In creating a Google My Business listing for your local business, making a data-based decision is one of the most important steps you’ll be taking. Just how influential are the categories you select?
What exactly is this all about?
Recent State of the Local SEO Industry 2020 survey found that, out of all factors, GMB elements (which include categories) have the greatest impact on local pack rankings. Choose wisely, and these elements help ensure Google views you as a candidate for possible inclusion as a result for a set of search phrases. Choose wrongly and you can exclude yourself from this vital visibility.
Google categories can also play a role in determining which features will be available to you in your Google Business Profile/Google listing. For example, if you’re categorized as a “hotel”, you won’t be able to use Google Posts. If you’re categorized as an educational institution, you won’t be able to receive reviews. Meanwhile, if you’re categorizing your business in the auto dealership space, you’ll be allowed to have multiple listings for your departments and the car makes you vend.
Categories impact the attributes that will be associated with your business, the menus you can use, whether booking buttons are available to you, and whether you have primary or secondary hours of operation displayed.
In short, your choice of your primary and secondary categories contributes a lot to Google’s understanding and handling of your business.
When and where to choose Google categories?
In creating a brand new Google My Business listing, one of the first thing Google asks you to do is to choose a category:
And, as Google says, you can change and add more categories later. Once you have access to your GMB dashboard, you’ll find your categories this way. Click on the “Info” tab in the left menu. Look right below your business name, where the pencil icon will let you edit your categories:
You can select up to 10 categories. Your primary category is most important. It will have the greatest influence on your local rankings. It must be chosen with extra care:
You can edit your categories in the GMB dashboard any time you want to. Please understand that doing so can substantially alter the rankings you’re experiencing for various search phrases.
How to choose Google categories?
Here’s your step-by-step workflow for picking the Google categories that are best for your business. Of course, with the help of some great tools.
1) Determine your most important search phrases
First, create a list that includes: The type of business you operate (e.g. “supermarket” “medical center” “restaurant”) and its variants. For example, if you’re an attorney, list out the subtypes associated with your firm, such a “personal injury lawyer” or “tax attorney”. If you own a restaurant, include whether it’s an “Italian restaurant”, a “family restaurant” and other qualifiers. A supermarket might also be a “grocery store” or “natural foods store”. The full list of goods and services you offer. Your HVAC company offers heater repair, air conditioner repair, etc. Another example would be your landscaping company offers tree service, landscape design, yard work, etc. Your clothing store offers men’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc.
Next, take your list of keywords and enter them into your choice of free or paid keyword research tools to discover which terms have the highest potential search volume. For example, Moz’s Keyword Suggestions tool within Moz Keyword Explorer can help you determine the difference in search volume between two terms like “Mexican restaurant” vs. “taco shop”:
Note down the search volume for each term on your list.
Finally, refine your list down to a smaller set of terms that combine the highest search volume with being most relevant and important for your company. In most cases, this is the list you’ll move ahead with. Although there are some cases in which you would choose to target lower volume search phrases. Why? Well, because they are either a) less competitive, or b) a more exact description of what your business is.
2) Determine which categories your market competitors are using for your most important search phrases
Now, take your refined list of search phrases over to Google and begin searching for them in your local market. Your local market is made up of your customers’ locations in relationship to your business location. This could only be as large as your neighbourhood. Or, it could include a whole city or several adjacent cities, depending on:
– Your business model – The distance from which customers are willing to travel to get to your business – The distance from which Google believes customers are willing to travel to get to your business
For example, a coffee shop might have quite a small local market if most of its customers arrive looking for a quick, convenient cup of coffee.
Meanwhile, an amusement park might have a much larger local market because people are willing to go a greater distance to visit it. Google’s local results increasingly reflect their understanding of intent differently for different business models.
Make a list of all the competitors you discovered in your market while searching from the location of your business.
Next, be sure you’re using the Chrome browser. Head over to Chrome Webstore to download the awesome, free, new extension called GMBspy. Developer of the extension is George Nenni of Generations Digital. Turning this extension on enables you to go to Google Maps, search for your market competitors and see their categories, like this:
You can look up competitors one by one, or just mouse around on the map to see the GMBspy extension data pop up.
