With most Google searches turning up thousands if not millions of results, today’s business buyers are awash in a deluge of online information. Help them find your business before they find your competitor.
If you’ve been operating a business for a long time, you’ve noticed a change in the way people find your business, and ultimately buy from you. In our day and age, everything starts with Google. In fact, the Internet has changed our buying processes so radically, that it’s difficult to recollect how people used to buy before.
With most Google searches turning up thousands if not millions of results, today’s business buyers are awash in a deluge of online information. They’re connected to the Internet physically, functionally, socially and frequently.
Google My Business (GMB) is often one of the first things people looking for your type of business will interact with. It’s essentially a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps.
It’s pretty much a business listing service, much like Yellow Pages, except it’s connected to the most powerful search engine in the world and, when used properly, can make it a lot easier for people to find your business.
The reason why GMB is a great place to start focusing your efforts is because when people search for a product or a service, they’re generally close to making a purchase decision. Did you know that 50% of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit a store within a day? Same with 34% of consumers who searched on a computer or tablet.
“Did you know that 50% of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit a store within a day? Same with 34% of consumers who searched on a computer or tablet.”
Furthermore, your competitors could already be taking advantage of GMB, making it easier for them to rank higher than your business in search results. This means it may be easier for customers to choose your competitor as well. By listing your business and providing as many details as possible, you give Google enough information to decide if you’re offering what a user is searching for, while potentially beating your competitors to the top spot.
Finally, Google recently switched to mobile-first search results when searching from a mobile device. Google will now display the top GMB cards over the typical landing pages or websites as we’ve seen in the past. Keep in mind that 61% of Google Traffic goes to the top 3 results. Ideally you want to be in the top 3, at least the top 5 results. GMB will help make that happen.
Oh, and did we mention that this is a FREE tool? So, setting up your business on GMB is not only FREE, it’s smart.
Here are 7 ways to maximise your GMB listing in order to drive relevance with people looking for your business:
1. Monitor your listing regularly. You need to monitor your GMB on a regular basis, for the simple reason that anyone can ‘’suggest an edit’’ to your listing. Monitoring your GMB will ensure that you don’t encourage random people to make their own changes, and that the details about your business are always correct.
2. Fill in your profile with as much information as possible – Giving as much information about your company and linking your social profiles and websites to GMB will help you rank higher in search results. This, in turn, will make it easier for potential customers to find you.
3. Reply to customer reviews – We can’t stress how important this is. Whether they are good or bad, all customer reviews should be replied to. Not only do they give you actual feedback on your products or services but replying to comments also increases engagement because they build trust with your audience, so they will be more likely to leave comments about your business, which in turn increases your local ranking on Google.
You can also ask current customers to leave a positive review for you, which again increases the social proof of your business and makes you more relevant to users looking for your products and services.
4. Add photos – Humans are visual creatures by nature and this will allow them to see what you’re all about. Photos are also very important at driving engagement. Businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to their website, and 42% higher requests from driving directions on Google Maps.
5. Add Videos – Videos will add some variety to your listing, and make you stand out.
6. Use Google Posts - Google Posts are available for all small businesses and should be used to promote special events, showcase products or highlight special offers. They’re low-effort to set up, but are still fairly underutilised, making them a great way to set yourself apart from other local businesses.
7. Get valuable insights – GMB can also give you rich insights on how customers searched for your business, and where those customers are coming from. You can also see information like how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results in Search and Maps. And when you’re ready, seamlessly create and track the performance of AdWords Express campaigns to spread the word about your work.
There is a long list of essentials when it comes to getting your local business ranked high on Google. Google My Business is a great place to start, and it will help you lay the foundation for your digital strategy.
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