Google My Business (GMB) is the new online place to see and be seen. At least that is true for businesses and nonprofit organizations. With Google offering free GMB profiles to any and all business entities who want them, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to turn the company down. Again, GMB is free.
Signing up for a GMB profile is not hard. You create a Google account if you don’t already have one. Then you sign in and complete the preliminary part of your profile and submit it for approval. Google will require you to verify the legitimacy of your business or organization before your profile is approved. But once that happens, you can start building your profile.
Two key components to that profile are your company information and business description. Do yourself a favor and spend some time on these two things. Do them right because Google places a lot of weight on them. Remember that their goal is to return accurate information to users. They expect your profile to be accurate as well.
There are more or less five pieces of information Google wants in your profile. The first three are critical: name, address, and phone. They are so important that Google has given them an acronym: NAP. This is the information you will have to verify before your profile is approved. Here is what it means:
- Name – The name under which you are doing business, usually the company name.
- Address – The physical address at which customers can find your business.
- Phone – The actual phone number customers can call to reach your business.
It is kind of strange that this has to be explained, but you would be surprised how many people enter the wrong NAP information the first time around. They don’t realize the mistake until Google refuses to activate their profiles.
The other two pieces of information are hours of operation and website address. Your profile will not get rejected if you don’t provide this information, but it also won’t do so well in organic searches. Adding hours of operation and website address just complete the picture.
GMB expects business owners to enter a description of their organizations. Business owners have 750 characters to work with. That may not be much compared to a 1000-word blog post, but it is a lot for a description. In their recent post on optimizing a GMB profile, Salt Lake City’s Webtek Digital Marketing, you should be using all 750 characters at your disposal.
Webtek also recommends the following:
Maximizing Keywords – Your business description is a fantastic tool for taking advantage of keywords. Choose a primary keyword and use it a couple of times in the description. Also choose one or two keyword variations and plug them in as well. Just don’t stuff. Use your keywords and variations in a natural and meaningful way.
Use Formatting – Formatting text makes it easier for visitors to read. So just as you would with a blog post, take advantage of formatting in your business description.
Be Conversational – Webtek recommends utilizing a conversational tone as though you were describing your business to someone in-person. Use simple English. Enter the very same words you would use while speaking to someone about your business.
A GMB profile could push your business over the edge in terms of SEO performance. It could be that one ingredient your SEO strategy has been missing all along. If you want to know more about GMB before you sign up, there is plenty of information available online. Just make sure you put effort into company information and business description should you decide to get on board.