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  • Writer's pictureJerry Hall

Optimize Your Google Business Listing Without Breaking a Sweat

Google Business Listing -Chicago

Platforms like Google My Business are indispensable to consumers in the post-pandemic era. However, since COVID-19 will likely remain with us forever (as most viruses do), it's essential to zoom in on what businesses can do to stay competitive at a time when doing business is the toughest.

It's been estimated that up to 46% of consumers look for local businesses with search engines. So if you are a local business struggling to get leads or buyers from your city (and surrounding cities), you need to start working on your local SEO efforts. We refer specifically to optimizing your Google My Business profile, which is simple but still requires some tech know-how and strategy to get right.

What is the Google Reviews Link?

Businesses can send a link to their customers to ask for reviews. From the Business Profile dashboard on your PC or the mobile app, you may share your short URL with customers. Customers can post reviews and browse your business profile using your short URL.

Note: The short links previously generated with the PlaceID Lookup Tool or through search will still work. However, Google advises businesses to adopt short URLs for consumers.

How to generate a reviews link?

1. Log in to Business Profile Manager on your computer.

2. Open the profile you want to manage if you have more than one

3. Click Home in the left menu.

4. Copy the URL to share with clients or customers on the "Get more reviews" card.

How to generate a reviews link through the GMB app?

1. Open the GMB app on your mobile phone or tablet.

2. Open the GMB profile you wish to manage if you have more than one profile.

3. Tap on "Customers," followed by "Reviews.

4. Tap "Share" in the upper right corner.

5. Copy the resulting URL and share it away.

What Can You Do with a Google My Business Website?

Customers can now rate and evaluate your business through your Google My Business website. All the customer has to do next is click the short URL. Remember, however, that Google considers It's against Google's review regulations to ask customers for reviews through incentives or review stations at your location.

Customers can write reviews about your company or business at any time. Google reviews for businesses provide helpful information about all kinds of companies – including yours. You can quickly respond to these GMB reviews. Your feedback as a business can help you gain customer confidence.

However, not all customer reviews make it on GMB. Some reviews may be removed from the website for a variety of reasons. Missing reviews are typically the result of policy breaches, like inappropriate content or spam. Google does not allow reviews that have been removed due to policy breaches to be reinstated. These removal techniques ensure that reviews displayed on Google properties are helpful, relevant, and reliable.

After a reinstatement, reviews may be erased from a Business Profile. For example, if you specify a future opening date for a business that hasn't yet opened to the public, all reviews left before it does will be erased. In addition, you might notice that a particular review takes longer to display on a platform, such as Google Search or Google Maps.

After profiles are merged, this is a usual occurrence. Merge-related delays should be resolved within a few days. Customers using older devices and operating systems may experience difficulties leaving reviews. Unfortunately, customers must update their devices or operating systems to continue using certain Google apps like Google Maps.

Why Do You Need Google My Business Management?

Google My Business management makes it easier for businesses to engage with their customers, update them about promotions and changes in business hours, and receive positive feedback for significant interactions/experiences. But before you can manage all those great feedbacks, old and new customers must find your business first. Google regularly prioritizes GMB profiles over sites, so even if you already have a place, you need to make sure that your GMB profile is visible, accessible, and current.

Google My Business optimization ensures that even new businesses can be found on local search. However, if your GMP profile isn't professionally managed yet, there are some steps that you can take to improve its visibility.

1. Review Your Business' NAP

NAP is your business' name, address, and telephone number. In the age of email and endless Zoom meetings, many people are still interested in calling companies directly. Why? Because it's easy and they can get the information they need more quickly. Believe it or not, some folks find emailing a bit intimidating, and perhaps they feel a bit of a disconnect when sending an email to an address that appears to be a catch-all for a lot of messages.

You probably have the business name down pat, so be sure to check if the address is not just accurate but complete. A complete address allows people to navigate to your place of business quickly. People navigate using various apps – Siri, Google Assistant, Waze – there are many ways to identify a location on the map and drive there. In the age of the Internet of Things, small details like physical addresses aren't small – they're essential.

