"Hey, did you update our Google My Business listing?" "Wait, what are you talking about?" "Google My Business..." "Why would I google our business?" Okay, well the last part's a bit of a stretch but that's almost how unaware even some of the top marketing talent is of updating and optimizing Google My Business. The very reason I thought I'll write this blog is maybe to get more inspiration to better set up and optimized our own Google My Business, something we're terribly lacking at.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool that let's you add your business name, location, specialty, offer, picture and lots more to Google Search and Google Map results. One of the most important things to remember about Google My Business is that it is especially beneficial if you're trying to be found locally.
How to create a listing?
Go to google.com/business to create a listing using the google account associated with your business.
Once you have set up your account and entered all the necessary information, the next step would be to verify your business. This can be done via email, postcard or phone.
There is no step 3! You're done! That's how easy creating a listing on Google My Business is.
How does it work?
As mentioned earlier google my business is especially valuable to local businesses.Let's take an example. I googled the keyword "inbound marketing agency". If you look at the screenshot below, even though Inbound Mantra does not appear in the top 5 SERP rankings, it occupies the most real estate on page 1 of Google because of Google My Business. Pretty cool right?
There's two reasons this is happening:
- I am searching for the keyword locally.
- Inbound Mantra has optimized their Google My Business listing for they keyword and the location.
Why is it important?
Today 3 out of 4 shoppers search online when they want to find a business, and 7 out of 10 made a purchase from a business they found using a search engine. The goal in today's time of technology and online everything, is to make it as easy as you can for a user to find you at the click of a button. Even if the user is searching exactly for your company, having an optimized Google My Business creates legitimacy. Giving Google as much information as you can about your business, makes it easier for you to get found, especially for local searches.
Even if the user is searching exactly for your company, having an optimized Google My Business creates a level of trust. One of the biggest perks is that it allows you to add photos and videos. It's just like an online food delivery app. Customers tend to be more inclined to purchasing when they actually see a picture of the food, vs when they just see the text. I mean test it for yourself.
Feel like ordering pizza yet?
Over 56% of businesses have not claimed their Google My Business ranking. Which gym are you more likely to go to?
Having a Google My Business listing that's updated allows you to be more accessible and significantly stand out from competition. It provides the user with more control and context, both of which are significant influencers in the final buying decision.
How to make the most of your listing?
SEO Optimize your listing
While Google My Business is most useful if you're trying to get found locally, it's also important to SEO optimize your listing. Add some keywords that you think are relevant to your business or ones that you want to be found for. These could be added to your description or google posts you are sharing. Google Posts are an easy way to share an image and 100-300 word text that shows up in your listing. Go to your Google My Business dashboard and click on “posts” to push out a new post for your business.
Ask for reviews
Incentivise clients to share photos and videos of their experiences. One of the biggest advantages of having and optimizing a Google My Business is that it allows users to leave reviews in the form of photos and videos. And not just clients, have local guides or renowned channels to review you.While gathering reviews on GMB is a great first step, it's equally important to constantly check the reviews and respond to them or answer any questions that might have been posted.
Make use of the constant updates
When was the last time you went onto your Google My Business account and checked out the latest updates? Google is constantly testing out new features to help businesses enhance their online presence.
This features allows users to directly post questions on the business listing. Moreover, these questions can also be upvoted which would allow for the business to accordingly optimize the listing to add information that is being commonly seeked.It is however very important that the businesses constantly check the listing to make sure questions are being answered.
Book an appointment
You can now take users directly to a landing page or area to book an appointment. The appointment URLs is especially exciting because Google My Business has never been so marketer friendly. You can have an inbound marketing agency, a bakery or even a law firm; all you need is a page with a form and an offer you'd like to promote and you're good to go!
While Google my Business is a great asset to local businesses, it's definitely worth spending time on, even if you're not trying to be found locally. It provides a platform for users to leave reviews on, especially if they're already aware of your business. Google My Business provides great visibility to your business at no cost and barely any time. So what are you waiting for?