If you already have your Google My Business (GMB) listing optimised and take the time to regularly update it – then you’re free to go. For the rest of you, it’s time to listen and take notes, because if you don’t have a GMB profile, you are missing out on valuable website traffic.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a special ‘listing’ for your business that shows in search results on Google. It allows you to stand out when people are searching for a service and/or product you offer, particularly if they are located in close proximity to your business.
It also gives you an opportunity to not only be featured at the top of search results, with your location on Google Maps, but also explains what your business is about, the services you provide, top products, contact info, opening hours, relevant photos and special deals that may interest potential customers.
(It is free – so if you’re not sure whether you have one for your business, or you want to know how to create one, check out Google’s support page for Google My Business here.)
Which businesses does it suit?
Every business should have a Google My Business listing – but it’s particularly of value for those with a service base in a specific area. For example, if someone searches ‘cafe near me’, Google Maps will appear at the top of the search results with three options that are located close to them (known as the Google 3-Pack). And if you own a cafe in that area, no doubt you want to be in those top results to give your business far greater visibility.
But even if you aren’t location-based, a Google My Business profile is still a vital tool to amplify organic web traffic. Google Reviews have a huge amount of sway for potential customers (90% of people read reviews before purchasing), and by collecting exceptional ones for your business, you have a greater chance of converting people to buy from you. A Google My Business listing makes it easier for people to visit your website, call your direct, or depending on your business type, they can also click to make an appointment.
You can also get some pretty interesting insights from Google in terms of which search queries helped people find your business profile, as well as audience and engagement data. All of which are useful for planning future online marketing campaigns.
How does it benefit your business?
As mentioned above, there are numerous benefits that come from having a Google My Business profile. And just in case you need further convincing, here’s a quick rundown:
It enables your business to potentially show up in local Google 3-Pack results, as well as Google Maps. (64% of consumers have used Google My Business to find contact details for a local business.)
It means you can receive reviews from customers, helping to convert new ones.
It provides insights such as views, search queries, engagement, audience and conversions to your website/contact phone number.
Potential customers can interact with your business directly – asking questions that you can reply to.
Informative, key-word rich information can greatly improve your businesses presence in Google.
By appearing in local searches, businesses with a Google My Business listing are 70% more likely to gain in-store location visits and 35% more clicks to your website.
Do you ‘set and forget’ it?
One word: no! To get the most out of your Google My Business listing, continually keep it updated with posts, adding products and/or services, showcasing events and offers, uploading new photos, collecting reviews (and always responding to every one you get), and generally keeping it looking sharp.
Remember, it’s absolutely free to use and once you’ve spent some time setting everything up, it doesn’t require a huge amount of weekly maintenance.
By Erin Harrison, Guest Blogger
Erin loves all things content and digital marketing. She has been freelancing since for-ever-ago and there is almost no industry Erin hasn’t carefully crafted content for – across both print and online.