Google is, by far, the most dominant search engine on the internet. Over 90% of internet users use Google to conduct searches. This further underpins the significance of having a GMB listing.
What Is Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is an online tool from Google that businesses use to create and manage an online presence. Your GMB profile identifies your business across all Google services, including search and maps. It is particularly useful if you are looking to increase brand awareness.
Having a GMB listing is crucial for both upcoming and seasoned businesses. An ideal example of this importance is Google Local Search results. When you use this service, the search engine returns a list of nearby businesses along with all relevant information. This information includes the address, opening and closing hours, category, and client reviews.
After you create a new GMB profile, the system will generate a Google Maps location using the info on the listing. The location is then synchronised with Google Search to make it easier for searchers to access your business.
Fundamentals of Google My Business
If you are new to digital marketing, you need to understand the basics of Google My Business and its potential to grow your business. The service is free of charge, and having a Google Business Listing is not a substitute for your business website. Instead of replacing your website, your GMB profile complements it. It makes your business easily identifiable on the most used search engine in the world. The information you provide on your GMB listing appears on all Google platforms. These include Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+.
Other than you creating a GMB profile, there are two ways that your business might be listed on Google My Business. First, you might have used Google tools to help in growing your business in the past. You might also get registered if you have operated a business over a lengthy period.
How to Create a GMB Listing
Before anything, ensure that you search your business on Google. The objective is to verify that your company does not have an existing GMB profile. As mentioned above, older establishments are likely to have a GMB listing. If yours has one, you will need to claim it.
When searching for your GMB listing, enter your business name and address. Based on the results, you should tell if your business has a listing or not. If a listing exists, it will notify you if it is claimed or unclaimed. If your business listing has already been claimed, use this guide to reclaim it.
After entering your business name, add other details such as the operation hours, address, and contacts. Confirm that the information is accurate and grammatically correct. Also, you should find the category is relevant to your business.
Lastly, you will need to specify whether your business delivers goods and services to customers at their location. This is especially vital for companies that offer services away from their offices. Such include HVAC companies, home movers, cleaning services, and so forth.
Adding or Editing Service Area Information
If your business serves customers living in a particular area, say Singapore, you can list that area on your Google My Business listing. You can set the service area based on the towns, postal codes, or other places that you serve.
Once you sign in to your Google My Business account, ensure that you change the viewing to ‘card view’. Choose the listing you would like to edit and click “Manage location.”
After opening the listing you want to change, click “Info,” followed by “Address.” In the window that appears, specify whether your establishment makes home deliveries. You can then type in the service area based on parameters such as city, region and postal code. Click “Apply” to confirm the adjustments.
Verifying your GMB Listing
Once you have successfully created your GMB listing and specified your service area, you have to verify your listing. This has a significant impact on the performance and visibility of your listing.
The most straightforward method of verification is through email. Google will confirm that your business address is valid and will communicate using that channel. Also, verifying your profile assists Google in removing fake listings that often misdirect users. These false profiles also hurt the reputation of Google Search and Google Maps.
It is worth noting that your GMB listing can only become visible to searchers after verification. You are also unable to access page insights, business reviews and analytical information.
The standard turnaround time for GMB listing verification is one week. Google will send you a verification code that you are supposed to confirm, after which your listing will go live.
Publishing Your GMB Listing
It is essential to make use of all resources offered on GMB to make your local SEO campaign successful.
Here are some insightful tips for optimising your GMB listing:
Provide Comprehensive Information in Your Listing
Google prioritises the listings that offer the most detailed and accurate information. By entering as much information as you can, you increase the chances of ranking high on local search results.
Ensure that your GMB listing tells clients what your business deals with and where it is situated. It should also state the business hours and how interested parties can reach you when you are closed.
As is the case with regular SEO, local search also relies heavily on keywords. Using relevant keywords and popular search terms in your GMB listing increases ranking on search results. It can also increase your web traffic since the GMB listing is always next to your website address.
Enter Accurate Business Hours
It is vital to enter your business hours accurately. If you change them, remember to update your GMB listing as well. Google allows you to customise the operation hours for holidays, weekends and other special days. You should capitalise on this feature to ensure that the information you provide is precise.
