Google My Business in a fantastic tool for local businesses of any size.
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that helps businesses manage their online presence across Google, including Google Search and Google Maps. It’s a powerful platform for local businesses to connect with potential customers and improve their visibility. Google My Business is an indispensable tool for UK business owners due to its cost-effectiveness and its capacity to drive valuable traffic and enquiries. It acts as a virtual storefront, offering essential information and improving local search rankings, making it easier for potential clients to find and connect with your business. GMB’s review feature fosters trust and provides valuable insights, while regular updates with engaging content maintain an active online presence that attracts and retains customers. Leveraging GMB is a free and powerful strategy for businesses to enhance their visibility and growth potential.We offer a managed service of Google My Business as the task of building, optimising and managing your Google My Business can easily be turned in to a full time job. We offer this as most locksmiths want to focus on locksmithing, most accountants want to focus on accountancy and most driveway companies want to focus on installing new drives. Here we have listed some basic steps to follow if you want to set up, optimise and mange your own Google My Business listing.
Create or Claim Your Business Listing
Visit the GMB Website: Go to the Google My Business website (www.google.com/business) and sign in with your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, create one.
Enter Business Details: Click “Manage Now” and provide the necessary information about your business, including its name, address, phone number, website, and category. Make sure your information is accurate and consistent with other online listings.
Verify Your Business: Google will need to verify that you’re the owner of the business. Verification methods include receiving a postcard by mail, getting a phone call, or through email verification. Follow the instructions to complete the verification process.
Optimise Your Business Profile
Add Detailed Information: Fill out your business profile with as much detail as possible. Include your business hours, services/products you offer, and any other relevant information. Use keywords related to your industry to improve search visibility.
Select Categories: Choose relevant categories that accurately describe your business. This helps Google understand your business and display it for relevant searches.
Upload High-Quality Images: Add high-quality images of your business, products, team, and premises. These images can help potential customers get a visual understanding of your business.
Manage Reviews and Ratings
Monitor Reviews: Regularly check and respond to customer reviews. Engage with both positive and negative feedback in a professional and courteous manner. Timely responses show that you value customer input.
Encourage Reviews: Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your GMB listing. Positive reviews can improve your business’s credibility and attract more customers.
Share Posts and Updates
Create Posts: GMB allows you to create posts to share news, offers, events, and updates about your business. These posts can include images, text, and links to your website.
Utilise Google Posts: Use different types of posts, such as “What’s New,” “Events,” “Offers,” and “Product” posts to keep your audience engaged and informed.
What Does a Good GMB Post Look Like?
Compelling Visuals: Start with eye-catching visuals. Use high-quality images or graphics that are relevant to your post. A picture truly is worth a thousand words, and striking visuals can immediately capture a user’s attention as they scroll through search results.
Clear and Concise Headline: Your post’s headline should be concise yet compelling. Use clear language that communicates the essence of your message in a few words. Whether it’s promoting a sale, an event, or a new product, the headline should pique the reader’s interest.
Engaging Content: The main body of your GMB post should provide essential information and engage the reader. Keep it concise and to the point. Use persuasive language to encourage action, whether it’s making a reservation, visiting your store, or learning more. Consider including a call-to-action (CTA) to guide users on what to do next.
Relevant Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords that relate to your business and the post’s content. This can improve the post’s visibility in local searches and attract users searching for specific products or services.
Event Dates and Times: If your post is about an event or a limited-time offer, be sure to include the event dates and times. This creates a sense of urgency and helps users plan accordingly.
Location and Contact Information: Always include your business’s location and contact information. Make it easy for users to find you or get in touch. Ensure that your NAP (name, address, phone number) is accurate and consistent.
Links: If relevant, add links to your website, specific product pages, or reservation forms. This allows users to take immediate action and learn more about your offerings.
Use Hashtags: Incorporate relevant hashtags to increase the discoverability of your post. These can help your post appear in searches and discussions related to the topic. We would not always do this on every post, this is content dependant.
Visual Consistency: Maintain a consistent visual style across your GMB posts to reinforce your brand identity. Use similar colours, fonts, and imagery to create a cohesive and recognisable presence.
Regular Updates: Keep your GMB posts fresh by regularly updating them with new content. This not only ensures that your audience stays engaged but also signals to search engines that your business is active and relevant.
Track Performance: Use the insights provided by GMB to track the performance of your posts. Pay attention to metrics like views, clicks, and actions taken. Analysing this data can help you refine your posting strategy over time.
