If you have a small marketing budget, the good news is that there are still lots of ways you can improve your presence in the search engine rankings.
One of the easiest things you can do is sign up for a ‘Google My Business’ profile.
Having a well-optimised Google My Business (or GMB) profile increases the visibility of your business and can introduce your products and services to new audiences.
Let’s take a look at what Google My Business is, and some top tips for optimising your profile.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a tool that lets you create a profile for your business on Google search. If you have multiple locations, you can create an individual profile for each one under the same account.
When you create a profile for Google My Business, your business receives an additional search presence in the following ways:
- If people search for your business name, your business profile appears on the right-hand side of Google search (on desktop) and the top of the search results (on mobile)
- Your business is more likely to appear in the local results. This is the map at the top of the search results detailing all the nearby businesses that fit the specified search terms
- Your business will receive additional functionality in Google Maps. If people click on your location, they will be able to view extra information about your company
Google My Business lets you add the following information to your profile
- A link to your website or online booking system
- Photos, logos and videos
- Information about the products and services you provide
- Keywords that will help with your local SEO
- Posts, special offers and service updates
- Opening times
- A button where customers can send you direct messages, or request a quote/booking
- You can also respond to any reviews that customers provide
If you don’t have a company website, you can also use Google My Business to create one. Google will use the details you have provided to pre-populate the site, making building it incredibly easy.
The best thing about Google My Business? It’s completely free!
How to create your Google My Business profile
As you can see, creating a Google My Business Profile is a fantastic way to boost your presence in Google Search. Here’s how to set one up.
The first step is to visit Google My Business and register your profile. You will need a Google account to use this service.
You will then need to claim and verify your business. To do this, type in your business name and Google will let you know if the company can be claimed. If it can be, you will need to prove that your contact details match. Google will do this by either calling the phone number or sending a postcard to the address linked to the business.
When your details are verified, you’re ready to update your details!
Top tips for optimising your Google My Business profile
It’s important to make sure your Google My Business profile stands out against your competitors. Here are some of our top tips for ensuring your profile looks great and gives customers the vital information they need.
Fill in as much information as possible
The more information you can complete on your profile, the better. This gives Google the knowledge it needs to show your profile to the right customers.
As a bare minimum, put in the keywords that best describe your business, as well as your contact details and opening hours. This means customers will be able to find you and get in touch.
Set up Bing Places for Business at the same time
Did you know Bing has an equivalent tool to Google My Business? If you already have a Google My Business profile, you can automatically port it over to Bing Places for Business, increasing your presence across multiple search engines.
Download the app
There is a Google My Business app available. You don’t have to download it, but it’s definitely something we recommend. The app means you can update your details if you’re away from your computer.
With the app, you can also quickly respond to direct messages from customers. Google may remove the direct messaging functionality from your account if you don’t respond to customers within 24 hours. This means the app lets you provide excellent customer service, wherever you are.
Get reviews to build trust
Any reviews your business gets will be displayed prominently on your Google My Business profile. 64% of people will read reviews on Google before checking out a business, so it’s important to make sure you have lots of positive feedback.
Get in touch with your customers and ask them to comment on the products and services they have received.
Google My Business lets you respond to reviews too. Take the opportunity to say thank you for a glowing review or put forward your side of the story if you receive a low score.
Stay as up to date as possible
Like all SEO practices, regularly updating your content shows Google that your business is active, giving you the edge over your competitors.
By updating your profile with photos, articles and reviews, you’re showing Google that your business is trustworthy and the information you’re providing is accurate.