As a business owner, boosting your visibility through search engine optimization is important. Google attempts to give companies the tools that they need to do this with Google My Business. Companies can use this free online tool to manage their online presence in Google.
On paper, this sounds great because GMB lets you list business information on Google so that people can see it when they search for your brand. Since all companies have access to this free tool, how do you optimize your GMB to make it stand out?
To get the most out of GMB, your business website needs to be optimized and receive steady traffic. Thankfully, certain online services can help you with that. In terms of using GMB to boost your rankings, you can make some optimization changes to ensure that you're using this free tool to the best of your ability.
After creating your GMB, it's important to fill out every section, including your company's name, address and store hours. If you have a website or phone number, list that information too. The more details that people have about your business, the more traffic and transactions that you're likely to get. Don't skimp on the other sections either. Go into detail about your products, services, and owner-generated questions and answers.
Filling out your GMB isn't a one-and-done action. You'll need to update reviews and consumer-generated questions and answers from time to time. By keeping all of this information up to date, you can increase consumer interaction and improve your SEO.
People like pictures, which is why it's essential to include them in GMB. If you have a physical location, upload photos of the building. Doing so doesn't just make it look nice. It also helps you control quality because anyone can upload pictures to a GMB profile. Because of that, the quality of the pictures will vary. Uploading your own photos ensures that your company always puts its best foot forward.
Additionally, the pictures that you include will become indexed in Google's search results for images. Having your brand details indexed in numerous places in Google will increase the chance of it popping up in consumer search results.
Google reviews for your business are proudly displayed, for better or worse, on GMB. Which company are you more likely to click on? The one with a four-star rating or no rating at all? Google understands how important reviews are, so it factors those opinions into your overall search engine results pages ranking. Improving your reviews improves your SEO.
Most consumers are willing to leave a review if you ask. Consider incorporating a review page on your website. Then, you can add a call to action that requests existing customers to leave reviews for your company on Google. Remember to respond to reviews that you get as well. Good or bad, responding to reviews lets would-be customers know that you're proactive about keeping them happy.
Did you know that, like other social media platforms, you can post updates to GMB? This includes information about events, announcements, products and even special offers. You can do this by visiting the GMB dashboard and putting this information in the "Updates'' section. It's located near the bottom of the page.
Posting regular updates sends positive signals to Google, which boosts your SERP ranking. It encourages consumer interaction too. Studies by Google find that people are more likely to interact with GMB when they can scroll through posts like they do on Instagram and Facebook. Fortunately, they can easily scroll through your GMB updates.
With companies having to change their operating hours because of COVID-19, a lot of them have been using the updates section to keep customers informed. Consumers appreciate this, and it reminds them that you're still open and doing your part to keep them safe.
The benefits of optimizing GMB for your brand are vast. First of all, research shows that filling it out improves consumer engagement. More people are searching on Google instead of visiting websites now. Zero-click searches are the result of Google displaying optimized information without requiring them to click on a website.
You may have done it yourself if you've found the phone number, store hours or other information about a company without visiting its site. Typically, this information is found on the side of your Google search. In addition, Google provides boxes with commonly asked questions that you can click on without loading the actual site. As a result, you're missing out if your business doesn't take advantage of GMB.
Furthermore, filling out GMB will improve your local SEO. Google's algorithm doesn't just consider relevance when it populates search results. It factors in the quality of the information and the proximity of the business to whoever performed the search. Completing your GMB profile sends information to Google's algorithm that helps you rank higher in local searches. This improves your brand's visibility and the chances of getting local hits. After all, it makes sense that Google would consider its own tools, such as GMB, when ranking websites.
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