The majority of marketers in Singapore are unaware of the significance of adding photos to their GMB listings. According to Google, listings with photos attract more attention than those without images.
Engage with Customers
By responding to client reviews, you send a message that your business cares about their opinions. Positive reviews influence searchers and can potentially turn them into customers. They also increase the visibility of your profile on search results.
A smart way of encouraging clients to leave reviews is by creating this link.
Choosing Photos for Your GMB Listing
The profile photo of your GMB listing has a significant impact on its performance. It must not be the brand logo, but it should at least portray the values of your company.
Besides the profile photo, you should add the logo, cover photo, and miscellaneous images to your GMB listing. The cover photo should have an aspect ratio of 16:9 and should be large enough to fit the top of your Google+ page.
The other photos should display your business premises, people using your products, and so forth. They should have a minimum resolution of 720p, a maximum size of 5MB, and be either PNG or JPG format. Overall, all photos should be well-lit and represent reality.
How to Optimize Google Maps Listing for Maximum Conversion
Singapore has the highest smartphone penetration in the world. Research shows that more than 80% of Singaporeans use their tablets and smartphones to search for local services and products. That is why it is important to ensure that as you look for web design services in Singapore, make sure that local SEO is also done correctly.
Google My Business (GMB) is one of the powerful tools introduced by Google to enable users to locate businesses in their locality quickly and accurately. GMB allows businesses to provide all the essential information that potential customers need to know before they visit the website. This includes the operating hours, posts, reviews, directions, and much more.
Even though most of this information can be found on your website, Google My Business indexes the content for purposes of ensuring consistency across Google Map, and Google Search. Whenever a potential customer searches for your business or your focus keyword, the GMB will be displayed on the browser. The information will help them decide whether to proceed and do business with you or to look for another service provider.
GMB is not just a source of necessary information about your business; it can help increase your revenue especially if you have many positive Google reviews from other customers. Naturally, clients gravitate towards companies that have a good reputation and offer valuable insights. Strive to get as many positive reviews from clients as possible by providing quality services and products. Their reviews will greatly boost your credibility and competitiveness in the dynamic Singapore digital marketing world.
Before we look at ways of optimizing Google My Business, here are some facts to help you understand why this tool is so vital to your business.
What is Google Maps Listing?
Simply put, Google Maps listing includes basic yet important information about your Singapore business such as name, location, contact details, and opening hours. It has replaced phone books that have now become obsolete, as Google is where most clients search for information about your business.
Why You Should Focus on Google My Business
Google is one of the dominant search engines in the world. Recent research by Net Marketshare revealed that 80% of all searches are done on this search engine. Quick arithmetic shows that this is roughly 3.5 billion searches per day.
Another staggering fact about Google users is that most people do not go beyond the first page of search results. Below is a report that shows a significant drop in the number of click-through rate after the second SERPs.
This is a clear indication that a majority of the customers are finding everything that they need on the first page. That is why you should focus on optimising Google My Business even though there are other ways of making sure that your website is ranked on the first page.
GMB is an incredibly easy and valuable tool that is designed to help you:
- Index, control and display relevant information about your business
- Manage your reputation online and interact with prospects
- Curate customer videos, photos, and other forms of user-generated content
- Get insights about how customers are landing on your Singapore business website
All the signals and data from Google My Business will help you create a robust local SEO strategy.
The most successful brands in Singapore are aware of the potent power of GMB and use it to leverage the market. Surprisingly, 56% of local retailers are yet to grab and use their free GMB account.
Recent research by Google to gauge the performance of this tool showed that 50% of consumers who searched for a local business on their smartphone visited store physically the same day.
Here are steps to help you get started.
- Step 1: Visit https://www.google.com/business
- Step 2: Provide necessary information about your business such as phone number, website, name, and address.
- Step 3: Verify the account using a verification code. The code will be sent in a postcard to the address you provided in Step 2. Make sure that the address is correct to get this code.
