How to update your Google My Business description

Hedley Swann

Hedley Swann

Digital Strategist at Dash
Hedley Swann

Hedley Swann

Digital Strategist at Dash

Your Google My Business (GMB) listing is an important marketing tool. Especially for local businesses. Now you can add a description of your business to your Google Business listing. Here’s why you should, and how to make it count.

As this is a relatively new feature, you should take advantage of it as soon as possible. This way you’ll be ahead of many of your competitors.

Why Local Businesses Should Add Google My Business Description

Google My Business is one of the best free tools Google offers to help local businesses improve their visibility online. Your verified GMB listing can show up in search results before visitors even click-through to your website, showcasing your business location, opening times, images, and Google Reviews. Until recently, you could only include basic information. However, that changed in March 2018 when Google announced you can now add a description of your business.

By adding a description, you can give customers a meaningful impression of your business at a glance and increase encourage them to click through to your website or contact you directly.

Google hasn’t specified whether it uses business descriptions in search rankings, but we should still be mindful of keywords (more on this below).

The more relevant information you add to your listing, the better. As this is a relatively new feature, you should take advantage of it as soon as possible. This way you’ll be ahead of many of your competitors.

How to Add a Business Description to Your Google Business listing

You can add a description to your GMB listing using these easy steps:

  1. In your GMB dashboard, click on Info.
  2. You’ll see a new field, “Add Business Description.”
  3. Click on the pencil icon next to this field.
  4. A text box will appear where you can enter your business description.
  5. Once you’ve entered your description, select “Apply.”

Google will then review your description and approve it. This usually takes approximately three days.

After this, your description should be live on your Google My Business listing.

How Long Can Your Google My Business Description Be?

Google has set a limit of 750 characters. This isn’t a lot, so you need to prioritise the details you want to include carefully. Be aware, Google will only display the first 250 characters of your description. Users will have to click to see the rest. Because of this, you’ll want to put your most important information first.

Google My Business Description Do’s and Don’ts

Google offers a comprehensive set of guidelines for writing your business description. You need to stick to these carefully if you want them to approve your description. When writing a business description, avoid using:

  • Web addresses or links.
  • Sales-speak or promotional offers.
  • Spamming or keyword-stuffing.
  • Offensive content.
  • All caps.

Here are some things you SHOULD do with your Google My Business Description:

  • Keep your information relevant and high-quality. Think about what your customers want to know about you. You’re not trying to close a sale, you want them to click through to your website or give you a call.
  • Highlight your unique selling points and what makes you different from your competitors.
  • End with a call-to-action aimed at your target audience.

Should You Include Keywords In Your Google My Business Description?

Google won’t accept a description if you stuff it with keywords. But it’s fine to use keywords naturally as part of a meaningful, informative description. Put your primary keywords in the first sentence if possible. As I mentioned, Google says it doesn’t use descriptions in rankings – but your keywords are relevant to your business and what you offer your customers, so I’d include them just the same.

However, make sure it reads well. Don’t comprise your writing just to slip in an extra keyword or two.

Conclusion

You can use your business description to add value to the information already included in your Google My Business listing. Keep it relevant, make every word count, and stick to the rules. The “Business Description” is a pretty new, so chances are your competitors haven’t added one yet – use this opportunity to stand out.

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