How to Optimize a Google My Business Listing

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So, you’ve set up your Google My Business listing but want to improve upon it? You’ve come to the right place!

This article will help you optimize your Google My Business listing, ensuring that the most traffic is directed towards your business.

Why Do You Need To Optimize a Google My Business Listing?

Search engines like Google love information. The more of it you have, the higher it will rank on local business listings. As a business owner, you’d definitely want to do everything possible to get your business peaking above similar ones.

Is There Anything You Need To Know Beforehand?

There’s nothing you need to know besides the details of your business. Of course, you’ll also need to have a Google My Business account set up for the location you are working with.

If you haven’t set one up yet, you can follow this guide here. Make sure you have access to the Google My Business account to manage it, too!

Why Is Optimizing a Google My Business Listing Important?

Arguably, a Google My Business listing is stage one of Search Engine Optimization. The details will contain all the essential information about your business that customers would want to know.

Optimizing the listing with meticulous detail will help you get found above others when potential customers search for products and services in your area.

Where Do I Optimize a Google My Business Listing?

The optimization tasks are managed in your Google My Business account. Once you’ve logged in, the process is pretty straightforward from there!

When Do I Need To Optimize a Google My Business Listing?

Most of the optimization tasks only need to be addressed once. However, business details may change, such as products or services offered, opening hours, special hours, etc.

It’s best to update details in your Google My Business account as soon as they are confirmed by your business management.

Who Is In Charge of the Task?

Whoever is responsible for managing the business would be assigned the initial optimizations and any updates. This is usually down to the business owner, manager, or marketing/SEO agency behind the listing.

The Optimization Process for a Google My Business Listing

So, let’s start optimizing your Google My Business listing to enhance its presence on the almighty search giant. The process is definitely not hard to complete, but remember – the devil is in the detail!

1. Log on to the Google My Business website, and click ‘Manage Now.’

First of all, head over to the Google My Business page to begin, and click ‘Manage Now’ to optimize.

2. Sign in with the Google account you use to manage.

Enter your account details to log in to your business’ account.

3. Click on the pencil icon for the business you will be working with.

If you only have one business location, click the pencil icon on that listing. Should you have more than one, click the one on the listing you want to optimize.

4. Click ‘Info,’ found on the left-hand-side menu.

Once open, locate the ‘Info’ section on the left.

5. Start by reviewing the business name, make sure it’s correct.

Your business name should be correct already, but just double-check it reflects the letter for letter name of the location!

6. Click the icon next to the title to edit the business category.

You should see a pencil next to the category of the business listed below. Click that icon to optimize the sector your products or services are in.

  • Choose the category that best represents your business for the ‘primary category’ section. If you need some help figuring this out, Google searches your competitors to see what category they have put in.
  • If your business offers a diverse palette of products and services, you can click on the additional categories below. You can then choose the one that best fits those offerings.
  • An important thing to remember is to not overload your business with categories. If you choose multiple ones just to try and boost your results, this will harm your rankings. The bounce rate will be high, meaning that customers will exit your page immediately if it’s not relevant to their search. Subsequently, your business will rank lower everywhere!

7. Check that the business address is correct.

Sometimes we can make mistakes on the addresses. Review the listed address of the location to make sure it’s correct!

8. If you have a serviced area, edit the details for your deliveries, home visits, etc.

If you have a business that does more than serving a physical location, you can ‘Add Service Area.’ This will let your customers know you are available for a specific region.

  • Fill out the area(s) you service on the prompted screen once you click that button.

9. Continue by entering all your hours of operation.

Next, you’ll need to add your business opening hours to your listing. These must be correct, even if they vary with multiple locations. You don’t want a customer showing up when your business says it’s open, and it’s not!

  • On the hours’ screen, toggle the days you are open and enter the specific times.

10. If you have differing hours for your various services, click the ‘More Hours’ button to update that information.

This is where things get a bit nit-picky, but it can be beneficial in the long run! If your business has any special hours like happy hour or delivery times – you can add these by clicking the ‘More Hours’ button.

  • Once the screen comes up, check off any of the special services you offer from the list.
  • Fix the correct hours for each of these offerings.

11. Add in any special hours you have too!

  • Optimize your hours further by adding the correct opening times for public holidays

12. Get all your contact details down – phone number is the most important.

It’s imperative to get your business’ phone number on the contact details. You want to give customers the option to get in touch so you can get some good reviews.

  • If you have several phone numbers, make sure all the ones associated with the public side of your business are listed.

13. Double-check your website URL leads to the right place.

You’d be surprised how many businesses have typos or broken links in their website URL. Check it’s correct, and click on it to make sure it works.

14. Enter the services associated with the business location.

Now, we need to add the primary services associated with your business.