- Step 4: Access your GMB account dashboard and start personalizing it to connect with potential customers
These steps will get your business on the map, but if you are to succeed in dominating your niche in Singapore, you need to take another bold step to optimise your Google My Business.
How to Optimise Google My Business for Singapore Market
Confirm that All Information is Up-to-Date
The wrong information will send potential customers to the wrong location. Such an incident can ruin your reputation greatly. Note that all the information that you provide, NAP, is indexed by Google Maps and Google Search to support your other local SEO strategies.
This information should be consistent with the details listed on your official Singapore business website. Any inconsistency will affect your search ranking negatively. When inputting your address, make sure that it resonates with the correct coordinates shown on the map and do not forget to provide a zip code.
A local phone number that the clients can use to contact you works better than a call centre. The next step is selecting the business category and attributes. The two will help Google to know the kind of business that you do and rank your website accordingly. Consider your current keyword strategy when selecting the attributes and business category to boost your local SEO efforts. Just make sure that you do not fill this section with keywords. Keyword Stuffing is an illegal SEO tactic that could result in your site been penalized.
Request for Reviews from Clients and Respond to Them
As mentioned earlier, clients prefer doing business or shopping from Singapore ecommerce websites that are reputable. Reviews (both negative and positive) are the lifeblood of local search. The more good reviews you get from customers, the more sales you will generate.
Yesterday, we looked at how to respond to bad Google reviews as well as phony reviews left by malicious internet users. Unknown to most business owners, is that it is possible to use a bad review to generate more sales. Almost everyone wants a second opinion about a product or service, and that is why 90% of internet users in Singapore take time to check reviews posted by previous customers before purchasing.
Request customers to leave feedback politely and professionally – to increase your reviews count on Google My Business. Here is an article that we recently wrote on how to get more Google reviews without breaking any of the guidelines put in place by Google.
Communicate with Customers Directly via Google My Business Messages
Not all customers will prefer calling you using the phone number listed in your Google My Business when they have a problem finding something on your website. One recent study showed that 90% of business leads prefer receiving a text message about a previous inquiry they made than a phone call.
Mobile messaging is one of the most powerful digital marketing strategies in Singapore. You should consider incorporating it in your marketing strategy. One of the highlights of this form of marketing is that it spurs engagement by connecting with business leads directly.
Here is a research report done recently that clearly shows that direct SMS messages perform better than mobile advertising in terms of conversion rate.
Google is aware of this metric, and that is why it introduced a messaging feature that allows business owners to interact with customers via messages. By activating this feature, you will be able to communicate with existing and potential customers who come across your GMB directly.
Leverage Google My Business Insights
As with any other digital marketing strategy, you need to keep track of its performance to know if you are headed in the right direction.
Google My Business Insights will assist you to know the impact of your Google My Business listing. Here is some of the information that this tool will help you get.
- How potential customers are discovering your business (direct vs. discover searches)
- Where your customers see your listing (Search vs. Maps)
- Specific actions that customers are taking on your listing (visiting your website, clicking on directions, browsing the photo gallery, calling you)
- Location of your customers based on the direction queries
- The number of phone calls and the time most of the clients are calling
Direct searches mean that clients are already aware of your company and are using your specific business address or name to find you.
Discover searches show you that the customers are using a business category or type and not necessarily your business name to find your GMB. This is one of the typical tactics used by people who are not familiar with your business.
All the information provided by Google My Business Insights will give you a clearer perspective of your clientele base. It will also help you to know the specific areas that you need to work on to improve your GMB and Singapore digital marketing strategies.
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Tracking Your GMB Listing Insights
Through the insights feature, you can easily check how users are interacting with your GMB listing.
Here some of the parameters you can track using GMB Listing Insights:
How Customers Find Your GMB Listing
Customers can find your profile using two ways – direct search and discovery search. Direct search is where a customer finds your listing by searching your business name or address. In discovery search, a customer finds your business by searching its category.
Where Clients Find You on Google
This shows you the platform on which customers first saw your GMB listing. It can be either Google Maps or Google Search.
Here, you can see what the client did after seeing your profile on search results. Most clients visit your website, ask for directions, view photos, and call your business.
