Google My Business SEO Tips

May 4, 2020 Google My Business SEO Tips By Gaurav Madan

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing to Improve Local Ranking

The Internet has simplified our lives. Who would have thought a few years ago that we could have our favorite products delivered to our doorsteps without stepping out of our homes, or learn new skills without enrolling in traditional classes? Given the important role that the Internet plays in our lives, it is unarguably one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind.

The Internet has revolutionized the way we do business. It has leveled the playing field for small and new businesses. Earlier, small businesses with limited resources could not dare to think big. Thanks to the Internet, things have drastically changed over the years. Now businesses of all shapes and sizes can leverage the Internet to target a global audience.

If the Internet is the body, search engines are the soul. A search engine is a software system designed to analyze keywords and search for and identify items in the database corresponding to the keywords. Whenever we look for information on the Internet, we use a search engine. They are our personal assistants. All we need to do is use the relevant keyword and they fetch information for us.

Google is the undisputed leader of search engines. The search engine giant is known for providing high-quality results. Google’s algorithm has evolved drastically and has become smarter and more agile over the years. Google does not just identify keywords, but also understands the user’s search intent to find the most accurate and relevant results matching the query.

Over the years, Google has introduced several tools and technologies to help business owners get traction for their businesses. One such resource is Google My Business.

What is Google My Business and Why Your Business Needs It? An Overview

Google My Business or GMB, as it is commonly known, is a tool designed to help businesses manage their Google listings. GMB allows you to add your business name and photos, operating hours, and location. Listings are an online summary of important information related to a business that serves as an effective tool to help customers of the business find it. Listings help businesses attract customers and share information.

GMB is similar to listing on other online directories such as Yelp. That said, Google listings can be incredibly detailed. Additionally, information from Google business listings can be output by Google into different tools with high online visibility, such as Google Maps and Google Knowledge Graph.

Why Google My Business is Important for Your Local Businesses?

Whenever a user uses localized keywords to search businesses on Google, the search engine returns local business results tailored to the search term. Searches can happen in different places, such as Google Maps (in app, desktop, laptop, or third-party browsers), Google Home voice search, and Google Assistant voice search.

How Google My Business Listing Can Help Local Businesses Get More Customers?

The answer is simple – it helps businesses get found on Google. Let’s say you own a car repair shop in the lower east side of Manhattan. Whenever people in your area or nearby search for ‘car repair in the lower east side’, you’d want your business to appear in their search, which is exactly what would happen if you have created your Google business listing.

It is worth mentioning that local results are triggered by anything that Google identifies as a search with local intent. So, if Google knows a searcher’s location, your business would appear in their search even if they do not use near me at the end of their search term.

Depending on the location, the searcher will see Google Maps results or local pack results or can have the results read out loud by Google Assistant.

There are several benefits of setting up your GMB listing. You don’t just get wider visibility, but can also access Google My Business Insights that provides critical customer engagement data derived from your listing. With Insights, you will have important information on your fingertips such as how your customers search for your business.

When you combine this information with Google Analytics data, you will get a comprehensive overview of the methods people use to find your business and the actions they take after finding your business.

Google My Business is Continuously Evolving to Help Local Businesses

Google My Business does not just depend on the information provided by businesses to build listings. Google uses user-generated content (such as customer reviews and photos of a business posted by customers) and information collected from different sources (such as a business’s web pages) to populate Google Business listing.

Simple Steps How to Add or Claim Your Business Listing on Google My Business

To list your business on Google My Business, you first have to qualify for a listing. Though GMB is a 100 percent free tool, only businesses that have at least some face-to-face interaction with their customers qualify.

6 Steps to Create a Google My Business Listing

Follow these steps to create your Google My Business listing:

  • Step 1: Log into the Google account you want your business to be associated with. If you do not have an account already, create one.
  • Step 2: Enter your business name and address.
  • Step 3: Select your delivery area.
  • Step 4: Next, choose your business category. Because you are essentially telling Google which type of customers should see your listing, choose relevant category.
  • Step 5: Add important information related to your business, such as contact number or website.
  • Step 6: Choose a verification option.

How to Verify Your Business Listing on Google

Here are some ways to verify your GMB listing:

Verify Your Business By Postcard:

  • Log into Google My Business.
  • Ensure your business address is correct. You could choose to add your business’s location.
  • Click on “Mail”. You should get your postcard within five working days.
  • After receiving the postcard, log in to Google My Business and verify your business by entering the five-digit verification code on the postcard.

If you do not receive your postcard or misplace it, click on the “Request another code” banner to get a new code.

Verify Business By Email:

  • Sign into Google My Business. If you have multiple businesses, choose the one you want to verify.
  • Ensure your email address is correct. Click on “Verify by mail”.
  • Sign into your Gmail account (linked to the business). Click on the verification button.

Note: Google allows only some businesses to verify their location by email. If your business is eligible, you will see verify by email option before starting the verification process.

