As a free service by Google, Google My Business (GMB) lets businesses to appear exactly when people search for your business or similar businesses on Google Search and Maps. In today’s digital era, a GMB listing is a critical component of the online marketing strategy for any business and the solar industry is no exception. Without a Goggle My Business listing for your solar enterprise, it’s quite likely for you to lose out on a large number of potential customers who often rely on Google Search to find a business like yours.
So, if you haven’t created a GMB listing for your solar product/service company until now, it’s time to set up one. Your GMB listing will consist of the following:
- Your Business Name
- Business Category
- Hours of Operation
- Business Address
A GMB listing can tremendously help your solar business to be discovered when your prospects will search for a solar product or service agency. For a stronger online presence, it’s additionally suggested to have active accounts on all popular social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram.
In essence, Google My Business is a powerful listing of your business that accentuates your unique features and enables your prospects to quickly discover, engage and learn about your business – all via search engine result pages (SERPs).
Incidentally, simply creating a GMB listing for your solar business will not serve the purpose, especially when the competition in the solar market is neck and neck. This minimizes your chances to reach your potential buyers. Let’s understand this with some stats. Nearly 167 billion searches are performed on Google every month. But a recent study has shown that a typical Business Profile on Google observes 1,260 views on an average during that period. What’s more shocking is that merely 59 actions are taken out of those 1,260 views, which is less than 5%!
This means, if you aim to target your local consumers and enhance your local search visibility, you may need to optimize your GMB listing. In the last couple of years, Google has introduced so many exciting features to Google My Business that it is pretty much possible for you to miss out on a few. It’s also quite likely that you might not be using your GMB profile as effectively as you think.
For time-poor businessmen, a great option is to hire a reputed SEO consultant in London that has experience and expertise in optimizing GMB listing. Besides, you can also consider some simple ways to optimize the GMB Profile of your solar business. But before digging deep into them, let’s first understand why GMB listing optimization is all important.
Optimizing Google My Business is Crucial for Every Business
Regardless of their size and nature, every business today needs a Google My Business listing. Not only does if offer a great deal of information to both Google and consumers, but it also bolsters your local search presence. The information you feed into your GMB profile are used in myriad ways by Google Search. This include filling in the highly noticeable knowledge bar, which appears on the right side of the search results, populating the local pack, locating your business on Google Maps, facilitating Google App Search results, and offering Voice Search results.
Creating a Google My Business profile is quick, easy, and free. Once you are done with that, you can surely begin with the GMB optimization process to boost the local presence of your solar business.
GMB optimization is about both updating your existing listing and using it to convey to Google everything it may require to precisely present your business at the right places and at the right time. This helps attract your prospects, who stumble across your listing while convincing them that your business is the one that best matches their requirements, present in their local search.
Google My Business listings are increasingly becoming important with respect to local search. And, it is undoubtedly one of the deciding factors in the local success of a business. Therefore, understanding how to optimize your GMB listing is the key to taking your local solar business to the next level. Hiring a full-service SEO consultant London can come in handy in the process if you are looking to save time and want experts to manage GMB optimization for your business.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing for a Solar Business
Follow the steps below to optimize your Google My Business for Your solar business:
- Ensure that Your NAP is Correct: The first step toward your business’s local search success with a GMB listing is to making sure that the basics are done right. This means, a thorough check of all your basic information like your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) to ensure their accuracy and consistency across all local business citations.
Citations tremendously help with discovery of a business in the digital space. They allow your potential consumers to find you while giving the information to Google it requires to rank your business. If these details are wrong, your local search accuracy would suffer, making it tougher for your audience to discover you.
Google My Business signals has been ranked as #1 on the list of 2018 Moz Local Search Ranking Factors with on-page signals (including NAP) at position five. If you want to check your NAP, just log in to your GMB account and on the dashboard, click the “Info” icon. Over there, you can verify whether the information is correct or not.
- Reserve Your GMB Short Name: One you are done with the NAP verification, the next step is to claiming your short name. This is a custom name, which makes it easier for local search users to discover your business. Google wants this short name to be either related to your business or something your customers like to refer to your business.
In case your business has multiple physical locations, you can still claim a short URL. This can be done for every location by adding your location to the URLs. Ideally, you should include your “Company Name” & “Branch Location” in your short name while keeping it consistent across various locations.
Getting your GMB short name is quite easy. Simply log in to your Google My Business account, click “Info” on the left side, and then move down to “Claim Short Name.” The short name can be maximum of 32 characters and can be changed thrice a year. To change the short name, follow the menu options and then select “Edit.”
- Describe Your Business Perfectly: As an important element of the overall Google My Business optimization of your solar business, you can create a crisp description of your business for your GMB profile. This description should ideally describe your business in a genuine and striking manner. At the same time, it should not appear promotional or salesy.
In the description, you can convey your USPs, brand message, objective, history, and more to your prospects. Remember that Google Guidelines restrict promotional URLs and content in this section. That said, you can add your email address and phone number.
Coming up with a solid description can be time-consuming, but basic rules must be kept in mind while creating one. Ideally, chose a keyword or two, around which, you can craft your description while ensuring that the search terms appear early in the description. It is also suggested to include at least one location-specific keyword in your description. Once you have created your best description, add it to your “add business description” under the “Info” tab. You can edit this as many times as you want.
