If you’re struggling to get your website on the first page of Google, you are going to love implementing the easy tasks, Pri Kruijen shares with us in this article. Today, we’re getting creative with our SEO strategy and setting up Google My Business profiles.
Google My Business or GMB is a free tool that helps small business owners capture organic traffic from other search features like Google Maps and Knowledge Graph. Often these features help you appear on page one and outrank your competitors, especially when your website may be the second page or lower. GMB is usually taken up by local service business or bricks-and-mortar retailers as the tool allows you to add information, such as your address and opening hours, but it works equally just as well for online businesses – and yet is underutilised.
I spent 15 minutes researching for a Google My Business profile for several well-known product-based brands but couldn’t find a profile. By setting up your profile today, it is an ideal way for a small and mighty business to get out there and in front of customers when getting your business to show up on page one can be challenging on keywords alone.
While a GMB profile won’t replace the need for a website, you can now share product information as well as endless photos to entice your dream client or customer to visit your website. GMB allows you to make a connection with your customers and evidence both social proof and your expertise/value before the prospective visitor has even visited your site.
Setting up your profile is easy and can be done in as little as 30-minutes, once it has been verified (although you may want to spend extra time tweaking).
If you’ve been in business for a while, you may already have a listing. Search for your business name and see if you have an active listing, if you find that you do, you can claim it and start optimising.
If you don’t have a profile, head to Google My Business (link), you’ll need to fill in your business name and address. If your business is registered to your home address, select the ‘I deliver goods and services to my customers’ and ‘hide my address (it’s not a store)’ boxes. By doing this, your profile will not display your home address to the public.
You can also select the areas where you deliver your products to. I recommend choosing the whole of the UK depending on your delivery options. If you only offer around a certain radius – for example, florists – you have the option to choose that too.
Next, you’ll be prompted to select a business category, pick the most generic category that fits your business. Google is trying to categorise your business so rather than picking a particular ‘on brand’ category, choose something obvious to those searching for your niche.
You can then add your website and telephone number which will both appear on your profile.
There are several ways to verify your listing on Google including via postcard, email and phone. Email and phone are the easiest and fastest forms of verification; if the option is available to you, I would recommend using that. Otherwise, it’s via post, which can take up to 5 – 7 working days (sometimes longer) to arrive.
The fun starts when you start to fill in your profile. Google wants your profile to be as accurate as possible so if you are unsure of a particular detail, come back to it at a later date.
According to a Google support doc about optimising your listing with photos, have 35% more click-throughs to the business’ website than those that didn’t. There are several types of photos and sizes you can use across your site so here is a quick breakdown.
Logo image – your logo should be a square-sized image of your business name.
Cover image – should be your hero photo and 16:9 in aspect ratio.
Additional photos of your team members, behind the scenes or products, have no aspect ratio requirement but must in be JPG or PNG format and within 10 KB to 5MB in size. The minimum resolution should be 720px tall or wide, and the quality should be in focus and well-lit with no filters. Your images should be realistic and represent what your customers can expect from you.
Video is big in SEO so it is not surprising that you can upload them to your profile. Each video has to be less than 30 seconds and a maximum of 100 MB however this is enough to entice your customers to click through to your website. Examples of strong video content showing off your products, highlighting your packaging or introducing your team (or yourself). Again, like your photos, your videos should be of a high resolution – 720p or higher.
Google likes businesses it can trust so inviting your customers to leave you a review on your profile is the perfect way to show your authority. Once your profile has is completed, why not add another step into your customer care process by asking them for a review? Having reviews in your profile is great social proof and encourages potential customers to click through to your website.
I always recommend responding to your reviews (even negative ones) as you can show your willingness to resolve any situations that may arise.
It wouldn’t be an SEO blog post without talking about keywords. When writing your business description, use high volume keywords that you would want to rank for. Add them naturally through your profile rather than keyword spamming by adding as many as you can in a sentence.
One of the best features available is Google posts where you can use to update your customers about your business. Utilise this tool as a microblog on Google and is ideal for promoting a sale, workshop or other in-person events. Google rewards businesses that keep their profiles up-to-date, so this is a great way to keep your customers involved in your activities as well as keep Google happy with new content.
You may find that customers, current and potential, will use your profile to ask questions, ensuring that you keep tabs of this – just like you would your emails and social media – allows for open communication with those wanting to learn more about you and your business, and once again you keep Google happy.
The final reason to sign up for your GMB is you can add products to your listing. There are two ways to upload your product images – either in the product editor or create product posts. By adding product images, customers can click through directly to the product page on your site.
This feature is currently in beta. However, you can upload photos, name the product, add a description (remember to use keywords) and set a price.
Once customers are on your profile, they’ll see a ‘products’ tab which displays two options, the first is product catalogue and the second is from the product post carousel. The product catalogue shows all the collections you have uploaded while the post carousel only shows you the post highlights.
With Google My Business being a powerhouse of information, it is imperative to keep your profile up to date. Unfortunately, the tool does allow others (the public) to make edit suggestions so you should schedule some time every week to update your posts, add new relevant content and respond to new reviews.
You can download the official app and update your business information like business description, upload photos and view search insights from the app for those that are on-the-go.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about building an SEO strategy get in touch.
Pri has been passionate about supporting small businesses since 2009. After a brief stint in web design and copywriting, Pri fell in love with SEO. Her love for championing creative entrepreneurs led her to a career at Not On the High Street (NOTHS) where the idea to start a marketing agency struck. Brilliantly Visible is all about breaking down the complicated and boring SEO to-do list into easy to manage strategic tasks that last 30 minutes or less.