Google My Business (GMB) is yet another useful tool provided by the dominant tech company, Google. Though its importance might seem negligible compared to an enterprise’s marketing activities in their entirety, Google My Business is able to help you significantly improve your brand image. By providing Google with vital information about the nature of the products and services that are offered through your business, as much as your location and contact information, you will gain the opportunity to rapidly expand your current customer base.
The use of Google My Business is simple, free of charge and not particularly time-consuming. However, like every other individual digital marketing effort, it requires your seamless devotion to this project, by consistently updating your account with content that will reflect the quality of your products or services. Naturally, the undeniable quality of your business’s identity is the factor that drives perspective customers towards choosing your business over your competition, as the generation of equivalent results is going to be anticipated.
What does Google My Business include
While a significant portion of all searches nowadays will guide traffic towards specific locations, GMB is not merely another standalone Google section. In a way, it is more of a “digital display” of some sort, that applies to all kinds of businesses. By researching various terms, you might have noticed how search engines will direct you towards actual listings on the map. The latter will appear right above the organic results section on mobile searches, or on their right, when it comes to PC users, typically showcasing information such as the firm name and business sector of each enterprise, a short description of activities, a link towards their official website, business and popular visit hours, contact information, opening date, customer reviews visualised into a star rating from one to five stars, as much as photographic content of all interior and exterior areas.
Aside from the above, Google My Business users are allowed to include content that should increase their business’s resonance with its perspective clients. Such content would be the publication of images that are related to the accompanying products or services, the option to make a reservation through Google My Business, a message that is encouraging users to submit their questions and some consistent responses to them and, more importantly, the publication of social media posts’ summaries and blog entries’ snippets. As a result, users shall be able to gather a significant amount of information through a particularly brief navigation process, and therefore decide whether each time’s offered products or services actually match their needs. In the meantime, business representatives shall get the chance to effectively communicate with their audience and thus enhance their business’s image and increase the chances to gain new conversions.
The importance of Google My Business
The benefits of Google My Business optimisation are more important than you may think. Google’s algorithm will not only actively strive for a faster and more efficient customer satisfaction, it will also make sure to reward businesses that align their digital presence with its recommended best practices. Subsequently, a business that never fails to update its Google My Business section, having covered every detail with content of undeniable quality that actively facilitates user navigation, tends to rank higher on search engines. That is, in fact, a great method to improve your local organic reach. In addition to Google’s algorithm, a consistent Google My Business presence is recognised by the average user as a practice that adds value and prestige to the overall digital image. A thoroughly structured and organised section that combines fine content, a detailed description of activities, products and services and photos of undoubted quality, will surely make a great first impression to your perspective customers.
A great amount of positive customer reviews would not only become another important addition to your business’s integrity, it would also provide you with insightful feedback in regard to your business and its products or services and help you tighten up your relations with your customer base, identify its needs more efficiently and readjust your strategy, if needed. Since customers tend to prefer businesses that approach them in a communicative manner and prioritise their best interest, you will naturally get the chance to expand your customer base and profit from driving more traffic toward your website in various ways (e.g. through hosting display ads). Lastly, Google My Business will grant you the opportunity to publish your business’s latest news and updates. In that manner, you are able to enhance your marketing strategy by promoting a new service, a current offer or an upcoming event.
How to make the most of your Google My Business account
Prior to Google My Business optimisation, it is essential to make sure that your Google My Business account is set and that it includes, at least, an essential amount of information, such as your business’s address, working hours and contact information, so that it will not be perceived as spam. You will be asked to verify your account within fourteen days, as a way to avoid fake listings. Afterwards, you may proceed with updating your account as often as possible, by publishing pieces about your business itself, its products and services, industry news and any other relevant information. In case you are looking to optimise your Google My Business account, we suggest that you emphasise on the following:
- Make sure that your business’s description is detailed, comprehensive and true. Avoid the use of elaborate vocabulary, as Google My Business shall be conceivable for the average user. When it comes to your business’s main category and subcategories, you need to be accurate. The same applies to the description of your products and services, as organic results are primarily ranked by their relevance to each time’s search terms, among other factors. Let us highlight that, according to Google’s guidelines, your business description should not exceed 750 characters.
- Focus on your reviews section. In the era of business digitalisation, it is estimated that most perspective consumers base their decision-making process on past reviews by verified customers. We would recommend that you encourage your undeniably satisfied customers to express their thoughts on a review. Another Google My Business optimisation practice suggests responding to your customer reviews. Do not dismiss thanking your satisfied customers for their cooperation and treat your dissatisfied customers with politeness, expressing your regret and wishing to offer a better experience in the future.
- Do not ignore the questions and answers section. Like we mentioned earlier in this entry, it is a fast and simple way to enhance your image and provide your existing and perspective customers with a better pre and post-purchase experience. An intelligent way not to miss a single enquiry would be adjusting your notifications settings accordingly.
- Activate the option to receive messages on Google My Business. The more customer communication channels, the more chances to achieve new conversions.
- Emphasise on the use of images. Both your logo, product-related photos and publication headers must be of excellent quality, so that they resonate with your audience. They must also be in accord with Google’s size and dimensions guidelines.
- An exceptionally modern way to differentiate your business from the competition through the use of Google My Business would be video marketing. Despite the fact that Google My Business videos shall not be longer than 30 seconds, their publication is considered to be a highly imaginative and effective way to capture your target audience’s attention and, at the same time, promote your content.
- Keep your Google My Business account updated on important changes, so as to optimise customer experience. Headquarters relocation, business hours changes and contact information updates should always be announced in a timely manner.
- In these times, customers would appreciate being informed about your business’s current measures against the spread of COVID-19.
Google My Business and local SEO
Google My Business optimisation is largely connected to local SEO. First of all, a quality business profile is in position to help you rank higher up on search engines. Google executives themselves have admitted that Google My Business ranking is based on the following three criteria:
- Prominence, which would reflect a listing’s popularity according to customer reviews.
- Proximity, matching results based on a listing’s distance from the location of each search query.
- Relevance, denoting how well search results match the search terms.
Like every other aspect of your SEO strategy, Google My Business requires the proper adjustment of your content, so that it is aligned with your target audience’s search terms. This method will allow Google to drive traffic towards your page, possibly generating a significant amount of organic traffic and thus beat your competition. Furthermore, Google Posts require you to include a specific call to action and grant you the opportunity to drive traffic directly to your website or landing page. Our suggestion would be to put effort into benefiting the most from your keyword strategy and to include Google My Business optimisation in your overall digital marketing plan.
Though its use is remarkably simple, Google My Business optimisation can be proved to be incredibly important for your brand awareness and business’s profitability. Do not miss the chance to make the most of it.