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If you are a small business owner
A Google My Business
(GMB) listing is particularly powerful, as it helps you to engage with the local population and is completely free.
Once you have created your listing, it will appear in Google search results when people search either specifically for your business or for similar businesses.
Your listing will appear in both traditional text-based search results and on Google Maps. Your listing is easy to update, and you can customize it in many ways to ensure it stands out from your competitors and entices new customers to visit your business.
Verifying your business is an important step and is
necessary for your listing to appear on Google maps.
This generally means receiving a verification postcard in the mail from Google at your business address.
Some businesses, however, can verify their business via other methods, such as text, email, or a phone call.
The fact that Google My Business listings appear on Google
Maps can help you to bring in lots of new customers to your bricks and mortar establishment.
This means it's important to include helpful information for customers within your listing, such as opening times and price lists.
If you own a restaurant, for example, you could include some sample menus with prices and accepted payment methods.
This can help potential visitors plan better for their visit to your business.
Making regular updates to your listing can be a good way to give customers an incentive to make a repeat visit to your business. In addition, if your listing is kept up to date with the latest news and offers, customers will be more likely to share information about your business with their social circles, providing you with some free online promotion.
You can start a dialogue with your existing customers and potential customers by responding to messages and reviews from within the
Once you start to build strong relationships with your customer base, you will find it easier to cultivate loyalty and secure repeat business.
Furthermore, when potential visitors see how interactive and
attentive you are to your existing customers, they will seek to become part of your business's story.
Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that one bad
customer review on a Google listing is the end of the world, but this is rarely the case.
A bad review offers you the opportunity to showcase to potential new customers how good your business is at resolving problems. When you make all your responses to a negative review public, visitors can see what steps your business is prepared to take to put right wrongdoings.
A few bad reviews can also ensure that people do not assume
that all your positive reviews are fake. After all, few businesses can provide excellent service every single day of the year without any issues arise.
Often time problems that occur are out of a business's control, but it is how you respond to the issues that's important.
A review profile that contains lots of good and/or excellent ratings and one or two bad ratings looks the most genuine.
You must remember that today's consumers are incredibly savvy, and they know when a business is censoring bad reviews.
Google My Business provides you with the tools and insights
to see how customers are interacting with your listing.
You can find out how internet users first found you and where they are from.
You can see how many people have viewed your GMB listing
each day and any action they took after viewing it.
This data can help you to learn what you need to do to attract more viewers and keep them engaged going forward.
For instance, if the most common follow up action viewers of your
listing take is to immediately view a listing from one of your competitors, you know you need to make some charges to set yourself apart.
Knowing where your viewers are coming from is also especially
You can find out how far away they are located from your business and whether they could visit even if they wanted to.
It is no good having a GMB listing with tens of thousands of views each day if most of the people who view it are not located within driving distance of your shop or restaurant.
If you are located in a big city, finding out which areas of
the city your business is drawing people from can be very insightful. It can help you to plan strategist, targeted marketing campaigns going forward.
In addition, if you, for example, own a pizza restaurant and are looking to open a second restaurant in another part of the city, finding out where most of the people interested in your brand are from can help you to choose your next location wisely.
Data about the photos in your GMB listing is also available.
You can see which photos are getting the most views and interactions and how that compares to your competitors' stats. Google offers clear charts that plot data for your business alongside data for "business like you". This make comparisons easy.
You can track your improvements over time to ensure your
efforts are bringing in results.
Removing any photos that don't generate a positive response is a good place to start, but also seeing how your competitors use photos and building on their success can save you a lot of time.
With Google My Business, it's super simple to create an accompanying free business website if you do not already have one. Google auto-generates your website from the data you provide for your initial listing.
What's more, you can customize it with additional text, photos, and different design themes.
Perhaps you want to change the color scheme, layout order or
fonts used? No problem. Just use Google's simple to use online tools.
The great thing about the free business website you can create from your Google My Business listing is that it uses responsive design.
This means it's mobile ready, which is very important since today's web users and more and more likely to be surfing the internet on the go using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet.
The website can also be easily managed
from any device, meaning that making changes is very convenient.
Your website is kept automatically updated with data from
your Google listing, which means you don't have to worry about displaying out-of-date info to visitors.
You can also choose a custom domain that is relevant to your business.
Of course, if you already own a top-level business domain, you can link your site to that.
All sites created with Google My Business are Ads-ready.
So, you can bring more visitors to your site by purchasing adverting from AdWords Express from day one.
Unlike with many only forms of paid online advertising where you have to pay for each impression, with AdWords Express, you are only charged if someone clicks on your ad and visits your website.
Regularly adding custom posts to your Google My Business listing is key to increasing visibility in search results and keeping customers
It's super easy to create a post and you can even do it from your
This means a business that decides to run an in-store promotion at
the last minute can quickly keep customers informed. You can also add events to posts and take bookings.
The events and booking functions within posts are ideal for businesses like restaurants, bars, and clubs.
You can advertise special events like curry night, all you can eat buffets, Valentine's Day specials meals, over 50s dance nights and more.
Those planning to attend can then book a place from your Google My Business listing.
An important part of any local SEO campaign in 2020 is to
create a GMB listing.
However, many small businesses create a listing and then forget about, expecting it to deliver results instantaneously.
What business needs to realize is like other types of online content, a GMB listing needs to be optimized to ensure maximum visibility and exposure to your target market.
In this article, I have talked about something of the ways you can use a GMB listing to benefit your business, but for the best advice as to how to make the listing deliver the best results, you should consider hiring the services of a professional online marketing and SEO agency.
Such an agency like rankYE SEO can work with your business using their years of experience in the search industry to ensure you make the most of your listing.
The best agencies can show you how to set up effective
marketing campaigns to drive as many customers as possible to your offline establishment.
They can also provide you with insights into the best times to
post content and how to engage with your customers.
Finally, when it comes to responding to customer reviews, using the right approach and tone is essential.
Marketing firms know all about reputation management and they can provide you with professional guidance to ensure your business doesn't ruin its public standing across all of Google's services.