Google My Business is your one-stop-shop to put your local business on Google.
It replaced Google Places in mid 2014 and it allows you to update your business info across Search, Maps and Google+ in the one spot.
Here’s why optimising your Google My Business page is an awesome idea:
- Doesn’t take THAT much time – You can do the bulk of the ‘optimisation’ upfront, and then just keep an eye on it ongoing
- More clicks to website and phone call enquiries – The more prominent and the higher quality your listing is, the more
- It’s FREE to improve – And it will allow you to leverage existing search traffic better
- It works for you 24/7
Does it really work?
- 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information
- They search on smartphone and computer for: store address, business hours, product availability and directions.
- 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same.
- Local searches lead to more purchases than non-local searches. 18% of local searches on smartphone lead to a purchase within a day vs. 7% of non-local searches.
- 4 in 5 consumers want ads customized to their city, zip code or immediate surroundings.
- More than 60% of consumers have used location information in ads. They say it’s important to have store address and phone number in ads on computer/tablet, and directions and the call button in ads on smartphone.
You can read about the study in full here.
How do I get started with Google My Business:
Before we start – you need to Claim Your Google My Business Page – see this video below:
Once that’s done – we can move on to setting up your page for success.
Five keys to success with Google My Business:
- Get lots of 5-star reviews – Duh. Seems obvious, but the truth is – there’s tonnes of great businesses out there which look horrendous online because they don’t proactively get their happy customers to post reviews. Studies show that angry customers are more likely to post a review than happy customers. Why would you want to have an inaccurate representation of your customers. It’s probably costing you enquiries on a weekly basis. Get the highest number AND highest average rating for maximum results. See this article on how to create a review link to make it easy for customers to give you reviews.
- Reply to every review – Replying to every review creates a great impression. More importantly, it shows that you actually care about what your customers think and will take action to rectify any problems. Do this ESPECIALLY for bad reviews. We all watch closely to see how a business responds to negative feedback. Do it with class and you’ll come out on top. Ignore it or get on the defensive, and you’ll dig a deeper hole. Check this for 30 seconds in your marketing meeting each week so you don’t spend too much time check it constantly. // For negative reviews, I recommend structuring your reply like this: 1. Thank them for providing their feedback. Acknowledge that must have been frustrating (but not necessarily admit wrongdoing prior to investigating). Then move onto the front foot and be like ‘Would love to investigate this further for you and ensure we can get it sorted for you / make amends. If you’re open to chatting please PM your contact number or email and we’ll be in touch’.
- Fill out your company information completely – Basic one, but most people can’t be bothered doing it. Google wants to rank you well, but if you don’t provide it any info on what your business does – you’re making it hard for them to know when to show you prominently. If there’s a field to fill out, fill it out fully. Also ensure you pick the most relevant category for your business. Inaccurate categories can lead to ranking for searches not as important to you.
- Variety of high-res photos – Show me what the inside of your location looks like, picture of the owner, group picture of key staff members and picture of reception area if applicable. Give people a (positive) preview of what it’ll be like to experience your business. Professional photos are great, but a good smartphone with decent ambient lighting will also be more than sufficient to get the photo quality you need.
- Keep your details accurate and current – Things like opening hours can change slightly throughout the year. Make a note to update your listing on a regular basis.
By doing each of these five steps, you’ll be much more prominent when people search for businesses like yours.
Note – there are deeper SEO considerations with this, but the above will be more than sufficient to get you going.
Have a crack at it – and if you have any questions please let me know.