Google My Business Listing: How to Optimize Your Profile
The first page of Google results captures anywhere from 71 to 92 percent of search traffic clicks, so getting your business to rank highly is essential if you want to maximize traffic to your business’s site.
The good news is, listing your business on Google is totally free, and it’s easy to get started. Of course, optimizing your profile to make the first page requires a few extra steps. We’ve outlined everything you need to know about Google My Business below so your future customers can easily find you online.
Tips for Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile:
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows business owners to manage their online presence. Although a GMB profile shouldn’t replace your business website, it serves as a powerful complement for customers searching for your products or services.
Setting up a Business Profile with Google allows you to connect with potential customers via Google Search and Maps. You can also post updates to your profile, showcase photos of your products, offer special promotions, and see how customers interact with your business on Google.
How to Set up Your GMB Profile:
Below are the exact steps to publish your listing:
- Go to the Google My Business homepage and click on “Manage Now” to get started.
- If you’re not already signed into Google, sign into your business account.
- Type in your business name and answer the questions that Google asks:
- Do you want to add a physical location for your business?
- Where do you serve your customers?
- What category does your business fall into?
- What are your basic contact details?
These details can be changed or updated later, if necessary.
- Select “Finish and Manage My Listing” and enter your mailing address. Google will then ask how you want to verify your business. The easiest way is to have a postcard with a verification code sent to your mailing address. Verification is critical for your business’s visibility and ranking, so it’s important not to skip this step.
You’ll then be taken to your GMB home page where you can complete your profile. However, you won’t be able to publish your profile until you verify your business with Google. This usually takes up to a week.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Google My Business Listing:
Your GMB profile should include your business name, address, phone number, website, and open hours. In addition, you can include a description, photos, and other information to keep potential customers engaged.
If you want to optimize your profile, here are some tips for getting the most out of your GMB listing:
- Local search results favor the most relevant listings, so it’s important to enter complete and accurate information.
- Include important keywords and search phrases.
- Keep your business hours updated and accurate, especially on holidays and weekends when they’re more likely to change.
- Businesses with photos on their listings receive 42 percent more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35 percent more click-throughs to their websites than businesses without photos. At a minimum, you should include a high-resolution image of your logo and other photos that showcase your brand.
- Manage and respond to customer reviews. According to consumers, businesses that respond to reviews are 7x more trustworthy than businesses who don’t (76 percent vs. 46 percent). Positive reviews also increase your visibility in search results, so encourage your customers to leave feedback if they’re happy with their experience.
Bottom Line: Without a Google My Business Listing, You’re Leaving Money on the Table
Since you can list your business details to appear on Google with or without a physical address, Google My Business is available to all business owners, whether you’re a home-based business or a service-area company. It’s easy and free to set up, so why not improve your chances of being found online by the multitude of people searching every day for the products or services your business offers?
Just be sure to follow our tips for optimizing your listing and keep your profile updated so that customers can easily find you. You may be surprised to see how this one step can increase traffic to your website or store, resulting in a bigger bottom line for your business.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.