Let’s start with the basics of Google My Business (GMB). The first important thing to know about GMB is that it is free (for now), so why not take advantage of this highly utilized free marketing platform. GMB is Google’s way of handing back some of the power to business owners in terms of what appears when someone completes a search with their business name.
What does a Google My Business Listing look like?
A GMB listing appears to the right of the search results on Google. Just about everything that shows in a GMB listing is customizable, and therefore optimizable for search. Users can easily interact with your listing directly from the search results page to click and get directions, visit your website, or give you a call.
After seeing a photo of a GMB listing in action, one can understand the importance of being a part of this game. Creating a Google My Business profile is very straightforward. Google gives you step by step directions on how to create or verify an existing Google my Business listing. Once you’ve completed the verification process, there are a few things you/ and or your digital marketing team can do to make the most of your free listing.
Google My Business Optimizations
There is a lot you can do to optimize your Google My Business listing. In fact, Google is adding new features to this platform all the time, and often businesses will have the chance to further beef up their listing when Google launches a new feature into beta testing. However, some optimizations have higher priority over others.
5 Must-Do Optimizations for Google My Business
- Accurate and up to date Phone Number, Hours, and Address. If nothing else, please ensure that these pieces of information are correct. Google my Business allows you to add “Holiday Hours” with ease so that users are not left guessing whether or not to call you or give you a visit. A correct address is essential for potential customers to be able to click the one-touch Directions button and head out to see you, likewise a current phone number for the click to call function.
- Photos. Current photos can easily make or break customer interaction with a Google My Business profile. Google likes to see you adding photos of your logo, exterior, interior, team, and products to your page. You can then categorize those photos with tagging so that new customers will know what you are showing them. Photos posted by your customers will also show up in this category and are a great way to show you’re legitimate.
- Service Areas. This is your chance to identify to Google where you do business – aka Geo Targeting customers to show your listing to. This also allows you to let customers know where your business provides deliveries or services. There are further steps you can take to Geo Target with your Google My Business listing but they are a little more involved – so stay tuned for a future blog post on this.
- Business Description. This is the last of the basics, and your chance to describe what you do as well as share a little bit of your company’s history. It is important to keep in mind keywords you would like to show up in search for when writing your company’s business description, as we know that Google will factor in any and all written content on the page when deciding who to show to potential customers.
Now that you’ve completed the basic optimizations of your GMB listing, it’s time to start utilizing the platform to connect with your customers.
Connecting with your Customers through Google My Business
The GMB platform has several built-in ways for business owners to connect with potential and current customers. Through the process of reviews, business owners can interact with those who have had an experience with their company. With the messaging function, customers new and old can reach out to a representative of your business with any questions they may have come across and need answered before converting. Lastly posting to your GMB feed is a great way to keep people informed of what is going on at your business, ie. a Memorial Day Sale, or a celebration of 40 years in business. Google has also rolled out an extra special nugget to those of us in the Industrial B2B space, the opportunity to request a quote straight from a GMB listing.
Responding to Reviews – a Google My Business Essential
Of all the aforementioned means of connection with customers, review management is by far the most simple to execute, but hard to do. It’s no surprise that when someone interacts with your business they can leave a review about their experience. However, many business owners forget that responding to both negative and positive reviews can be essential for gaining new customers. It is crucial for business owners to respond to reviews – especially the bad ones. For example, there is a new restaurant not too far from where I grew up and I’ve heard that they have really great breakfast. So before trying it out with my family last weekend I checked out their Google reviews and found this one.
As a potential first time diner, I was pleased to see that someone at Kitchen Table had responded to this customer’s concern – even if I felt his review was a little overdramatic. The fact that they had written back a response that addressed all pieces of his review and invited him back demonstrated their dedication to service for me. With that I packed up and headed out to Kitchen Table for a perfectly delicious breakfast with the fam.
It’s easy to respond to good reviews and thank customers for their patronage, however this example shows just how impactful responding to the bad ones can be too. Make sure you don’t miss responding to any reviews by updating your notification settings on your GMB profile so that you (or your digital marketing specialist) receive an email every time someone leaves a review.
Google My Business Optimizations Pay Off
Due to the fact that Google is the most used search engine, it is important that Industrial B2B’s along with all other business owners play Google’s game. Having a Google My Business profile is a straightforward and currently free way to get your business in front of more of the right eyes. The platform provides valuable insights about what users visited your profile, called you, or asked for directions – as well as information about what people were searching that brought them to your listing. This value is just another reason why having an optimized Google My Business profile is an essential part of your Digital Marketing strategy. If you need help on optimizing with your Google My Business, or with other areas of your online presence contact us to get started.
Interested in the capability of showing products within your Google My Business listing? Read more on the advanced optimization opportunities in GMB.
Written by: Carson Patton, Digital Marketing Support Specialist at Ecreativeworks