Remember that GMB posts are a direct way to engage with potential customers, so crafting them effectively can have a significant impact on your online presence and customer conversion. Tailor your posts to your specific business goals and target audience, and continuously refine your approach based on what resonates with your audience the most.
Check Performance Data: Google My Business provides insights into how customers are interacting with your listing. You can see how many people have viewed your listing, clicked on your website link, requested directions, and more.
Use Insights to Improve: Use this data to understand which aspects of your listing are most engaging and what customers are looking for. Adjust your strategy accordingly.
Regularly Update Information
Regularly updating your Google My Business profile brings numerous benefits. It ensures accurate and up-to-date information is displayed, enhancing your online visibility and credibility. Fresh content and posts on GMB can engage potential customers, improving their perception of your brand. Additionally, consistent updates help your business appear in relevant local searches, boosting foot traffic and online conversions. An active GMB listing also hughlights to potential clients that your are active for new enquiries. Overall, maintaining an active GMB profile positively impacts your online presence and customer interactions.
Keep Information Current: Keep your business information up to date. If you change your business hours, location, or services, make sure to update your GMB listing accordingly.
Utilise Special Hours: During holidays or special occasions, update your special hours to ensure customers are well-informed.
Enable Messaging: Google My Business offers a powerful messaging feature that enables direct communication between you and your potential customers. Make sure to activate this feature on your listing, as it provides a convenient and immediate channel for inquiries and engagement. It’s not just about enabling it; it’s about being responsive. Promptly responding to customer messages showcases your commitment to excellent customer service and can be a game-changer in converting potential leads into satisfied customers. Keep your responses informative, courteous, and helpful, addressing queries and concerns promptly. By embracing the messaging feature on GMB, you create a seamless and responsive customer experience, which, in turn, can drive more valuable inquiries and establish trust in your brand.
Additional Tips for Success
Consistency is Key: Consistency in your business information is not just about uniformity; it’s about trust and visibility. When your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all online platforms, including your website, social media profiles, and GMB listing, it sends a clear signal to search engines that your business is reliable and legitimate. This consistency is a critical factor in local search engine optimisation because search algorithms prioritise businesses that provide reliable, accurate information. Additionally, it fosters trust among potential customers. When they see the same information everywhere, they are more likely to believe in your business’s credibility and are more inclined to contact or visit your establishment. Consistency is not just a technical detail; it’s a foundational element of your online reputation.
Regularly Engage: Google My Business is not a static listing; it’s an ongoing conversation with your audience. To keep your audience engaged and informed, regular updates are vital. Fresh posts, high-quality images, and timely updates demonstrate that your business is active and attentive to its customers. This can positively influence your search ranking and ensure that your GMB listing doesn’t become stale or overlooked. Engaging content can also showcase your products, services, and promotions, providing valuable information to potential customers, and encouraging them to take action. Whether it’s sharing news, customer testimonials, or behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business, regular engagement humanises your brand and builds a stronger connection with your audience.
Monitor Competitors: Monitoring your competitors on GMB is like having a free market research tool at your disposal. By observing how your competitors use GMB, you can gain insights into what strategies are working in your industry and adapt accordingly. Take note of their posting frequency, the types of content they share, and how they interact with customers. This competitive intelligence can help you identify opportunities to stand out or areas where you can improve. It’s not about copying their every move but about learning from their successes and mistakes to refine your own GMB strategy. Staying aware of the competitive landscape on GMB is an integral part of staying ahead in the online marketplace.
Stay Customer-Focused: The core purpose of Google My Business is to serve your customers better. Every action you take on GMB should revolve around enhancing their experience. Respond promptly to customer enquiries, messages and reviews, addressing their concerns and providing helpful information. Use GMB’s features, such as Q&A and messaging, to make it convenient for customers to get the information they need. Share content that is relevant and valuable to your target audience, such as informative articles, how-to guides, and promotions tailored to their interests. By putting your customers at the centre of your GMB strategy, you not only improve their experience but also build trust and loyalty. Happy customers are more likely to become repeat customers and advocates for your business, further driving valuable traffic and inquiries.
By following these steps and tips from CTO Digital, you’ll be able to set up and optimise your Google My Business listing effectively, making the most of this valuable tool to attract local customers and enhance your online presence. Remember, consistency, engagement, and accurate information are key to making the most of Google My Business for your business’s success.