They say Google is taking over the world these days, and while that might be an exaggeration, one could say Google has become king when it comes to online marketing for small business.
Google now offers so many tools for small businesses (most of them for free), like Google Console, Google Analytics and Google Merchant. But my favourite by far has got to be Google My Business.
Google My Business is one of the most underrated online marketing tools available. Proven to benefit your business regardless of your size or niche, Google My Business is well worth adding to your digital marketing arsenal.
What the heck is Google My Business?
Google My Business was created to connect businesses with local consumers with the growing need for a more digitally savvy directory. Gone are the days when people picked up the phone book to find a business - today most people search online, and if you’re not there, you basically don’t exist.
Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to promote your business on Google Search and Maps. With your Google My Business account, you can see and connect with your customers, post updates to your Business Profile and see how customers are interacting with your business on Google.
Your Business Profile on Google helps your business show up when it matters most: the moment customers are searching for your business or products or services like yours on Google Search and Maps.
Keeping Your Profile Updated
One of the best things about Google My Business is it’s relatively low maintenance. Unlike social media, which can occupy an entire full time job, GMB is quick to set up and you don’t have to interact with it constantly. Update your contact details if they change, post an update every now and again and add some photos here and there, and you’re good to go.
Another great thing about GMB is the reviews. Google My Business allows customers to leave ratings, reviews, and images on your listing. Think of it as a more modern and personalized version of Yelp. This is great because happy customers can share their experience with interested and new customers.
On the flip side, it’s also a platform that upset and disgruntled customers can leave bad reviews and images of their experience. Be sure to monitor and respond to reviews on your GMB profile, and address issues that arise.
Encourage customers to leave reviews on your GMB profile - and don’t wait for them to make their way there themselves. Instead, share a link on your social media platforms that will take them to the reviews section of your GMB profile.
Built in Website
Don’t have a website for your business yet? No problem. GMB allows you to build a website for your business through your profile. I’m serious! It’s free, professional-looking and you can set it up in minutes using information automatically populated from your Business Profile. You can choose from a variety of beautiful site themes and offer customers multiple ways to get in touch with you, like calling, messaging or requesting a quote.
Other Benefits of Google My Business
There are so many benefits to Google My Business, from increasing your chances of being found in local organic searches to highlighting positive reviews or promoting sales and events.
1. GMB Gives your business greater visibility online.
GMB is a tool that puts your business on a global map - literally. Google is one of the largest search engines in the world, receiving over 63,000 searches per second on any given day, not to mention Google “near me” searches have increased by two times over the past year.
These days, shoppers often do research before heading out to shop (or they shop online!) It is estimated that up to 90% of searchers haven’t made up their mind about a brand before starting their search. This means that your business has to be visible for online search to capture their attention and stand out from your competition.
GMB listings get priority on the first page of local Google searches and Maps queries, so regardless of how beautiful your website is or how much effort you’ve put into search engine optimization, Without Google My Business, you’ll be missing the chance to be visible.
2. GMB makes sure your customers always have up to date contact info.
We get it. In the online world there are so many places that you need to update your information when something change with your business. GMB is the most important and easiest place to change your business hours, address, phone number - you name it. And since this is the information front and centre when customers search for you, it’s also the best place to keep this information up to date.
3. GMB Gives customers a glimpse at your business before they even walk through the door. Captivate customers visually by uploading photos and videos of your store or product. Show potential customers what they can expect from you. This can help set you apart from other businesses and give you a leg up when it comes to establishing your brand.
Not sure what to post on your GMB listing? Here are few content ideas:
Photos showing the inside of your store or work space
Your employees or teammates
Your local surroundings
Your store owner, CEO or Managing Director
Awards and Events
Happy customers or customer testimonials
Try to upload at least 5-10 photos and videos - the more images, the better. Not having pictures on your Google listing is like not having a profile image on social media - it’s a lost opportunity to make an impression.
4. Google My Business is Great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Google My Business can be one of your most powerful SEO tools. Optimize your GMB listing by filling out all the details you can to really pack an SEO punch. Link to your website, social media etc and make sure to include some of your services as well.
5. GMB Insights Give You a Better Understanding of Your Customers
Google’s GMB insight focuses on how customers find your listing on Search and Maps, and what they do after they find it. This data includes information like:
How many views your listing had.
How and where customers find your listings.
Actions customers take on your listings.
And other interactions customers have with your GMB listing.
So, are you convinced? Google My Business all the way? Yeah! That's the spirit!
Not sure how to claim your Google My Business listing? We can help. Get in touch with us, or check out our Google My Business Tutorial webinar.