This shows you the location of people that are requesting directions to your business premises.
This section shows the time and the frequency at which customers called your business after viewing your GMB listing.
GMB also allows you to assess how often customers are viewing the pictures on your listing. You can also compare the viewership of your photos to others business in your niche.
Must You Include Relevant Keywords?
It’s been a challenging question for many local business owners — ls it safe to include high-value keywords in your GMB description?
Can it impact your rank in the local search?
Well, Google’s recent update finally puts this debate to rest.
It turns out: Google wants you to include high-value keywords (read: relevant keywords) in your GMB description without the fear of being penalised for it.
High-value keywords refer to a list of keywords that your potential customers are using to find your business. While some SEO experts could have warned you against using them in your GMB description, Google appears to have an entirely different opinion on this.
Wear the Mind of the User: At the start of February 2020, Google updated the content in their help centre. The new section seemed to encourage local business owners to include the keywords they suspect their customers might be using to find their businesses online.
For the first time, Google is advising you to wear the mind of the user and think about a list of possible keywords they would type when trying to find your business. Your listing must include those keywords. It’s common sense that Google doesn’t want you to shove tons of keywords into the description. But there’s no harm in including a few high-value keywords, provided they fit naturally.
Here’s an example:
Assuming you’re in the business of selling pineapple tarts in Clementi, Singapore. If a customer living in Clementi wants to find your business, it would be a lot easier for the customers to find your business on Google if you included the keyword, “pineapple tarts in Clementi, Singapore.”
Be Accurate: Google has more advise on this in the new “Relevance” section. All that this giant search engine wants you to do is provide as many signals as you possibly can to help their local search bots match your listing to the most relevant customer.
Why is this Important: This offers some clarity to the long-held Catch-22 as to whether optimising your GMB listing with relevant keywords is within Google’s best practises.
Google gives the go-ahead, but that’s no excuse to keyword-spam your listing in an attempt to game the system. If the keywords don’t fit in naturally, you’re better off not including them.
Focus on Things of Interest in the Areas that you operate
Localize your website content by focusing on cities and other things of interest in the areas that you operate in to give your brand a local feel. For example, if you run a restaurant in Little India, write content that is relevant to the Indian food enthusiasts instead of general food reviews. Local points of interest such as tourist destinations and landmarks can enhance your geolocation targeting efforts.
Also, if you operate in multiple towns, it is recommended to create local landing pages for each of them to relate better to customers in the specific areas. Use keywords that are related to the locations to optimize your content for the local audience.
Finally, include structured data markup on your site to give Google as much information about your Singapore Company as possible. This markup should provide data such as;
- The type of business
- Operating hours
- Phone number
- Longitude and latitude
- Email address and more
Most people associate posts with their blog or social media. However, in the case of Google My Business, this word has an entirely different meaning. Posts give Singapore businesses the ability to feature special offers, highlight their latest news, and even publicise events.
Creating a post is pretty easy. You simply select “Posts” on the left side of your dashboard. You will then be prompted to include an image, title, a couple of sentences about your content, and a link. You’ll also choose between Offer, What’s New, Product, or Event options.
What’s great about posts is that your most recent ones will show up directly on your local business listing whenever someone searches for your company online. What this means is that users will be able to engage with them directly. And this encourages people to visit your website.
Fill Out Your Info
One of the most important sections of your Google My Business page is Info. Why is this? Well, it’s because it gives users more details about your company which can help to inspire trust.
The Info section can be found on the left side of your dashboard. Simply click “Info” and then you will be able to categorise your business, manage its name and address, post your hours of operation, list your number and website, give a detailed list of services. You will also be able to enter a description of what your business is all about. This feature is especially helpful when customers are trying to find a business that is nearby. However, it’s important that you make sure that your hours are correct so that customers have the right information.
Pay Attention to Your Insights
If you would like to know exactly how users reached your business listing, whether it was through Google Maps or Google search, then you need to take a close look at Insights. Not only will this help you identify how they found you but also when they found you and much more. And the best part is, you can search this information for the last 28 days.
