Every small business should have a Google My Business Page. A while back, we talked about how important it is for every business to register on Google My Business – it’s a free and a simple way to drive traffic to your business and your website and it is now being used as a social media platform. What? Yep!
Now that you’re hopefully all set up, it’s time to optimize your Google My Business page. While doing the basic set-up gets you a step in the right direction, there are ways to leverage Google My Business to boost your SEO. Google My Business optimization signals account for 25.12% of the Local Pack ranking factors, according to Moz’s 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors Study.
So, how do you optimize your Google My Business page? We talked to SEO consultant, Trevor Tynes who shared the following tips with us:
1. Choose the correct category for your business
Trevor says that it’s important that you choose the correct category for your business – don’t just click any random thing that sounds “about right”. Look at your top-ranking competitors and see what categories they’re using. You will want to use the same ones so that when consumers search for something, you are hitting the same search lists as your competitors.
2. Use target keywords & location in your business name
If it’s time for a rebrand, what might be useful is using this time to rebrand your company to include your target keywords and location, according to Trevor. This way, you can have them in your Google My Business title so your SEO is rock solid and you’re still compliant with Google’s guidelines. Ex. Instead of Woof Walkers your company name could be rebranded to 4Paws Dog Walkers Toronto.
3. Complete your Google My Business Profile 100%
Trevor says that one of the most crucial things you should do is make sure your Google My Business profile is completed 100% for maximum optimization.
Here’s what you should include:
Name, Address, Phone Number and Website (NAP+W) that matches your website and citations
Your Services and Products
Service Areas for Service Area Businesses (SABs),
Accurate hours of operation
Amazing & Optimized Photos and Videos of:
the outside of the building
the inside of your facilities
and products / services
Trevor’s pro tip: Optimized means name your videos and photos so they include your keywords and locations along with your brand name. Save the files named as the keywords and locations before you upload them so Google can read them properly.
If you don’t have nice images, invest in getting a photographer to come and take some. The investment of having nice images will go an extremely long way, so don’t skimp on the cost! It’s well worth it.
As well, you can encourage visitors to take pictures and videos while at your location and upload them to your Google My Business profile. You can use promotions such as “Upload a picture of your brunch and receive 10% off” or have a contest promotion.
4. Use Posts regularly
Google My Business now allows Posts, so add in making Posts to your regular marketing strategy and have your social media manager (or whoever is managing your social) to add Posts to the list. Trevor recommends using posts to make announcements, promote blogs, offers, events, products and services.
5. Enable Messaging
“Enable Messaging so that you can reduce the friction of potential clients reaching out to you,” says Trevor. “Nearly 90% of people would prefer to reach out to a business via messaging and less than 50% of business are equipped to do so, according to Twilio. This sets potentially sets you about half of your competition.”
If you are going to enable messaging, make sure that you have a dedicated resource answering any messages that come through. Speedy replies make for a great customer experience!
6. Encourage Google Reviews
Google Reviews are growing in popularity and many consumers rely on them to make their decisions on what businesses to choose. Reviews also help you rank on Google Search.
Trevor suggests encouraging customers or clients to provide honest feedback, and you can make it easier for them by providing a questionnaire to follow in order to guide them in using your target product and services keywords in their review. Much like SEO tactics, the keywords customers write in their review help you rank. A review that says “Best cleaning service ever” will help you more than “best service!”.
Trevor’s pro tip: Check out Darren Shaw of Whitespark’s post Local Search Hacks for some great examples.
From Google My Business to your Website
Your Google My Business optimization only works as good as your entire website optimization strategy does. You want to ensure that your landing page and your web page that your Google My Business profile is directly linked to contains your target keywords, says Trevor. Especially, you want to ensure your Page Title, H-tags, content, and media files ALL have your keywords in it.
Lastly, Trevor says you will want to grow your landing page authority through link outreach from locally and industry-relevant websites. This is a bit more complicated that optimizing your Google My Business Page, so you might want to talk to a pro. A good link outreach strategy can really help your overall SEO. At the very least, Trevor recommends having your targeted keywords included in the anchor text of your site.
With all of these small but mighty things in place, you should notice an increase in leads and web traffic in no time.
Let us know how it goes!