that this GMB services Omaha and will put it in the rankings to serve.
Another useful feature is adding special hours. This is where someone can include holiday hours, weekend hours, and any other day that may stray from normal business hours. This GMB feature can provide a quick to answer for when you’re wrapping a last minute Christmas present on Christmas Eve and you run out of wrapping paper and are yelling around the house “What time does the store close today?”.
Adding the URL to the GMB for your business is pretty straight forward, but adding a UTM tag to the URL may not be. A UTM tag is used as a tracking method. What this will do is tell you if a user got to your site directly from the GMB. If you realize you aren’t getting the traffic you were hoping for through your GMB, it may signal to you that you need to spend more time optimizing it.
URL With UTM Tag
Who are you? What does your business do? This can all be explained within the business biography. Let your readers know who you are, how you started, what you offer, and more.
Biography on Google my Business
Pictures & Videos
Picture and Logo on Google My Business
Including pictures and videos are a great way to share what your physical location looks like for first time visitors to recognize it from the road, let interested users see what the interior looks like, many restaurants will include pictures of the menu and food dishes, and so much more. Adding a logo and header can help your GMB stand out on the search results page and attract the user’s eye.
Showcasing and responding to reviews is very simple through Google My Business. It is always good to respond to reviews, the good and the bad. It shows that you are grateful for your customers who give your business a 5-star rating. This will lead to the next person searching seeing your rating and will be that extra push to lead them to your business and not a competitors. It’s especially important to respond to the negative reviews. This shows that your business takes responsibility for mistakes it may have committed and cares about its customers to do their best to resolve any issues.
Reviews on Google My Business
Always keep in mind: the more information you include, the more users will interact, the higher rating your site will receive, all leading to more user engagement and conversions.