Google doesn’t automatically reveal all the categories a business is using and so this little tool saves so much time, and a lot of fiddling around with HTML to access that data. What a great development!
Note down all of the categories your market competitors are using. Pay special attention to the categories being used by the business ranking #1 for each of your refined search phrases.
3) Get category suggestions and leave no stone unturned
Your market might be full of highly active competitors who have wisely chosen the best categories, or it could be a less sophisticated scenario in which other companies are overlooking opportunities you might be able to discover.
If you’ve not yet opened for business do this. Just enter the street address of your proposed location instead of a business name. Then, go get a cup of tea or do a little exercise for five minutes and come back for this amazing data:
Based on your lat-long coordinates, PlePer shows you your current categories. Also, you can see which categories are used in your area, a list of category suggestions, and other useful information. Quite cool! The free version of this tool lets you do three such searches per day. Jot down any notable findings that were absent from using GMBspy.
It’s updated at least every 3 days, which is great because Google continuously adds and subtracts categories. Just select your language and country and hit the “fetch” button. This tool can be especially useful if you offer an unusual good or service and aren’t sure whether a category exists for it. Note down anything you feel might be relevant.
Finally, within the GMB dashboard, Google will also sometimes make suggestions about additional categories. This you might want to consider adding:
In the above screenshot, you can see that some software company is causing Google to suggest that it might also want to select “accounting software company”. It is up to you to figure out whether these suggestions make sense.
You’ve now got all the data you need to make a selection. Of course, based on the categories that are applicable to your popular search phrases and that are being used (or overlooked) by your top market competitors. Well done!
https://www.klikeri.hr/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Google-My-Business-kategorije-blog.png4001200klikerihttps://www.klikeri.hr/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Klikeri_logo17-ENG-BL-copy.pngklikeri2020-09-10 15:28:222020-09-10 16:14:12How To Correctly Choose Google My Business Categories and what tool can help you?
Any business today needs targeted visibility on Google. Most businesses know that this requires optimizing their website and Google Ads, but what most don’t know is that there is a third entity that also needs optimizing: their Google business listing. Formally known as your Business Profile, this powerful listing is a dynamic snapshot of your business that highlights your best features and enables potential customers to quickly find, learn about, and engage with you—all from the SERP. The best part? It’s completely free.
Steps to follow
And yet, despite the 167 billion searches performed on Google each month, a BrightLocal study showed that the typical Business Profile only averages 1,260 views during that same period (that’s 0.00000075%!). Even worse, only 59 actions are taken from those 1,260 views. That’s less than 5%.
The problem is not the Google My Business platform; it’s that not nearly enough businesses take full advantage of its impressive features. And that’s why we’ve written this guide. Here, we’re going to share 13 optimization strategies:
1. Claim your Business Profile 2. Complete every section of your Google My Business account 3. Use consistent name and contact info 4. Include hours of operation and special hours 5. Select primary and secondary categories 6. Mark off applicable attributes 7. Write a complete “from the business” description 8. Publish Google posts weekly 9. Upload new photos weekly 10. Answer questions 11. Collect and respond to reviews 12. Add your products and/or services 13. Add any industry-specific details
With these optimizations, you can turn your Business Profile into the best free customer acquisition tool you didn’t know you had. Let’s get into it.
What does an optimized Google Business Profile look like?
Before we get into the strategies, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about what an optimized Business Profile looks like and why you need one. To help you visualize what you’re striving for and why, let’s take a look at a mockup of an incomplete Google Business Profile versus a complete and optimized one.
Here, Carl’s Google Business Profile is a short box, but Ernie’s Business Profile would show even more when you scroll. This diagram doesn’t encompass all of the features of an optimized Google Business Profile, but it does give you an idea of how much more attractive and engaging an optimized profile is.
Why you need to optimize your Google Business Profile?
The comparison above makes it clear that an optimized Business Profile on Google helps consumers to choose your business over competitors, but there are other benefits to optimizing your Business Profile for effective local marketing.
