Ask a group of marketers what tools are worth using and you’ll almost certainly start a debate. Yet, most do agree that having a Google My Business (GMB) listing is beneficial. Although a free tool provided by Google, it can achieve excellent results for businesses. What kinds of results? And, more importantly, how can you set yourself up to get the most value out of your Google My Business listing?
Why Create an Optimized Google My Business Listing?
– Help you to accumulate customer reviews. Why is this a plus? Honest and positive reviews from real customers can build trust with potential customers and increase revenue. So the more of them you have, the better. Not only can good reviews boost your business’s visibility in Google search results, but they can also be the deciding factor when people search your business directly.
– Earn you visibility in Local Pack Listings. Google’s Local Pack is the map and list of nearby businesses that takes up prime real estate on its search engine results pages.
If you earn a spot in the Local Pack listings, your business will be among the first that people see when they type a query into Google. In turn, that means that they’re more likely to click to view your Google My Business listing in more detail. Even better, they may take a next step such as giving you a call, visiting your website, or making a visit to your physical location.
– Provide insights that can help you improve the effectiveness of your marketing. The insights tabs in GMB provides a wealth of information that can be used to attract more of the right people to your business and turn them into customers.
For example, analyzing search queries can tell you what terminology people have used to find your listing and, therefore, what terminology you should or shouldn’t use to bring more traffic to it. Keeping tabs on views and engagement can reveal what actions seem to spark positive outcomes and vice versa. And GMB’s audience insights can confirm whether you’re reaching the right people and even help you to shape your message and overall marketing to do so more effectively.
Yet, these benefits can only be had if your GMB listing is optimized. In other words, completely and thoughtfully filled out, in the right business category, and with up-to-date business information. Once you have a listing set up, though, should you just call it a day and hope to see positive results? No.
4 Ways to Get More From Your GMB Listing
Actively managing and updating your Google My Business listing is key when it comes to getting the most exposure and generating as much interest as possible in your business. Check out 4 simple things you can do that can make a huge difference in the results you see from GMB.
1. Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
As mentioned earlier, reviews are a powerful driver for consumers when it comes to deciding what businesses or brands to engage with. Yet, research has shown that many people don’t leave reviews. At least not without being asked.
So to get a steady stream of credible online reviews coming in, intentionally and consistently encourage happy customers to review you on Google. Make doing so a part of your process.
2. Add Relevant, High-Quality Images
Especially if your business is product-based or you have a physical storefront or office, adding quality photos to your listing is essential. Why? It’s important to set the expectation for what people can expect. Doing this can put potential customers at ease and reduce any hesitation to engage with you. Even better, it can get them excited to visit your physical location, do business with you, or otherwise engage!
This will give you an edge over competitors who have no photos, which increases the perceived risk of engagement, or who have low-quality, blurry, unprofessional images on their listings.
3. Enable the Messaging Feature
You want to make it as easy as possible for potential leads who are interested in what you offer to contact you. That includes supporting their preferred method of communication.
Some may be fine with submitting visiting your website, submitting the contact form there, and waiting for your reply. Some may prefer to give you a call. And others will inevitably prefer the middle ground—texting. To accommodate them, enable the messaging feature, verify your phone number, add a welcome message, and wait for the texts to come rolling in!
4. Provide Regular Business Updates
Last but not least, make use of the business updates feature in Google My Business. You can share:
– Exciting company announcements
– Interesting industry news that’d be relevant to your potential customers
Whatever you share, try to be consistent. You may even want to create a posting schedule to keep your listing updated regularly.
How Much Could Your Results Improve?
The 4 recommendations we’ve just discussed are time-tested and have significantly improved the results that many businesses are seeing from their GMB listings. They can likely do the same in your case. Would you like to see just how much of a difference they can make? Put them into practice and compare key metrics such as engagement to your current GMB stats. If implemented strategically, you should see noticeable improvement!
Nia Gyant is a freelance writer and brand messaging strategist with a background in online marketing. She supports marketing agencies and small to mid-sized businesses in need of strategically-crafted, goal-oriented content and copy.