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Google My Business: Your Complete Guide

Right now there are hundreds of businesses that aren’t utilising an easy-to-use, free tool that will help to increase their visibility, website clicks and in-store visits.

Don’t believe us? It’s called Google My Business, and it’s revolutionary!

By now, you’re probably thinking ‘yes I’ve got a Google My Business listing, but it’s nowhere near as effective as my social media platforms.’ Well, let’s put this into perspective in terms of click-through rates (CTR).

Facebook’s industry average CTR for ads is 0.9%, with Google My Business, it’s 5%. If you have an audience size of 1500 people, you could have 75 potential customers clicking through to your website by regularly utilising Google My Business in your marketing activities.

This isn’t to say that other marketing activities are not worth your time. It’s saying that you could have those clicks from potential customers with your current marketing activities, and more by including those generated by Google My Business.

Convinced? Let’s dive into your complete guide to everything Google My Business, and how you can optimise your listing to grow your audience, customers and sales!

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free tool for organisations to list their business across Google, Search and Maps. With a Google My Business listing, you can help customers find your business, communicate your brand and advertise important information.

Example of Simtail's Google My Business listing

What Are the Benefits of Google My Business?

Benefit #1 – It’s Free Advertising!

Whether you sell products or services you can advertise them for free using Google My Business, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that?

The ‘Products’ menu allows you to promote, categorise and price point products and/or services and have them appear on Google Search and Maps.

Example of the Google My Business Product Page

The ‘Posts’ menu allows businesses to publish updates, special offers, events and products all at the click of a button!
These posts are important to have in front of potential customers who have high transactional intent, meaning they are ready and willing to buy.

Example of Google My Business's 'Post' page

The only catch is, these posts will disappear after seven days. However, research shows that regularly posting to your Google My Business account helps to increase your SERP ranking (search engine results page), but we’ll get to that later.

Benefit #2 – Appear in Google Maps Searches

A Google My Business listing will enable your organisation to be visible on maps and increase your chances of appearing in the Local Pack.

The Local Pack refers to the three listings that appear underneath paid search ads.

Example of the Local 3 Pack

According to Clutch, only 20% of people are likely to click on a paid search ad just because it’s listed above other results.
Therefore, by posting regularly to your Google My Business listing you’re helping your business appear before others when users are searching for businesses similar to yours.

Benefit #3 – Increase In-Store & Web Traffic

This may seem obvious, but having a touchpoint for users that provides opening hours, a contact number and a link to your website will work to increase foot and online traffic.

Need convincing? Check out these stats:

Benefit #4 – Increase Engagement

A Google My Business listing provides more opportunities for potential customers to engage with your brand!

With a simple click customers are able to access your website, phone your business and even book an appointment or a reservation.

Benefit #5 – Increase Your Google Search Ranking

Last but definitely not least, a Google My Business listing can work to increase your ranking on Google, otherwise known as a SERP ranking (search engine results page).

It’s simple really – the more information you provide to Google about your business, the higher Google will favour your business over others that lack that information.

How to Optimise Your Google My Business Listing

When your Google My Business listing is optimised, your business has a higher chance of:

  1. Appearing in the Local Pack
  2. Ranking higher on results pages
  3. Increasing in-store and online traffic

Keep reading to see our top tips on how to optimise your Google My Business listing.

Tip #1 – Complete every section

Research shows that complete Google My Business listings are twice as likely to be considered reputable by potential customers, so it’s crucial you fill out every section fully and correctly.

We suggest checking your listing every week to ensure information is correct and up to date, especially if you have multiple Google My Business listings for different store locations.

Tip #2 – Add photos

Give potential customers a sneak peek into what your business looks like, the products and/or services you sell and your employees in action!

Studies have shown that listings with photos get 42% more requests for directions than those that don’t, so get a step ahead of the game and post photos regularly to your profile.

Tip #3 – Post!

Google likens your Google My Business listing as a digital shop window front, enticing passerby customers to click and enter your website as if they were entering a physical store.

If your digital shop window front is constantly looking different, refreshed and advertising your latest promotions and products, your chances of driving online traffic increase!

Tip #4 – Encourage & respond to reviews

Reviews are a key influence on consumer buying, and Google knows this!
In fact, reviews that feature words like “quick turnaround” “excellent communication” “fast service” are actually bolded by Google to increase their importance.

Encourage reviews from customers by providing a link on your website, sending them a text or email after their visit, or the old fashioned way, asking in person!

Make sure you respond to reviews in a timely manner, whether they’re positive or negative. Responding to reviews shows potential customers that you care about their experience and are motivated to improve, plus, it also improves your local SEO.

Tip #5 – Take advantage of categories & attributes

Google My Business provides categories and attributes that help customers understand what your business has to offer them.

Google suggests being as specific as you can when choosing a category, as it helps ensure your business appears when users make a search. For example, categorising your business as an ‘Egyptian Restaurant’ rather than just ‘Restaurant.’

Attributes communicate special features about our business to potential customers. For example, if you have free WIFI, dog-friendly, accessibility options etc.
These attributes can help your business stand out against competitors and help customers align with what you’re offering.

We hope you found this information and our tips and tricks useful in your Google My Business implementation! If you think we’ve missed anything out, make sure to let us know in the comments.

Want to get started in Google My Business but don’t have the time? Let the Simtail manage it for you!
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