Bulk Business Verification:

  • Sign into Google My Business. Choose the location you want to verify and click “Get verified” next to it.
  • Select “Chain”.
  • Fill out the necessary verification information. You’d be required to provide important information, such as the country/countries in which you operate, the name of your business and parent company, and your Google Account manager’s email ID.
  • Submit the verification form. Google usually takes up to seven days to review and process claims.

Only businesses that operate in at least 10 locations can use this verification method. Agencies managing locations for different businesses and service businesses are not eligible.

Verify Business By Phone Call or SMS

  • Sign into Google My Business. Choose the business you want to verify.
  • After ensuring your phone number is correct, click on “Verify by phone”. You will receive a verification code via text.
  • Enter the verification code.

Instant Verification

  • First things first, this method is usually used by business owners who have already verified their businesses with Google Search Console, a free Google tool that allows businesses to manage their website performance and health.
  • Sign into Google My Business (use the same account to log in that you had used to verify your business with Google Search Console). If your business is eligible for instant verification, you will receive a notification asking you to verify your listing. If you do not receive this notification, try a different verification method.

How to Optimize Your Google My Business and Leverage It for More Sales?

After verifying your business, you need to optimize your listing to help Google better understand what your business is all about and its location. An optimized GMB listing will make it easier for Google to crawl your website. The more Google knows about your business, the more types of searches your listing will appear in.

Add important information related to your business, such as the areas you serve, your business hours, contact details (website URL and a public phone number), and attributes (such as Wi-Fi access and wheelchair accessible, etc.). Make sure the information provided is accurate and up to date. If you want to edit your business profile, log into GMB dashboard. Select the field you want to edit and click on the pencil next to it. Once you have made the changes, select Apply.

To optimize your GMB listing, remember to add:

  • Google My Business Photos: According to Google, businesses with photos receive 35 percent more click-through to their websites than businesses without them. Use JPG or PNG files. Photos should be at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels high. Remember to add your business’s cover photo and profile photo.
  • Google My Business Reviews: Online reviews build trust. Request your customers to write positive reviews. Respond promptly to negative reviews and positive reviews. You can generate a Create a link for customers to write reviews.
  • Google My Business Videos: Adding video to your profile is an effective way to make it stand out. Make sure your videos are not more than 100 MB, have a resolution of at least 720p, and are 30 seconds or shorter.

What Are the Benefits of Google My Business?

Here are some proven advantages of GMB:

  • You Can Manage Your Information: GMB allows businesses to manage the information users look for when finding businesses. Businesses that verify their info with Google are twice as likely to be considered reliable by users.
  • Better Customer Interactions: You can read and respond to customer reviews. GMB provides necessary information that people who view your listings can use to contact you. To pique your prospects’ curiosity and to engage customers, post photos related to your business.
  • Helps Gain Important Insights: You can use your GMB to gain important insights into consumer behavior. GMB reveals how your customers search your listing and what they do after finding your business. GMB provides important information, such as the number of views your listing has, how and where your customers find your listing, and interactions they have with your business.
  • Increases Overall Online Visibility: Google My Business provides your business more visibility with Google Maps and Google Search. Listings get priority on the first page of local searches and Map queries.
  • Allows Businesses to Create a Website: Yes, you read that right! GMB has a website creation feature that allows you to create a Google My Business website. Once you create your Google My Business account, your website will auto generate info from it.

The best part – the tool is available absolutely free of charge.

5 SEO Techniques to Get Your Businesses On Top of Google My Business!

  • Provide As Much Info As Possible: Fill out your profile completely. Do not leave optional fields empty, as Google may ask your competitor to fill it out on your behalf. Provide every relevant detail, such as operating hours and address related to your business. Check and double-check that every information is accurate. Remember to add an impact full business description.
  • Add Visual Content: Pictures help build trust and show the human side of your brand. To get Google to trust you, upload high-quality pictures of your workplace and team. To pique interest and keep your target audience engaged, upload new photos regularly.
  • Encourage Customers to Write Reviews: Get as many reviews as possible. Reach out to your customers requesting them to write reviews. Use only legitimate reviews. To show people you care, respond to criticism (negative reviews) in a timely manner.
  • Create Impact full Google My Business Content: Creating interesting and informational posts is one of the most effective ways to drive website traffic and engagement on your profile. Use relevant keywords. Update your old content and publish new content regularly as Google prefers up-to-date and fresh content.
  • Ensure 100 Percent NAP (name, address, and phone number) Consistency Across the Web: Make sure your Google My Business listing is consistent with all major online directories. Details listed on different platforms should be identical, as discrepancies can lower the ranking of your listing.


Gaurav Madan

About Author

Gaurav is working on various verticals like IT & Software Solutions | Digital Marketing | E-Commerce | BPO | Outsourcing | Offshoring | Global Deliveries | Exports | Education. Gaurav believes in CHANGE, which is constant throughout the LIFE so be with the CHANGE Gaurav is having, In-depth experience in IT Solutions, Offshoring, Internet Branding, Sales & Marketing, Managing New Projects & Processes, Solution Designing and Transitioning of New International and Domestic business engagements. Proficient at managing & leading teams to run successful operations & experienced in developing procedures, service standards, client satisfaction using standard frameworks for business excellence.

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