For most of the local searches e.g. “restaurant near me” or “doctor near me”, Google My Business listings (maps listing) show up higher in Google SERPs. Local searches are increasing year on year, at roughly 7%. How do you get the most out of your Google My Business Account? Here are few tips to follow:
1. Create GMB account using an official company ID
If you are creating a Google My Business account, use your company email ID e.g. email@example.com. This way it is easier for Google to verify your locations published through your account.
2. Make sure that there are no duplicate locations that exist
It might be the case that someone else has created a Google My Business listing for your location. In such a case, you can ask the current owner to make you the owner or to add you as a manager. You can also request for transfer of ownership to your listing. Once you have access to duplicate listings, make sure you delete incorrect listings and maintain the listing that has NAP (Name, Address, Phone) correctly entered.
3. Get all your locations verified
Ensuring that your Google My Business Listing is verified is an important step to take complete advantage of your listing. If your listing is not verified, you can apply for bulk verification of all listings or individually get a listing verified via a phone call or by receiving a postcard to your business location via snail mail.
4. Use the same name as your business name
Google suggests that you use the same name as your business name. According to Google’s My Business Guidelines “You should represent your business exactly as it appears in the offline world”. Moreover, Google also states that “you may include a single descriptor that helps customers locate your business or understand what business offers”. Avoid adding keywords to your business name. This is definitely considered as spam and Google won’t spare you for doing so.
5. Official address
It is imperative that your address is correct and accurate. Only include information that is a part of your official address. Do not add nearby landmarks, unless you can’t point the map marker to the exact location.
6. Use a local number
Make sure that you are using a local number on your local listing. It is not advised to use a 1 800 number or a toll-free number on your listing. In case you have a centralised call centre, you can avail services from Knowlarity or Exotel to generate unique numbers for every location and have them redirected to the board line or vice versa.
7. Select the primary category of the business
Use the correct categories for your business. It is also important that we select the primary category of the business wisely. For e.g. for a Health Centre check which keyword has more search volumes – Diagnostic Centre or Pathology Lab, and make that your primary category.
8. High resolution and good looking photos
Photos play an important role in how your business is represented in local search results. Make sure you have uploaded high resolution and good looking photos of your locations. This will increase the click through rate of people clicking on your listing and then visiting your website. You can hire a Google Trusted Photographer to take a 360 degree view of your store location.
9. Enter the most appropriate URL in you GMB listing
If your website has different pages for different locations or cities, link to the relevant page rather than linking to the homepage.