Search engine optimization is one of the most essential tools for any 21st-century business. This means explicitly targeting your visibility on any Google searches, which is how most potential customers find products and services these days. There are a few different aspects that go into proper Google optimization. The first is customizing your website, making sure it features all the right keywords for search engine optimization. The second is making sure your Google ads are optimized and targeted at the right demographics. The third and perhaps most important aspect is your Google business listing.

Google My Business (GMB) Provides So Much Information

Officially known as your Google Business Profile or your Google My Business account, this listing is one of the most important parts of internet marketing. It provides some of the fastest return on investment of any marketing method. A properly optimized business profile can improve customer engagement, provide helpful and relevant information to people who already know your business, and boost your rankings for local Google results. Here are a few tips you can use to take your business listing to the next level.

Fill In Everything Properly

The first thing you need to do is make sure your business profile has been filled out completely. This will not only improve your rankings in Google searches, but it will also help your listing stand out to potential customers. This means filling out every category, including the address, hours, website, and your “from the business” section. If your business is a restaurant, make sure the menu is posted on your account. Customers will also be posting questions on your business profile, so make sure you’re keeping up on those. Answering questions is a great way to provide extra information you’d like potential customers to know.

Be As Accurate As Possible

As you’re filling out your account, take special care with the category section. This is where you can let Google know what kind of business you run (e.g., restaurant, auto garage, etc.) Nearly 85% of business profile views on Google come from category searches rather than direct searches, so make sure your categories are accurate. Don’t be afraid to get specific, either. Instead of just putting “restaurant,” describe the kind of cuisine – Egyptian restaurant, Italian restaurant, etc. This will make sure your listing comes up first when customers are searching for specifics.

Images Matter

Make sure you’re adding pictures to your profile as well. Customers are 42% more likely to view a business profile with photos, so it’s important to add a few to your profile. Google will display different pictures depending on what the user has searched for, so ensuring some variety is also important. If you have a business logo, use it for the thumbnail photo to present a professional image.

So Do Reviews

Finally, try to encourage reviews from your customers. Positive reviews will go a long way to make sure your profile stands out, and businesses with only a few reviews are likely to be buried by Google’s algorithm. Feel free to ask your customers to post reviews, but don’t offer them deals or coupons for it – this goes against Google’s terms of service.

GMB is only part of a well-rounded internet marketing strategy, but it’s one of the easiest and most immediately rewarding parts. Staying up-to-date on your profile is one of the best things you can do to keep on top of the search results and bring customers into your business.