What is Google My Business?
Google My Business, or GMB, is the local listings service that Google will return when you run a local search. Research shows that when people do a local search, they have strong intentions. 50% of people who run local searches on their phone are looking for an address, whilst 50% of people who completed a local search on their phone went to a physical store within the same day.
People want local results quick and fast, and that is what GMB aims to provide. Run a search for pizza in Derby and the first thing you will see will be the local three-pack. These are the much coveted top three local listings that will take up most of the space on page one. Click on more places and you will get the full listings of all the pizza businesses in Derby.
Why Google My Business is Important
The stakes are pretty high, 46% of all searches on Google are local, whilst the 3-pack appear in 93% of all local searches. Surveys found that 60% of all mobile users were very likely to click on the first two or three website designs that they see.
Just like regular organic searches, it takes a bit of time and effort to get ranked highly on GMB. If your competition has been around for a long while, then it will be a lot harder. However, there’s no harm in having a high quality GMB listing, and if you dedicate just an hour or two a week you’ll be able to really enhance your presence on the web.
(1) Fill in Everything
Google likes to provide users with the most accurate data, so you need to give Google as much information as possible. List your address, contact details and operating hours, and ensure that everything on your website design is accurate and up to date. Google will validate your address by sending you a post card with a verification number that you will need to send back to Google.
SEO experts believe that Google and other search engines cross-reference your NAP (name, address and phone number) across website designs to validate it and ensure yours is legitimate. If you’ve got Jonny’s Burgers on your website but John's Burgers and Fries on your GMB listing, this will only create confusion. So comb through any business listings and citations you’re listed on and make sure all NAP information is exactly the same.
When filling in information, make everything relevant and keyword rich. Enter all the locations you serve, what makes your business so great and the phrases that you want to get found for.
(2) Add Quality Media
People want to see what they’re getting. If they’re looking for pizzas they want to see delicious looking pizzas. If they’re searching for painters and decorators, they want to see images of smiling, friendly looking painters and decorators.
Research indicates that the more images you have on your GMB, the more likely you will make a conversion. Businesses with more than 100 images get a staggering 1000 more website clicks than businesses with just one image. These businesses not only get more visibility but also appear more frequently in searches.
So, make sure that your profile photo on your GMB listing is a high-quality image that showcases what your business is about. You should upload your logo and continue to upload images on a regular basis. If you provide a service, take pictures of different jobs and upload them every week. If you sell products, upload photos of your product being used on a periodical basis, and encourage your customers to do the same.
If you have videos, that’s even better, upload as many as you can on your GMB listing.
(3) Post Regularly
GMB enables businesses to make posts which will show in your GMB listing. These are not regular blog posts, but small notifications, and they expire after 7 days (although you can still see these posts under the history tab).
These posts don’t have to be major events. Perhaps you are having a little event, or maybe you have a new discount. Whatever it is, make sure you post about it on GMB with a CTA (Call to Action) and/or link. Post regularly on your GMB, set up a schedule and stick to it. Google will even remind you when a post is due to expire or if you haven’t posted in a while.
(4) Answer Questions
As mentioned before, Google loves providing customers with the most accurate information. Which is why there is a quick questions section on your GMB. If you regularly get asked the same questions, this is the perfect place for you to provide your customers with all the information they need.
Perhaps there’s something extra special about your business. Maybe you’re a bar that serves a particularly hard to find beer, or perhaps you’re an electrician who offers free consultations – whatever it is, you’ll be able to highlight this in the quick questions section.
(5) Get Reviews
Reviews are critical. Would you hire the electrician with zero reviews or the electrician with 20 reviews? The latter, of course.
The statistics are overwhelming. 97% of customers read online reviews for online businesses, while 63.6% of people check the online reviews on Google before purchasing a service or business. Even 53% of people expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week.
So, whenever you make a sale, ask and encourage your customer to write a review. If you’re finding it hard to get reviews, offer discounts on any future purchases. Your customer is doing you a favour, so make their life easy. Share your GMB profile with them so they can write a review quickly and effectively.
As you can see from the statistics, customers expect you to respond to negative reviews. Go one step better and respond to all reviews! A quick message thanking the customer for their business and their review, takes just a few seconds. When a company acknowledges reviews, they look responsive and customer focused, and this is exactly the kind of impression you want your business to have.
Filling in your GMB shouldn’t be too hard, just make sure that you’re accurate. Managing it throughout the week will take just an hour or two, but will show to your customers that you are responsive, focused and attentive. It will also encourage Google to rank your GMB listing highly.
Don’t want to set up your GMB? Why not leave it to us. Setting up your GMB is part of our service here at DotGO when we design your website. We have over **17 years** years of experience creating affordable website designs and we’d love to help you create an effective presence on the web. So contact us today, and find out what we can do for your business.
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