Of all the digital marketing strategies out there, setting up a Google My Business listing should definitely be a top priority for any and all local businesses. What most marketers don’t realise is how powerful this platform is and how much it can contribute to the traffic volume of your website.
If you aren’t familiar with Google My Business here is a great summary of all the services this platform has to offer. Essentially, Google My Business is the platform that allows you to create and manage a business listing that appears in the results of Google Maps. Users can search for various services and goods near their precise geolocation and will be served what we can essentially call a free ad of local listings. Google My Business is an essential SEO tool for Local Business to rank in the Google Local 3-pack listing, where Google makes suggestions of local businesses based on searcher’s queries.
If you would like to set up a Google My Business page start here. If you already have a listing, keep reading as we discuss the best ways to maximise this free service and capture more users online.
You’ve Created a Listing – Now What?
There are many ways you can optimise your Google My Business (GMB) listing, so let’s start with the basics. Here are a few standard ways you can improve your GMB account now:
Cover Your Bases
There are a few contact details that GMB will ask you to provide – and for the best results you’ll need to make sure you hit most (if not all) of them! Business details like: Phone Number, Website, Services and Operating Hours, all make a difference when users are weighing up their options. Remember to keep the operating hours during public holidays updated! Make sure you respond to all reviews, positive or negative because these are primarily what users are looking for when checking each listing. We also recommend adding a decent number of photos and videos that accurately depict your business which encourages engagement with users and improves conversions by 35% (re Google) .
Take advantage of being able to reach more customers for your business. You can create and run ads through GMB called “Posts” that can showcase any material you think will grab your customers. Posts can be used to promote special deals, events, or even new content on your website. Check out how these work here. This helps your target audience to learn more about your business, and encourages more phone calls and store visits.
Ratings and reviews are a crucial part of having a GMB account as the higher the rating, the best chance of your listing being shown on the Google Local 3-pack listing. Furthermore, Google Ratings has been identified as the most important factor for users when weighing out options – especially when similar businesses are presented to them. How many times have you decided to visit a cafe based on ratings and reviews when searching for “cafe near me”?
Ratings can also help to improve your website’s SEO performance! So make sure you invite your happy customers to leave reviews and ratings on your GMB listing.
Bonus tip: Here is a clever tool – Google Link Review Generator – to generate a short url for your business to invite customers to leave reviews on your GMB listing directly without having to search for it!
The main takeaway with running and optimising your GMB account is to always check in on your listing’s performance. Users can suggest edits at any time, so make sure the information on your listing remains correct.
Taking it to the Next Level
If your GMB listing has been live and running for awhile here are few features you can use to jazz it up and stand out from your competitors:
Making an Appointment
Google now provides users a quick and easy way to book appointments with you through their Booking Button feature. Users are able to fill out and submit their information and appointment requests directly to you without having to click through to your website. This is attractive to users who are looking for instant gratification and service. You’re also able to choose your preferred booking provider.
Direct Messaging with Users
Potential customers can also send Direct Messages to you containing any questions, comments or concerns. This is a great way to interact directly with leads and increase conversion volume with a personal touch. You can choose to have messages sent directly to your mobile phone or through a third-party messaging app.
Question & Answers for Local Businesses
This is a great way to improve your user experience by showing your business FAQ’s right alongside your answers. Customers will be able to see queries submitted by previous visitors and your response right alongside it. This can further work to capture relevant users to your business. Learn more here.
When faced with myriad of options these days, users will always choose the easiest and most simplified offering for their needs. It takes a technical eye and a bit of time to get your GMB listing where it needs to be. Luckily, this is something that we offer here at BA Creative as part of our SEO offering. Get in touch with us today about how we can help you save time and effort with your Google My Business listing here.