If you’re a local business, it’s crucial to stay relevant to your community, which is what makes the Google My Business (GMB) listing option so appealing. A large portion of consumers use Google when searching for a business that suits their needs—and chances are, they’ll want it to be somewhere close to them, geographically speaking. Which is, of course, where you come in.
Google My Business is a one-stop shop for customers to find all of your company’s relevant information, such as its address, phone number, Google reviews, and a link to its web page. To many viewers, this is a much more appealing option than visiting a separate site and searching for information. When it comes to ranking well in organic search, Google My Business is a great way to drastically increase your organization’s visibility.
What’s the Catch?
Having a neat little hub with all of your most important business information in one place is an intoxicating idea. But from an optimization standpoint, how can you ensure that you will be the most visible (as in, even more so than your competition) for certain keywords?
If you have that concern, you’re not alone. Being a local business doesn’t mean you have to exist entirely under the radar—not with the power of a colossal search engine like Google on your side. Let’s examine some underutilized techniques for increasing your GMB potential.
1. Responding to Customer Reviews
It goes without saying that Google reviews help even the most obscure local business become visible to shoppers. Think about how often you read customer reviews before using a service or visiting an establishment.
A large number of customer reviews looks good, but consider a positive review compounded with a response from the business itself. The review has become an interactive, personal experience, showing that these customers are genuinely appreciated. As a buyer, you’ve become more than just a cog in a machine—you’re a valued customer, and you’re supporting a business in your community that may not have the resources to advertise in the way a big-box store does.
Responding to customer reviews can also help to build trust within your community, and Google My Business wants to connect you with only the most trustworthy organizations. It’s a two-for-one deal: being credible and staying relevant in the public eye.
Sidenote: you’ll want to respond to any negative reviews, too! This will show your customers that you recognize they had a less-than-stellar experience, and that you’re dedicated to improving their future ones. Your customer had the chance to vent, and you were able to allow them to feel heard.
2. Adding Metadata to Images
Image metadata is text information that relates to and is embedded in an image file. It includes keywords that are relevant to the image or the product being depicted. It may come as a surprise, but adding metadata to images is a fantastic way to boost your GMB cred. Images breathe life into your brand from the outset, and to put it simply, we’re a visually-oriented species. Using the right keyword tags on these images is the natural next step here.
First, you’ll want to choose the best file name—i.e., something relevant to what the image actually shows, but related to what a customer might be searching, too. As tempting as it may be to title your image a random jumble of letters, call it what it is so that it (and by extension, you) appear in the customer’s search results.
From there, you might consider adding a caption or description under your image. In situations where images are not loading on your customer’s web browser, captions can help make up for the loss. In a similar vein, adding an “alt text” to your image tags it appropriately, so that relevant keywords become visible to users, even if the images themselves are not.
3. Uploading Regularly
Regular updates are one of the best practices for SEO across the board, and GMB is no exception. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that your regular uploads are relevant and of the highest quality.
What do “regular uploads” constitute when it comes to GMB? Maybe it means responding to reviews quickly and thoughtfully. Maybe it’s linking compelling images or videos that contain the best keyword metadata. Or perhaps you have a local event related to your business that you want to use GMB to publicize.
Be careful! In cases like these, the quantity of your uploads does not necessarily equal quality. You don’t want to overwhelm your viewers with, say, irrelevant updates or stock images. Anything you post should contain quality information that helps your potential customers in some way.
Improve Your Google My Business Profile With Snap Today
Snap has even more techniques at the ready to keep your GMB profile informative and competitive, and we’d like to share them with you! Contact us today to start a conversation.