Improve engagement More and more, consumers are entering and exiting Google without going to any other website. Why? Because the information in search results pages themselves is fully answering their questions, resulting in “zero-click searches.” With potentially more consumers interacting with your businesses through your Google Business Profile than your website, you’ll want that profile to be optimized for quality engagement and conversions.
Boost your local ranking Google’s algorithm for ranking business profiles does not just consider proximity and relevance but also activity and quality of information. Optimizing your Google Business Profile sends these signals to Google to rank you higher in local results. And higher rank, as you know, means more visibility and engagement with your business.
Convert more customers A regular Google Business Profile alone doesn’t offer much in the way of acquiring customers. They can find out where you are located and read your reviews—if they know to search your business name in the first place. But with an optimized Business Profile through your Google My Business account, consumers can discover you in keyword searches, call you, visit your website, research your products and services, view/contribute FAQs, request a quote, book an appointment, make a reservation, and more.
How to optimize your Google Business Profile?
Now that you see that optimizing your Google Business Profile is the key to getting found in local search, standing out above competitors, and winning customers online, it’s time to get to work on doing just that. Here are 13 ways you can turn your Google Business Profile into a 24/7 marketing and lead generation tool for your local business.
1. Create a Google My Business account
First and foremost, it’s important to note here that a Google Business Profile is a separate entity from a Google My Business account. The latter is used to gain access to and optimize the former. Which means that in order to make the optimizations laid out in this guide, you need to have a Google My Business account and then tell Google to connect it with your Google Business Profile. To create an account, head to Google.com/business and sign in with the regular Google/Gmail account you use for your business (as opposed to your personal Gmail, if you have one).
2. Complete every section
The completeness of your Google Business Profile not only helps Google to rank you higher in local search results, but it also increases the number of actions customers take when they find your profile. There’s a lot of information to provide, so here are some guidelines for prioritizing.
These aspects of your profile should be completed right away:
Name Address Phone Website Hours
These sections take a bit more time and thought:
Category and Attributes Products and services From the business Questions and answers (Owner-generated queries)
These sections are ongoing:
Posts Reviews Questions and answers (Consumer-generated)
3. Be meticulous with contact information
Here are the steps for optimizing the contact information in your Google Business Profile:
Make sure your business name is identical to the one you use on your store signage. In other words, exactly as it appears in the real world. Adding location name (unless it’s in your brand name) or keywords is considered spam by Google and you could be penalized.
Make sure that both your business name and address exactly match your other listings across the web. This means using “st” vs “street” or “co” vs “company” consistently. Google’s algorithm takes these inconsistencies into account when assessing your credibility.
Indicate both your regular and holiday hours. This encourages customers to visit you, and also avoids the potential of a negative review left by someone who took the trip out to your store only to find it was closed.
4. Write your “from the business” description
The first thing to note is that the brief description that appears just below your business name in your Business Profile is not actually in your control. This is the editorial summary that Google writes to ensure consistency across the platform.
Bummer, we know. But the good news is that Google does a pretty good job at coming up with descriptions.
The description you do have control over is the “from the business” section in your Google My Business account dashboard. This section appears lower in your profile, often under the reviews section.
To optimize the “from the business” section of your Google Business Profile:
Use all 750 characters, with key information in the first 250 characters.
Repurpose content from your “About Us” page or mission statement.
Use keywords your audience uses to find businesses like yours.
Don’t repeat any information already visible in the other sections of your profile. Use this space to talk about what sets you apart from competitors and what customers like most about your business.
Don’t include links or HTML.
5. Choose a category
Choosing a category is a must for optimizing your Google Business Profile. Here’s why:
Get found in discovery searches A whopping 84% of GMB profile views originate from discovery searches (meaning the consumer searched for a product, service, or categorical term and that business’s profile appeared), versus only 16% coming from direct searches (the consumer typed in the business name or address). This is especially true for businesses whose name doesn’t indicate their service (e.g., Fresh Express or Amelia’s Catering).
