Using Google My Business And Google Maps For Your Singapore Website

Using Google My Business And Google Maps For Your Singapore Website

As the number of smartphone penetration continues to grow, we have seen a major increase in the number of online searches that are being conducted using Hyperlocal intent. Google is working smart to refine its results to keep tabs on this trend.

Here are tips on how local businesses in Singapore can optimize their content for this new hyperlocal reality.

Get to Know the Basics

First, your Google My Business page needs to be well-optimized to increase your business visibility on SERPs. Make sure that all fields that resonate with your business are filled with accurate text and high-quality pictures. Also, request past clients to write a review to enhance your reputation and lure more customers to your website.

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
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Longitude and latitude
  • Email address and more

Use Posts 

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.


How to Optimize Google Map Listing for Maximum Conversion

Google Map is one of the innovations used by Google to help local businesses get more customers. With most people using internet to get information about businesses, it is imperative to optimize your business Google Map listing. Google Maps is critical to generating leads locally and the most successful businesses in Singapore know this fact and use it to stay ahead of the curve.

What is Google Map Listing?

Simply put, Google map 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.

Importance of Google Map Listing

The first thing to note is that a potential customer who performs an online search for a particular business on a mobile device or laptop is almost ready to purchase a product or request for the service. Google map listing helps such customers to narrow down their choices.

The listing makes it easy for potential customer to find businesses that are close to their location. For example, if you search “Mexican restaurants near me” Google Map Pack will display the top three restaurants in your locality and provide details to help you locate them. This list of top businesses is commonly referred to as the 3-pack and as a Singapore business owner, you should strive to be listed in this pack.

One of the surest ways of doing this is by making sure that your Google Map Listing is optimised.


How to Optimize Your Google Map Listing

How do you get your business into the 3-pack? Before we look at the various ways of optimizing your Google Map listing, it is important to note there is no guarantee that you will get into the top three since Google has a very robust algorithm that is hard to crack. That said; these best practices would increase your chances of achieving this objective.

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.

NAP Accuracy

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.

Categories

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.

Business Hours

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

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.

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.

Website Optimization

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

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 Create a Google My Business Account

Creating a Google My Business account is a straightforward process. Here are the steps you should follow.

Sign In

Once you open the Google My Business website, click ‘Sign In.’ You should find this button on the top right-hand corner of your browser.

Google My Business

Specify Your Business Location

A prompt will appear asking you if you want to specify the location of your business premises. If you do, click ‘Yes.’ The following window will appear, where you will enter the details about your location.

Google My Business

Pinpoint Your Location on the Map

An address might not be enough. You can simplify the process for customers by dragging and dropping the pin to your exact location on a map.

Inform Your Customers If You Deliver

If your business delivers goods and services to client locations, ensure that you include it in your GMB profile.

Google My Business

Select a Business Category

It is crucial to choose a category that is relevant to your business. This assists customers in finding you if they are looking for companies in your niche.

Google My Business

Add Your Contact Details

The next step involves adding your contact details. Ensure that the phone number is accurate and also add your website address.

Google My Business

Once you add the contact details, the next step is verifying your Google My Business listing.

Google My Business verification


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 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.


How to Optimise Your Google My Business Listing

The majority of businesses in Singapore do not optimise GMB because it is free. The truth is that the performance of your GMB listing depends on the efforts you put into it. If you want it to benefit your business, you have to optimise it using the following methods.

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.

Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

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.

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.

Messaging

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.


Final Thoughts

Optimizing your Google Map Listing will increase the visibility of your business online and enhance your website ranking on this search engine. Most of the tips we have discussed above are straightforward and will have a major impact on the overall appearance of your website. Google keeps changing its algorithm and so it is imperative to monitor it and reassess your strategy to continue staying ahead of the curve.

If you own a business in Singapore and are interested in making your presence known local, then you need to give as much attention as possible to Google My Business and Google Maps. These two elements can ensure that the traffic you get is quality. All this information will ensure that your business appears on SERPs when potential customers use filters queries on local 3-pack and Google Maps to locate businesses in their localities.

Get in touch with us for more digital marketing and SEO best practices in Singapore. 

 

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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June 13, 2017

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