Chances are that you’ve heard of Google My Business or maybe you’ve already started verifying your business locations on Google and don’t know what to do next or why it’s important for your business. Having a Google My Business (GMB) listing is important for SEO purposes and significantly helps your business rank on the Search Engine Results Page. Your business will be listed above organic and paid search listings, giving you a huge opportunity for visibility automatically just by having a GMB listing. Having that local listing helps people in the community find you, but can also provide more information about your business that may not be on the website. Take the time to set up your local listing if you haven’t already and make sure you’ve filled out all the information that you can.
Google My Business makes it very easy to see where exactly a business is, what their hours are, their service offerings or a menu (depending on the type of business), reviews of what other people thought of their experience there and more. Having this listing could make the difference between someone choosing your place of business and going with your competitor. It’s important to be present on the avenues that customers may be searching for you on and to have updated information listed as well.
Verifying and optimizing your GMB listing is an easy and free way to get customers to see your business online, physical location, your website, and other information. You can verify your location typically by a phone call from Google, a postcard that will be mailed to your office location, or your business phone number. If you have access to any of these, the verification process should be relatively painless.
Of course, the first thing to do after you’ve verified your location listing is to make sure the address is correct, including any suite, apartment, floor information. This address information should match what is also on your website to eliminate any confusion.
Be sure to add photos of your business including outside, parking availability, front entrance, seating area inside (if applicable), and patient rooms (where applicable). Show off any areas of your business that you, as a customer/patient would like to see. These photos should be clear and professional-looking. Remove any photos that are dark, blurry, or not showing off your business in a positive light. These business photos can be the deciding factor for some customers so always put your best foot forward. Photos can also be added by people who have gone to your location, so it’s best if you include some professional photos before anyone adds their own photos too.
The business hours are very important for any type of business. Always make sure the hours are up to date, including any possible holiday hours. Many people go right to Google Maps to find information on local businesses and the ones that don’t can find your GMB listings as the first item on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) when you search for your business. Keep your hours up to date to eliminate any confusion or frustration from your customers/patients.
Make sure there aren’t any duplicate listings for one location, as that can be confusing to your patients/customers. Google will also rank each location lower because it doesn’t know which one is the primary listing. Ensure you have control over the primary location listing and if there is an older outdated listing, you can report it to Google as a duplicate listing.
Encourage your customers to leave reviews about your business or your specific business location if their experience has been positive and be sure to respond to their review whether it’s positive or negative. Make sure each response that you comment is a little different so people don’t notice that you’re copying and pasting for each review. They’re taking the time to give you a glowing (or not so glowing) review, you need to take the time to say thank you or see how you can help improve their experience next time.
Why is this important? Once your listing(s) are set up, there is little work to be done afterward. Always check the email inbox that’s associated with this listing, as it will let you know when your business receives a new review (which you will want to respond to), if anyone submits or suggests edits to your listing, if there is an upcoming holiday where you may need to update your hours. However, once your information is updated and accurate, monitoring emails and reviews are the primary reason you’d have to do anything with your GMB listing. Continue to encourage customers to leave reviews and always keep the listed information up to date.
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