If you want to run a successful local SEO campaign, creating a Google My Business Listing is an excellent starting point.
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.
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.
The following is a detailed guide on how to create a Google My Business Listing in Singapore. It explains how you can optimise all elements of this invaluable tool and make the most of it to improve your business’s visibility on Google.
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 in all Google platforms. These includes 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 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.
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.
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.