Digital To Do List #2 Google My Business
A potentially under used free tool to help your business with its SEO is Google My Business (GMB).
In case you’re not sure what this is, it’s the summary business listing that appears on the right-hand side of organic search results, showing business details, website link, opening hours, reviews and business description.
Having a completed GMB profile gives signals to Google search engine algorithms about your locations and business type, services and products. It also helps your business show up on Google Maps.
Effective SEO is about layering your efforts – everything from a secure and modern website structure through to backlinks, keywords and of course a well crafted GMB profile.
In this blog, we’re going to cover useful tips for your profile and then how to request a GMB reference from your customers.
First off – when registering for your business profile, don’t forget to verify it to ensure you own it – there’s more on how to do this here.
Useful profile tips
If you have more than one office or more than one business it’s important for SEO to have a separate GMB profile for each business or office. In that way, if you have one office in Kingston and one in Hammersmith, they should appear in turn on the summary under the map locator for organic search.
On top of the basic information about your business and contact numbers, it’s important to complete all your business information in as much detail as possible. For local search in particular, enter in your address fully, not just London – add in Richmond or Wandsworth, for example, this helps focus Google on your location details.
Over the past couple of years, Google added in the Description category. This helps you to include more keywords for your business type – particularly useful if you have a niche area that is not covered in the drop-down category or service section.
For example, if you had to choose Financial Services, but your business specialises in a niche area, this is your chance to showcase them and focus your profile.
Posts have been used for promotions, offers and events but perhaps the ability to upload videos has gone unnoticed.
It’s a great feature to add personality to your page, or if you have FAQ’s or a new service/product to showcase. Another idea is to post a short team video, particularly if your team’s expertise is at the fore of your offering.
We all like photos, and it’s another opportunity to showcase your company’s personality, products, location or awards. Keep them up to date and name them with important keywords/phrases for your business.
Reviews appear next to your listing in maps and search and can help your business stand out on Google for all the right reasons. However, sometimes things go wrong and a client may leave a bad review on your profile. It’s best to respond to them in a calm and professional manner, if suitable, offer to have further contact to try and resolve the issue?
People buy from people and now-a-days we generally read reviews to seek others’ experiences before we buy. So, keeping on top of any negative reviews demonstrates good customer care.
We know that reviews on GMB provide useful credentials about your business to both you and your customers, but how do you go about getting them?
First off, it’s important that your reviews are genuine and verified. Google has guidelines that business must adhere to and you can read more about them here.
There is a bit of a myth about needing a Gmail account to leave reviews on Google My Business and you’ll be glad to know it’s not true. But you do need some sort of Google account – so that could be Google Maps, Play, Drive, Gmail or even a YouTube account (which is owned by Google).
One of the neatest ways is to share a short URL with your customers:
- Sign into your Google My Business account.
- If you have more than one location or office, check the location you’d like to request a review for.
- Navigate to the left-hand menu and click home.
- Go to the ‘Get more reviews’ area and then copy your short URL to share with customers.
- On your mobile open the Google My Business app.
- Tap Customers then reviews.
- In the top right, click the share symbol.
- If your short name is not created, you will be prompted to create one.
- Copy your short URL to share with customers.
When customers click your link, they’ll be able to rate your business and leave a review.
Or if they prefer, they can enter your business name in the search box and the GMB profile should appear on the right-hand side. About halfway down, there is a Write a Review box which gives you the option to do a star rating and a written note.
Looking for help on your SEO or Content, or need a easy to use and updated website?