Google My Business is a local business directory that allows you to promote your business on Google’s search results and maps… and it’s FREE.
People are searching for localised results more than ever. Whereas once they used to search for ‘Real Estate Agent’ they are now more likely to add a location like “Real Estate Agent Milford’.
If you do a search for “Graphic Designer in Birkenhead”. Google My Business will show a map of the local businesses that it feels match the result. There is actually a bit of competition for that search term as you can see on the map.
Despite the competition Google only displays and names the top 3 results. Some of the other businesses are not registered with ‘Google My Business’ while others haven’t made sure that their registration ticks all the boxes for Google.
If you haven’t got a Google My Business listing yet then….get one. If you need help with this feel free to give us a call. We can point you in the right direction or, if you prefer, we can do it for you. If you have one then it may be a good time to think about what job it is doing, whether you need to update it and whether it could benefit from some optimisation.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Link to your website?
- Have your phone number?
- Have your business hours? Plus special hours/public holidays? (You don’t want Google telling them that you are closed or open when you aren’t)
- Have your list of products and services?
- Have an accurate name and description?
- Have some additional photos uploaded?
- List your additional business attributes? (delivery, payments accepted, wheelchair access, is a reservation required?)
- Have your business opening date? (a good trust factor)
- Are you listed in the correct business category?
- Is the address correct and does it exactly match the address in the footer of your website?
- Is the pin on the map in the right location?
- Have you claimed/verified the business?
- Have you updated your imagery?
- Have you added FAQs?
Measure Your Success:
Your GMB listing can give you some good data on the following metrics:
- How many times your business has turned up in searches
- How many people call you
- How many times the click on ‘Directions’
- How many people are reviewing your business
- What score are people giving you
From these baselines you can then measure what effects the changes that you have made are having.
Here are some tips for getting more benefits from your listing:
- Monitor and reply to reviews
- Put special info on your listing… just like social media
- Create a link that you can send to people to give you a review
- Look at your competitors. If they have 20 reviews and their average is 4.6 then you should aim for 21+ with an average rating of at least 4.6.
Be Local Everywhere:
Do potential clients see accurate localised information on multiple platforms such as:
- Apple Maps
- Other local business directories
We’ve already discussed responding to your reviews (preferably every one of them). A nice touch is to reference your products and services in your replies. Don’t go too heavy on this. Be subtle but do it because all that keyword-rich content is seen by Google and is added to the results.
If you get a poor review from a client or a bad review by someone who isn’t a client then you have a couple of options.
- Try to prove to Google that they aren’t a client. This is very hard to do and the success rate of this, given the huge number of reviews that are left online, is very small.
- The best way to deal with a bad review is to drown it out with good reviews. Actively ask your clients to place a review online and then send them a link after you have responded to the bad review. Reply politely saying that you can’t find a record of them ever being a client and encourage them to reach out and contact you as the owner/customer relationship manager/general manager because your team are really focused on giving every client a great experience and you’d love to have a chat. It is possible that a well written response to a 1-star review can be more beneficial than a 5-star review!
What If My Business Doesn’t Have A Physical Address:
You may be an online business or have a business that clients want or need to travel to. If this is the case you can create a listing based on where you live or your business registered business. Once that has been done you can get Google to hide your address from the listing and just display the service area you cover. This is often necessary for companies who have a mobile team and service large regional areas or even nationwide.
Google Is Changing…. Always:
Google is always looking at expanding the part it plays in our lives. A good example of this is their recently released ‘Google Travel’ section which lists things to do when travelling. Notice that all the content is driven by Google My Business accounts. This is part of the shift from GMB just being a ‘business directory’ into a ‘marketplace’.
You can’t sell a secret so get ahead of this change if you aren’t there already and get your GMB optimised.