How to Make the Most Out of Your Google My Business
For local businesses, one of the best tools to utilize is Google My Business. On average, a typical business receives 59 actions from their Google My Business listing each month, with 56% of total actions being website visits. Given the simplicity of creating and maintaining your listing, Google My Business has proven its worth for businesses of all sizes. But how exactly do you use Google My Business to attract and convert leads? Before we get into the thick of it, let’s explore two quick questions:
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a self-service tool that helps businesses manage their online appearance on Google Search and Google Maps. Google My Business is a free tool that makes your brand easier to find on the search engine, allowing you to reach people you might not reach otherwise.
Think of GMB as an online directory — an uncomplicated way to find those who are already searching for you. When you search a business name, you’ll often see their GMB “knowledge panel,” a card that contains key contact information including the phone number, website, location, business hours, and other important information, all accessible in one convenient spot.
Why should I care about Google My Business?
Google owns over 90% of the search engine market share, which shows the undeniable power of the search engine. In fact, 64% of consumers report they have used GMB specifically for finding local businesses’ contact information. An optimized GMB page helps Google understand your business by providing up-to-date information about who you are, what services/products you sell, where you’re located, and your website URL (Google crawls your page for more information about your business).
When you click on a business’s GMB listing, you’ll be taken to Google Maps where their GMB knowledge panel is displayed. 86% of people use Google Maps to locate businesses nearby, so it’s important that your listing is updated to display the correct location and driving instructions. Plus, Google displays similar businesses related to your search query within the map listings — likely your competitors.
With access to your competitors at your fingertips, it’s crucial to capture their attention with a helpful panel. If consumers can easily access information about your business and its storefront, you’re more likely to capture a new lead or seal a deal. So, let’s explore the five steps on how to leverage GMB for more sales.
1 – Complete and maintain your business profile.
There’s nothing more frustrating than looking up a local business and driving all the way there only to find that the location is closed. Not only does this make a less-than-perfect first impression, but it also provides consumers with a reason to turn to your competitors.
Double-check your contact information listed on your GMB page and be sure to cross-check it with the information listed on your website and other social media platforms. Your information should always be consistent across all your marketing channels.
The best part? GMB gives your business the option of featuring a list of your business’ services – one of the many ways in which you can generate relevant leads. GMB will even round up a list of suggested service options catered to your existing business page. If none of the suggested services are a good match, no worries – you can easily edit and add your own custom service names.
The bottom line: without an up-to-date GMB page, you’re excluding your business from reaping the benefits of new opportunities.
2 – Create opportunity for business reviews.
Did you know that 90% of consumers read reviews to some capacity before finalizing their purchase decision? With a GMB listing, consumers and prospects can leave customer reviews/helpful feedback on your listing for the public to review. Receiving honest reviews about your business’ strengths (and potential threats or areas of improvement) can help your business grow. Businesses should respond to all reviews – negative or positive – in a timely manner. When writing a review, 20% of consumers expect to receive a response within one day. Overall, the way that your business responds to reviews and the reviews that your business receives can impact your GMB listing. Not only is your star rating displayed on your profile, but your rating is also factored into your search position within Google.
3 – Strengthen your profile using photos and videos.
On average, GMB listings have 11 photos. Plus, listings with photos are two times as likely to be considered reputable and receive 35% more clicks than listings without photos.
Although consumers can add photos to your GMB listing, it’s just as important for your business to upload photos, too. Try adding photos of the exterior and interior of your business, team photos, photographs of helpful print materials (flyers, menus, etc.), or other relevant photos that help provide consumers with more information on your business and its services.
4 – Enable Google Chat/Messages within your profile.
Messaging on Google My Business makes it easy for customers to reach out to your business to ask a question. Consumers appreciate easy forms of communication with a brand, not only for convenience but also because it enables trust. When the messaging feature is enabled, a button will be activated within your GMB listing on both Google Search and Google Maps.
5 – Add to the Question & Answer section within your profile.
The Q&A section fosters a community-like, discussion forum where anyone can ask a question about your business. It is important to note, though, that anyone can publicly answer the question – even if they’re not affiliated with your business.
Pro Tip: Ask your own business questions to help build the section. Login to your personal Google account and set up a mini-FAQ section on your GMB listing. Yes, it’s allowed, and it’s even recommended by Google!
To sum things up, businesses with GMB listings are at a significant advantage compared to those that aren’t capitalizing on this opportunity. Utilizing this free tool, not only helps to generate new website traffic, phone calls, and foot traffic into your physical storefront, but it also helps increase your SEO ranking on Google.
Are you struggling to find the time to juggle everything on your plate? Don’t neglect your Google My Business Listing – let the MCG team help. Our experienced team knows the ins and outs of GMB, and we put our knowledge to work for you. Contact us today to learn how we can help you leverage your GMB page.