Local marketing: your basic guide to Google My Business

Google My Business Guide
Google My Business (GMB) is Google's tool for businesses to manage how they look across Google's platforms, including Maps and Search results.

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What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a listing that showcases a business’ opening hours, services offered, reviews, contact details and information relating to the company. It is becoming so important that I now include Google My Business as part of my social media packages.

Optimising your Google My Business listing is important for local marketing, as it will allow your business to rank higher on Google Maps. Google My Business also opens up new lines of communication with your customers and potential customers via the phone app and messaging.

To manage your Google listing, you will need to verify that you are the owner of your business on Google. If you do not verify your account, the information shown will be based purely off user-generated content (UGC). Once you have confirmed your account, UGC will still exist, however, as the business owner, you can adjust opening hours, contact details, location and other details. You also need to verify your account to update photos, post updates and respond to reviews – all of which can have a positive effect on your local marketing efforts, Google rankings and click through to your website. 

Within a Google My Business listing, you can update and manage the following:

Google My Business Sections
Google My Business Sections

Info

Make sure all of your business information is correct so that customers can find where you are located, contact you and visit your website with no issues at all. This information will show when your audience is searching on Google Maps or in the Search Results.

Google Maps for Local Marketing
Google Maps for local marketing

Google Posts 

Similar to the posts you run on other networks (such as Facebook and Instagram), you can post to your Google listing. Promote what has been happening in your business, reviews, special offers and upcoming events. The posts will show on the Google Search Results page when people search for your business and will also appear on Google Maps when your audience is looking for companies in your area. You should look into what social media schedulers allow for automatic posting to Google My Business.

Google Reviews 

Customers can review your business out of five and leave feedback about your business. Within the Google My Business tool, you can respond to these reviews. It is important to try and respond to some of the reviews left of your business as it shows a level of transparency between your business and your customers. If the review is a negative one, apologise for the bad experience and acknowledge and downfalls on your part.

Google Messaging 

Keep communications channel open with messaging. Enable messaging through the Google My Business phone app for a convenient way to stay connected. Important – if you turn this feature on, please

Update your information

It’s essential to add as much information about your business as possible, if you don’t, anyone can ‘suggest’ related to Google. Therefore it is vital to the success of your local marketing efforts to ensure all of your information listed on your profile is correct. 

You should add photos to your business profile regularly. According to Google, profiles with photos receive 42% more requests for directions and 35% more clicks to websites than businesses who don’t have pictures on their profile. 

The easiest way to keep your business profile updated is to post photos that you are usually uploading to your website and social media accounts to Google My Business too. 

Upload your logo and a cover photo, as well as additional photos. You can also add videos to your profile. Find out more about Google’s photo and video specs here

Optimising your Google Page

Local Ranking Factors According to Moz
Source: Moz, 2018

According to Moz, there are several factors that influence your ranking on Google Maps. The graph above shows the estimated weight different items have on your listing according to the opinion of 20 experts.

Some easy things to do to optimise your listing include:

  • Fill out your Google My Business Profile
  • Post to Google My Business
  • Ask for reviews, and respond to them
  • Ensure you keep your website updated and share it with relevant directories
  • Keep your other social profiles updated

Download the app

You should download the Google My Business app via the iOS or Android stores so that you can easily update information, post updates and respond to reviews on the go.

In summary

Google My Business is especially useful for local marketing optimisation. Searchers on Google or Maps see relevant businesses when searching for a business type in their area. As Google builds the tool, Google My Business will start to play a significant factor in your search engine strategy. 

If you need assistance setting-up or optimising your Google Business Profile, please contact me to find out more. 

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