Introduction to Google My Business
Google My Business is essentially the Yellow Pages of the Internet. With the ability to put your brand in front of thousands of customers searching for your products and services, there is heavy competition to rank in the top 3 positions in Google for the most searched keywords of the industry.
Given that Google My Business is operated by Google, searchers are able to quickly find local businesses (listed on GMB) that are within their geographical reach based on their search intent on Google. For example, if someone was in search of a bakery in Collins Square, a search into Google for “bakery Collins Square” will pull up a list of bakeries in Collins Square in the search results.
With Google receiving over 3.5 billion searches per day, it is evident that the popular search engine is more popular than business directories such as Yelp by far. And unlike many niche-specific local directories, Google My Business is free to use which provides businesses with an advantage of connecting with target audiences at no cost.
The importance of Google My Business data
The information provided on a business’ Google My Business directory listing plays a critical role in influencing both a prospect to become a customer and Google to rank the directory on its top positions.
With information accuracy and depth holding strong influence in both regards, businesses should provide accurate business information such as Name, Address, Phone Number, Website, Directions, Pictures, Reviews, Description - all of which should contain targeted industry keywords where relevant. The more information provided on a Google My Business listing, the more value you will provide both your prospect and Google. If your business location has proven to be difficult to find, providing directions in your Google listing will help customers identify your whereabouts quickly which also acts as excellent upfront customer service while optimising your local listing.
The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” holds true when it comes to a Google My Business listing with most listings with pictures seeing high click-through rates than listings without any images. It is therefore important to upload high-resolution images that display the best from your products and services, such as pictures of happy customers, final products, active services, the location, and so on. You can also provide a virtual tour of the place as part of your listing.
Far too many businesses fail to realise the potential of Google My Business with many business listings not claimed, inaccurate trading hours being posted, absence of a link to the website, no phone number provided, etc. Failing to provide accurate information results in the high potential of customer loss above creating a negative brand impression.
You should also encourage happy customers to provide a review of your business as customer engagement is a factor taken into consideration when Google ranks GMB listings. Reviews also help influence customers who are making a purchasing decision which means the more positive reviews your business has, the better the influence will be.
Google My Business App
To make life easy, Google My Business comes in a mobile app which makes it easy to check on the performance of your GMB listing, engage with your customers through feedback and comments, or update your listing whenever and wherever you are. Download it here
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If you harness some simple tips and setup Google Business properly it is such a powerful tool for new and current customers and especially for local area marketing.