  • Note that services you can choose from relating to what you’ve selected as the business category. If you’ve added more than one category, you’ll be able to address each of them separately.
  • Not all categories have a pre-defined list, so you’ll have to add anything unique yourself.
  • That’s done by choosing ‘Add Custom Service’ at the bottom of the box.
  • Now for the heavy optimization part! For each service you’ve listed, add relevant descriptions and pricing where applicable.

15. Open the ‘Attributes’ section, and fill in all the requested information.

Get the ‘Attributes’ section up next – this is where you’ll highlight significant factors about your business people might search.

  • These details range from accessibility to amenities. Go through each section as seen in the picture below, and add any relevant information (wheelchair accessible, credit cards accepted, etc.).
  • Remember not to be liberal with the attributes you offer. Make sure the information of your business is accurate. Google checks the correctness of the information regularly. Any falsehoods will affect your rankings!

16. Enter the dates that your business started.

Filling in the date you started isn’t absolutely necessary, but it does help for branding purposes. Your age shows business experience and will connect you better to customers.

17. Last but not least, add some photos of your business to attract your customers.

It’s the hard truth that most users passing by your business listing won’t read all the details. That’s why it’s essential to add visuals that showcase your business.

  • The recommended size for each Google My Business photo is 720px by 720px, except for the cover photo – that would be 1024px x 576px. Remember that the maximum file size is 5MB, and the photos must be in JPG or PNG format.
  • Add a logo to your business – this will display when you post updates or communicate with customers.
  • We’ve mentioned the cover photo – do make sure your business page has one, and it looks great. This is the first image customers will see when visiting your Google My Business listing.
  • If you have any product displays, add those to the photo section.
  • Showcase the highlights of the interiors in your physical location and how welcoming you are to customers!
  • Upload good photos of the exteriors so people will identify your business when visiting its physical location.
  • Got any other attractive photos or videos? Put them up there! Anything visual for your listing works wonders in optimizing traffic.

How Do You Manage Reviews?

Now the optimization process is complete – but there is still more you can do to keep your customers engaged. Visitors are always presented with the option to review your business. It’s highly recommended to keep on top of these reviews.

How do you manage them? You can find the walkthrough below.

1. Go to the Google My Business dashboard, and click on ‘Reviews’ found on the left-hand-side menu.

Back on the dashboard, you’ll see a section entitled ‘Reviews.’ Click on that to manage any customer reviews that have come through.

2. Click on ‘Haven’t Replied.’

Once in the ‘Reviews’ screen, click on the ‘Haven’t Replied’ tab.

2. Address as many reviews as you can by replying to them, no matter how good or bad.

It’s up to you how you want to handle reviews, but responding to as many as possible does help optimize your Google My Business listing.

  • Even if the review is not a pleasant one, responding well is beneficial. It shows the public you are fully engaged with customers. Whether you’ve received 1-star or 5-stars, reply in a manner that would please those browsing the section.

How Do You Manage the Question and Answer Section?

The ‘Question and Answer’ section isn’t directly accessible in your dashboard, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be managed. It’s yet another significant channel to help optimize your Google My Business listing. It assists customers with quick answers to frequently asked questions.

It’s recommended that these are checked and replied to as much as possible. This can be managed by:

1. Find the question and answer section by searching for your business in Google directly.

Make sure you’re logged into the Google Account you manage the business with and search for your location directly in Google Search.

2. Open your listing, and scroll down until you see the ‘See All Questions’ button at the bottom of the Q&A section.

When you’ve found your listing, click on it to open it up. Then, scroll down to the ‘See All Questions’ button to begin managing.

3. Locate any questions that don’t have an answer, and reply by clicking the ‘Answer’ button.

It’s recommended to answer all questions even if they already have a public reply. Especially answer those that don’t have an answer. Click on the ‘Answer’ button to reply.

4. Double-check that you’re logged into the account you’re using to manage the business. Then make sure you are replying as the intended business!

As mentioned, check that you are posting as the business owner to deliver the most effective answers.

How Do You Manage the Google My Business Settings?

Finally, we reach the climax of the Google My Business optimization process! With all the details set, all you need to remember is managing Google My Settings. These relate to receiving notifications about reviews and questions.

1. Go back to the Google My Business dashboard, and click on ‘Settings’ on the left-hand-side menu.

Back to the dashboard menu again, click ‘Settings’ to manage the notifications.

2. Enable notifications for ‘Customer Reviews’ and ‘Questions and Answers.’

Locate the section that enables notifications, and make sure the ‘Customer Reviews’ and ‘Questions and Answers’ are ticked.

Conclusion

And bam, you’re Google My Business listing is looking sharp! You’ve got all the relevant data there. However, it’s good practice to keep checking and updating to ensure it continues to be optimized.

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