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Google My Business is powerful. #understatment

I work with local business owners whose entire business is generated from their Google My Business profile. They don’t even have a website.

Having a website is a must, but that just shows that getting your Google My Business optimized will give you a huge competitive advantage over your competitors.

How will Google My Business Help my Local SEO?

Let’s first start with what is Google My Business. It’s a free listing service from Google.

When someone does a local search from their desktop or phone on your company name or a service in your area Google will deliver results on Google search and maps based on many factors. I group these factors into three buckets.

  • Relevancy – How close is the user to your business location?
  • Reputation – Customer reviews. Period.
  • Results – Are customers clicking, and clicking through, to your business?

Before I get into the optimization tips lets talk about the basics. You must:

  • Make your business has a listing on Google My Business.
  • Verify your business listing.

5 Actionable Tips to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing in 2018

1. Make sure you Google My Business is complete and accurate.

Businesses change names, change business addresses, business phone numbers, even business categories. Sometimes these changes don’t get populated throughout the internet.

Google wants to see accurate data throughout the internet about your business. From your Yelp listing to your Facebook page, you want complete and accurate date.

Good:

Website 1: Company Name
Website 2: Company Name
Website 3: Company Name

Bad:

Website 1: Company Name
Website 2: Company Name, LLC
Website 3: Company Name LLC

Subtle, but different names.

If you’d like us to do a quick audit on your business listings let us know here.

2. Update information on a monthly basis.

We have a checklist we send we clients each month to manage their Google My Business. Here’s what we have them do.

  • Add two new photos
  • Add any new events (more on this later)
  • Add any new posts (more on this later)
  • Request reviews (more on this later)
  • Respond to reviews

Google rewards consistent posting. Make sure you are adding these new items each month.

3. Create a Google Post on your Google My Business

We’ve gotten 1,000s of free views (and traffic) by adding posts and events to our Google My Business listing.

What should I post?

Good question, we recommend answer the questions your customers ask.

90% of Google searches are questions looking for answers. Be the answer that shows up when your customer asks it.

If I were a coffee shop I’d have posts like:

Where to find good locally roasted coffee beans?
What are some of the best seasonal drinks?
Which coffee is the strongest and why?
Which coffee has the most caffeine?
How to make an incredible latte at home?

Our goal is to establish your business as the expert in this category.

Tools:
I recommend a couple tools for this:
KWFinder: Free – see what search terms are being used in your area
AnswerThePublic: Free – see what questions are being asked by users. Who, what, when, where, why, how.

4. Create a Google Event on your Google My Business

People turn to the internet when they’re looking for something to do. Highlight events that your business is putting on.

And not just big events, but …

  • Holiday sales
    • Include a coupon in your post. This helps get people to come to your business and also track the effectiveness of your Google My Business efforts.
  • Meetups that gather at your location.
    • Meetup.com is a great place to find new customers for your business. Reach out to the Meetup organizer and offer to host their event.

5. Get Reviews

Google rewards recency of reviews. With a recent change to Google’s terms of service you can no longer review gate (sending good reviews to Google and bad reviews to a contact form).

We recommend a review funnel. This is a simple website that makes it easy for a user to review your business.

We usually put this up at yourcomapny.com/reviews. It’s an easy way to tell people how and where to review your business.

Google indexes reviews so we want reviews to contain keywords our users are searching for. Here’s a simple email script to send to potential reviews. Feel free to copy and paste this.

Hi –

I’d like to ask you a favor, Dave. Would you mind taking a few minutes to write a review for me, please? Your comments help others know what to expect when they’re looking for the service we offer.

Please be as detailed and descriptive as possible. If I helped you find land, sell your home fast, get the most for your home. That really helps when others are searching for a specific need in a realtor.

You can add your review at http://ronparkerworks.com/reviews

Thanks for doing this, it means a lot to me.

– Ron

These optimizations will help your Google My Business rank well. But, we want to measure our efforts.

What we recommend is creating a business dashboard that measures our efforts. In particular, I want to look at:

  • Google My Business
  • Searches
  • Actions
  • Phone Calls
  • Website Visits
  • Directions

If you follow these optimization tips you’ll do well. 

Need some help with this?