Ever Googled a business or type of shop? You’ll notice Google presents businesses, companies and retailers in a way that’s slightly different to the regular search engine result’s page. This is because these establishments have set up a Google My Business listing.
What is Google My Business?
Take a look at the image below. The section underneath River Island’s Google Ad is known as the Local Pack, which pulls information from your Google My Business listing. These appear for local searches such as ‘…near me’ and the search engine tends to select the top three based on relevancy, reviews and anything else that signifies authority.
Another example of Google My Business working its magic is through the Knowledge Graph.
The Knowledge Graph is the panel on the right that lists information about our business. Again, like the Local Pack, this pulls information from your Google My Business listing. Essentially, Google My Business helps customers find your business, learn more about what you do and get in touch, both on and offline.
Google My Business listings increasing your engagement with customers. That’s a fact. There is no better instance than this than Google Maps. Without a GMB listing, your office, shop or building will not be searchable and findable on the ever-popular navigational tool.
Why should I use it?
So, you have a rough idea of what Google My Business is and its potential reach across the search engine. But how beneficial is it for traffic and sales? Turns out, very! Here are just a few reasons why you need to sort your listing out ASAP!
Google My Business…
- Increases your visibility online – Google, SEO and digital marketing as a whole are all about tapping your target market on the shoulder and saying, ‘Hey, look at me. I’m selling what you’re interested in’. What better way to do this than ensuring your business is the one people find when they’re looking for your products/services. Get ahead of your competitors with the increased visibility a Google My Business listing offers.
- Helps people find your physical location – Gain more foot traffic to your physical store or office by ensuring your business is on Google Maps and also shows up when people search for ‘________ near me’.
- Enables you to learn more about your customers – Google My Business offers a wealth of insights via Google Analytics. Here, you can view everything from how many views your Google My Business listing is getting right on through to how much traffic it is generating to your website or store. It also shows you the age, gender and location of those looking for your business, allowing you to retarget to your market.
- Gives you the opportunity to encourage, view and respond to reviews – Google My Business allows your customers to be walking, talking advocates of your brand, giving them the opportunity to leave reviews and photos related to your products/services. Nothing looks better than your business in the Local Pack or knowledge graph, proudly flashing its five-star review and top-notch products.
- Makes your company more attractive online – Thanks to reviews and the capability to add photos and offers to your profile, your business has never been more appealing in the digital world than after completing your Google My Business listing.
- Verify your business and build trust with your audience – By managing how your business appears on Google, you can tell users your story in your own unique way. Sell your USPs, verify your brand and build trust by showing them just how good you truly are! Verified businesses are actually twice as likely to be considered reputable by search users.
Are Google Business Listings Free?
Yes! Yet another perk is that it is completely free to use. Google wants to be the complete directory and make the user journey as seamless and easy as possible.
For this reason, it offers businesses the opportunity to provide as much context at no cost at all, ensuring the relationship between business and consumer remains as symbiotic and efficient as it can be.
How do I use it?
Setting up a Google My Business listing could not be easier. Follow these instructions and you’ll be sorted in no time at all.
- Head to Google My Business and select Manage Now.
- Sign in or create a new Google account.
- Enter your business name and address if you want your establishment to appear visitable.
- Let Google know if you also deliver and serve customers outside of that location.
- Pick a category that fits your business. Think carefully as Google will use this information to provide users with what they are searching for.
- Tell Google the contact details you want your customers to use to get in touch.
- Finish and verify your business.
- To verify your business, Google provides you with multiple options. We’ve found the most efficient method to be the postcard process. This is when they sends a unique code to your place of business via a postcard. You are then prompted to type in this code in order to complete your listing.
Once your Google My Business listing has been verified, it’s time to build your listing and fill it with information and photos. This will help your customers find you and ensure your listing is the most clickable among your competitors.
To edit your listing, head to Google My Business. Make sure you have:
- Your contact info.
- Your open hours.
- Your website.
- Store attributes (accessibility, Wi-Fi etc)
- Photos (cover photo, profile photo and collection photos). Businesses with photos get 35% more clicks and 42% more driving direction requests, according to Google.
- Reviews – encourage these offline as well as on other digital/social channels.
What other Google products should I be using?
Enjoyed this blog? Why not check out our recent piece on Google Optimize, yet another amazing, free-to-use tool from the tech giants? It was actually shared by Google Analytics’ official Twitter account, so you know you can trust us! Check it out below: