22 Feb, 2021

The Dos and Don’ts of Optimising Your GMB Listing: A Guide for Northampton Businesses

GMB

A Google My Business (GMB) listing is crucial to achieving success with local SEO. Not only is it free and easy to use, but it also enables your Northampton business to appear on Google Maps and receive reviews from your customers amongst many other benefits. With a GMB listing, it will be much easier for your prospects to find you both online and offline. 

What You Should and Shouldn’t Do When Setting Up Your GMB Listing

However, as with other SEO strategies, there are certain things you must and mustn’t do when setting up and optimising your GMB listing. Otherwise, you won’t reach your audience well and obtain the results that you’re expecting. 

1. Listing information

Your listing information is usually your client’s first point of contact with your business. When people look up a local company or establishment on Google, they are generally looking for its basic information, such as its address, operating hours, and phone number. As such, you must get your listing information right the first time.

Dos:

  • Add all the necessary information about your Northampton business to your GMB listing. Also, make sure that your name, address, and phone (NAP) details are all accurate.
  • Incorporate your main keyword in your title. For example, let’s say you have an interior design firm named Smith & Sons. Instead of only using your company name on the title, consider using this: Smith & Sons: Interior Design in Northampton. This will boost your listing’s relevance.
  • Always verify your listing to prevent someone from stealing it from you.

Don’ts:

  • Stuff the title with keywords. If you have secondary keywords, use them on your website and use the main one for your GMB listing.
  • Include inaccurate information on your listing. Leaving outdated or incorrect listing information might frustrate your prospects. This might cause them to look for someone else.
  • Add fake addresses. Creating multiple listings and fake business addresses to rank well in various locations is a big no-no as it violates Google’s terms of service.

2. Customer reviews

Customer reviews are the holy grail of marketing because they serve as social proof that people trust you, and they are happy and satisfied with your business. Research showed that 95% of customers read reviews before purchasing anything. Because they influence your listing position on Google and affect how local customers perceive your business, it’s vital that you manage your customer reviews properly. 

Dos:

  • Ask happy customers to review your business, especially if you’re just starting out.
  • Provide incentives so customers will be more inclined to leave not just text reviews. For example, you can offer discounts to former clients who will share photos of your business or products.
  • Respond to reviews and enquiries. This will give your target customers the impression that you are friendly and easy to approach. Even if the review is just a short sentence, make sure to respond with a quick but sincere “Thank you.”

Don’ts:

  • Ignore reviews, especially the negative ones. Negative reviews offer a great learning experience as they can help you improve your product service. They also help you understand what makes your customers angry, thus, preventing you from making the same mistake in the future.
  • Pick up a fight with negative reviewers. If someone leaves a negative review, you must settle the issue first instead of arguing with them. Even if the reviewer refuses to take back their low rating, it enables you to explain yourself so that other people can know your side of the story.
  • Use fake reviews as it could get you banned by Google.

3. Videos and images

Want more people to notice you online? Adding photos and videos should make your GMB listing more attractive and exciting. Before visiting a particular store or establishment, most people usually want to know what they can expect. Adding relevant images to your listing enables your prospects to see where they are going and even help them verify your location. 

Dos:

  • Add photos/videos to every category when optimising your GMB listing. Utilise every tab in the Photos & Videos section of your listing to give your target customers a glimpse behind the curtain.
  • Take advantage of Google’s servers. Unlike when posting videos and images on your website, you don’t have to worry about insufficient storage space or reduced page loading speed. It is because you’re using Google’s servers when you post images on your GMB listing. As such, you have the freedom to upload images with the highest definition and quality possible.

Don’t:

  • Use fake photos/videos. Make sure that each image you use is indeed from your business. Otherwise, you might run into copyright issues.
  • Use clients’ photos without their approval. Always ask permission first before using other people’s photos and videos, even if they involve your business.

Make the Most of Google My Business

Having a GMB listing can give you a significant advantage when optimising your website for local search. Not only is it free, but it also provides your Northampton business with a lot of benefits, such as improving your online visibility and credibility. As such, make sure that your listing is attractive, engaging, and more importantly, accurate and up-to-date. 

Want to discover more strategies that can help you attract more web traffic and leads for your business? Contact us at Springhill Marketing. We can offer you all the tools and services you need to rank high on Google and move your business forward. Get access to bespoke SEO solutions today.

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