Updated: Jul 18
If you're a small business owner, your hometown is your greatest asset. Whether you are a social butterfly or more reserved, you have a home field advantage, a network you can tap into that will help to increase your organic traffic and increase your discoverability for your business. That is where local SEO comes into play, and the easiest place to start is at the beginning: Google My Business.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is an easy tool that can help you build a structured, optimized Business Profile for Google. A Google Business Profile is essentially an online business listing, which allows Google to add your business to its directory, so when a prospective local customer searches for your business or within an adjacent category, your business will come up in the list that Google presents.
How to Use Google My Business For Local Marketing
Before we get started, you’ll need to create or claim your Business Profile on Google. Depending on your business type, you can find Google’s guide for setting up your Business Profile here.
Now that you have claimed your listing, it's time to optimize your business profile. Add compelling and relevant content that accurately represents your business. Pay special attention to the following areas:
Business Description: Craft a concise and engaging description of your business, highlighting its unique selling points and services.
Photos and Videos: Upload high-quality images that showcase your products, services, premises, or team members. Videos can also be added to give potential customers a more immersive experience.
Business Hours: Specify your business hours accurately to ensure customers know when you're open for business.
Contact Information: Double-check that your contact details are correct, including your phone number, email address, and website URL.
Attributes: Take advantage of the attributes section to provide additional details about your business, such as accessibility options, amenities, or accepted payment methods.
Manage and Respond to Reviews
Customer reviews play a pivotal role in shaping your online reputation. Actively monitor and respond to reviews to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. Engage with both positive and negative reviews promptly, thanking customers for their positive feedback and addressing any concerns or issues raised in negative reviews. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews, as they contribute to building trust and credibility for your business.
Utilize Google Posts and Q&A
Google Posts is a feature that allows you to create short updates or promotions about your business. Take advantage of this tool to share offers, events, product launches, or any other relevant information. Additionally, regularly check the Questions & Answers section to respond to customer queries promptly. This engagement can help build trust and establish you as an authority in your industry.
Track Performance and Insights
Google My Business provides valuable insights and analytics about how customers interact with your listing. Keep track of important metrics such as the number of views, clicks, and requests for directions. This data can help you understand your customers better and make informed decisions to optimize your GMB strategy.
Google My Business is a powerful tool that can help local businesses attract more customers and establish a strong online presence. As a small business owner, if you invest time and effort into maintaining an active presence on Google My Business, you'll reap the rewards of increased visibility and enhanced customer engagement in the long run. Learn more about how Castle Interactive can help you improve your business’s local presence through SEO and SEM by requesting a Free SEO Audit and Analysis.