Highlight category-specific features Once you choose a category, Google makes available to you category-specific features that make your profile more attractive and effective. For example, restaurants can include a menu or reservation button; hotel profiles will pull in star ratings; hair salons can confirm that they have experience with thin or curly hair. These details can help consumers choose you over competitors.
Google offers a set number of categories, so it’s important to choose the correct ones.
Here’s how to optimize your Google Business Profile using categories:
Be specific If you’re a nail salon, choose “Nail Salon” and not just “Salon.” If you’re a restaurant, choose “Egyptian Restaurant,” “American Restaurant,” etc., rather than simply “Restaurant.” A drop-down list of categories will appear once you start typing, but you can also see a full list of GMB categories here to ensure you find the most specific one for your business (there are over 3,000 categories so it’s worth the look).
Choose secondary categories Many businesses fall into multiple categories. Set your primary category to your chief offering (for example, “Grocery Store”) and then choose additional categories that apply, such as “Grocery Delivery Service” or “Gourmet Grocery Store.”
Don’t overdo it You want Google to connect you with consumers who need your service, so choose only categories that match your offering. For example, if you’re an appliance repair business, select “Appliance Repair” only, not “Appliance Parts Supplier.” Technically you do supply service parts, but this is not a standalone offering of your business. (Pro tip: Don’t confuse categories with products or attributes, which are separate sections.)
Also, keep in mind that Google might ask you to verify your business if you edit your category list or add multiple. This is just to ensure accuracy across their platform.
6. Select applicable attributes
As we just mentioned, once you choose a category, Google will give you a list of attributes you can check off to further describe your business. Attributes are special features that potential customers seek out, like “gift shop on-site” or “free wi-fi.”
Attributes are not specific to the Google My Business platform (review sites like Yelp have them, too). But Google’s attributes get really granular, like “good for working on laptop” or “popular for travelers”. Check out this attribute list to see what we mean.
7. Add photos
Uploading photos to your Business Profile through your Google My Business account dashboard is important for this reasons:
Ensure quality Anyone can add photos to your Business Profile, which means you’ll get a range of quality. By adding your own great photos, you can ensure your profile looks its best.
Be active Adding photos regularly signals to Google that you are active with your profile and it is up-to-date, which positively impacts your ranking.
Get images in results Google is advancing in image recognition and starting to include photos in local results.
Increase engagement According to Google, customers are 42% more likely to request driving directions to a business if its Business Profile has photos, and 35% more likely to click through to its website. Furthermore, a BrightLocal study showed that businesses with more than 100 photos get 520% more calls, 2,717% more direction requests, and 1,065% more website clicks than the average business. Whoah.
This doesn’t mean you should go crazy and add a hundred images to your profile at once.
Follow these tips to use photos to optimize your Google Business Profile:
Add at least one new photo every seven days. For your thumbnail photo, upload your logo. Regarding cover photo, use something that best represents your brand—but don’t fuss over this because Google will display different feature photos depending on the search query. For other general photos, refer to Google’s photo guidelines for specifications, but be sure to include happy customers, interior and exterior views, and team photos. No stock photos, and no photos with special effects or branding. Google is trying to represent your business as it appears in the real world. Focus on quality images that have clear depictions (to align with image-enriched results).
Geo-tag your photos to further indicate to Google your prominence in your area. Add videos, too! Use Google’s Street View app to add a 360º photo to your profile.
8. Get Google reviews
If you were to get a list of businesses in search results like the one below, which one would you be most likely to choose? The one with four attractive yellow stars or one of the two below with no reviews at all?
Google knows that reviews are the #1 influence on consumer buying, so this is a key ranking factor in their algorithm. You can also see for yourself the impact of reviews on ranking. For most searches performed on Google, the first three local results that appear (in what is known as the “Local 3-Pack”) are the ones with multiple reviews and solid star ratings:
In addition, Google may also display a Business Profile in search results if it has reviews that contain those keywords.
