Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool used by businesses to improve their online presence.  Because of this, GMB optimization has become an essential tool that many businesses use to show up on Google maps and Google’s local search results page. A critical tool for continued growth and success is achieving visibility online. There are some golden rules you need to follow for the most efficient GMB optimization. Here are some GMB best practices to help drive organic traffic with an online presence and local search results.

Claim Your Google My Business Listing

If you have been open for business for some time and never bothered about your GMB listing, you need to. GMB is a free tool you should leverage to improve your SEO and rank on the search engine results page (SERP).  Claiming the listing also allows you to control what is said about your business. You can also use it to engage with clients. GMB gives businesses a free one-page site to write anything you want clients and site visitors to know about your company.

Classify Business with Right Category

Google’s search algorithm uses many parameters to display search results. Correct categorization of your business is important.  These categories help the algorithm decide where on the local search results your business should fall. Selecting the wrong category means that your page won’t show up in the relevant search results to boost client engagement and conversions.  GMB has a list of categories you can choose from. Being specific counts—you cannot create your own categories. On the off chance that your category does not exist, go for the closest that represents your business. After which, you should follow up regularly to see if your category has was updated.

Create Relevant Content for Google Posts Section

GMB has a google posts section that you can use to engage customers, which directly impacts your rankings in the SERP and local search results. A more engaging, active business will rank higher than those that respond slowly or have little activity on their Google Posts page.  Use the posts section to update clients with announcements, blog articles, promotions, upcoming events, and even holiday greetings.  Your content has to be meaningful as quality is important. Avoid posting content that is merely written for the sake of it and is full of fluff.

Use a Local Address & Contact Detail

GMB Optimization relies heavily on the consistency of information. Even if yours is a branch of an existing business, consider localizing the details to be ranked highly in local search results. A local area code on the contact matters, a zip on the address counts, and generally anything foreign gives the advantage to the others. 

Pay Attention to GMB Q&A Section

The GMB Q&A section is there to drive interaction between customers and businesses. Customers will typically ask questions and give feedback on the business. You are allowed to comment and respond to them. This facilitates direct interaction with clients. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor this section. You should not only respond to clients promptly but also leverage this as a PR tool to curb misinformation or things that are potentially damaging to your brand image.

Collect Google Reviews

Your GMB site allows clients to post reviews.  It is very influential too, and a business with excellent and conclusive reviews will have a better image.  Customers can trust it. It also tends to create more client engagement and better brand visibility to potential clients.  The flip side is that the reviews and GMB optimization influence SERP ranking and click-through rates.  It is common for clients to dig into the reviews section before approaching a business, so treat it carefully.

You can never go wrong with Google My Business. And while the above tips may not cover every single ranking factor, they should place you in a better position to rank higher on Google. Ultimately, your GMB goals should focus on one thing – getting your GMB profile to represent your business as accurately as possible. Don’t forget to keep working to maintain your profile. 

About the Author Hackworth Marketing

Hackworth Marketing partners with businesses and organizations through the United States to provide effective, creative and profitable digital marketing solutions.

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