Google My Business’s ability to incorporate search engine results into your marketing is a huge advantage for all local businesses. One of the first places that customers looking for your products and services online will go is a Google search. Google has reported that 46% of all searches have local intent, and that business location is the main piece of information sought by local searches. This just shows you how much your business listing can benefit by appearing on Google search.
The easiest and fastest way to show up in a Google search is to have a Google My Business listing. Customers are able to find information about your business easily across multiple devices.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free local marketing tool that allows business owners and marketers to manage how their business is displayed on Google Search and Google Maps. It is a listing on Google that shows your name, address, contact information, website link, and hours of operation.
To get your GMB listing, you need to verify your business data by creating your Google My Business profile or claiming an existing auto-generated profile. This is a critical step in any local SEO strategy as it makes it easier for customers to find information about your business and allows them to review the business. Therefore, it’s important that the information provided is accurate, complete, and optimized.
How do Google My Business Listings Work?
The first step is to create a GMB listing by either claiming your page or creating a new one, and then verify it. With GMB, you will be able to create a simple website that will drive more customers to your business. It’s also essential that you optimize your GMB listing.
When someone searches for products or services, the local search listings dominate the results. Therefore, when users search for your products or services within your locality, your Google My Business page will be displayed among the listings. The information from your page will show in three different places: Google’s sidebar, local results, and Google maps. Therefore, potential customers will be able to see your location, contacts, and other information from your page.
How do Brands Use Google My Business?
Millions of brands across the world are using GMB to stand out from competitors and attract more customers. Brands use the platform to engage with customers and learn more about their customers. With GMB, brands are able to know the kind of customers they attract, where they come from, what appeals to them, as well as how the business is performing.
Why You Must Use Google My Business for Local Marketing?
1. It increases your visibility on the web
One of the biggest benefits of creating a Google My Business listing is that it improves your business’s visibility on the web. When you search for a product or service on Google, the first three listings are usually Google Adwords advertisements, followed by a map with the Local 3-pack, then the organic results appear.
The once inclusive 7-pack is now limited to only three local listings hence the title 3-pack. Many businesses around the world have been trying different SEO tricks to get into this special category, but what most don’t know is that by creating a Google My Business listing, you can significantly increase your chances of making it onto the list. Having your business appear in the Local 3-pack can help you tap into potential revenue as Google not only shows customers your business on Google Maps, but it also places it before organic search results.
2. It helps you share information with your potential customers
GMB allows you to share information about your business, including your address, contact information, and working hours. It also allows you to share news, updates, announcements, offers, and more. These posts show up on Google Search and Maps, enabling you to keep in touch with potential customers and keep them updated.
However, before posting anything, it’s always important to consider what you want to achieve. Do you intend to raise awareness about a new product or service? Or do you want to drive customers to visit your location? This will enable you to customize your post to the goal. Also, always ensure that your posts have a Call to Action that compels potential customers to take action such as “Call,” “Visit,” “Buy,” or “Learn more.”
3. It helps you reply to the queries of your potential customers in real-time
Google recently added a messaging feature that allows you to chat directly with potential customers who find your profile on the search results page. The feature enables you to quickly answer questions in real-time and help your current and potential customers.
Google gives you the option to either activate or turn off the messaging feature. When you activate it, users visiting your page will see a clickable Message icon, where they can initiate a chat. You will be able to respond to the messages through SMS or Google’s messaging app. However, be careful not to share sensitive information such as credit card or login credentials.
4. Boosts your appeal among potential customers with reviews
Reviews are an influential factor when customers are making a purchasing decision. Nearly 90% of customers read online reviews to evaluate the quality of a local business, and most customers always choose the product with the highest reviews. Google My Business lets customers review your business and leave feedback. This not only boosts your appeal to potential customers, but you also get honest evaluations about the things you’re doing right and the ones you need to improve.
