Are You a Local Business Owner Who’s Struggled to Gain Traction Online?
Google My Business (GMB) is an often-overlooked, but powerful tool for local businesses. If you’ve been struggling to gain traction online; if you’ve tried SEO, Social Media Marketing, Facebook Ads, etc. and you’re still not getting a steady flow of new customers, Google My Business might be the answer you’re looking for.
The truth is that a lot business owners are struggling right now. To avoid having to scale back operations, down-size, or even go out of business, a lot of local business owners are relying on online marketing to attract new customers. That’s great news! Online marketing works.
But it means that the online market-place is much more saturated now than it’s ever been before. That means it’s harder for you get noticed – especially if you don’t have the resource to keep up with the large corporations.
Google My Business Will Help Get You Noticed
In this blog post, you’re going to learn:
- Why Google My Business is so powerful, and how you can harness that power to grow your business
- How the top marketing experts optimize Google My Business (and you can use their tactics to accelerate your own growth!)
- Why pairing Google My Business with Google Reviews can take your business to the next level
- How you can make your “plan of attack” to: overtake your competition, and finally get noticed by Google
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free business listing service provided by Google. It lets you connect and interact with your customers; it also allows you to show up in different types of Google results – such as Google Maps and Google Local 3 Pack.
The following images show what GMB listings look like in various contexts.
Why Does Google My Business Matter to Small and Local Businesses?
GMB is so powerful because:
- 86% of web-based searches are done using Google
- Google’s algorithms favor businesses that use GMB
- Google Maps and Google’s Local 3 Pack will not show your business at all if you don’t have a GMB Listing
What this boils down to is: you have a much higher chance of being visible in Google search results if you have a GMB listing.
(You can create your GMB listing here, but that’s only the beginning…)
Using Google My Business Like the Experts: The Key is Optimization
Now, the bad news is that just having a GMB listing is not enough. You also need to make sure that you’re listing is optimized. You need to optimize it for: the Google algorithms, and for the actual users who will see and interact with it.
The good news is that optimizing your Googly My Business listing is not hard.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Here’s how you can get started:
- Make sure that your Business Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) are correct. Google will consider your business “less trustworthy” if there are errors with your NAP
- Take care in setting your Business Category. The Business Category has the greatest influence over whether or not Google shows your business in the Local 3 Pack.
- PRO TIP: One way to make sure that your Business Category is optimized is to: search for your business type in your area. This will likely display the Local 3 Pack for your area. Those results will display the business category for those businesses. If your business category differs from what you see there, you ought to consider changing it to match!
- Make sure your Open Hours, and other information is correct. Google recently announced that they want to make Google Maps more customer-tailored and relevant; this will include not displaying businesses during their ‘closed’ times
- Upload your Logo and other pictures. Google wants to show off pictures like: your logo, a picture of your team, a picture of the inside of your business, and a picture of the outside of your business. Having these pictures readily available will get you a lot more attention
- Regularly update your: posts, Q&A, updates, etc. Updating these elements help Google know that your business is active and engaged.
- Have a high number of reviews, and a high review ranking. This one is absolutely essential! You should aim to have more reviews that your competitors, and as close to 5 stars as you can get. Details on how to do this are a bit outside the scope of this article, but if you’d like some step-by-step guidance, you can get it here.
Assessing Your Progress: How do You Know It’s Working?
When you’re logged into your GMB console, you’ll see a menu on the left-hand side. The Insights tab will provide you with valuable information about your business. It will show you how customers search for your business, customer actions taken on your GMB listing (such as phone calls and website visits), and more.
This is a great tool to see how your listing performs over time.
But it doesn’t show much information about how you’re comparing with your competitors, or how you can get ahead…
How You Can Get Ahead
If you want to be able to get ahead of your competition and show up where your customers can see you, you’re going to need some competitor insights.
There are two ways that you can do this:
- Do it Manually. This means manually tracking your GMB metrics in relation to your competitors. You’ll need to track where you’re competitors are showing up in rankings, what their reviews look like, and more. This process takes a lot of time and effort, which is why I usually don’t recommend it; especially since the alternative is so much easier… and free…
- Get an Automated Snapshot. You can get a free report showing where your GMB is in relation to your competitors. In addition to that, the report shows your reputation metrics, and your local rankings! Using this report, you can make a plan to overtake your competitors and get into the coveted spots on Google.