Google My Business, or GMB, is an essential part of your online presence and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in 2021. Your GMB profile is where you can manage in the Business Profile information box that pops up when you directly search your business in Google. It helps users to find your information easily and is a critical piece of the SEO puzzle, particularly for your local search and reputation management strategies. We’ve given you the step-by-step on how to claim and use your GMB page, so now that you’ve created your profile, what’s next?
You’ve taken the steps to verify your business on Google and finished filling out your profile, but you’re not done yet. Not by a long shot. Including photos in your profile is a proven way to improve your local ranking, in fact, profiles with photos receive 35% more clicks to their site.
Photos can be used to showcase your goods and services, to tell the story of your business, and to set yourself apart from your competition. The most important photo on your GMB page is your cover photo. This photo will be the largest and first photo users see. Businesses typically choose an image of the inside or outside of their business, so if you’re going that route make sure it’s something that stands out. Along with your cover photo, you should include any other relevant photos that highlight your business. And remember, the images must be 720 x 720 pixels and in a JPG or PNG file format.
Another great way to share news and information, promote your business, and communicate specials and offers is by posting to your GMB page. And, it’s free! Yes, that’s right. There is a free way to share information with your customers and prospects on Google. Much like posting to any other social media platform, you want to be sure to include a link to relevant content on your website, and don’t forget the photo. Here a few types of posts we recommended trying out:
- News updates and announcements
- Online and in-person events
- Special offers
- Product and service highlights
Once on your GMB page, you’ll find posts in the left tab. You can then select COVID-19 Update, Add Offer, Add Update, or Add Event. These are all useful tools, however, if you’re going for a regular post (similar to what you would post on Facebook, for example) you’ll want to select Add Update. This is where you can add your photos and videos, text, and the option to add a button (link) to another page.
Posts will be displayed in the same area as contact and location information in your GMB listing. Keep in mind that GMB posts do expire after 7 days, so you’ll want to build regular updates into your strategy. The only exception is event posts, which will remain live until the date of the scheduled event.
Still not sure what to post? Here are a few quick tips:
- Post weekly, it doesn’t look so good if you haven’t updated your posts in months,
- Use high quality photos and video for your posts, and never post without including one or the other.
- Keep it short. Google allows for 1500 words, but we recommend keeping it to a sentence or two.
- Keep it professional. This is for the entire internet (including your mother) to see.
Start Collecting Reviews
Last, but certainly not least, your GMB profile is where people can leave reviews for your business. And obviously, the more reviews, the better. But here’s a little insider secret for you: a 5-star rating is not actually desirable. Why? It doesn’t look authentic. The truth is, people leave bad reviews, and it’s the honesty of your reviews that will lead people to know, like, and trust you. So if you do get a less-than-desirable review or two, don’t panic. Our advice is to respond to reviews, both good and bad, in a polite manner. Address the issue head on and offer another form of communication, like an email, to discuss the problem in a less public forum. Other users will see your responsiveness and likely appreciate it. Want a little help with reputation management, or even setting up your GMB page? The DofM can help.