If you’ve been a business owner for more than 10 – 15 years, you might remember advertising your business in the big ol’ Yellow Pages directory. I know someone who back in the day used to pay anywhere from $1000 – $2000 per year to have their business listed in those pages. It wasn’t even a big flashy listing – just a regular old business name, phone number and address. Thankfully, gone are the days of hunting alphabetically through hundreds of listings to find what you needed. Although, Yellow Pages still has online listings, they no longer dominate the industry of finding business information. Google is the new go-to for business directories these days. Anyone who wants to find anything does a quick search in Google and voila! Hundreds and thousands of business listings right at their fingertips. The best part for business owners? It doesn’t cost a penny to have your business show up where you want it to, since Google provides this service absolutely free. It’s called Google My Business.
What is Google My business
Google My Business is a tool that allows businesses to be found both in search and in maps across Google. It allows your location and contact information to be easily found by your customers.
what appears in a google my business listing?
The Google My Business listings have evolved substantially and will continue to do so. It is so much more than just an online directory for your business. Here’s a breakdown of what appears in your Google My Business listing:
- Location & contact details
- Hours of operation
- Customer reviews and ratings
- Customer ratings on other platforms (ie. Facebook)
- Photos submitted by customers
- Posts, photos and videos submitted by the business owner
- Links to the social profiles of your business
- Promotions, product and service listings
- Direct contact button to register/ sign up/ or message
Top 5 reasons you need to utilize your google my business listing
1. to Show Up in Google Maps + Searches
Like any good online business directory, your business contact details can be added including your website url, phone number, and address. However, this doesn’t just show up in your regular Google search results, it also shows up in Google maps. So if someone were to google “website design services near me” they will be presented with a map of their area with map markers of all the website designers near them – which of course shows up at the top of the Google search. What if you don’t have a physical location? No problem, Google will not publish your home address but you can select an area that you typically service and you will then show up on Google maps within that highlighted area. From the example Google search result below, I’ve done a search for “Dog Groomers in Milton”. As you can see, the map results show up before Google’s organic search results. You’ll also notice that there are only 3 listings that are highlighted. More can be uncovered using the ‘More Places’ toggle, but these top 3 results are Google’s local 3 pack and receive on average a 700% boost in clicks compared to businesses that don’t show up in this local 3 pack. Although there are many factors that determine whether your business will show up in these top 3 map listings, ensuring you have set up your free Google Maps listing will increase your chances of appearing in this space.
2. Reviews + Ratings Increase Your Appeal
I don’t know about you, but when I’m searching for a business online, whether it’s a restaurant or a hair dresser, the first thing I do is look at the star rating and then read any negative reviews. Although, negative Google reviews aren’t necessarily always correct, if there are multiple negative reviews that indicate the same type of experiences, I will generally avoid these companies. Likewise, companies that have lots of great reviews will easily and quickly build my trust in that business and I will usually give them a try.
3. To Increase Your Engagement + Sales
Keeping up to date content on your Google My Business listing will help to increase your user engagement and boost your sales, before a potential customer even visits your website. Here’s an example of my GMB listing. Note that I have added a COVID-19 update that shows up near the top of my listing indicating that I am still open for business with a direct link to my booking page to book a discovery call. For different types of businesses, you may choose to have an option to “reserve a table”, for example. In the second image below, you will see what it looks like when a user clicks to see my photos. They can now see photos and videos of work that I’ve done without ever going into my website. Utilizing your posts, photos and videos, you can start to see how Google My Business can act as a pre-sales funnel to sell a potential customer on your services before they even link into your website.
4. To Gain Valuable Analytics
I will be covering Google Analytics in another post soon, but Google My Business can provide you with valuable analytics on how people are interacting with your business through Google. By looking at the Insights in your GMB account, you’ll be able to see how visible your brand is, how customers are finding you (ie. keywords), who you’ve been targeting and how they have been engaging with your brand.
5. To Rank Higher in Search Results
The more quality, accurate and consistent content you can provide to Google about your business, the more Google will like your business and the higher you will end up on their search results. What better way to provide Google with accurate and consistent information about your business than to literally hand feed her through Google My Business? Hello, FREE ADVERTISING!
How often should you be updating on Google My Business?
I can almost hear your thoughts as you read that heading above. ‘ANOTHER platform to keep up with posting on?!? You’ve got to be kidding me!’ I have bad news, good news and better news. The bad news is, yes, another platform to keep up with posting on. Generally speaking, you should aim to post on GMB at least once per week, but Google tends to look favourably on businesses that use Google products frequently, so often is always better. The good news is, that while keeping up with posting on your social media is also essential for lead generation and engagement, keeping up to date with posting on GMB is literally in the faces of people specifically looking to do business with you…today…right now. The conversion of a quality GMB post can potentially outrank the conversion of a quality social media post. The better news? We offer Google My Business + Analytics retainer packages to take it all off your plate if you find it all too much to keep up with.
My goal is always to help businesses to be successful both on and offline. Keep me posted in the comments below how utilizing your GMB listing has helped your business and traffic. I’d love to hear about it!