Checking Insights is easy. This feature can be found just about the “Review” feature. You will notice that there are several charts and graphs. Insights offer several key details about your visitors. You will learn what actions they take on your listing. The graphs and statistics will show you how many of your customers requested directions to your place of business. It will show you how many people call your company from the search results. You’ll find out how many people actually visit your store. You will get an idea of what the most popular times are for visiting your store. Find out how many views each of your photos are getting in comparison to businesses that are similar.
Optimising Your Google My Business Profile
Claim Your Listing
Unknown to most business owners is that Google allocates one Google Map Listing to every business. So, the first thing that you need to do is claim your listing if you are yet to do so. This move will give you a chance to manage how information about your business appears on various platforms owned by Google such as Maps and Search.
Here is a step-by-step guide prepared by Google on how to claim listing.
Now that you have claimed your listing, the next step that you need to take is inputting your business NAP (name, address, and phone number). Make sure that these details are correct to avoid misleading potential customers.
In fact, NAP information should be consistent not only on Google listing but also any other listing platforms online such as Yelp, Local, and Bing. Your business might not be displayed on Google Maps if there is an inconsistency.
Google team has worked smart to include an expansive list of categories to help the search engine users find what they are looking for more conveniently. Choose a category that best describes your Singapore business and you are free to use a maximum of five categories to describe your business comprehensively.
More importantly, make sure that the main category you select matches the primary keywords that you would like to rank and max out the remaining secondary categories.
Add Video and Photos
A video and photos will help spur engagement with the target audience and show them that your business actually exists. You can record a video showing your personnel at work or describing the product that you sell. The two highly encourage potential customers to visit a store especially businesses such as restaurants and resorts. Be sure to use high resolution images and the video should be top-notch.
Customers who are planning to visit your Singapore store need to know the specific time of the day that you open and close. Make sure that the business hours you include in your Singapore Google Map Listing is accurate. Otherwise, not providing this information will have a negative impact on your business.
Reviews are great because they help potential customers to get a perspective of the quality of the product or services offered by a particular business. As you work on optimizing your Google Place Listing, focus on getting as many reviews as possible from customers to boost your ranking.
You should always encourage your customers to give feedback. The most significant advantage of reviews is building trust. Several studies show that consumers trust a brand that has many positive reviews from previous clients. If you have many positive reviews, you are likely to get more sales.
Another advantage of customer reviews is that they improve your ranking on search results. Your objective should be to attain the top spot in search engine result pages. Getting positive reviews puts your business on the right track.
Even if your business is already in the 3-pack, stay ahead of the curve by having more and better genuine reviews. One of the easiest ways of making sure that every customer who purchases a product from you leaves a review is by including a link to your Google Map Listing in invoices and email signatures. This will make it convenient for the customers to write and submit a feedback after shopping.
Even as you concentrate on optimizing your Google Map Listing, do not forget to work on your website SEO. Google Maps is just one aspect of your web presence and will have a major impact on your brand’s visibility online as well as site conversion rate.
Here are a few wise nuggets on what you can do to make your business more discoverable locally:
- Include the keyword “near me” on your website content
- Create stellar content especially blog posts referencing specific events and be sure to include location information and time
- Include location specific keywords in your on-site content
- Ensure that your website is mobile responsive, if its not ranking will be a major challenge.
Download the Google My Business App
Your GMB profile should serve the same purpose as social media accounts. It should be a digital representation of your company. Instead of wasting time trying to access the Google Business website, download the GMB app. It is available for Android and iOS devices.
The app is a convenient option that allows you to add pictures, interact with customers and mage your GMB profile. Even better, it will enable you to perform all these functions from anywhere.
Upload High-quality Photos
GMB profiles with photos generate more attention and clicks than those without photos. If possible, you should hire a professional to shoot photos for your GMB listing. They should take pictures of your business premises and people enjoying your products and services.
Google My Business Posts
GMB Posts are similar to short social media posts that appear below your GMB listing. If you wish to create a post, log in to your Google My Business dashboard, and you will see the Posts option on the left-hand side.
The GMB posts allow you to add links, images and call-to-action buttons. They are ideal for advertising events, sales, new products, and promotional offers. You can make the posts more attractive by adding keywords and images.
