Google My Business Optimization: How to Maximize Your Visibility in Google Maps
If you’re a local business owner that is looking to show up more frequently in Google Maps, organically, this article is for you.
Google My Business is a powerful tool that all local businesses need to use and below I will give you tips on how to maximize your listing. Side note — while GMB is critical for local businesses, it’s still very important for all companies and I’ll explain why in a bit.
Before we dive in, what is Google My Business? From Google:
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. If you verify and edit your business information, you can both help customers find your business and tell them your story.
Sign up here.
In a nutshell, GMB is a way for you to add your business to Google so you can show up in Google Maps. Google also injects Google Maps into their regular Google.com search results.
And remember when I said GMB is important for any company? Well, the reason is because when you search for a company on Google, the right sidebar is usually dedicated to your GMB listing information…so it gives you a chance to form a really good first impression.
For example, if a company is considering using Ballantine for direct mail or digital marketing, they are probably going to do a Google search on us — this is the case for most companies — if they do this, they will see all our 5 star reviews…our photos…our Google posts…our address, description and more. It helps build credibility before they even visit our website.
Having a strong GMB listing is also good for your website’s search engine optimization because it gives your company/brand authority in Google’s eyes (the opposite is also true).
OK, so here are some tips that will put you ahead of your competitors. Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention you read this article.
8 Steps to Maximize Your Google My Business Listing
- First step is to verify your business at www.google.com/business
- Once verified, FULLY fill out your listing: photos, company name, address, phone, website, description, services/products, hours, primary/secondary categories, etc.
- Regularly add new photos and make sure your images are geo-tagged. If you take the photos with your phone and your location is turned on, this happens automatically. Otherwise, use a tool like this one.
- Post on your GMB listing every week with tips, info or offers.
- You need reviews…and a constant drip of new ones. They need to be real reviews from real people that have engaged with your business…don’t try to trick Google. And make sure you reply to all the reviews you get (if you’re replying to negative reviews, don’t get defensive…instead, try to take things offline so you can resolve the issues privately).
- Google likes to see activity and engagement…so if people ask you questions on your listing, make sure you respond back quickly with answers.
- The name, address and phone number of your listing is called your NAP and this needs to be consistent across the Internet because the consistency helps to build trust in Google.
- Work to build new citations for your business every month — a citation is the presence of your NAP on the Internet. How do you do this? There are several ways, but submitting your company info to local directories is a good place to start.
Thank you for Reading!
If you follow the 8 steps above, you’ll do better in Google Maps. Your listing will get found organically by more people…more people will visit your website, request driving directions to your location and call you. Some of the steps above are a one-time setup, and some are ongoing that require regular activity, but it’s worth it.
Want to track the effectiveness of all the work you put into this? Check out the Insights section of your Google My Business account and you’ll get a full breakdown across a variety of stats and metrics.
Good luck and reach out with any questions!