All about Google My Business to optimize its SEO. ©Google
Launched in 2009 (as Google Places), Google My Business is a free listing service offered by Google. It gives business owners more control over what information appears in search results relevant to them. These tips are intended to help you be visible while maintaining a good e-reputation.
1. Create or claim an establishment
Before you can make changes to your Google My Business listing, you need to create it (or claim it if it already exists). This step is the most important since, if you do not have access to your file, you will not be able to increase your visibility or respond to the opinions left.
To create a record
If your business is not listed, visit the official Google My Business site to add your business to the list. Follow the instructions, and once the file has been created, you can add all the useful information to it.
To claim a listing
If your Google My Business listing already exists, you can claim it by clicking ” Are you the proprietor of this establishment ? ». Follow the steps provided until you get edit access for your listing.
2. Add name
The name of the establishment is the main information of your Google My Business listing. Although it may seem tempting, don’t include extra keywords in your business name. Indeed, Google sanctions this type of practice (sometimes going as far as suspending your file), and offers better referencing to establishments that only indicate their brand name in this field.
3. Add contact information (phone, address, hours)
The telephone number, address or opening hours are often the most sought-after information by users when they inquire about an establishment. To add them to your Google My Business listing, go to the tab Info.
Please note, it is essential that the information provided is absolutely identical to that mentioned on your website, since this is one of the data that Google will scan to determine your referencing.
4. Define the right category
To tell Google about your business activity service, you need to choose a primary category (and secondary categories if needed). You need to test the most relevant keywords that define your business to define it. It is very important to choose the most precise category possible, since it has a great influence on your SEO.
To define it, you can use tools such as SEMrush (to find the keywords with the highest search volume), while paying attention to the competitiveness of your category. You can also see which category your direct competitors have chosen to know which direction to steer you (or not).
Be careful not to overuse the secondary categories, they must all remain consistent and relevant with your establishment.
5. List services
Once the main category has been defined, you can list all the services offered by your structure. If a service you offer is not yet listed on Google My Business, you can add it as a custom service. This practice helps Google better understand your business, and it’s a great way to naturally add specific keywords without risking being penalized by Google.
6. Write a description
Located at the bottom of the form, the description aims to highlight your commercial speech, presenting your company in an attractive way. Your description must be quite short because Google imposes a limit of 750 characters maximum. No need to try to add a lot of keywords, this part does not impact SEO.
7. Link the website
It is important to associate your website with your Google My Business listing. Indeed, having a dedicated website (be careful, do not add links to Facebook pages, Yellow Pages, etc.) is beneficial for SEO and clearly indicates to Google which official site is corresponding.
An additional feature also allows you to add the link to your contact form, to facilitate appointments or contact requests.
8. Add strategic products
Google My Business allows you to add a few products in a dedicated tab. This feature gives you the opportunity to highlight your flagship products, to encourage Internet users to visit your website and consult your entire catalog. You can also add clickable buttons Learn more to redirect users to the corresponding product pages.
9. Add recent photos
To make Internet users want to come to your establishment, it is advisable to add several detailed photos (of the interior, the exterior, the staff, your products/services, etc.). They make it possible to reassure Internet users by humanizing your structure. Google My Business offers several subcategories of photos to add. Choose the photos you want to show carefully, they must be recent and attractive (remember to update them regularly), but above all not misleading.
Please note that Google imposes the following guidelines for images:
- PNG or JPG format,
- between 10 KB and 5 MB,
- ideally in 720×720 pixels,
- no editing.
You can also add videos to your Google My Business listing if you wish.
10. Define a logo and a cover photo
To complete your entire Google My Business profile, remember to define a company logo and an associated cover photo. To put them online, go to the tab Pictures, then select the category Identity. The most optimized formats are:
- logotype: 250×250 pixels,
- cover photo: 1080×608 pixels.
11. Use posts
Often little used, this feature allows you to create personalized posts to update your page. You can use it to communicate on company news, present future events, detail new offers or new services, etc.
To create a post, go to the tab Posts and click on the small logo located at the bottom right. Choose the category you want: offer, novelty, event or product. Once the category is selected, fill in the fields and publish your post. It will show up on your Google My Business listing.
12. Receive and Respond to Reviews
Google reviews are one of the criteria most looked at by Internet users during their searches. It is essential for a business to have good Google reviews, accompanied by positive comments. They promote natural referencing, but above all encourage Internet users who discover you to trust you. On Google My Business, the section dedicated to reviews allows users to indicate a rating out of 5, as well as to add comments to justify the rating (whether positive or negative). All reviews left are publicly visible.
To maximize your chances of garnering positive reviews, you can suggest that your happy customers leave you a review. Never buy fake reviews to “boost” your page, you risk discrediting yourself, and your Google My Business page could be deleted by Google.
A feature is available to respond to reviews (good and bad). Your reply appears under the review in question, and is also visible to all Internet users.