Nearly all consumers (97%) use the internet to find local businesses.
This is a big deal, considering that online visibility is crucial to how your business will survive.
Through Google My Business (GMB), consumers can find local businesses almost instantly and receive vital information before visiting.
Just check out what happens when we type in the keyword, “barbershop” into Google’s search bar.
These are standing GMB listings for local businesses.
The more you optimize these listings the better.
For example, take a look at the second listing in the previous snapshot, “Napoleons Barber Shop”.
Unlike their competitors, do you see how they have a scheduling feature in their listing?
This reduces friction and allows potential clientele to book them without calling them or visiting them.
They can simply set an appointment from the listing and wait for their turn.
Small tweaks like this can make or break a GMB listing.
With that said, we’re going to go over some ways you can optimize your listing to achieve more exposure.
Complete All Information in Your Listing
Studies have proved that a complete GMB listing is 70% more likely to secure a transaction.
Unfortunately, many business leaders will only fill out their business name, address, and phone number and leave all other fields empty.
One of the most important fields that users leave out is the business description.
Ideally, you should fill this out to inform potential customers of what your business is about.
For example, if you’re looking for some places to eat at, would you really know the type of food a restaurant named “Monkey Bar” served?
Like most people, you wouldn’t.
This is why they included a business description detailing their atmosphere and the food they serve.
The “Reserve a Table” feature sits comfortably above the business description.
This makes it convenient for a potential customer to say, “That sounds good. I want to reserve a spot.”
Subtle features like can make all the difference in how successful your listing is online.
Choose Relevant Business Categories
Another field that users leave unfilled is the business category.
Filling out this field is great not only to assist potential customers with identifying your business, but it also helps Google distinguish your business from others.
This is why it’s best to fill out both primary and secondary categories.
Do you see how many categories this business has listed?
This will help them show up for a wide variety of different searches.
For example, people commonly refer to digital marketing agencies as both “marketing” and “internet marketing” agencies.
By including both categories, you can reach more potential customers based on the types of terms they use to find similar businesses.
Include Images and Videos
Images and videos are absolutely important for any GMB listing.
This is because local business listings that contain both are more likely to be interacted with and receive 35% more clicks.
Also, think of it like this.
If someone is trying to you online, they likely don’t know what your business is or what it looks like.
You don’t want a potential customer getting into a car wreck trying to stare at their phone and find out exactly where you are.
This is why images like this are extremely helpful.
In the bottom left corner, you can also see an interior photo.
With this being a hotel listing, that’s all the more important to convince potential customers to book a room.
Though, not all images are accepted or will fit your listing properly.
When adding an image, be sure to follow these guidelines:
- Upload images either in a JPG or PNG format.
- Keep the image size within 10KB to 5MB.
- Use focused, well-lit, and high-quality pictures without excessive edits and filters.
- Maintain a resolution of 720×720 pixels.
Also, make sure you are uploading images regularly.
This helps to increase user engagement and drive your ranking upward.
When you upload any image, make sure that it’s carefully optimized.
Don’t forget to add information such as titles, alt text, geotagging, and captions.
Google doesn’t have eyes and can’t see images.
It will rely on this information to process your images accordingly.
As for videos, make sure you keep them under 30 seconds.
This will allow your audience to see what the inside of your business or daily operations are like.
Obtain Reviews and Respond
Online reviews are crucial to the success of any local business.
82% of consumers claim that they “always” read online reviews.
Even if your listing sits atop the Map Pack, consumers will likely click on your competitor’s listing if they have more reviews and a better star rating.
Data tells us this, as 47% of consumers wouldn’t even consider working with a business that has less than four stars on Google.
The rule of thumb here is to achieve quality over quantity.
You can convince customers who visited your business to leave a review and offer incentives for those that do.
This will help you receive quality reviews in quantity.
Also, if you get a negative review, first suck it up.
It happens quite a lot.
Among the people who read online reviews, 97% of them read responses to them.
Your audience is watching you, and responding to reviews gives you the opportunity to hold yourself accountable.
Improve Your GMB Listing Today!
If we’re being honest, your GMB listing is a bit more important than your website.
That’s because it’s the first thing your potential customers will see.
If your listing sucks, then all of your other marketing activities will be in vain.
That’s because your audience won’t even make it to your website.
For this reason, you should focus heavily on improving your listing to reach more customers.
If you don’t, then you’ll just be sending your audience straight to your competitors.
Do you want to learn more about Optuno's full-service internet marketing services for local businesses?To speak to a member of our dedicated sales team, give us a call today at 1-888-678-8662 or click here to schedule a free consultation.