How do you optimise your GMB listing?

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GOOGLE My Business, or GMB, is a free online tool that you can use to manage your online presence and increase your search engine rankings.

Having a GMB listing is essential for your local search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy since it helps the target market find your physical location. It also provides local exposure to your brand.

When you create a GMB listing, make sure to include the following details:

  • Business location and address
  • Opening and closing hours
  • Categories available
  • Customer reviews

Your listing will also generate a Google Maps location. This will make it easier for users to find and reach you in their Google searches. 

Basic information about GMB

GMB is not only free but a valuable digital marketing tool if used properly. However, your listing is not a replacement for your business website.

A GMB listing can enhance your brand (website) by providing it with a public identity and presence on Google Search and Google Maps.

Your GMB listing can also appear on any third-party app or platform using the Google Maps API. 

Steps for creating a GMB listing

  1. Conduct a Google search to ensure that your business does not have an existing GMB listing. If your company has been in existence for a year or more, it’s likely to have a current listing. You only have to claim it.
  2. After claiming your GMB listing, you can start managing the details. However, if someone has already claimed it, Google will notify you. You’ll have to verify your claim, but the process often takes less than a week.
  3. After filling in the business name, you’ll need to choose a category that best describes your line of business.
  4. You can also add a location for customers to visit you. Even if you’re not a bricks-and-mortar business, your site will serve as your service area.
  5. Next, fill in your contact information, including phone numbers, email and the website’s URL.   
  6. If you added business hours to the listing, you should also include your business address.
  7. After filling in the address, GMB will ask if you can serve customers outside your location. You can see the limit of how far your business can physically deliver goods and services. Remember, you can add any details later on. If you can only serve people within your location, select No and move on to the next prompt.
  8. After filling in and reviewing the details, click Finish to publish the GMB listing.
  9. Verify the GMB listing to make it live and visible.

Verify your GMB post

Verification of your GMB listing will require receiving a postcard by mail. This process will serve as proof to Google that you present the business.

If your GMB listing isn’t verified, you’ll have no access to crucial details such as:

  • Page insights
  • Analytical information
  • Business or customer reviews

Inside the postcard is a verification code that you will use to verify your listing and make it officially live.

Publish your GMB post

You should use all the resources in the GMB, especially since many of its features are free. 

  1. Include all the essential and relevant information about your business.

Your listing should clearly tell what your business is all about and:

  • Where to find it
  • How customers can obtain your goods and services

Provide the most detailed and accurate information. Don’t let the reader assume or guess anything about your business.

  1. Make sure to incorporate keywords.

You can incorporate in your GMB listings relevant keywords and search phrases in the:

  • Business description
  • Local posts to your target market
  1. Don’t forget to include photos or images.

You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ This is certainly true in digital marketing. Adding photos to your listing can increase:

  • Requests for driving directions on Google Maps to your location by more than 40%
  • Click-through rates by more than 35%
  1. Enable customers to reach you and manage their reviews.

According to this article, customers are more likely to patronise businesses that respond to their posts and feedback. You should make every effort to obtain positive reviews for the following reasons:

  • Provides a positive effect for current and potential customers when searching for your business online
  • Increases your visibility in online search results
  • Engages customers by encouraging them to leave positive feedback

You can also receive customer messages through the GMB app. This will enhance your brand’s responsiveness and visibility. Furthermore, it’s critical to respond quickly to your customer messages. Make sure your response time is under 24 hours. 

Remember, most people don’t want to wait, so your quick answer can improve your chances of closing a sale. 

  1. Ensure the posts are relevant to your target audience.

Through your GMB listing, you can directly publish to Google Search and Maps your:

  • Offers
  • Events
  • Products
  • Services
  1. Make use of product catalogues.

If you have various product offers, you can use the GMB Product Editor to showcase them. However, this option is only available if you’re a small or medium-sized business. Larger brands will have to use the Local Inventory Ads. You can offer all the information needed by customers, including:

  • Pricing
  • Details
  • Photos

Your GMB listing should attract and engage potential customers to your website or place of business. It will help them find you on Google and avail of your products or services.

Conclusion

A GMB listing is one of the easiest ways to advertise your business online. It’s free and includes various tools to help you appear on Google Maps and local online searches. The first step is claiming your business and verifying your ownership of it. The next thing to do is fill in all the required details, including address, contact numbers, products and services. Don’t forget to include photos and images of your products or location. This will help people associate their needs with your brand. Finally, a GMB listing only serves as a complementary tool for your website and SEO strategy.

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