How to use Google My Business (GMB) to Boost Growth
How to use Google My Business to Boost Growth
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business helps you manage your business’s presence on the platform and is free to use. Verifying and managing your information through Google My Business will help customers contact and find your business more easily.
Customers trust businesses that use Google My Business more than other businesses that don’t utilize the option.
You can add photos from your business on Google My Business to build trust and interest with potential customers who come across your profile. You’re also able to interact with your customers by responding to their comments and reviews.
Google My Business can give you more insight into how customers come across your business. You can also get statistics on how many people called your business directly from the phone number you entered on local search results.
Creating a listing on Google My Business will help your reach with the local markets greatly, simply creating a listing will allow your business to pop up on Google Maps in relation to a customer’s search results.
Are You Eligible to Use Google My Business?
Not every type of business is eligible to use Google My Business, to be eligible, your business must make face to face contact with customers during its stated business hours.
There are a few exceptions to this rule like ATMs, and express mail drop boxes, and seasonal businesses. A sign must also be displayed year-round for a business to qualify.
There are certain businesses that are not eligible to use Google My Business, such as rental or for-sale properties. A reoccurring meeting or service is also not eligible if you don’t own it or have no authority to represent it.
To get more details on if your business would qualify or not visit the Google guidelines.
How Google Determines Local Ranking
Google doesn’t decide what people see based on the business that is closest to them. If you are losing to a competitor that is further away from the area you’re trying to target, this may offer an explanation.
You want your profile to have all the elements Google uses to determine what is the best result for your local market search results.
Completing your business information in detail will allow your business to be more relevant based on what local customers in your area are searching for.
Distance does play a factor in what results show up for the customer, this is something out of your control but making your profile relevant gives you an upper hand over your competition.
Prominence is also a large part of what Google decides for ranking results. Even if a business is more prominent in the offline world, it can still show up for local ranking.
Familiar locations like museums and landmarks will show up easily without a profile because they are prominent in other ways. Links and other information on the web added by others also contribute to prominence.
More reviews and positive ratings are a great wat to improve ranking and prominence for your business. There’s no way for you to request a better local ranking for your business on Google.
Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile
After you start your Google profile, you’ll want to get the most out of it. Making sure your business listing is 100% complete is important for attracting more customers to your business.
Google essentially lets you put all the information your customer could possibly need to know or what might interest them.
Keeping updated information like business hours, services, offers, and pictures will pique the interest of more customers.
Covid-19 Support and Updates
if you’re a small business owner who is having trouble during COVID-19, Google offers support by setting up a program that allows customers to buy gift cards or make donations to your business. You can add links that’ll help customers support you to your business profile.
Google My Business has the option to post COVID-19 updates and changes related to your business. If your business does go through changes such as hours and delivery options, it’s important to let your customers know. Making sure your customers aren’t left in the dark is a sure way to have them looking forward to their next visit.
Keeping your business hours updated will give more incentive for potential customers to stop by. It’s important to update them with the regular hours of operation for your business and change them when special hours are taking place.
Special hours include events like holidays, temporary closures, and other reasons. Google is currently allowing you to update your business hours to reflect its status due to COVID-19.
It’s advised that not every business should provide specific hours. If your business has varied hours for different activities like classes or showtimes, then keep the hours unlisted.
Online Appointments Booked with Google My Business
Times have been unpredictable lately, but Google has provided a solution to in-person meetings and appointments. If you’re able to offer your services online, it would be beneficial to mention it on your business profile.
Allowing your business to conduct online appointments is a great way to keep making connections with current and potential customers.
Customers want to see all the services and products available to them before they head out to a physical location. You’re able to add your item name, item description, and item price. An item price isn’t required with the posting of your business services.
It’s important to list all your services so your business can come up as a result related to one of your many services. Emphasizing keywords will help your products and services get more exposure through Google.
Your services should be titled and described with the words your clients would be searching for. An example of this would be your customer searching “Cosmetic Dentistry” instead of “Dentist”.
Photos and Videos on Your Google My Business Profile
Adding relevant and updated photos or videos for your Google My Business profile will make potential customers more interested in your business. This will also help your business show up more for local search results.
The photos you upload to your Google My Business profile will give customers visuals that show them what to expect when visiting your business in person. To make sure you’re giving your customers the proper visuals, there are specific photos you need to upload.
You need to upload pictures of the exterior and interior of your business. Uploading these photos will help your customers find your business when they are trying to come in for an in-person visit. People want to see photos of areas that they’ll be interacting with during their visits, such as the waiting room and reception desk.
Uploading a picture of your directory and the unit number is another great way to help people locate your business more easily, especially if you’re in a large office building.
