Google My Business: Optimising your Listing for 2021

by Alex Stephens

Your Google My Business eCommerce listing is a powerful way to gain targeted visibility in Google search results and is often an area of marketing which is forgotten about. Your business listing is an opportunity to highlight your business USPs, services, updates, contact details, location and much more. The best part is, it’s completely free!

In this article, experts from iocea internet marketing Lincoln will talk you through how to optimise your Google business listing to achieve every success in Google search results.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free and simple tool for businesses to manage their online presence on Google including Search and Maps. By optimising your listing, you can help customers find your business and highlight your USPs, encouraging them to visit your shop, website or get in touch. Not only does an optimised listing help customers easily find you, but it also improves your local SEO.

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What is local SEO?

Local SEO means optimising your online presence to gain more business from relevant local searches. For example, searching for the term ‘eCommerce Lincoln’, you can see several results brought back including our own website.

Some search terms bring back two sets of search results, the “Google 3 Pack” and organic results. The “Google 3 Pack” is displayed on the first results page and includes the top 3 local business listings most relevant to your search query. It is worth noting that the “Google 3 Pack” may not be displayed for every search query. As an example of map results showing at the top of Google search results, searching for ‘bakery Lincoln’, we can see a list of bakeries in Lincoln, closely followed by bakery websites in Lincoln.

It is important to optimise both your website and Google My Business listing to gain relevant traffic for those looking for a product/service in a specific location.

So, now you’ve got to grips with the basics including what Google My Business and local SEO are all about, we’re going to run through how to optimise your listing to achieve increased visibility in Google search results, as a result converting more customers.

1. Set up your Google My Business account

This step is probably the simplest of the steps! You can create your Google My Business account here:

2. Complete every section of your listing

It is important that every section of your listing is filled in so that Google can rank you higher in local search results. It will also help to increase the number of actions customers take relating to your business, for example calling, emailing, reading your latest updates, or visiting your business website.

The basic sections include:

  • Business name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • Opening hours

Other sections which require a little more detail:

  • Products and services
  • Business description
  • Categories and attributes
  • Q&As

We recommend regularly updating the following sections:

  • Posts
  • Questions and answers
  • Responding to customer reviews

3. Complete your "from the business" description

This section appears below the reviews section of your listing and is your opportunity to tell your business story and highlight your USPs. It is also a great opportunity to include all your target keywords which are relevant to your business.

To optimise your business description, we’d recommend including user-friendly keywords, basically keywords potential customers would typically be searching for to find your business. Keyword Planner is a handy tool from Google Ads to help with your keyword research, allowing you to see avg. monthly searches of a specific keyword. If you’re not a Google Ads customer, you can use another tool, Ubersuggest which was developed by Neil Patel, an online marketing expert. This tool enables you to see the exactly the same data but your keyword searches are capped at a daily limit.

You have 750 characters to utilise, so we’d recommend providing as much detail as possible and using this space to your advantage.

4. Choose a category

Choosing the a category for your business is a must for optimising your Google My Business listing. Although this may seem like an obvious one, this can often get missed. Adding a business category enables you to get found in discovery searches (searches for a product service, or category term), this is highly important for reaching new customers who haven't directly searched (searches for your business name or address)

Once you choose a category, Google will enable category-specific features, opening the door to a more stand-out and highly competitive listing. For example, restaurants can add a menu or booking button.

5. Add photos

It is important to upload photos to your Business Profile for the following reasons:

  • Active posting is a positive signal to Google - adding posts regularly to your listing can positively impact your ranking.
  • Google is advancing in image recognition - photos are starting to be included in local results.
  • Increase engagement - According to Google, customers are 35% more likely to click through to their website if their business profile has photos.

Do's and don'ts:

  • For your thumbnail photo, upload your logo.
  • Don't use stock photos and avoid any special effects.
  • Geo-tag your photos to further enhance local SEO.

6. Select applicable attributes

Google provides a list of attributes you can tick off to further highlight your business USPs. These are special features such as "free parking" or "takeaway."

7. Add products and services

Enhancing your Google My Business listing with products and/or services is another way to help your business rank for relevant searches. When adding any products and services, provide as much detail as possible including name, description and price.

8. Build your Google reviews

Google reviews are a ranking factor in their algorithm, since they know how much they influence buying behaviour.

Here are just a few tips to optimise your listing:

  • Ask for reviews via email, social media and in person. The majority of customers will write a review if asked.
  • Include a "reviews" page on your website.
  • Respond to reviews regularly to build customer trust.
  • Emphasise to customers how easy it is to leave a review.

10. Post regularly

Google My Business is an effective form of marketing and a great opportunity to inform customers of announcements, offers, products and events. These feature on the "updates" section near the bottom of your business profile. You can also see how well posts are performing directly in your dashboard including the number of post views and clicks to your website.

Just a few of the benefits include:

  • Posts increase then number of actions from customers e.g. visiting your website or calling.
  • Regular posts sends positive ranking signals to Google.
  • Customers can follow your profile and get notified when you add a new post or update.

For regular digital marketing tips from iocea eCommerce marketing agency Lincolnshire, don’t forget to check back at our Digital Marketing section of the blog where you can find the latest insights from digital marketing experts.