Google My Business, otherwise known as GMB, is a free tool that assists businesses in managing online presence in Google search and Google maps. If you searched a business, you would likely see their GMB knowledge panel which contains information relevant to what their customers are looking for. An optimized GMB helps Google to understand more about your business giving you an upper hand when your customers search for the services you offer. Below are 12 steps that one could use to customize their GMB to provide better appeal and effect to their customers.
12 steps in optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing to help rank into the Google Map Pack
1: Create or Claim your free Google My Business listing –
(If your business is listed but not claimed, you will see a small link that asks, “Own this business?”, click on that and follow the directions.)
Go to the link above and sign in to the free GMB account where you can start adding information about your business. After agreeing with the terms and conditions, you will enter your preferred email address. You will then be directed to a screen where you can fill out personalized details about the business such as location and contacts. If your business does not appear in the drop-down, do not worry, just proceed and click continue. However, you will be asked to authorize your business information, and a Google+ page will be created for your business.
2: Verify GMB listing
There are a couple of ways to verify your GMB
Verify by email
Some businesses are easily verified via email. If your business is ‘eligible’, ensure your email ID is correct, and then start the process. In your email inbox, open mail from GMB then click the verification button in the mail.
Verify by phone
Once you have confirmed your phone number, a code will be sent to your phone via text message. Enter the code to verify and start managing your business information.
Verify by postcard
This verification is done via mail where the code is sent as a postcard that takes approximately 12 days to arrive. Fill the code to your GMB account and your GMB is verified.
3: Download GMB app on Android or Apple phone.
(It’s not a MUST HAVE, but it is helpful for on-the-go data checker.)
You now have the GMB set up for your business. The next step is to download the GMB app from Google Play. Simply click the download app option and install the app. This application will allow you to customize your GMB and give you easy access from your mobile device.
4: Fill out the “Info” section completely
Either on the computer or on the GMB app, you can update your business information. To edit this information, tap the menu then business info. Here you can modify your business name, address and business hours. To update the location on the map, click the edit icon on the embedded map.
5: Gather relative pictures to your business
Good pictures to have would be:
- 3x indoor
- 3x outside
- 3x City you’re in
- 3x of what you do
About 12 to 15 pictures is a good number for potential customers to look at as a visual stimulation to make a decision if they want your service/product.
According to Google, businesses with pictures get 42% more requests for directions and 35% more clicks through their websites compared to the ones which do not have pictures is. Once you are done renaming the images, geotag them using this link https://www.geoimgr.com/
6: Upload “Geotagged” pictures in GMB
Once you have renamed and tagged the photos, choose the ones to upload, preferably in a timely fashion. Go to the GMB app and upload the Geotagged images. They should be placed aesthetically to appear attractive to the customers.
7: Get an Interior Virtual Tour (Optional and if applicable to your business) –
An interior virtual tour of your GMB allows you to view your business from the perspective of the customer. This step will enable you to modify business information to become more accessible and straightforward for anyone seeing the GMB for the first time. Using the link above, you can hire a trusted pro that will enhance your GMB and make it more visible to the traffic related to your business.
8: Reply to all Google Reviews professionally and respectfully
Reviews on your GMB can determine a lot whether a customer will want you to offer them your services. It has been proven that customers mind the opinions of other customers who have used your product or service. Responding to reviews should be done politely and professionally to avoid unnecessary confrontations that could jeopardize the business.
9: Enable googles new feature Messenger (Optional)
This new Google feature allows you to have direct messaging with your customers. Some businesses require prompt communication between you and the customer. This feature will enable you to get instant messages that alert you about your customers’ needs. Additionally, it gives you the ease to direct new clients through your business information if not to where you offer your services.
10: Check your “insights” and Search Queries for analysis regularly.
(app is useful to check data on-the-go)
This regular interaction with GMB gives you the upper hand when it comes to managing the traffic of your consumers. With the knowledge you gain from the analysis and insights, you can optimize your GMB to fit the preferred traffic channel, therefore, making your GMB more visible and more active. You can use posts in blogs and other social sites to promote events in your business. Many customers view several GMBs before choosing their preferred service provider. With timely updating and relevant posting on the google maps, your business will stand out to any potential client.
11: Confirm review websites, and up to 3 Social Media have connected to GMB
It is essential to create other marketing links to your GMB. Review websites are known for massive traffic of customers who are always keen on what other professionals think about particular products or services. With proper traffic from a review website, your GMB will have increased activity, which will translate to more business. Social media is also a powerful marketing tool. Ensure you have at least three different social media platforms all dedicated to marketing the business. These platforms can share customer experience, images of the services and the general tone of interaction between the clients and you, the service provider.
12: Ask for honest reviews from your clients/customers
After providing your services, it is crucial to get an honest opinion on your work to know what to improve and what to remove to suit your service to the market better. Reviews can be word of mouth or even as comments on your GMB. Comments on your GMB make the account livelier and are more likely to attract potential customers who can see what others think of your business. Additionally, reviews help you add more products and services since customers will always advise on what more they would have enjoyed.
In this age of technology, there is not really a high need to apply old marketing techniques to better your business since most of them have become obsolete. GMB allows customers to access your business information from anywhere around the world. With a highly rated business and an effectively customized GMB, this tool makes it easy to grow your business to unimaginable proportions.