Reviews also build trust and confidence among customers. According to a local consumer survey, 88% of consumers trust online reviews and believe they carry the same weight a personal recommendation. Reviews are also a ranking factor used by Google to determine where to place your business on search results. According to a survey by Moz’s on local search ranking factors, online reviews make up 10% of how search engines determine their rankings.
By delivering quality products or services, you’ll collect more reviews and get a higher overall rating. This will make you stand out from your rivals. You can also improve your rating by responding to reviews.
5. Increase traffic and sales
While in business you cannot completely avoid the ups and downs, having a Google My Business listing can help you increase your traffic and sales. According to Google, by having a Google My Business listing, businesses are 70% more likely to attract local visits from browsing users. The multiple verification steps that every business must complete before appearing in local searches create trust among customers, and hence, you’re likely to see a significant increase in sales. Having appeared in local searches, your website needs to capitalize on the opportunity by loading quickly. If your site currently takes too long, take steps to reduce the time that users spend waiting for pages to load
6. Free Google Advertising
There are several ways to promote your business and get it on the first page of Google. One way is to run a Google Ads campaign, but you need to have a budget. The other way is to improve your SEO, but this takes time to build your authority and ranking. A GMB listing, however, offers a faster and cheaper way to get targeted exposure on the biggest search engine. Creating, claiming, and verifying your listing does not cost you anything and you take less time to optimize your profile.
The listing puts your business in front of many potential customers and gives them easy access to your contacts, direction, website, and hours off operation – all at no cost. Therefore, having such a valuable resource without incurring any costs can allow you to direct your resources to other areas.
How SocialPilot Helps you in Local Marketing
Having a GMB listing is just the start of your local marketing journey. To make the process easier and get more from your GMB listing, you’ll need advanced Google My Business tools like SocialPilot. SocialPilot helps you to easily manage your Google My Business listing and reap the benefits of being active on the platform without the hassle of going back every week to post something. Here is how it can help you.
1. Publish timely GMB posts for sharing information
Regular updates on your GMB listing enable your page to rank higher on Google’s search results. SocialPilot allows you to schedule Google My Business posts right from your dashboard to keep customers updated. Therefore, you can post offers, announcements, news, and new products without having to go to your GMB page. You can add call-to-actions to the posts to encourage potential customers to check out your page, site, or social profile.
With SocialPilot, you can also choose how often you want your posts to be repeated. It allows you to schedule posts to be repeated up to 10 times, and you can set how many days you want in between each post. The tool goes an extra mile by allowing you to retarget regular or occasional customers to give them a reason to buy other products from you. You can also add pictures and videos to your posts to attract more views on your GMB page.
2. Analyze your customer’s journey
SocialPilot provides you with Google My Business analytics and insights including metrics such as reviews, customer actions, views, and search performance. Therefore, you will be able to analyze your customer’s journey and understand their behavior and actions better. And by understanding your customer, you will be available to them at every step, helping them in the decision-making process.
You will have access to the number of customers who view your business listing, and you can use the data to grow your business and popularity. You can also use the ratings and reviews to create a community of loyal customers to drive growth and sales with word of mouth promotion.
3. Compare your GMB listing performance against competitors
SocialPilot allows you to benchmark GMB listing optimization against your closest competitor. This helps you to know what you need to do in order to outrank your rivals. It also helps you to identify the areas that you’re losing out so you can focus on them.
SocialPilot also enables you to discover listing opportunities that your competitors or other high-authority sites are using, and you’re not.
4. Manage your reputation
As we already mentioned earlier, online reviews are very important and play a significant role in customers’ decision making. SocialPilot can help you to monitor and grow your reputation by tracking and analyzing your Google reviews. You can guide customers to leave reviews and respond quickly and efficiently from the SocialPilot dashboard.
Local marketing is about targeting people in a small geographical location, and Google My Business’s features help you do just that. However, in order to rank in the local 3-pack, you need regular engagement, and you must keep optimizing your Google My Business listing. Using the top social media management tools makes it easy for you to maintain a consistent presence on GMB, helping your business beat competition, drive more traffic, and ultimately make more sales.