Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most powerful ways for potential customers to find your company online. You stumble on these profiles every day as you use Google to find just about anything you need. You probably check out these listings, read reviews, and even choose businesses based on how they appear in these search results. If you’re not using GMB to reach potential customers, you’re missing out on one of the key, free ways to use Google to grow your business.
Let’s dive into seven ways to stand out with Google My Business and get your company more attention today.
What is a Google My Business Listing?
A Google My Business listing is a company’s profile on Google Maps and in Google search. Google offers this tool free of charge to brands and companies. Why for free? The more businesses that sign up and fill out listings, the more data Google has to show searchers what they’re looking for. This allows Google to fill the gaps they might not be able to fill themselves about a particular business, such as yours.
How Do You Claim a Google My Business Listing?
If you don’t already have a Google My Business listing, you can go to the GMB tool and claim it. You can read more on the steps to take here directly from Google. Once claimed, you can start optimizing your listing to get the most traction as people search for what your business does online.
6 Ways You Will Stand Out with a Google My Business Listing
Optimize Your Listing
The quickest way to connect with potential customers is to optimize and complete your GMB listing, including:
- Taking the time to craft a business description that resonates with your audience.
- Choosing as many categories that fit your business.
- Selecting a service area or mileage area around your physical location that people might discover you from.
- Updating your business hours to reflect when you’re open or closed.
- Including your services, products, menus, and other defining characteristics of your business.
- Adding when your business first opened its doors.
- Leveraging the correct URL for your website and the right phone number.
Spend the time to complete your listing. Think about what you would want to know about a company before doing business with them. Use that information to flesh out your GMB listing in a way that makes it useful, engaging, and ultimately what people are searching for.
Bonus Tip: Review the recommended updates Google sends your way for your listing. Sometimes these are updates Google thinks are relevant. Sometimes they’re updated from what people are telling Google about your business. Make sure to review them before they go live. Otherwise, key information about your company might be inaccurately displayed and cost you business.
Add Photos and Videos
People respond to photos and videos more than they do text online. Brains are being rewired to get information as quickly as possible. Visuals do that better than anything on the web.
Make sure to upload a high-quality logo for your business. Showcase pictures and videos that highlight where your business is, your office, storefront, and your employees, and what you do in action. Make sure these pictures are as high-quality, too. Anyone can upload pictures to your GMB listing. Ensure you upload the best possible images and videos. Keep in mind that anyone can upload images regarding your business, too.
Bonus Tip: Tag your GMB pictures with a description of what they are to help them show up in Google image search as well. This also helps people who are visually impaired understand what the image is.
Respond to Reviews
Reviews will make or break your business whether they’re on your Google My Business listing or elsewhere online. Make sure to respond to every review – good or bad – on your listing as they come in. Don’t use generic boilerplate responses either.
Craft a unique, heartfelt response to everything that comes your way. This shows potential customers you’re human, and you appreciate people’s experiences no matter how they play out. This connection with people who do business with you will lead to more referrals and convert potential customers who want to work with someone who truly cares about them.
Bonus Tip: Set up email notifications in Google My Business to be alerted every time someone posts a review. This allows you to respond immediately and nip any potential issues in the bud.
Did you know potential customers can ask questions about your business or services through your GMB listing? Make sure to answer the questions as they come through, like how you should respond to reviews by turning on email notifications for them. Keep in mind anybody can answer questions on a listing. Your response as the business will be a powerful way to show people you care and genuinely want to help them.
Depending on your business and service area, Google offers messaging through your listing between you and those lurking. By installing an app on your phone, you can interact in real-time via Google My Business with potential customers. This allows you to answer their questions, book appointments, and connect directly with your audience as soon as they find your listing.
Note: This feature isn’t available to all business or all service areas yet. If it’s available for your business and you think it’d be useful, activate it and see what it does for connecting with your target audience.
Post, Post, Post!
GMB allows you to post updates on your business, discounts you’re offering, and other content directly to your listing. This gives you a quick way to update potential customers on everything from holiday hours to new services to specials you’re running. Give those visiting your listing something different to connect with from your competition by leveraging posts to capture their attention.
Bonus Tip: Visuals are so important for GMB posts. Make sure to use imagery that and draws them into what your post is about. Free apps like Canva can help you create stunning images in no time if you aren’t graphically inclined.
Stay on Top of Updates
Google is constantly adding new features and functionality to Google My Business listings. Stay on top of these updates and jump on any opportunity to add more information about your company. If Google adds a new feature, consider using it to see what impact it has in driving new business your way.
By continually tweaking your listing and adding to it, you’re offering potential customers more information about what your business can do for them than your competition. This is one way to stay ahead and bring business your way instead of sending it to your competitors who are lagging behind with their GMB listing.
Is a Google My Business Listing Important for SEO?
If you’re looking to drive traffic, conversions, and new business from a local market, a Google My Business listing is essential to be found with local SEO. All your SEO efforts will be for driving traffic to your website.
Your GMB listing is another way for people to find you when they’re searching for what you do locally. Ensuring you have claimed your listing and fully optimizing it with accurate information will keep you front and center with potential customers searching for what you do.
Your Google My Business listing is one of the first times potential customers will see on Google. Make sure you’ve claimed your listing and optimized it as completely as possible with the above tips. Take time to learn more about GMB and how you can leverage it for your niche. Learn how your competition is using it and do it better. This is one of the few free marketing opportunities your business has, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of it?
Need help claiming, optimizing, or getting more eyes on your Google My Business listing? Reach out to Sympler today. We’ll look at your profile, make recommendations, and help you show up in Google search were your business deserves to be.