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What is GMB and how can it improve your local presence?

GMB, otherwise known as Google My Business, is Google’s own business listing platform where you can register your business online.  It improves your presence in local search and helps your business show up in the Google top 3 map- pack. However, there is far more to GMB than just claiming your listings. There are loads of great features you can be using to improve your local presence.

So, which GMB features should you be using?

Here are some of the best GMB features you can use to improve your local presence online:

Text-Based Features:

  • NAP and Opening Hours – This one is an absolute must. Include the name, address, and phone number for your business on each listing for that specific business location. Adding your opening hours is crucial too!  A hyperlocal marketing tool, like Vicinus, can help with this! With Vicinus you can create and manage your GMB listings so that they are accurate, consistent and up-to-date. 

Hertz London Golders Green Address, Opening Hours, Phone Number

  • Category and Attributes  – By choosing a category, you are helping your business to appear in relevant local search results. To improve your local presence, you might also consider adding business attributes to help searchers get the information they need. Attributes are things like disabled access,  free wifi and payment options.
  • Description – Including a business description  gives potential customers a better idea of your business and the product or service it provides. Just don’t write more than 750 characters or it will get truncated!  
    Text describing and promoting the car rental services Hertz offers in London
  • Labels – Optimising your GMB listing with labels will help improve your local presence and visibility in local search. These labels are keywords which are invisible to searchers but help your business listings rank higher in search results.

Engagement Features:

  • GMB Posts – Posting information and regular updates on your GMB listing shows customers that your business is engaged and present online. With GMB Posts, you can create and share multiple types of posts such as ‘book appointments’ and ‘learn more’.  Unsure how to go about this? Vicinus, our hyperlocal marketing platform,  can help!

Screenshot of GMB post for Metro shoes

Interactive Features:
  • Website and Directions Links – Physical businesses can improve their online local presence by linking to website store locator or location pages via GMB listings. Vicinus offers superior SEO-friendly location pages for your business and helps to link these pages with your GMB listings. Additionally, adding your business on Google Maps, and linking this to your GMB listing, makes it easy for searchers to visit your business with one-click directions!

Graphic of laptop and phone displaying Hertz Store Locator and location pages

  • CTA Button Feature – Add a Call-To-Action button to your GMB listing(s) to really stand out in local search and generate more website visits and foot traffic.  You can choose from ‘Learn More’, ‘Reserve’, ‘Sign Up’, ‘Buy’, ‘Get Offer’, or even ‘Book Now’. 
  • Questions and Answers – Questions and Answers allows customers to ask you questions about your business on your GMB listing and for you to answer them directly. This information will then stay public for other users to see. One way this feature can be especially beneficial is by producing pre-prompted FAQs. Furthermore, upvoting all relevant questions can help your listing rank higher.

Screenshot of Hertz Victoria London Google Questions and Answers

Other features you should defintely be using:
  • Photos – Having photos uploaded to your GMB listings  will also help improve your local presence. However, because these photos can be user uploaded make sure to monitor them. Need help with this? Vicinus has in-built, AI-led image analysis which monitors your GMB photos to ensure you have only the best business images present online.

Screenshot of photos uploaded to GMB for metro shoes company to show how GMB can be used to improve local presence

  • Google Assistant – When people search for nearby businesses, this is often via voice search when they are driving along or have their hands full.  Therefore, in order to improve your local presence, it is important to optimise your GMB listings for voice search. 

Hertz Google Assistant local map pack result

  • Messaging – If you can, providing the option for online searchers to message you via the Google Messages App, connected to your GMB listing. This can improve local presence because people now days prefer to message than call, so offering this will increase customer to business interaction and help your listing rank higher.
  • GMB Insights – Your GMB account has its own built-in insights and analytics. This data can help you improve your GMB listings so that you can enhance your online local presence.  If you want a more thorough understanding of GMB insights and what it can do, have a read of this helpful article

Additionally, if you are a business that offers a delivery service within a specific geographic area, you can add this to your GMB listing. Also, businesses which have menus or services, can now add a menu or itemized list of services to their listing. 

Want even more information about GMB and all its features? Read Google’s own guide to GMB optimisation and see this link for Google’s GMB updates and announcements

So now you know  about all the GMB features you can be using to improve your local presence!

Contact the Vicinus team at contact@vicinus.ai if you need help with your GMB listings. Or, visit our website to learn more about how Vicinus can help your improve your online local presence.

Published by Daisy on July 17, 2020