We did an article a while back about how to optimise your Google My Business listing like a pro. Aside from claiming your GMB listing and adding the basic information (name, address, phone number, category and website), you also have to do more work on the other elements – all of which we will explain in a bit. Before we jump into what these elements are and how to optimise them, let’s take a look at various data to help you better understand why you need to optimise your Google My Business listing.
- The average business with a GMB listing pops up in around 1,000 searches. That’s around 34 search results a day for 30 days.
- 84% of searches are discovery – meaning these results appear when someone looks for a product or service near them instead of looking for the brand directly.
- A whopping 75% of GMB listings are found through search, while 25% are found through Google Maps.
What’s the one thing that all these data have in common? It’s that they’re optimised GMB listings. That’s the beauty of having a listing with complete information that regularly publishes posts announcing updates and offers. With a fully optimised GMB listing, your customers are guaranteed to come to your store in droves. Beyond the NAP, categories and business description, you’ll need to optimise your Google My Business listing like a pro to make it really work for you. Here are the elements you can take advantage of when you want to get good results from this free tool.
1. Additional categories
Google My Business requires listings to display a primary category to describe their business and connects you to customers looking for products or services you provide. This helps Google index you faster and make it easier for you to appear on searches. For example, if your business serves sushi, you can use ‘Japanese restaurant’ as your primary category. Then you can more categories such as sushi restaurant, conveyor belt sushi restaurant or authentic Japanese restaurant. If you think that your business needs more than two or three categories, don’t worry. You can have 9 additional categories in your listing.
2. Profile Short Name
Also called custom names, profile short names are GMB handles that will be associated with your listing. You can use your business name and location (city, neighbourhood, state or country) to use as your short name – for example, @digitalmaassydney – as long as it’s easy to remember and even easier to promote.
3. Website & Appointment URLs with UTM
First, let’s talk about UTM parameters. Urchin Tracking Modules, or commonly known nowadays as UTM parameters, are tags you add at the end of each your links for marketing or advertising campaigns. It looks like this:
When someone clicks your link with UTM parameters, those tags go back to your Google Analytics for tracking. So why is this important? And why should you put this on your links on your GMB listing? According to Hootsuite, aside from tracking where your target audience comes from, UTM parameters serve as a way to check which campaigns work and which ones need more improvement. You basically get data to improve your business decisions and set up more realistic goals for future campaigns. This is especially beneficial for your Google My Business listing as this campaign is free and flexible, unlike other paid campaigns that require you to do additional A/B testing that could delay you from getting more positive results.
4. Additional Service Options
One of the basic information you need to put in your GMB listing is your primary category. Once you have that, you’ll be able to put more services under that category. Let’s go back to that sushi restaurant example in our first point. Since their primary category is ‘Japanese restaurant,’ you can add a list of other services like catering for special occasions. You can include a price and more details about that specific service (i.e. what kinds of sushi are included in your catering package). If your service is not included in the list for your business, you can create that service yourself. This is not to be confused with additional attributes which include takeaway, payment options and wheelchair accessibility.
5. Business Photos
Photos are a big deal. Really. Did you know that listings with photos get 35% more click-throughs to their websites? And that’s in 2018! Be sure to add crisp and clear photos that have minimal editing and filters. You’d want to show your customers how your storefront really looks like so that when they decide to visit you, they know that it’s your store they’re entering or your bed and breakfast they’re checking into. While you have several types of photos to add on your GMB listing, these three images are top priority additions so upload them once your listing gets verified.
- Logo – the one photo that all customers will recognize as your brand.
- Cover Photo – an image that best represents your business. It can be your products our services, your storefront or whatever you believe makes your business stand out from your competitors.
- Additional Photos – from exterior photos to funny shots with your office mates, you can upload other images that bring out the soul of your business and highlight your own products or services.
A fully optimised Google My Business listing gets you far and attracts the right customers. It may look like a lot of work but once those customers come right through your door because they saw your listing in their search results, you know all of that uploading and updating has paid off. Another way to make sure your GMB listing is working well and giving you the right results is to to get one central dashboard to view your information, access important data to make the right business decisions, publish posts and respond to reviews and questions. The DigitalMaas Platform does exactly that – and more. Sign up now and turn your GMB listing into an unstoppable marketing tool.