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Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

Google holds the majority of organic search and accounts for about 90% of the search engine market share worldwide.  When searching for a brand, a place to eat, or getting directions you’ve probably seen Google My Business (GMB) profiles in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).  It’s important to claim this space and “mark your territory”.

Google My Business is a service that offers a free public profile that appears in the SERPs on Google.  While it doesn’t replace your business’s website, it gives an existing business website a public presence with this listing.

Google’s Local Search emphasizes the need for a GMB listing for new and established businesses.

Claiming a Google My Business listing allows you to provide Google and your potential customers with immediate information about your company.  It’s quick and easy to do, so it should be one of your first steps when establishing your web presence.

It gives all the important information for a certain business-like:

  • Business address
  • Business hours
  • Category or type
  • Reviews
  • Images and photos

Once you have ownership of your profile you should optimize it as part of your SEO strategy.

Here are some guidelines to improve your Google My Business listing and give you an edge over the competition:

  1. Make Sure Your Data is Complete

First, you need to ensure you don’t have a business listing, and once that is done you can set one up.  You’ll enter your official business name, category, and other pertinent information.

  1. Include Keywords 

These should be included in your business description and whenever you make local posts for your target audience.

  1. Photos

Photo content is more engaging and increases your engagement and improves the performance of your business listing.

  1. Ensure Your Operating Hours are Accurate

Make sure to have the right hours at all times.  Whenever you have a change for special events or holidays, make sure that is updated to keep your hours accurate and your customers happy.

  1. Engage with Customers

Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and their feedback.  Positive reviews will garner positive interest in users when doing research on your business.

Customers can also message through Google My Business so it’s important to be responsive with quick answers.

  1. Use Local Posts

You can keep your web presence fresh by engaging with your audience using publishing offers, events, and products to Search and Maps using Google My Business.  Make sure they are of high quality with visuals and links to trusted sites.

  1. Use Product Catalog

Google My Business has a Product Editor that allows you to showcase your products.  This includes pricing, details, and photos to allow users to get an idea of what you offer and allows for more customer interaction.

  1. Covid-19 Updates

Especially during the current pandemic, it is important to mark and update information if your hours are affected, you only offer delivery or pick-up services, and that you offer the best safety and health protocols at your business.

  1. Note Special Attributes

Google My Business allows you to highlight if your business is minority or female-owned.  This feature also is good to note features like outdoor seating and dining, as well as healthcare-related attributes like online care or scheduling.

These tips are a great first step to establishing a strong web presence as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Lay claim to your Google My Business profile and conquer the competition in the digital landscape.  You’ll make your presence known and make you that much more accessible to your future customers.