Google My Business is like a local business listing in a directory, except this directory happens to be the largest provider of business leads in the world – Google.
A Google My Business profile relates to the information you see on the right hand of search results for your business name, and, more importantly, is the information that shows up in Google map listings.
This includes various information such as reviews, opening times, your latest offers, address, photos and posts, and, in some cases, also enquiries directly from Google.
Why Is Updating It Important?
It is crucial that your Google My Business account is set up correctly and regularly updated, including responding to positive or negative reviews. There are several reasons why you should update your profile on a regular basis.
You care about your customers
A regularly updated account shows you care about your business and your customers by engaging in the content they leave about your business. It shows you care about giving them the latest updates and information about your company.
Online reputation management
Google My Business is just one of many places where a customer can leave reviews about your business. You can visually showcase the reviews of the good work or service you’ve provided, or protect your reputation by openly dealing with negative comments and explaining your side of events.
Helps improve your prominence in Google search results
It also helps your listing to show up in search results above your competitors. Companies with better reviews appearing above other listings, with reviews being one of many map ranking factors. It can also make you stand out from companies in the same industry that have poorer reviews.
Starts to sell customers before they know you
It makes selling your product/service easier if you have a well-reviewed profile. Encouraging positive reviews to be left will ensure that when your brand is shown, potential customers already trust your company due to the high ratings.
It’s a great place for potential customers to “perceive” how good your business is without even visiting your website. Making sure your profile is up to date and reflective of your customer satisfaction.
Informs customers of the latest news and offers in posts
It is an opportunity for you to educate and deliver information to your potential customers. Reduce unnecessary phone calls by ensuring your opening times are correct for holidays, respond to commonly asked questions in your profile to reduce repetitive customer calls. It’s an opportunity to push the latest offers, latest events, latest product and latest news about your business. This is a great way to help get more eyeballs on the things that matter to your business.
Easier for customers to find your business
With Google focusing on local search, ensuring your address details are accurate can help your potential customers find you easily in Google maps, by both foot and vehicle.
Find insights into customer behaviour from analytics
Find out the most popular searches that sent traffic to your listing, understand how your customer found your profile, find out how many people found your map listing, uncover if customers requested directions, called you, or visited your website. Find out the postcode most of your searches are coming from, find out the days and times of phone calls and see how well your photos are performing. All of this data can be used to improve and fine-tune your marketing campaign.
Get bookings and sales leads directly from Google My Business
Google has added methods for your customer to make an enquiry from your Google My Business profile, without ever going to your website. As well as customers calling directly from your profile, Google has added the ability for customers to book directly with you if you use compatible 3rd party software.
10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Listing
Google My Business is an underused asset that can help you generate more leads. Here are 10 tips to help improve your Google My Business listing.
- Check if your business has an active account. If not, go to https://www.google.com/business/ and sign up straight away.
- Check all information about your business is accurate and correct – Name/Address/Opening Hours/Phone Number.
- Verify your account by requesting a Google verification postcard.
- Respond to any existing reviews. Thank those who posted positive feedback and carefully respond to negative ones to share your side of the story.
- Create a news post and publish it. Ideas could include company news, new product launches, competitions or sharing your latest blog post.
- Post a photograph or video – This could include pictures of staff, company events, testimonials, customer reviews, etc to encourage engagement with your profile.
- Write a good and accurate description of your business, including your unique selling proposition (USP) and services.
- Reply to any pending questions from potential customers.
- Make sure you have a link from your Google My Business listing back to your website.
- Add your company logo as a profile picture to make your profile recognisable with your brand.