Local SEO: Claim and Perfect Your GMB [Google My Business] Profile in 12 Simple Steps
Have you ever tried searching for a local service in your area, only to find a few local listings with barely any information on them? Where are their contact details? Do they have onsite parking? Are they even open?!
There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing what you need, but lacking the info required to justify the journey. After all, you wouldn’t want to travel to the other side of the city only to find that a business is closed – or indeed doesn’t have what you need in stock.
This is what happens when local businesses either fail to claim and utilize their GMB (Google My Business) profile properly, or simply don’t bother populating it with the appropriate info.
In this article, we’re going to show you how to avoid these costly mistakes and ensure that all of the potential customers in your area who are actively searching for the products/services you offer get the info they need – and thus are more likely to spend their money with you.
Read on if you’d like to claim and perfect your GMB profile.
What is Google My Business and Why is It So Valuable?
You can consider GMB as another free service provided by Google to help your business profile with the amount of information you want to update with it.
Google My Business is another helpful tool to rank your business profile up on the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) so that your venture can get a chance to get the highly dynamic attention of the user. Your business’ page ranking will be directly affected by the amount of information you will put in your profile. for example NAP details, content with high volume keywords and zero AI, product description, and listing. These elements will directly affect your page growth.
But why is it so important? Because:
- 76% of consumers who conduct a “near me” search on their mobile device visit within the next 24 hours.
- And 28% of those visitors spend their money.
Now, let’s move on and guide you through claiming and perfecting your GMB profile so you can start capitalizing on all that local traffic!
Claim Your GMB Profile
Just because your business occasionally shows up in local listings, it doesn’t mean the profile belongs to you. Unless you actively set it up yourself, you’ll need to claim it as your own. That way, you can start fleshing it out, optimizing it appropriately, and adding the relevant information.
Here’s how to claim your GMB according to Google:
- To find the Business Profile you want to request ownership of, use either of these methods:
- Go to business.google.com/add.
- Enter the name and address of the business, then choose it from the search results.
- Find your business on Google Search or Google Maps.
- Under the Business Profile, click Claim this business.
- Go to business.google.com/add.
- Click Continue.
- You’ll get a message that says someone else verified the profile. If you’re authorized to manage the profile, you can request ownership from the current profile owner.
- Click Request Access and fill out the form.
- Click Submit.
Here’s How to Perfect Your GMB Profile in 12 Simple Steps
Now that you’ve successfully claimed your GMB profile, it’s time to perfect it! Let’s get it looking nice and shiny and likely to not only show up in as many local listings as possible but have the highest possible chance of converting into business!
Complete Every Section
The first step is to fill out and complete every section (where applicable). Be meticulous in this process and offer as much information as you can – without going overboard.
In as little or as much as is necessary.
The best way to think about it is: What do you want from a GMB listing? When have you found yourself most frustrated by a lack of info and what was it? Fill your profile out with this in mind.
Add Your Contact Information (with Precision)
Next, add all of your NAP details (Name, Address, Phone Number), but be precise in the process. In other words:
- Make sure your business name is identical to your physical store signage and website.
- Ensure that your NAP citations are consistent across the web (double-check your website, social media platforms, and local directories).
- Clearly indicate regular and holiday hours so people know exactly when they can and cannot reach you.
Write an Awesome “from the Business” Pitch
You have up to 750 characters (circa 100-200 words) to describe your business. Think of this as your elevator pitch:
- Make sure you get your critical business information and chosen keywords into the first 250 characters.
- Make it unique (don’t pinch from your website or other sections of your GMB).
- Don’t include any links.
- Be concise: cut the fat.
Choose Your Categories
Now it’s time to categorize your business. You need to define your primary category (e.g., Restaurant), and then get more specific with secondary categories (e.g., Vegan / Fine dining).
Remember, be concise but keep it simple. And don’t confuse categories with attributes.
Select the Relevant Attributes
Next, you’ll be presented with a list of attributes that you can choose from. These will be things like: ‘child-friendly’, ‘wheelchair access’, ‘free Wi-Fi’, ‘delivery’, and so on.
Tick off every relevant attribute and offer as much information as possible.
It’s also important to provide as much visual information as you can and you can do this by way of uploading high-quality photos and videos.
- High-res only.
- Upload photos as consistently as you can (i.e., once daily – or at least once a week).
- Take photos of your happy customers, your employees in action, and your premises looking clean and tidy.
- Avoid stock photos. Be unique.
Also, use your logo for your thumbnail image and some beautiful branded imagery for your cover photo.
Encourage and Respond to Reviews
Get in the habit of asking every satisfied customer to kindly leave some feedback on your Google profile. Many will forget, and some will oblige.
You can make this easier by adding a shortcut link to your business card or menu, etc.
Make sure that you respond to every review that you receive (even the negative). Make each response unique and thank people for taking the time to leave their feedback.
Add Regular Posts on Your GMB Profile
Treat GMB like any other social media platform and post regularly with all manner of offers, announcements, events, and product/service updates. Doing so not only adds value to any potential customers who visit your page, but it also sends relevant signals to Google.
Be active, and add value.
Ask and Answer Common Questions
There’s an awesome Q&A feature on every GMB profile which gives you the perfect opportunity to answer all of the most frequently asked questions regarding your business.
Rather than wait for people to ask, make a list of FAQs and add them to your GMB profile. Pre-empt your customers’ needs and give them all the information they need in one single place.
Add Your Products and Services
Don’t forget to add all of the appropriate products and services to your GMB profile. Treat these as unique listings from those on your website and create fresh content. Upload imagery to each, keep it short and concise, and add hyperlinks to the relevant pages on your website.
Establish Direct Messaging
Give your prospective customers the option to message you directly via your GMB profile. Don’t forget to set up alerts and respond to all of your messages as promptly as possible.
Keep It Up!
Now you might have understood that in order to get the optimum results from your business profile, you need to manage your Google My Business profile just like you maintain your WordPress website.
Follow these basic tips to make it easier:
- Upload images and graphics regularly
- Create posts for your announcements or offers
- Keep a proper track of public reviews
we understand that it can get a bit hectic and frustrating to get so much involved in it, but do not give up and stay consistent on your GMB profile. You need to keep your undivided attention on the page to keep it more and more interactive and responsive.
You can also go for a third-party SEO Agency that can serve you well with the purpose. Your outsourcing is the core business function for their enterprise so you do not need to worry about their performance.