Why is there so much emphasis on NAP? 90% of customers say they're not likely to engage with businesses with inaccurate or deficient business listings. Since GMB profiles are bannered first on SERPs, don't expect customers to scroll down to find another site to source your NAP. Customers are going to click on the first result and be done with it.

2. Review your Business Description

Google is particular with businesses being neat and orderly with the way they conduct themselves online. You can see this in Google's specific guidelines on how companies should write their business description. For example, the business description field on GMB is 750 characters, and it's the heart of your GMB profile.

According to Google, the business description should focus on what you have to offer, what makes you unique, your background, or anything else that might be useful for customers to know. Instead of focusing on specifics about discounts, prices, or sales, concentrate on accurate information about your company. Do not add HTML code or URLs in the box. Do not exceed the limit of 750 characters.

Although it's vital to avoid stuffing your description with keywords to the point where it becomes meaningless, you should think about any relevant search terms your potential consumers might use. For instance, you could describe yourself as a 'family-friendly pizzeria with plant-based toppings in a casual setting.' If you're concerned about keyword stuffing, consider whether the description reads organically and would be valuable to a searcher.

There has been some debate about whether keywords in the GMB SEO description have an impact on results. It is currently considered that they have no effect. Regardless, it would help if you concentrated on delivering content that your potential consumers will find helpful.

Also, think about the tone you use in the business description because it's a terrific location to show off your brand's personality. While maintaining accuracy to your current brand identity, it's also a good idea to think about how you might differentiate yourself from competitors.

3. Select the Right Category

Choosing the proper primary category is one of the most critical components of GMB SEO. Only your primary type will appear on your company page, but subcategories will determine whether your listing is surfaced for local searches, so they're crucial as well.

Choosing a category may appear simple, but finding the appropriate one with many options might be difficult. Therefore, we recommend that you investigate the types that your competitors are currently using. We enjoy experimenting with new ideas and constantly encourage you to do so but be aware that changing your GMB category frequently can result in suspension from the platform. You have been warned!

4. Upload Lots of Photos

Google urges you to add photographs to your listing to assist searchers in learning more about your company. Uploading photos to your Google My Business account will not only make your business appear more dynamic and alive, but it will also increase the likelihood of searchers converting.

The images of a company can make or break a possible user action. Uploading new photos should be a weekly responsibility. Please make an effort to monitor these images as they appear on SERPs, too. You can (and should) encourage clients to snap and share pictures of your business in addition to adding your photos to your listing.

Encouraging clients or customers to take and share images of your business during their visit is the best method to acquire engaging new images that other customers would want to see.

Employees can also be rewarded for taking images of happy clients, which visitors may be inclined to post after their stay. Businesses with more than 100 photographs also receive 100% more calls than companies with fewer online photos.

5. Watch Those Reviews

Google My Business reviews are another high local ranking criteria. While having a profile takes number one position, the reviews reflected on your profile come in a close second. Experts agree that a well-maintained GMB profile can significantly impact the internet visibility of your business. In addition, customers will be able to evaluate you on Google My Business.

The review will be publicly open for all to see, so it's critical to take control of the current business narrative and actively develop, analyze, and reply to comments if you have one.

Of course, searchers seek out firms with high star ratings and favorable emotions in their reviews. So what's a superb strategy to ensure a high star rating? Give excellent client service! Make sure you're happy with your product or service, your team's customer service, and any other essential areas of your business that could affect the customer experience before you start asking for reviews.

Even the best business on the planet will get a few negative reviews — you can't satisfy everyone, after all. Still, it's crucial to be ready for your firm to be reviewed honestly, so you'll want to provide 10/10 service at every point of contact. Furthermore, to maintain a steady stream of reviews, you'll need to ask for these frequently from your clients and customers - you can't just expect them to flow in on their own (trust us, even the strongest brands can attest to this!)