Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool provided by Google that allows businesses to create a digital listing for their physical location on Google Maps and Google Search. Google My Business is also called Google Business listing. GMB listings include important business information such as business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, reviews, photos, and more.
In Malaysia, GMB plays a critical role in improving the online visibility of local businesses. According to a survey conducted by Google, 76% of people who use their smartphones to search for something nearby visit a business within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase. This means that local businesses that have a strong online presence are more likely to attract new customers and increase sales.
Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines emphasize the importance of GMB listings for local businesses. Google raters are responsible for evaluating the quality and relevance of search results based on a set of guidelines provided by Google. The guidelines specifically state that a high-quality GMB listing should include accurate and up-to-date information about the business, such as its physical location, contact information, hours of operation, and services offered.
In addition, the guidelines stress the importance of customer reviews and ratings for local businesses. Positive reviews can help to improve a business’s visibility on Google Maps and Google Search, while negative reviews can have the opposite effect. Therefore, it is important for businesses to actively monitor and manage their online reputation by responding to customer reviews and addressing any issues that arise.
Let’s go through how we can optimize your GMB listings to improve chances of appearing in local search results and ultimately increase their sales and revenue.
Here are some examples of how optimizing a GMB listing can benefit your local business in Malaysia:
Increased Visibility: A well-optimized GMB listing can help local businesses appear higher in Google’s search results. For example, if a person searches for “bakery near me” in Kuala Lumpur, a bakery that has a complete and optimized GMB listing is more likely to appear at the top of the search results.
Competitive Advantage: By optimizing their GMB listing, local businesses can gain a competitive advantage over other businesses in their area. For example, a local hardware store that has an optimized GMB listing with photos, reviews, and complete information is more likely to attract new customers compared to a competitor that has a poorly optimized listing or no listing at all.
Better User Experience: A GMB listing that includes complete and accurate information, such as business hours, phone number, website, and reviews, provides a better user experience for potential customers. They can quickly and easily find the information they need, which makes them more likely to visit the business in person.
Increased Customer Engagement: An optimized GMB listing can also help businesses engage with their customers. For example, a local coffee shop that posts updates and offers on their GMB listing can encourage customers to visit their store more often. Responding to customer reviews and questions can also help to build trust and loyalty among customers.
How does Google My Business help your business visibility
Google My Business account ensures you get visibility on the first page for local searches and it comes packed with analytics, enabling you quantify your overall digital marketing strategies.
Your Google My Business listing includes essential information that drives conversion like contact information, business hours ( very vital during this Covid period ), booking link, accessibility options and other attributes.
Essentially, Having a complete listing coupled with credible reviews on your Google My Business account would help improve your business visibility for local searches on Google.
Reviews on your Google My Business profile helps build brand trust. According to a research by Think With Google, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal reviews.
On mobile devices, Google maps takes a lot of real estate on the search engine result page (SERP) for search queries that trigger Google maps. This is definitely great visibility for your business if your target audience use mobile devices.
GMB local listing result on SERP
Steps to setup a GMB listing
Securing your Google My Business Malaysia listing isn’t that much of a difficult task. With an emphasis on the word “free”.
Step 1: Sign up for Google My Business
Go to the Google My Business website and sign in with your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to create one.
signup page for GMB
Step 2: Add Your Business Information
Enter your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) details. Make sure this information is accurate and consistent with the information on your website and other online directories. This will help improve your local search rankings.
Step 3: Choose Your Business Category
Choose a relevant business category that best describes your business. This will help Google understand what your business does and improve your search visibility for relevant queries.
Step 4: Verify Your Business
Google will verify your business by mail, phone, or email. Choose the method that is most convenient for you and follow the instructions provided. Verification can take up to two weeks, so be patient.
Step 5: Optimize Your Listing
Once your listing is verified, optimize it by adding photos, videos, and other relevant information such as business hours, website, and a description of your business. Make sure your listing is complete and up-to-date.
