Google My Business (GMB) vaulted itself to be the most important component of search engine optimization (SEO) via its connection with the search engine owned by the same name. Your GMB listing can help you elevate your placement on the search engine results page (SERP) but you must complete it in precisely the right manner for it to do so.
What Is GMB?
GMB connects with both the search engine and Google Maps. You can add your business to GMB using either the search engine or Maps. Adding it using the GMB website found via search works a little better since you don’t have to worry about Maps loading, which can crash on a mobile.
Once you do create your listing, you can add GMB to your list of sites used in content marketing. GMB lets you add your business name and contact information, your logo, a link to your website, and social media posts, such as photos, videos, and mini-blogs.
This option for digital content marketing gets your business and its posts seen by anyone searching for a product or service like yours in your local area. That’s right. GMB links to Google’s much-touted local search to offer businesses who completed its sections higher SERP placement than others in the same locality.
Google does this by prioritizing local businesses that created a GMB account and ensuring that it meets all of their criteria. So, how do you nab this key element in digital content marketing?
Well, it’s free, so you just register for it. Just like signing up for Twitter or a Facebook page, you fill in the blanks and hit submit.
Those blanks stand as a hurdle to this vital component of any content marketing strategy. Let’s look at what you must do to utilize GMB to improve your local ranking.
Filling out the Google form using the precise information that matches what already appears on your website helps increase your ranking. Google wants everything to match exactly. When you enter your business’s address on your website using “St.” for the street name designator, you need to use that exact same verbiage on the GMB listing. You can’t spell it out as “Street” in GMB because that imprecise match causes Google’s algorithm to dock you points instead of adding them.
Fill out every blank in the form and every tick box. Google’s engineers must have paid close attention to those standardized tests administered in grade school because your business gets docked points if you don’t complete every blank and tick box. If fact, for some blanks, Google won’t show your GMB until you fix the problem.
PRO TIP: Follow these steps when you need to reach a suspended or disabled GMB listing:
- Log into your Google account from which you manage the listing.
- Navigate to the GMB website.
- In the list of GMB listings that you manage, right-click on the listing. You cannot do this on a mobile phone. Right-clicking offers you the option to open the link in a new window or tab. Do this. Otherwise, you cannot open your GMB profile until you fix the problem, but you won’t be able to read all of the options for your page without opening the full listing on GMB.
In Maps and Search, a disabled or suspended profile does not appear at all, so you can’t reach it that way.
How to Add in Your Industry Information on GMB
Be sure to complete the industry information on your business within your profile, as Google does not let you type this into the form. Start by entering starter text in the industries box. This will bring up a large drop-down list of industries. Then, choose the option that best represents your business’ industry. Even if it does not precisely match what your business does, you have to choose what Google offers you. So, pick the best fit for you and your business. We know it can be frustrating that you cannot enter an alternative or put things into your own words, but think of it as sort of a content marketing hack:
Google provided the keywords and wants you to use them accordingly.
Adding Photos to Your GMB Listing
Add at least one photo. This photo must be your logo. This is because Google does not consider your GMB listing complete without a logo.
You can add other photos, too. Best practices for adding photos other than a business logo to your GMB listing include:
- Photos of you and your staff delivering your service.
- Photos of your product during its manufacturing process if applicable.
- Photos of your final product once completed. Examples include both professional photos to which you own the copyright and customers’ photos of them using the product.
This form of digital content is essential and ensures that you show your business’s services and products in their best light, literally and figuratively.
Adding Text Posts to Your GMB Listing
Another feature you should be sure to add to your GMB listing are text posts. This serves as a part of your overall content marketing strategy. Best practices for adding text posts include:
- Describe your business and its key aspects.
- Cross-promoting your other social media platforms.
- Describe key features of your services you think people should know or would want to know.
- Feature client or individual customer testimonials.
These content marketing pieces should each be accompanied with GMB buttons that let you link to your website. Common buttons include but are not limited to:
- Learn More.
- Get Offer.
- Call Now.
Adding this button to your post adds interactivity, professionalism, and outlines a clear call to action (CTA) which is essential to have for any content marketing strategy.
How to Link to Your Website and Social Media in GMB
Google does not currently allow you to add links to your text posts. That said, the interactivity buttons mentioned above are a great way to incorporate links to important information on your website or link to your social media. When using the interactivity button feature, you can spread out the website visitors to deep pages of your site that provide granular information. Instead of depending on Google’s algorithm to determine which page offers the best information, this lets you decide which page a reader of your post should see.
This GMB listing feature can help you increase traffic towards any brand new web pages that you post as well as assist in increasing your online presence on social media. Additionally, when you introduce a new service or product that offers a more precise benefit to the customer, you can link to it directly in a GMB post using these buttons. GMB also shows your latest posts on the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP), further assisting you in being visible to your target audience. An essential key point to remember in any content marketing strategy is building awareness around your brand, product, or service.
Be Sure to Post Relevant Content
In order for Google to consider the information you are posting useful to their users, the content you post must be of quality and relevant to your business or subject matter. Like other digital content platforms, Google expects you to remain relevant and post responsibly. It bans off-topic posts using the strongest tool it has – its users. Avoid the temptation to post inaccurate or off-topic items. You might think you could game the system using inaccurate keywords, but Google’s users depend on this service and they report dreck. Google won’t just remove it; the search engine giant will disable your account. That means that until you fix it, your business won’t show up in local searches.
The “Quirky Call to Action” Rules on GMB
Another rule of content marketing applies to every piece of text content used on GMB. Always include a call to action (CTA) in your post, but word it carefully. Google does not allow you to include your phone number or, as mentioned, a website link in the post.
You must use the call to action button provided by Google.
It offers eight different options for the button text and you can embed a website link to the interactive button.
Your CTA can subtly mention what you’d like to happen. For example, you can say something like, “When storms cause roof damage to your home, let our roofing company make the repairs for you. We offer a 10 percent discount to all teachers because we believe in the value of education.” In conjunction with this, you use the “Get Offer” button which links to your business’s webpage explaining your available discounts.
If this all sounds complex and you don’t have time in the day to accomplish all of this, call Bake More Pies. We’re digital marketing experts and we can set up your GMB listing for you, help with ongoing monitoring, plus write all of your content. We’ll post it, too. Let us create a local listing strategy that works and help you nab one of the three Google Maps spots available in each local search. Contact us today!