Many marketing activities are directly aimed at addressing one important question: How will people find my business? In today’s digital marketing world, few free solutions offer such a direct answer as Google My Business. If you haven’t already, you should consider adding this tool to your business’s digital marketing strategy.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (formerly known as Google Local and Google Places, and referred to sometimes as GMB) is the free platform that allows you to list your business and relevant details (such as your operating hours, address, phone number, Covid-19 protocols, and more), and land in a number of different search results on Google.
Why does it matter?
When someone is looking for your business specifically—or more generally the services, products, or solutions that you offer—you want them to be able to find you. Nowadays, it’s a normal first step for a person looking for, say, some coffee, to hop on a phone or computer and just type in “coffee in Durango CO”.
Over 92% of all searches are made on Google. But the challenge is even greater than just showing up in the search results: it’s important to note that the first three results get over 60% of all clicks. Knowing this, Google should place high priority for you when trying to reach new audiences who are looking for you, or what you offer.
Your Google My Business listing will show up in relevant search results tied to your locale, or when your business name is specifically searched in Google. With additional features like links to your website, menu, phone number, directions to you, and reviews, the listing makes it easy for people to reach you. Being listed on Google My Business will also make your business appear in Google Map searches related to your business.
Additionally, Google My Business collects and displays reviews by your customers. Since 84% of people trust online reviews as much as referrals from people they know, you will want to do what you can to maintain positive reviews on your listing, or hire out reputation management services to do it for you (you can contact us if you’d like to learn more about how Psyche Digital can help with that).
How do I make the most of my Google My Business listing?
Once you’ve set up your listing (a fairly straightforward process, which we won’t go through in this article, but you can easily find with a quick search in–you guessed it–Google), there are a few things to keep in mind to maximize your listing.
Online business listings with photos are 2x as likely to be considered reputable, and get 35% more clicks than businesses who don’t. When setting up your Google My Business, be sure to add some key photos to optimize your listing. The average Google My Business listing has 11 photos, so aim for that or even more.
Keep in mind the following dimension and file requirements when preparing your images:
- Profile Photo: 250 x 250px
- Cover Photo: 1080 x 608px
- Post Images: 1200 x 900px
- Format: JPEG / PNG
- Size: 10kb to 5mb
Add Posts Regularly
Google My Business allows you to make posts, with new products/promotions, events, and even general announcements. On posts, you can include a Call To Action button (like “Learn More”, or “Buy Now”), which can drive traffic back to your website and increase awareness around your business’s activities. The average GMB listing gets 59 actions per month, 56% of which are website visits.
Some examples of posts that you can try are:
- Event posts around an upcoming event being hosted by your business
- Sales posts to announce a sale that will be run, or you are currently running
- Share a section from your latest blog post and link it through the main content
- Make a seasonal announcement to your customers
Encourage users to leave reviews
90% of people read reviews before purchasing, so you will certainly want to ensure some reviews are available on your Google My Business listing. A good way to ensure you have some good reviews is simply by asking! Reach out to your most loyal customers, and ask if they would be willing to leave a Google review. You may even offer a discount or perk for their participation.
Think creatively about encouraging people to leave positive reviews for you — Can you mention it on your social pages? Include it in your monthly newsletter? Put a reminder on your register? Also, prepare a strategy for handling negative reviews when they occur (and it’s inevitable that you won’t make 100% of your clients 100% happy all the time).
In short – Google My Business should not be neglected!
Google My Business–like all social tools online–offers excellent opportunities to reach new people and build awareness around your offering. But its effectiveness can only be as pronounced as your efforts in maintaining it. If you are interested in maximizing your online reputation across a number of platforms, including Google My Business, Psyche Digital can do the heavy lifting for you! Contact Us anytime for your free reputation consultation.