To optimize your Google Business Profile with reviews, follow these tips:
Start with your long-time, loyal customers to get the momentum going. Make it as easy as possible for customers by creating a review shortcut link or using Whitespark’s shortcut link generator (both are free). Ask! 62% of customers will write a review if asked. Do so via email, text, social media, and in-person conversations. Remind customers that reviews aren’t just for your benefit; they help people who have the same pain points as them to find a solution and make informed decisions. Have a “Reviews” page on your website with a CTA to leave one. Respond to reviews. This feedback incentivizes additional customers to leave theirs, reveals a lot about your business to prospects, and improves your local SEO.
Be careful not incentivize reviewswith discounts, gifts, or cash, though—that’s not allowed.
9. Post to your Google Business Profile
Just like with social media platforms, you can post to your Google Business Profile about announcements, offers, events, and products. Posts are created in your Google My Business dashboard and show up on the “Updates” section toward the bottom of your Business Profile. However, they might become more prominent based on the search query.
Here’s how posts help you to optimize your Google Business Profile:
– Posts increase the number of actions taken by consumers who find your profile. – Posting regularly sends positive ranking signals to Google in the same way that adding photos does. – Consumers have higher intent on search engines versus other posting platforms (i.e., Facebook and Instagram, where they are leisurely scrolling), so they are more likely to engage with your Google posts. – Consumers can follow your Business Profile and get notified of new posts and updates.
Here are your tips for optimizing your Google Business Profile with posts:
Post regularly. Not just to send signals to Google, but also because certain post types expire every seven days. Use event and offer posts for marketing campaigns that have a timeline. You can choose a date range and the posts will stay live for the duration of that timeline. Include links and CTAs in every post.
10. Ask and answer questions
Have you noticed on Amazon that in addition to the product description and customer reviews, there is a section for questions and answers? Google offers the same feature in Google Business Profiles.
Answers to these questions may be the impetus for a customer deciding to choose your business. However, this section is particularly important to optimize because not only can anyone ask a question on a business’s Google profile but also anyone can answer. This can lead to inaccurate information on your profile, or even worse, something like the Q&A on this pizza restaurant’s profile:
Here’s how to optimize the Q&A section of your Google Business Profile:
Set up alerts so you can stay on top of questions and answers posted to your profile.
Seed your own Q&A section. Make a list of the most frequently asked questions your business gets. Then ask, answer, and upvote your answer on your own profile. This does not go against Google’s terms and conditions. In fact, Google encourages it. Keep keywords in mind. Questions and answers that contain keywords can help improve your Business Profile’s ranking for that keyword. So keep your keyword strategy in mind when seeding your Q&A section, but use them loosely and organically, and do not keyword stuff.
By monitoring and seeding your Q&A section, you can ensure accurate information, highlight your best features, and reduce common barriers to entry.
Note: Google has temporarily suppressed the Q&A section of most Business Profiles right now in response to COVID-19, so you may not see this option for yours for a while.
11. Add products and services
Adding products and services is especially helpful if your offerings are not made clear in your business name. Populating this section also adds content to your profile that can help it to rank for even more relevant searches.
When adding products and services, include the name, description, and price (if applicable). The full description will show up once a searcher clicks on the product. Also, Google may link to your products from your category section.
12. Set up messaging
This feature gives searchers the option to send a text message to your phone directly from your Google Business Profile. With 82% of smartphone shoppers (92% for millennials) using their device for local search, this is a great opportunity for customers to get in touch with you.
To enable messaging, select the “Messaging” tab in your Google My Business dashboard, and you have the option to install this via Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Note: Be sure to set up alerts for messages in your Google My Business dashboard. Head to settings and check off “Customer messages.”
13. Maintain your Business Profile with a solid Google My Business strategy
As you can see, a Google Business Profile is not a one-and-done marketing task. It’s a local marketing tool that requires ongoing action in order to maximize your benefits. This includes:
– Updating information, even as minor as a change in suite number. – Publishing posts and uploading photos each week. – Keeping a steady stream of reviews coming in. – Monitoring and responding to reviews. – Staying on top of new features so you can ensure you’re using your profile to its fullest potential.
