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Follow These 4 Steps to Improve Your Google My Business SEO

by | Dec 10, 2021

Thousands of new businesses arrive online every day, which means that the challenge of standing out gets more formidable by the literal minute. As is the case with most things, there’s good news and bad news when it comes to this. The bad news: each of these businesses has countless avenues to grow their digital presence and smash the competition. The good news: your business has countless avenues to grow its digital presence and smash the competition 😉. One of the most fundamental–yet underused–tools you can leverage to help your business succeed is Google My Business. Google My Business SEO can help your business turn up higher in search results and bring in more customers. The best part? Unlike digital ads, it doesn’t cost you anything. Ready to learn about how to establish and optimize your Google My Business account? Let’s dive in.

First Things First: What is Google My Business SEO?

Google My Business (GMB) is basically a Google profile for your business. When audiences search for a business (or a keyword that’s related to it), companies with established and optimized GMB profiles are among the first results they see (pictured below).
Google My Business
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of using content to help your business turn up as high as possible in search results for terms that are related to your services. This is done through an active blog, location-specific landing pages, and strategically implementing keywords throughout your website that match audience search terms. For example, if you’re a pet groomer in Tampa Bay, some examples of good keywords to include in your blog posts and landing pages are “best dog grooming services in South Tampar” or “dog haircuts in Tampa.”

SEO is a complicated process, but it basically comes down to this: how good are you at implementing focused keywords into your website through landing pages and blog posts? How easy-to-read are your landing pages, and how good are they at keeping your viewers on your site?

Google My Business comes into the mix because the more fleshed-out your GMB profile is, the more it helps to boost your overall SEO. Let’s talk a little bit about how you can make sure your GMB profile is set up for success.

Leave No Stone Unturned (or Section Unfilled)

Whether you’re just now setting up your GMB account or going back to optimize it, remember that information is everything. Fill out every single section you can on your profile, and be as detailed and accurate as possible. Include the name of your business, info about the services you provide, your physical location, and–most importantly–include all of the ways that prospective customers can contact you. Your website, a direct line, and an email address should all be included in your GMB profile. Remember: GMB isn’t just a tool for SEO; it’s a huge resource your prospective customers can (and will) use to reach you.

Add Quality Images to Your Profile

Google My Business allows customers to upload photos they take of a business as part of their review (more on that later), but your profile itself should include photos that you’ve posted. As is the case on your website, it’s crucial to make sure that the photos on your GMB profile are well-lit, professionally shot, and beautifully edited. This isn’t just because professional photos “look” better; it’s because quality images are preferred by Google bots. Higher-quality images can actually impact your SEO, so it’s a great idea to invest in one or two professional sessions (or, better yet, to work with an agency who is always refreshing your arsenal of professional images for your website, GMB, and social media accounts).

Solicit Reviews

On your website, your email list, and even in person, ask your happy customers to leave you reviews. Reviews are a cornerstone of not just Google My Business, but of your digital presence in general. Customer reviews allow prospects to learn about your services without having to assume the risk of spending their own time or money to find out what they’re like. Not to be dramatic, but they can truly make or break a business.

This doesn’t mean that one bad review is the end of your entrepreneurial journey, but it does mean that it’s important to be proactive about soliciting honest feedback. Positive reviews will show future customers how great you are, and not-so-positive reviews will show you where you have room to improve. GMB displays customer reviews prominently, so always be sure to address any reviews that come in.

Engage with Your Customers

That brings us to our next point: respond to customers’ reviews and messages on your GMB profile. It’s a pretty solid rule of thumb that businesses respond to negative reviews, whether it’s to apologize for a mistake or clarify a misunderstanding. This is fantastic, and it absolutely should be done; it shows prospective customers that you’re attentive and committed to doing better. Be sure to respond to negative reviews in a professional, level-headed manner. Always validate the reviewer’s feelings and apologize for their dissatisfaction, then explain what happened and how you’ll do better. If any misinformation is shared in the review, apologize for the customer’s unpleasant experience first, then politely clarify with the current information (usually, opt to “correct” reviews only the information they share is objectively incorrect–i.e., they mistook you for a different company or got your hours of operation wrong).

With all of that said, negative feedback isn’t the only kind you should reply to on your GMB profile. Be sure to thank customers for their positive feedback, as well! Show them how much the time they took to leave a nice comment means to you. Engaging with all of your customers on GMB is a fantastic sign of above-and-beyond attentiveness, and it’s sure to impress audiences who are considering your services (plus, it’s great for SEO).

Google My Business SEO is a valuable tool you can leverage to stand out to prospects, bring in customers, and grow your business. Remain active on GMB, commit to high-quality images, and provide viewers with useful information. By completing these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a robust GMB profile. Of course, Google My Business is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO. To learn more about how to make the most of your SEO, definitely don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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