What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (most commonly referred to as GMB by those in the marketing world) used to be called Google Places for Businesses—doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as well as the revamped name. It’s designed to help businesses just like yours, appear in Google search results. You can post to it like you would Facebook or Instagram, highlight product offers, upcoming events, share photos, trading hours, your address and contact number, even links to your blog. Believe it or not, you can do this all for free!
If it’s free, it’s for me, I hear you say! But what’s the catch? There is no catch!
What is the Biggest Benefit of Google My Business?
One of the benefits of having a Google My Business page is that allows people to discover your business through Google Maps and local search results. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a bricks and mortar store with a physical address, a Google My Business page is still exceptionally important.
You would be surprised how many businesses that down know about GMB listings or realised the potential benefits of posting, even if it’s just once a week.
How can I improve my visibility on Google Local Search?
Google My Business is one of the easier ways for your business to be found online. With voice-activated searches becoming more increasingly common, people are tending to search phrases like “Find a restaurant near me” or “Find a locksmith near me”.
This is where Google’s local search visibility really comes into its own. Try it with any number of business industries and you’ll find that under the paid ads, Google will list three related businesses based on the location data sent by the phone. The results you will get in Melbourne will differ from someone who is searching on the Gold Coast.
How can I set up Google My Business so that it’s effective?
The first thing is to claim your listing as soon as you possibly can so you can start the verification process. This involves getting a postcard with a verification code sent to a physical address. Google says this process can take up to 6 business days, however from experience some of our clients have taken from 6 weeks to 4 months to receive their verification codes. Make that your first priority.
Fill in as much as the information as possible including open hours, services and products, a description of your business and upload photos of the exterior, the interior of your office and any other photos you feel may highlight your business in the best possible light. If you’re a restaurant, you may want to include your menu and photos of the dishes you serve.
When people discover your business in the local search results, generally they click on your business to discover more about your business such as your street address and your trading hours. In today’s digital world, people are used to having information at their fingertips. People love fast Wi-Fi, fast cars, fast food and if they have to wait or the information they expect is not there—reviews, phone numbers, street address, photos etc. they move on to the next business.
You need to keep your Google My Business up to date. If you move and forget to update it, if you change your hours and you’re closed when a customer swings on by, you’ve just lost yourself a potential sale.
How to write a Google My Business description
How do you sum up your business accurately in 750 characters? It can seem like an impossible task but it’s important to highlight the most important information in just one or two sentences. Try brainstorming and writing down all the words that come to mind for your business. Delete any words that could apply to any business and focus on words that make it as hyperlocal as possible. For example; instead of serving the best fish and chips in South East Queensland, you could use Serving freshly cooked fish and chips, seafood and all your takeaway favourites in Surfers Paradise. (and that’s only 100 characters so you have 650 more to play with for the ultimate Google My Business description.
Can Google My Business be linked to Social Platforms?
Google My Business also allows you to post to your profile, much like Facebook. The content will be visible for 7 days on your profile before users have to click a link to see the rest of the posts you have made. It provides you with the opportunity to share discount offers, events, COVID-safety plans, products and newsworthy updates with your target audience in min using photos and videos that meet their advertising guidelines. Each post allows you to include a call-to-action such as sign up, book now, learn more, buy.
If you have Google My Business but don’t have the time nor inclination to post on a weekly basis, you can assign manager rights to a social media management company or marketing agency to manage this on your behalf.
How to collect reviews on Google My Business?
Google My Business is also used as a platform to collect reviews. Reviews are an instrumental part of any business. In fact, most people only make a purchasing decision after reading a minimum of 10 recent reviews. This is what they call social proofing your business. Proof that other customers have used your products and services and been happy with the service and the results. Make sure you are replying to reviews and ratings, so the customers feel like they are being heard. It can be a mission collecting reviews, but if you add a link into your email signature or send out reminders with links via SMS, it can make the job a little easier. Using a review management company such as Boost Reviews can help you solicit more reviews more easily.
By failing to have Google My Business you are missing out on one of the best free ways to appear in search results. Like everything, it can be a little time consuming, but the results are almost instantaneous and worth it. You can even track analytics like how many people found you by typing in your exact business name versus accidentally discovering how many people view photos, call, visit your website or look for directions to your location.
Boost Social Media Managing Director, Elisha Fiorentino says, “I find that many people go to Google Reviews to see what other people are saying about Boost Social before they even contact me to discuss how we can help them. Users want to see recent Google Reviews, not from a year or two ago. Collecting reviews can take a lot of work, but we have found Boost Reviews to be an incredible timesaver.”
Google My Business is automatically included with any of the Boost Social Media packages.
For more information or advice on GMB, please contact our team today!