Team pictures help customers build a connection with your business, people are curious and want to know who they will be talking to when they come to visit. People also like to see pictures of other people because it brings more realness and trust in the customer’s eyes.
Google street view has its own car that drives around and takes photos of the surrounding area, it’s important to make sure the street view they provide is an accurate one. If it’s not accurate, you can report it to Google.
Your customers can also add their own photos during reviews, this can be beneficial, potential customers are more likely to trust positive photos uploaded by other customers.
The video you post is ideally an overview of the services and value you bring to your client. The video you create should be more than just what you are, it should be who you are to them. Videos help set the expectations of your customer and are not meant to be self-serving. The goal of the video is to build a connection with your business and the customer to make them feel welcome.
Posts on Google My Business
Updating your Google My Business profile with frequent posts will give you more chances of someone seeing your business. Not only will your post boost the number of people who see your profile but it’s a way to communicate with your customers. Posts keep your customers up to date about things that are going on with your business.
Your posts can include information like upcoming specials, events, offers, and news. When you post about what’s new with your business you’ll add a description, title, and pictures if you choose. You can also add an action button such as “call now” or “book now”.If your business has its own website, your posts can include a link to bring customers to your own homepage or landing page that is relevant to your post.
Creating posts about recent blog articles will get more traffic to your website, adding a “learn more” button will help. Updates with blog articles shows viewers that your business stays connected with your industry and it’s changes.
Posts on Google My Business offer insights that are almost real-time, you’ll be able to see how customers interact and engage
Promotional offers also require a start and end time. A “view offer” button will automatically be added to your post. You can include a link, coupon code, terms, and conditions with the post. You should add a photo or video that shows a graphic of your offer.
Text is important to have on the graphic of your offer so it can catch a customer’s attention. You want your offer title to be short and sweet enough to make interested customers click for more detail.
Promote Events on Google My Business
Promoting your business events through Google My Business is a great way to get more customers through your doors. You can add photos or videos that portray more information about the event that your customers may be interested in.
Events do require a start and end time, if you don’t specify the length of your event Google will automatically set the event to 24 hours.
Asking happy customers to give their review on your business or the service you provided to them will boost your local ranking. The sooner you ask your customers for a review after a service, the better. Laying out the directions for leaving reviews for your business will give the customer more incentive to do it because will take the guesswork out of the equation.
88% of customers trust online reviews as much as word of mouth recommendations, so it’s important to thank your best customers for leaving their honest review on your business.
Whether or not a review is positive or negative, it’s important to respond in a professional manner. This will not only build relationships with your clients but it’ll show Google you are engaging and this will help your ranking with local searches.
Google My Business App
Using Google My Business app is a great way to keep up with updating your business no matter where you are. You’re able to update your posts and offers as soon as possible, increasing your chances of your business popping up with local searches.
You can conveniently use the app to respond to customer reviews and questions, this will allow you to be engaged with your customers even if you are not near a computer. Customers appreciate timely responses and it shows that a business values their client’s feedback.
Google My Business mobile app differs from the desktop version in a couple of different ways. You’re not able to remove a listing or transfer ownership through the mobile app but you are able to see your followers. Seeing your followers is not something you can access with a desktop. It’s useful to see your followers because it’ll give you more of an idea of who your average customer is.
Understanding Google My Business Insights
Insights on Google My Business help you learn more about the way your customer found your business on Google. Insights uses search and maps to give you the information on your customer’s views, searches, and actions. Insights uses information from both organic and Google ad results.
How Your Business was Found on GMB
One of the insights show how customers found your listing. When you click the chart, Google Insights will give you percentages of the customers that found your business through different methods. These methods include:
- Direct searches- A customer typed your name, business, or address in the search bar.
- Discovery searches-A customer searched a keyword related to your business, services, or products.
- Branded searches- A search for your brand or a branded related to yours was made.
- Total searches- A total of the direct, discovery, and branded searches that were made
The Insights tab also allows you to see the common terms and keywords customers used to find your business. With this knowledge, you can create posts and offers with the keywords your customers are using. Search queries results come from local searches and maps.
Where Your Customers Found You
Insights show you how many customers found you through Google Search or Google Maps. If a customer found you through search it will display as “search views” on bulk reports. If it was found through maps, it will display as “map views” on bulk reports. Total views shows findings through maps and search.
Customer actions let you know what steps your customer took after they found your business. Once you go to bulk reports you will see the different categories that let you know your customer’s actions. The different customer actions are:
- Website actions- Shown when a customer views your website.
- Directions actions- Shown when a customer requests directions to your business.
- Phone call actions- Shown when a customer calls your business.
- Total actions- Shows website, directions, and phone calls.