Five Top Tips to Optimise Google My Business

By Lawrence Gill

Today, maintaining existing business relationships and online visibility is more important than ever before if returning to a surviving business now lockdown is ending is to be successful. The recruitment industry has been hit hard, like many others. Some have stagnated during the lockdown and now should be hitting the ground running in local search – visibility is still key to staying connected.

Now is the perfect time to take a complete review of your marketing strategies and prepare your business for getting back to work. The lessons learned during lockdown could help to provide a fresh perspective and this can help with the ‘new normal’ we now find ourselves in.

Many businesses are still keeping a close eye on the spending right now and Google My Business (GMB) offers a completely free-to-use option to strengthen local SEO and visibility. You can roll local exposure, presence and communications into a single platform and when fully optimised and used as a part of the overall marketing strategy, can be a dynamic tool to raise your profile both digitally and physically.

How to get Google My Business off the ground

To get started, you’ll need to login to your business Google account and sign up for Google My Business (GMB). User-friendly, GMB will then give easy-to-follow instructions and clear guidance about what to do to get your verification code. NB This comes through the post to your business address. Some businesses are eligible for electronic verification and clear instructions are given for that too.

It can take around 7 days for your code to arrive (usually on a postcard). When it does, add the code to the GMB portal where guided. The code is typically postal to verify your physical business location. Once you’ve added the code and updated your information, you’ll be on Google maps and included in the local search.

Optimising GMB

Getting yourself set up is the first step in using this free, powerful local search tool. Now you need to get it working for you and really make the most of the features and benefits. It can be used to connect with existing and potential clients in a social-media-type way while providing the essential information that the local searcher is actively looking for – opening hours, services, contact information, specific vacancies and opportunities, reviews, images and much more.

To help you optimise your free GMB listing, we’ve come up with five easy-to-implement tips. It’s a great exercise if you’ve been concerned about your business focus while things have been quiet – with fresh eyes, sit back and really think about how you portray your business persona, whether you’re managing an HR department, a recruitment agency or you’re working on your own.

Five tips to help make the most of Google My Business

1. Add plenty of information to your GMB profile

This is where sitting and thinking about your business is important. Add as much detail as possible in every available field. Opening hours and contact information are some of the most important details. Remember that many of the local search users will be actively looking for you. Don’t lose the client that trod the pavement to find you closed – they may not come back. Update opening hours regularly to account for half days, high days and holidays.

Make it clear how clients can still contact you if you or your team are working on reduced hours as lockdown ends or are continuing to work from home. Keep them informed as much as possible about how you’re working and how you are implementing protective measures. GMB will be invaluable in conveying this important info locally. Add links to relevant pages or blog posts on your website too.

2. Optimise Geo Targeting to its full potential

Adding relevant multiple locations to your GMB listing is often overlooked by business owners, who generally tend to add just the base city. To fully harness the power of local search, you need to be as specific as possible about your service area to target the growing number of mobile users carrying out local search and ready to knock on your door.

3. Add images

Although the third tip on our list, adding images is a significant part of the optimisation of GMB. Make sure your images are of good quality and optimise for local search. Google recommends that you post a minimum of three images in each category:

External – important for local search, take good quality shots of your physical premises from different perspectives so your visitors can recognise the building from whichever direction they approach from. If you’re in a building with other businesses, include an image of your company name on a visitor information board.

Internal – give your clients a true taste of what your business is like on the inside. If you have a reception area, show them what to expect and where they’ll be waiting. Sometimes this can put candidates at ease, and they’ll know they’re in the right place straight away. Try to capture the essence of your business in these types of shots.

Team photos – offering this type of personal connection can contribute to a better success rate. In a similar way to the internal shots, they can help to put clients at ease and add a level of humanity to the business. In a world where social connections have become so important, now is a good time to get this part right.

Service images – although you may not have a product to sell, use images to convey what you do and the connections you make. Keep these friendly and as natural as possible. If you have images with clients in them, do make sure you have permission to use them for marketing purposes!

4. Post regularly and review often

As GMB offers the opportunity to post, do – as often and regularly as you can. Update images, share blog post links and reviews, video, news updates and other useful or interesting information that is relevant to your industry. Keep a connection with your existing clients and reach out to new ones, offering assurance that you’re ready to support them as they get back to work.

5. Google reviews

Last, but my no means least on our list of tips is to pay attention to your reviews. Google My Business displays your reviews and gives your business an overall score as a result. Reviews are an increasingly important feature for your visitors, and they are typically read before you get that all-important click or visit.

Don’t make the mistake of underestimating your reviews. Check them regularly and reply in a timely fashion to maintain the connection. The way you handle negative reviews can be important too – some people will often be more interested in how you dealt with a complaint than the complaint itself, but that’s a whole different subject!

Google My Business is an easy way to tackle your local search presence for free and there are many Google resources to help you. Your recruitment business could benefit hugely from local search now lockdown has eased and with a significant resurgence of recruiting expected across the industry, make sure that you and your business are ready.

With a central cloud-based system, everyone can see and search all candidates in one place. It’s given us a more structured approach, and day-to-day tasks are now managed more efficiently.
Fiona Frisson Senior Account Manager at Tarot Recruitment
Our focus is on providing our clients with top-quality candidates suited to their specific requirements. We can only do that because we trust Vacancy Lab to support what we do.
Jonathan Bates Partner at MPQR Resourcing Solutions
We’ve become a more productive and more effective business since we brought in Vacancy Lab. It’s made a real difference to how we deal with candidates and what we can achieve for clients.
Anthony Kelly Public Sector Director at Harvey Recruit Ltd.