- Select the Right Category & Sub-Category: This is important as it tells Google what searches your business are relevant to. The recent Moz Search Ranking Factors has also placed ‘Proper GMB category associations’ at #4 and ‘GMB primary category matches a broader category of the search category’ on the 8th position in the top 50 local ranking pack factors.
Unable to find the exact match is a common problem that most local businesses face while choosing the primary category. Many a time, it’s not always a definitive option. When there are multiple options that seem related to your business, selecting the one that is most important to your business is the general rule of thumb. This also needs to be specific from an optimization perspective. For example, if you run an solar energy equiptment, you should select “Solar energy equipment supplier” instead of just “solar energy.”
Likewise, there are secondary categories that tell about the additional services you offer. You should select them thoughtfully in accordance with your business. To choose a category and sub-category in GMB, go to “Info” and then click the “pencil” icon under the name of your business.
- Upload Killer Photographs: “A picture is worth a thousand words” and this applies to GMB too. Google My Business offers you many options to play around with images – so use them to the best of your advantage to gain local search traction.
As a solar product company, you can share your exterior and interior photographs, 360-degree images, and even a video. You can also give a meaningful context to your pics by adding captions to them. For this, follow Google’s guidelines for business-specific photos.
Moreover, your customers can also upload images of your staff, products/services and business to Google. Google Reviews with images is a crucial local search factor now, so look for ways to encourage your customers to review your services/products with images.
- Track & Respond to Reviews: The essence of reviews is in the way they influence the buying decision. This especially holds true for a local business. A local customer reads 10 reviews on an average to develop some level of trust on a local business, according to a survey. This means, generating positive feedback can directly impact sales.
It is also found that more than 50% consumers choose a business only if it has a rating of 4 stars or more. This suggests that generating Google Reviews is an important GMB optimization exercise. While some customers write reviews without being asked for, there are many who may need a consistent push to get motivated to write one.
You can automate the review requesting process using several tools. This can be done either directly at the Check Out page on your website or by sending an email several days after the purchase has been made. Once you start receiving a fair number of reviews, assign someone in your team/company to monitor and respond to them. A “Thank You” would suffice in some cases, but many a time, you may need to respond in detail.
When you hire an established SEO consultant in London, you don’t need to worry about tracking and timely responding to reviews as these SEO consulting services are well versed in everything related to search engine optimization.
- Make the Most of Google Posts: A feature in Google My business, called Posts is quite important with respect to GMB optimization. This is kind of a mini blog that you can use to give updates on your solar business, share an offer, publish information of a future event, or showcase a solar product.
Besides optimizing GMB, Posts also help enhance local search visibility of a business. The Offer-type ones are more popular these days and Posts have now begun to appear in the section atop the search results, marked as “related to your search.”
For Post creation, log in to your GMB account and click “Post.” Next, select a relevant post type and upload an image or video. You can also include a short content to support your post. Finally, select the button type to display beneath your post and include your link.
- Create a Quality Information Database on Google Q&A: As the name suggests, it is basically a question-and-answer feature. Consumers can ask questions using this feature, and the question & their answers are showcased in the knowledge graph. Its purpose is to provide local customers and search user with extra information on a business.
For businesses, it is an excellent way to gain additional local insights that they can use to optimize their GMB profile. The best part of GMB Q&A is that you can create questions about your location and answer them too. This lets you create a highly informative database in advance for the search users, who may consider your business even before visiting your website.
Your questions should be around topics like the service/product you offer, brands you own, estimated cost, and other related things that are informative and may help local consumers find what exactly they are looking for.
- Add Social Profiles to Your GMB Listing: When it comes to Google My Business optimization, make sure that your GMB profile is up to date and complete. There are some search visibility-specific benefits of fully completing the GMB profile, updating it quite often, and taking advantage of multiple GMB features.
In several knowledge panel search results, social media handles appear along with local business information. To make this happen, Google suggests businesses to be verified, consistent, and use structured data. To ensure consistency, keep the same business name on GMB profile and social media pages.
If a social media website needs verification, do it right away. This helps Google understand that your social profile is genuine and is linked to your business. On your website, you can include structured social profile markup to tell Google which social profiles you would want it to display.
To make the most of this feature, ensure that your social media profiles are updated periodically, posts and comments on them are monitored regularly, and you have a highly engaging community.
Bonus Tip: Google continually updates its features and tools, so keep a constant eye and stay proactive when it comes to updating your GMB profile or making any necessary changes with the new updates. Also, make use of GMB insights to constantly assess the performance of your profile. In case you have other important aspects of your business to take care of or you otherwise find GMB profile optimization somewhat difficult, then it is a great idea to capitalize on the expertise of a reputed SEO consultant in London.
Google My Business optimization for a solar manufacturer/dealership or any other type of local business offers myriad advantages – from enhancing local search visibility and binging in more positive reviews, to offering quality information to local customers.
While some sections may needs to be filled just once, several others like publishing Post or uploading images should be done regularly – if you really want to unlock the true potential of GMB.