GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-set-up listing service provided by Google. Having a well-defined GMB presence is one of the most important factors for local SEO. The quality of a business’ GMB can affect their rankings substantially. Using Google My Business allows a company or brand to define the way it is perceived in a Google Search, on Google Maps, and Google+. It is also a requirement for utilising local extensions in Google AdWords.
When a search query is entered, Google My Business is the information box that appears beside the search listing. It contains all the important information that a business thinks a potential customer needs to know. Product and service information, opening times, special events, product photos, and location. It is not limited to this information, and can be a comprehensive business profile. The following outlines what comprises a highly functional GMB that will help you achieve the best rankings for your business.
WHY GOOGLE MY BUSINESS?
The ubiquitous term “Google it” translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day. Google My Business makes sure your business is found and ranked well amongst this huge pool. When searching for your brand or business, a consumer wants the information right now. They are usually ready to buy, and desire as much information, as quickly as possible. Knowing this, Google introduced the concept of ”micro moments” in 2015. They say that consumers desire pertinent information immediately, and this is what Google My Business offers. It gives potential customers all they need to know—at a moment’s glance. Creating a GMB presence gives your business a competitive edge. It increases your chances of being in the right spot at the right time. If your competitors don’t have a GMB set up, you will certainly rank higher in searches for your product or service.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS HAS OTHER ADVANTAGES
Google My Business is important for SEO and increasing competitiveness. It also boosts engagement, is like a mini website, and provides free analytics. All for free! Engaging and connecting with the audience that a Google search sends your way is the best way to build a relationship with them. Google encourages consumers to write reviews, leave comments, and ask questions. In fact, 85% of consumers leave reviews, which are often trusted as much as personal recommendations. Replying to comments and feedback enhances your reputability and expertise within your niche.
When Google My Business is fully optimised, it really is a mini website for your business, with the capacity for photos, maps, important information, booking forms, and purchase orders—including the facilities with which to engage your customers. 1 in 2 potential customers will make the decision to purchase from this information alone. The more comprehensive your GMB, the greater your rankings and edge on the competition. Analytics are part and parcel of the Google My Business listing service. Analytics help you understand your customers better; where they come from, how they found you, where they clicked from, or which photos get the most views. This helps you dig deep into what makes your customer base tick, and lets you further customise strategies.
TOP TIPS FOR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
These top tips will ensure your Google My Business experience drives customers to your door.
1: SIGN UP
Log into or create an account to be associated with your business. Go to the Google My Business page. Follow the prompts. Make sure all the information you provide is up-to-date, relevant, accurate, and optimised. This includes business and product photos, opening hours, service area, special attributes, phone number, and URL. You can also add videos up to 100MB.
2: LOG IN REGULARLY
Treat Google My Business as an extension of your social media. Encourage, then respond promptly to reviews, questions, and recommendations. Responses encourage future purchases. Thanking customers for their positive feedback stands out in your listings and urges others to leave reviews. Responding to negative feedback is just as important. It shows that you care and take issues seriously. Never respond with vilification or negative personal comments. Answering reviews increases the relevance of your listing. The more you put in, the more you get out.
3: A PICTURE PAINTS A THOUSAND WORDS
Use lots of pictures. Humans are visual animals who tend to favour images over text. Make sure the images are appealing and provide an accurate view of your business. Include a number of images of the interior and exterior of the business premises, your entire product line, and the people on your team. Make sure photos are always up-to-date.
4: VALUE ADDED INFORMATION
Google My Business offers the opportunity to update your information to add value to your marketing strategy. Specials? Company changes? Change of premises? Product upgrades? These can all be added immediately to your listing and updated in real time. Combined with analytics, you can gauge the success of the post and view how customers respond.
If you have a number of business locations, list them all on Google My Business. Only this way you can reach all of your target audiences.
6: IT’S EASY, EVEN IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW
Setting up Google My Business is very easy. Google has made the interface extremely user-friendly. Following the prompts will have you effortlessly competing for search rankings quickly. Have a series of relevant images ready to upload. Make sure they are high-quality, even if this means hiring a professional. Be sure all your information is relevant and current. Take advantage of the free website available to boost engagement.
The early days of repetitive keyword iteration and optimisation are over. It takes more than that to get noticed by Google and achieve that top listing. Google My Business is an important part of local SEO. When comprehensively linked to associated social media and websites, Google will rank you higher in search listings. This makes it easier for potential customers to find and learn something about you. Which drives sales. Which is what it’s all about.