How to Optimize your Google My Business Listing in Hong Kong
Your local SEO strategy should always include verifying and optimizing your Google My Business listing. It doesn’t only increase your chances of showing up on the local 3-pack, and Google Maps, it will also help your organic ranking.
We know the benefits of Google My Business for small businesses in Hong Kong, as discussed in our previous article. So, if you want to be found by local users, you need to have a properly optimized GMB listing.
Listing for Google My Business
Before diving deep into how you can optimize your Google My Business listing, you have to make sure that your business is listed first. If your business has been around for years, it’s likely to have a GMB listing and you just have to claim it. You can check that by searching through GMB.
However, if you have a brand-new store, office, or business, you can start listing on Google My Business by starting with your official business name and then input your business category. Note that you can add or change the categories later on so you don’t have to worry if you think that you might have made some errors.
GMB will then ask if you want to “add a location customer can visit, like a store or office?”. This information is important since not all businesses operate as service areas and do not require customers to visit their brick-and-mortar locations. In this type of instance, the location of the business won’t show up on Google Maps, but will still show up on relevant searches within the service area.
On the next prompt, you will be asked to input your contact details such as your contact number and your website if there are any. If you don’t have a current website, Google My Business has a feature that lets you create your free site as soon as it is verified. Click on Finish and proceed to the verification process.
Verifying your Google My Business listing in Hong Kong
Verifying your business on GMB is vital for the performance of your listing. It usually takes up to seven business days to complete the verification process, however, due to the pandemic, there have been delays, and postcards with the verification code can take up to 2 weeks to arrive.
The postcard will arrive at your business location and will contain a code that you will use to verify your listing. This proves to Google that you can represent your business. Also, without the verification, you cannot edit your business information and access the page insights from the back end.
Optimizing your Google My Business Listing
Once you’ve set up and verified your GMB profile, optimizing it will help you stand out above competitors, and enable your business to be visible on local search. Get started on winning customers online with these optimization guide:
Complete your GMB Profile
There is a lot of information you can include to complete your Google My Business profile that will help you rank higher on local search results. Aside from your business name, address, phone number, website, and business hours, you would need to add categories, products and services, owner-generated Q&A, and more.
Ensure that all the information is accurate and complete so users and prospects from Hong Kong or other locations wouldn’t need to guess or assume things from your business listing.
When optimizing for your business information on Google My Business, ensure that your business name is exactly as it appears on your stores or offices. Also, make sure that your address matches with your other listings as Google algorithms factor inconsistencies when assessing your credibility.
Remember to regularly update your business hours to avoid potential negative reviews from someone who took a trip to visit your store only to find out that it is closed. Include holiday hours aside from business hours, such as your Lunar New Year schedule or Easter Monday hours.
Select Business Categories
Categories are vital when optimizing your GMB listing. Google provides several categories so it’s important to choose the appropriate ones.
Rather than choosing “Restaurant” as your category, opt for a more specific one such as “Chinese Restaurant”, or “Korean Restaurant”. For salons, include the specific service you provide, either it is a “hair salon” or a “nail salon”.
Google also enables you to add secondary categories, this is helpful for businesses that fall under multiple classifications. Choose only the categories that perfectly match your services or products, so users won’t be confused.
Optimizing your listing should still keep SEO in mind, as Google uses different signals to deliver the best search results. Including keywords or search terms and phrases in your listing will be helpful to gain more visibility on local searches.
You can add these keywords to your business description and posts, it’s visible not only to your audience but also to Google bots.
Add Photos on your GMB Listing
Two of the most important photos that you should upload on your GMB listing are the logo and cover photo. Aside from that, photos that best represent your business is ideal and ensure that it is of high quality.
Adding photos regularly signals to Google that you are active, and your profile is always updated. Photos also increase engagement and click-through rates. But don’t overdo it, once every week is enough. Retail stores can also add an interior, happy clients, exterior views, and other products but make sure to follow Google’s photo guidelines.
Create Posts & Offers on your Listing
One way to stand out above your competitors is to add posts and offers to your GMB listing. There are multiple ways you can create posts on your GMB profile:
- Add Update: Highlight updates from your business. Use this feature when you want to share new content such as a blog article. Post under this will automatically expire after 7 days so ensure that you have scheduled updates every week.
- Add Event: Let your customers know what’s happening and pique their interest. If you have an upcoming sale, you can let your clients know and set a time frame for the event. Event posts can help your business rank for users searching for an “Event near me”.
- Add Offer: Better used for limited-time offers. Google enables you to set up offers such as online redemption or coupon codes. You can also set a time frame for your offer post and it will automatically close once it’s done.
- Add Product: Similar to Update posts, product posts also expire after 7 days. This is an opportunity for your business to showcase new products or service offerings. Google also lets you include a price tag on your products, making it easier for users to decide whether they will purchase it or not.
Manage Customer Reviews
Engage with your customers by responding to their reviews – positive or negative. Customer feedback is a great way to influence other consumers to purchase from you. Responding to their reviews will help you gain trust and loyalty from customers as well as showcase how you value them as a client.
Reviews are a great way to increase your business’s visibility in SERP. Take note that the Local 3-pack includes businesses with multiple reviews and solid ratings.
Monitor your GMB performance
Just like any Google platform, Google My Business continuous to evolve, and many features are slowly being added to this platform for better management of your business as well as improve your local search rankings.
Similar to your on-page SEO and technical SEO strategies, your GMB profiles need regular monitoring, and re-optimizing. Fortunately, GMB provides valuable insights that will help you better understand what is working for your business.
The insight section shows you how users found your business listing and reports on the search terms that caused your GMB profile to appear on SERP. You can use these terms to create content related to these queries, such as on your offers or updates.
One thing we know for sure is that Google always delivers the best possible result to users. Your strategy should focus on providing the most accurate information that represents your business well and Google can use this to rank your business profile. Utilizing this free listing tool will help you set up your business for success in Google’s local search and maps.
Need help optimizing your Google My Business listing in Hong Kong? Drop us a message today!