You can use the messaging feature to communicate directly with consumers using your GMB profile. If you receive a high level of engagement, Google will reward you with a higher ranking on search results.
The Messaging feature is found on the left side of your GMB dashboard. Here, you can set up the message that users will receive when they send a message to your business. It is worth noting that this feature is still in developmental stages. For now, it is only available to mobile users.
How to Verify Google My Business Profile
You can verify your GMB profile using many ways, including phone, email and postcard. In most cases, you are asked to confirm your listing via postcard, especially if you added your physical location. It is also the easiest way.
Keep in mind that it is mandatory to verify your GMB profile. Google will not list your business on search results unless you validate the GMB listing.
Here are the steps you should follow to verify your GMB profile.
Sign In and Choose Your Business
After logging in to your Google Business account, select the business that you would like to verify. If you have been following the steps in this article, you should be at the verification stage.
Confirm Your Details
Errors are inevitable. Confirm that all your details are accurate. Also, remember to add a contact name where Google will send the postcard.
Choose the Verification Method
As mentioned above, there are several ways of verifying your Google My Business profile. The most common are email, phone and post mail.
Verification by Email
If you choose this method, Google will send an email to your inbox. The email should contain a verification button. Click this button, and everything is set.
Verification by Phone
In this method, Google sends a verification code via SMS to your phone. Ensure that the number you provide is accurate before you to confirm the procedure.
Verification by Mail
As indicated in the screenshot above, mail verification can take up to 10 days. When your postcard arrives at the specified address, you will need to log in to your GMB account enter the code it contains.
If the postcard delivery fails, sign in and click on the ‘Request another code’ button.
How To Promote My Google My Business In Singapore
Google My Business is a useful tool for increasing the visibility of your business, both in real life and online.
It is useful for small businesses that want to be easily discovered, but do not have the budget for billboards and other big ad platforms. Getting a Business Listing on Google in Singapore allows small companies to compete with established firms.
Why You Need a Google My Business Account
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows businesses with physical shops to manage their online presence. With GMB, you can define how your company appears in search results on Google Search and Google Maps.
There are several reason reasons why you need a Google My Business Listing. Here are the top ones:
It Makes It Easier to Locate Your Business
In a city as busy as Singapore, it is difficult to locate a specific business. Unless you know the name and the location of a company, it is almost impossible to find it.
The best solution to the challenge stated above is by having a GMB profile. GMB allows customers to find the exact location of your business premises using Google Maps. It is a much convenient alternative to word-of-mouth directions, which can sometimes be confusing.
It Significantly Increases Your Search Visibility
Besides making it easier to locate your physical store, GMB also increases your online visibility. In most cases, when a customer is searching for local businesses, they are ready to make a purchase. If not, they are researching in preparation of a purchase.
If you run a local business, you will benefit significantly from having a GMB listing.
It Lets You Display Useful Information and Get Customer Reviews
Your GMB profile provides all the relevant information about your business. This includes your business name, location, website, business hours, and photos.
Additionally, GMB also makes it easier for customers to leave reviews. As a business owner, GMB allows you to manage and respond to their customer feedback.
Customers will leave both positive and negative reviews. That said, it is convenient to have a solution that allows you to manage all the feedback professionally.
It is Free
The best thing about GMB is that it is free of charge. If you are looking to start a local SEO campaign, it is an excellent and affordable starting point. It is also a viable solution for small businesses with limited budgets.
How to Use Google My Business with Hootsuite
The Hootsuite Dashboard allows business owners to manage their GMB listing along with other social media activities under one platform. The only requirement is installing the Google My Business application from the Hootsuite App Directory.
Using this service, you can post company updates and engage with client questions and reviews. It also allows you to manage many listings simultaneously and monitor what people are saying about your business on Google.
Having an optimised Google My Business Listing is crucial to the success of your local SEO campaign in Singapore. If you follow this detailed guide when creating your profile, you are on the right path to prosperity.
Get in touch for more tips on how to set up Google My Business Listing and digital marketing campaigns in Singapore