Whether it’s to locate the nearest place to buy the best Chinese food or to put your finger on which movie you’ve seen that actor in before, Google is part of our every day lives. With the tap of a finger, we can access the world wide web. So, where does Google My Business comes in? As a business owner, you need to know why you should be making the Google world a firm part of your business world. Let’s have a closer look…
When marketing your small business you want to to optimise every opportunity you can. Why wouldn’t you want to play ball with Google, it’s a no brainer, especially when it’s free. In this simple guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Google My Business.
Firstly, what is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows you to claim ownership of your business whilst optimising your business profile on Google. It’s a great way to increase your credibility and get exposure for your business. Being able to manage your presence on Google searches and Google Maps provides your customers with a better experience. Ultimately, that’s what we all want isn’t it? A strong presence on Google and a good customer experience. NO matter what we need to create a number of inroads to our business that gets and keeps customers.
So let’s kick off with the basics.
How do you set up a Google Business Profile?
Using six simple steps, we’re going to discuss how easy it is for you to set up a Google Business Profile if you don’t already have one.
Step 1: Sign in to Google Business Profile Manager
Already logged into a google account? If so, you should automatically be logged in. If not, simply pop your login details in or create a new account if you don’t already have one.
Step 2: Add your business
Next, you just need to enter your business name. If it doesn’t show up in the drop down menu, click add your business to Google. Make sure you select the most appropriate category for your business and then click next.
Step 3: Enter your location
If your business has physical premises where you operate from, for example, a sandwich shop that your customers can visit, select yes. You can then enter your business address. At this point, you might be asked to mark your location on a map.
If you run a business that doesn’t have premises where your customers can visit yet you offer in-person services, you can list the areas where you operate. For example, you may be a PR company that operates from Manchester and covers the surrounding areas. If this is the case, you would want to list Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, and Leeds.
For those who don’t enter a physical address, you’ll be asked by Google to specify which region your company is based in. You can select this from the drop-down menu and then click next.
Step 4: Fill in your contact info
This step is pretty self-explanatory. Enter the basics like your website and business phone number so that your customers and clients can contact you. If you don’t want to be contacted via telephone, you don’t have to put these details in.
When you’ve completed this section – you’ve got it – click next.
Step 5: Verify your business
To verify your business, you need to enter your real physical address. Don’t worry though, this info is only used to verify your business and won’t be publicly displayed on Google – perfect for all those ‘at home’ businesses. Once you’ve entered your details, you can move on to the next screen.
This step may vary slightly depending on whether your business operates from a physical premises or not.
Physical Premises: will require a postcard by mail to confirm their location.
Service-area businesses: can be verified simply through an email address.
Step 6: Customise your profile
This is where all the important bits for your customer will go. From things such as opening times to business descriptions and photos, these are the first things that your customers will see when you appear on Google’s search engine. When you’ve done this, you can click continue and you’re ready to go! You can manage your business profile, check insights and even create ads for Google from here.
How to get the most out of your GMB Profile
Now, let’s optimise our Google My Business profile to help market your business and rank on Google. Get found and know for what you do best. Google looks at three different factors to determine how well your business profile will rank.
- Relevance: How well the listing of your business matches the search of a user
- Distance: A pretty obvious one – how far your location is from the searcher
- Prominence: How well known is your business? This is where getting your SEO right really pays off. Getting a few reviews on Google is also one of the best places to build up those 5* reviews
To play ball with the search engines, make sure you complete your Google My Business profile. Add some real photos of your business and verify your location! It all sounds like simple stuff doesn’t it.
A customer is 2.7 times more likely to take your business into consideration if your Google profile is completed.
Don’t forget to keep your business information up to date! You can do this in no time at all each month. Google loves businesses that keep their profiles and websites regularly updated. Plus, you don’t want to be giving anyone incorrect or old information – always be at your best.
So, how do I use Google My Business to market to my customers?
You’ve created a business profile, you’ve completed everything you need to – so what’s next? Your customers can start to interact with you! Let’s talk simple marketing.
Engaging with users: There’s a ton of ways that consumers can interact with your impressive business profile. So make sure you’re using it to engage back with them. Make sure you’re responding to questions, reviews, and enable direct messaging. This is SO important in an age where customers expect a convenient and simple service.
Enhance your business: We briefly touched on this earlier – adding a link to your website, operating hours, and even products and pricing can make your business stand out. It’s all about providing a solution to the problems of our consumers – and doing it in a way that’s easiest for them. We don’t want our customers having to go on a treasure hunt to find a specific product or price – we want to put it right under their noses.
Use Insights: An important one. Don’t underestimate the value of a good insight. You can use the Google My Business dashboard to gather key insights into the behaviours of your audience as well as local search performance. You can what words customers are using to search and find your website – gold! This is a great way to optimise your search engine optimisation (SEO), content, and increase traffic to your website. You can also use GMB to determine where your customers are coming from. Have they found you via a Google search or on Google Maps?
Local SEO: Touching on the previous point, the GMB dashboard allows you to incorporate keywords into your business profile – helping you rank better on search engine result pages (SERP).
Wait, I can use Google My Business for SEO?
You heard us right.
To use Google My Business to help optimise your SEO, make sure you’re including relevant keywords into your business profile. This allows you to tell Google what you want to rank for. Use these keywords EVERYWHERE. In your ‘from the business’ section, when responding to reviews, the posts you publish, and even responses to questions from your customers.
Another important thing to remember is to make sure that your business profile is regularly updated. You want the information on there to be correct, especially your contact info and opening hours. This could be the difference between a new lead or a lost lead. Again, don’t forget to make sure your business profile is completed.
The Takeaway, and no that’s not Chinese 😆
Wow, a lot to take in right? It’s actually really simple. Google is the superior search engine, so it’s imperative to you and your business that you make use of it. All you have to do is remember the following:
- Make sure your profile is completed! This has so many benefits. Not only does it provide the correct information to your customers, it helps with SEO and lead generation.
- Talk to your customers. Respond to questions, reviews and enable direct messaging. If you want to go the extra step, include keywords in your responses, don’t over stuff them though or else you’ll look a right numpty won’t you. Keep it natural and conversational. Write how you speak. Keyword-stuffing is a big fat no from Google – they might even penalise you for it.
- Don’t forget about insights. Not only does this help with gathering data on where your customers are coming from, you can apply the data to your marketing strategy. Look at the queries that people are searching for. Can you meet their needs? Optimise your content by writing a blog! Use Google My Business insights to get a list of keywords together and apply them to your strategy too. And you can set yourself some goals to track and review against each month.
Now you’re ready to go out there and use Google My Business like a pro! Build your business, get your name out there, and get some SEO content on the go. Let’s work those search engines.
Still a bit unsure on what you’re doing? We offer as much or as little 1:1 marketing support as you need. At Boo! we’re here to stop you from getting stuck and will remove the overwhelm of marketing. All we want to do is make marketing simple for everyone else, and have you smashing those goals. Start getting accountable with your marketing today, this week, this month. You know you need to. Get in touch with us today and let’s get you moving in the right direction.