Just like any Google SEO strategy, your Google My Business strategy should center around providing as much quality information about your business as possible, not just in your Business Profile but in the sources that Google uses to populate it—your website, review site profiles, and even your social media accounts. We can’t ever know every specific ranking factor, but we do know their ultimate goal: to connect searchers to the best business for their needs through detailed, trusted information. So focus on using your Google My Business dashboard to get your Business Profile to represent your business as accurately and thoroughly as possible, and then make sure to maintain this, and you will reap its benefits.
https://www.klikeri.hr/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/gmb-13-koraka-blog-naslovna.png4001200klikerihttps://www.klikeri.hr/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Klikeri_logo17-ENG-BL-copy.pngklikeri2020-06-06 17:29:082020-06-06 18:37:4613 optimizations steps for Google My Business in 2020
GMB is a free and simplified dashboard that helps business owners manage and update business listings across the Google Ecosystem. It is a program that was developed by Google for over ten years before its inception in the year 2014.
With several upgrades and tweaks, Google built this CRM feature to help businesses build an online presence that will help users conducting searches to receive not only the basic NAP (name, address, phone number) details, but other kinds of information such as business hours, and specifications as to the availability of facilities such as parking and so on.
This is not only an attempt on Google’s side to better its user experience, but it is also focused on helping business owners reach their target audience on online searches.
Is your Google My Business profile optimized?
If so, then you must be aware of the fact that having professional quality images is essential.
Hi-res photos attract more online visitors and make a strong first impression.
This guide walks you through the steps to add, remove, and optimize your GMB images.
Three types of Google My Business photos:
Profile photos: Help your customers recognize your business on Google.
Cover photos: Showcase your page’s personality. Adding a cover photo automatically sets it as your listing’s preferred photo. This action doesn’t guarantee it populates as the first image for your business, but it does tell Google you prefer to display this photo. Individuals often mistakenly believe the profile photo is the preferred one. This is not the case!
Additional photos: Add different photos to spotlight features of your business that customers consider when making purchasing decisions.
How to Add Google My Business Photos
First, claim your Google My Business listing. Then log into your GMB. Navigate to the Photos tab in the left-hand column. Click on the type of photo you wish to add and walk through the wizard.
Your photos will look best on Google if they meet the following standards:
Google My Business Profile Photo Size: 250 x 250 pixels (minimum 120 x 120; maximum 5200 x 5300) Google My Business Cover Photo Size: 1080 x 608 pixels (minimum 480 x 270; maximum 2120 x 1192) Format: JPG or PNG. Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB. Minimum Resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide. Quality: The photo should be in focus and well lit, and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality.
How to delete photos from Google My Business
Both admins and visitors have the ability to add images to your GMB profile.
You can easily remove any photos you uploaded yourself under the Photos tab in the left-hand column. However, if you wish to remove photos that visitors/customers uploaded, you will have to flag them.
You’re only able to flag the photos if they violate GMB’s strict guidelines.
According to the guidelines, the photos must be relevant and taken by users at the business location. Stock imagery is not allowed and may be removed.
Note: If you’ve come across content on Google that may violate the law, let Google know here. They’ll carefully review the material and consider blocking, removing or restricting access to it.
Flag photos in your Google account
Sign in to Google My Business. If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage. Click Photos from the menu. Find the photo you’d like to flag, then click the flag icon in the top right corner.
Open the GMB app. Tap the menu Three dash menu, then tap Photos. Find the photo you’d like to flag. Tap the three dot menu icon in the top left corner, then tap Report photo.
Google My Business Photos Best Practices
Businesses invest a lot of time and money into their website. The same principles should be applied to your Google My Business profile!
Within Google photos, highlight your building, office, and people, which adds a personal touch. Remember that it’s worth investing in professional-quality headshots. Low-quality photos do not reflect well on your business or services. A team photo is also a great idea.
Important: Your Google My Business photos are often the first thing customers see when searching online. Remember that online visitors may not even make it to your website. Your Google profile may be your only chance to shine and make a lasting impression so make it count with high-quality images.
Once your Google photos are optimized, it’s time to take a closer look at the rest of the profile.
Is your Google profile filled out completely and accurately? Most importantly, how are your online reviews and ratings? After all, low ratings and a low count of reviews often deter prospective customers from your business.
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