In our last blog, we went over why you should be on Google My Business, how to get set up, and how to maintain your listing. Today, we’ll take things a bit further and outline how to continue optimizing your GMB listing as an integral part of your marketing plan so it stays fresh and relevant. From setting up GMB when you have multiple locations to extracting insights from your local search efforts, we take a deep dive into Google My Business and how it can continue to serve you well over the years.
Accommodating Multiple Locations: More Than 10
If you have multiple locations for your business, such as a restaurant or retail shop, your best bet is to use bulk location management. This allows businesses with 10 or more locations to add, verify, and manage every location at once, greatly simplifying the process. First, create a Google account and location group for your company, then you are free to create and upload a spreadsheet containing all the information from all locations. Now you can request bulk verification. Once those properties have been Google-verified, you may continue to edit and optimize them in bulk or individually. Go to Google My Business Help for more info.
Nine or Fewer Locations
If you have nine or fewer locations, your business is not eligible for bulk management. This means you have to claim, verify and update each one individually. This can get a bit dicey if different members of your company try to claim or verify locations, or a listing owner leaves the company. It’s always wise to know who has what level of access for your account, and this requires that you keep your business information well-maintained and neatly organized.
- Use a general company email account: The owner of your Google My Business listings will manage other users’ access, so you should claim your listings under a general company email, such as email@example.com, instead of using an individual employee’s email. Then, in the event of turnover at your company, you will save yourself the headache of figuring out who was in charge of what.
- Designate GMB managers: If it’s too much for one person to manage multiple GMB locations, use your owner access to designate others who are able to update business information, along with adding photos and responding to reviews.
- Consolidate local listing information: While you can’t bulk upload when it comes to managing individual listings, you should still keep a shared document with all the information for your businesses’ profiles to keep management practices transparent and provide a centralized reference point for local optimization efforts.
Advanced Google My Business Optimization
If you want to go beyond the basics, here’s how you can ensure a strong ongoing local search management strategy.
- Choose all relevant categories for your business.
- Upload new photos to each location regularly, i.e., once a month, including photos of the outside and inside, your team, offerings, and more.
- Encourage reviews on industry platforms to allow Google My Business to pull reviews from social media and other platforms like Foursquare and Yelp
- Add helpful business attributes your customers may find useful, such as the fact that you offer outdoor seating.
- Utilize Google Posts to highlight promotions, content and events. More on that here…
What are Google Posts?
The Google Posts section works similarly to posting on social media. Posts display as mini updates in a carousel-style format as part of your knowledge panel. Just keep in mind, they expire after seven days. Just like you would with a standard social media post, you can add media, copy and a website link, as well as an image. If you do add a photo, make sure it hasn’t been cropped within Google Maps. Always check the image formats on both mobile and desktop.
Use Google Posts for a wide variety of functions, but you may want to start off with using the four official post types as a guide:
- What’s New
Lastly, don’t neglect to add a CTA to your posts so as to encourage conversions and engagement.
Extracting Insights From Local Search Efforts
When you optimize your local search presence, you can boost the traffic driven to your website and physical location. Use Google Insights’ simple dashboard to get a clear view of how people are locating you and what they’re doing once they do find you.
Google Insights will show you:
- How many users found you via branded vs. non-branded terms
- How many users found you through Google Maps vs. Google Search
- Which search queries they used
- Number of visits to your website, phone calls, and direction requests that originated from your GMB listing
As you can see, there are many ways to go beyond the basics when it comes to optimizing your Google My Business listing.
Contact A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing
Need help maintaining your GMB listing so it stays fresh and relevant? We can help. Just contact us to learn more. We have a lot of experience optimizing GMB listings to help our clients.