Important Information to Include in Your GMB Listing:
- Business name, address, and phone number (NAP)
- Business category
- Business hours
- Website URL
- Description of your business
- Photos and videos of your business
- Reviews from customers
- Special offers or promotions
- Products and services offered
- Social media links
Optimizing Google Business Listing for Local SEO Visibility in Malaysia
Claim and Verify Your Listing
Claim your GMB listing and verify your business by mail, phone, or email. Consider verifying using the video verification option, be prepared with the following (Name card, Signage, Laptop you use for work). This will help Google confirm your business’s authenticity and improve your local search rankings.
GMB pending verification
Choose the Right Categories and Subcategories
Choose the most relevant primary and secondary categories for your business. Selecting the right categories can help Google understand what your business does and improve your search visibility for relevant queries.
Optimize Your Business Description and Attributes
Your business description and attributes can help customers understand what sets your business apart from the competition. Use relevant keywords and provide detailed information about your business, products, and services. Consider adding attributes such as Wi-Fi availability, wheelchair accessibility, and outdoor seating if applicable.
Add Relevant Photos and Videos
Adding high-quality photos and videos of your business can help attract potential customers and improve your search visibility. Make sure to add photos of your business’s exterior, interior, products, and services.
Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
Positive reviews from satisfied customers can help improve your search rankings and attract new customers. Encourage customers to leave reviews by providing excellent customer service and asking them to leave a review on your GMB listing. Don’t try and game the system with fake reviews.
Respond to Reviews
Responding to customer reviews, both positive and negative, shows that you value their feedback and are committed to providing excellent customer service. Respond promptly and professionally to all reviews.
Consistently Update Information and Engage with Customers
Consistently updating your business information, including business hours, website, and phone number, can help ensure customers have accurate and up-to-date information. Engage with customers by responding to messages and questions promptly.
Key ranking factors of Google My Business Profile.
Google ranks local listing based on three factors and its essentially to have that in mind when you optimise your listing. The factors are:
- Relevance: The relevance of your listing to the search query
- Distance: Distance of your business to the searcher
- Prominence: How well-known your business is based on few factors.
Here are some ways to optimize your business listing.
- Fill out all the contact details, category, attributes, e.t.c
- Upload photos of your products or business location.
- Post business updates like news, special offers, events.
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews and reply to reviews.
GMB business information page
On August 13 2020, Google pushed a new update that allows business owner update their Google My Business account on Google maps and search. You just have to be signed with the Google account that was used to verify the business. On search, you can look for your business name or search for “my business” to update your profile. Alternatively, you can tap on your profile picture on Google maps on the top right corner of the mobile app and select “your business profile” to utilise the options.
Google strives to make it more convenient for business owner to keep their business information & customers up-to-date.
Google My Business features to give you an extra edge
Utilizing Google Posts
Google Posts allow you to showcase your business’s latest news, offers, and events directly on your GMB listing. You can add a call-to-action button to your post, such as “Learn More” or “Book Now.” Posting regularly can help improve your search visibility and attract more customers.
- Sample Post Topic for a Florist in KL:
“Spring is in the air! Our florist in KL has the perfect blooms to brighten up your day. From colorful tulips to fragrant roses, we have a wide selection of fresh flowers for any occasion. Order online or visit our shop today! #Flowers #Spring #KLFlorist #ShopLocal”
Using GMB Insights to Monitor and Improve Listing Performance
GMB Insights provides valuable data on how customers are finding and interacting with your business on Google. You can monitor metrics such as views, clicks, and customer actions, such as calls and direction requests. Use this data to optimize your listing and improve your local SEO visibility.
In summary, having an optimized GMB listing is crucial for local businesses in Malaysia to improve their online visibility, attract more customers, and increase their revenue. By following the tips mentioned in this guide, businesses can create a robust online presence and improve their local SEO visibility on Google.
Feel free to reach out to us for helping with setting up your Google My Business account or check out our SEO services and approach for Malaysia