Increase the visibility of your business over your competitors on maps local searches.
Its common knowledge that Google is the world’s leading search engine. Its innovative designs and applications has seen it surpass Bing, Yahoo, and Baidu. This is the reason why most search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are tailored to attracting Google’s algorithm attention.
The first item on the list of implementing a great SEO strategy is claiming and verifying your business on Google My Business (GMB). This will ensure that you show up on Google’s SERPs and Google local maps. Not only does this increase your website’s visibility, it also enhances your business’ credibility.
Before getting started, there are a few things one needs to know. Not all business can have a Google My Business (GMB )listing. The most important box that your business must check is it has to have a physical location. This locks out online and e-commerce businesses, virtual offices, and any other business that doesn’t have a physical presence.
Google is continuously adding features to Google My Business that can further improve your business’ SERPs ranking, if taken advantage of. Some of the features include:
Suggest an edit
There’s a ‘suggest an edit’ option on GMB where anyone can edit your GMB listing. If used correctly, users can add accurate information to your listing. However, since anyone can make changes to your listing, your competitors or malicious third parties can add/alter this information and that can have far reaching implications to your business such as opening and closing times. It is consequently very important to monitor your listing to ensure the above doesn’t happen. The best way to do this is to retain an SEO company.
GMB listings are like mini-advertisements that give information in various forms. One of the features is adding photos, and linking another website on the ‘post’ option.
Add an emoji
Younger people are now beginning to search for items using an emoji. For example, if someone searches for ‘[burger emoji] + nearby’ i.e. 🍔 nearby, and you happen to have a burger emoji on you GMB listing, your listing may rank higher than other places serving the same thing.
If you own a business where clients have to book an appointment, the booking feature on Google can help your business score a higher SERP ranking.
Potential clients can now send you messages from your GMB listing. On the messaging option on the GMB dashboard, you can set up an automatic message that will be sent to people who text you letting them know that you have received their message and you will get back to them as soon as possible. What’s great about the messaging feature is, there’s a Google application called Allo that enables messages to be sent to your Allo account instead of directly to your number, helping you separate your business and personal messages.
Question and answer segment
This is an innovative way to answer your clients’ questions. It offers you an opportunity to directly interact with potential clients. Google will even send you an alert notifying you of a new question that has been posted.
GMB offers a segment where customers can post reviews. Unlike other platforms such as Yelp that discourages account holder from asking for reviews from their customers, Google encourages it. Online reviews have a direct impact on your sales, and consumer confidence.
Adding a video
It is now possible to add a 30-second video on your GMB listing. Imagine all the angles you can show potential clients. Your customers can also add videos about your listing. However, Google has strict guidelines on the file size, resolution, and can even remove your video if the subject of the video does not relate to the business premises.
Adding a description
You can now add a business description to your GMB listing using up to 750 characters. An SEO company can use that to boost your business’ visibility online using researched keywords and more.
Adding services provided menu
If your business offers services or items that can be put on a menu, you can now post them on your GMB listing. The menu may include a brief description and the prices alongside them.
With all these features at your disposal, your business’ webpage should not languish past the first page of any search engine. Using your Google My business (GMB) listing, you can monitor your customers’ interactions with your page or listing and make changes accordingly.
Google is always adding new features to GMB. For you to fully optimize your listing, it is advisable to hire an SEO team that knows how to navigate through the platform. People who can code are important to have on your SEO team since they can fully utilize all of the tools provided.