How to make the most of your free Google listing
You can’t have an effective SEO strategy without a little website known as Google.
Wait, you’ve heard of Google, right? Ok, great, moving on.
Claiming your business on Google My Business (GMB) listing is an important step in optimizing your visibility. The best part?
Google offers this nice little platform for free where you can claim your business, fill out all the information and stand out.
Google has added some great features to Google My Business that companies should take advantage of that enhances your Google My Business listing and helps to grab viewers’ attention — and can increase how you rank in local search results.
1. The basics.
Complete all your basic info – name, hours, website, phone number etc Don’t forget the business description and filling out your services options. Anything you can add here will only improve your visibility.
2. Verify your listing.
It’s not enough to simply input your basic information – be sure to verify your listing by sending a postcard containing the verification code to your business address.
3. Make a Google Post.
These are basically ads that show up alongside your Google business listing when your business is searched. These can be an offer, a limited time deal, highlight of new services, or a short feature to highlight your blog. Be sure to add an accompanying image to really catch the viewer’s eye. Posts stay live for up to a week of after the date of your offer, with the newest posts on top of the oldest.
Posts are most visible to mobile users; with 51.8% of internet users on their mobile devices (source) this is a very smart move.
4. Want to cast a wider net and add an interesting addition to your SEO?
Use relevant emojis! 🙈🙉🙊
Google is starting to index emoji-relevant search results. According to Moz.com “…users – especially the younger crowd — are beginning to search with emojis! So if a person is searching for “[pizza emoji] + nearby” and you own a local pizza restaurant and use the [pizza emoji] somewhere on your Google My Business listing — like in a Post with a special offer on a pizza order — you might have an SEO edge over the other pizzeria competitors in your city.”
Figure out what emojis your business could use but don’t overdo it or risk looking out of touch and unorganzied.
5. Make it easy for your potentials clients.
Utilize the Booking feature on your listing to stand. While you do need one of Google’s integrated scheduling providers, this populates a button on your listing for viewers to easily book your services.
6. Connect with customers directly through the Messaging feature.
When you provide a phone number capable of texting, you can direct Google to allow potential customers to text you. If you (understandably) don’t want a personal number out in the Googlesphere, you can utilize Google’s Allo app. Any text messages will be directed to the app instead of your personal number.
This function is mobile only, and will display when a user searches your business on mobile. (At least as of May 2018.)
7. Q & A!
A Question and Answer section is a useful way to showcase what your clients want to know and answer those questions directly. It’s also helpful to make a Frequently Asked Questions list to showcase your business is ahead of the curve.
8. Ask your clients/customers for Google reviews.
These reviews appear alongside your business listing and help your business stand out from the competition. These reviews also impact search rankings, potential customer trust and click-through-rates.
One tip: DO NOT BRIBE FOR REVIEWS. Google allows businesses to ask for reviews but only ethically sourced reviews.
Frequently check your Google listing as users can “suggest edits”. These become live and are sometimes not always notified.
9. Add photos and videos to your listing.
You don’t need a professional-grade camera to record; simply grab your smartphone and decent lighting and you’re good to go. Videos don’t even necessarily require sound to grab attention. Studies have found over 85% of videos on Facebook are viewed without sound.
Simple enough, right?
Shoot us an email or contact us here if you ready to talk deeper strategy for your business!