Google My Business (GMB) is a free marketing tool that has SO MANY benefits, many of which are unknown to business owners. Yes, the map search results are especially helpful for location-based businesses, but ALL types of business can benefit from using GMB.
When you create your GMB Business Profile (and get verified), you’re easily set up to interact with potential customers in a quick and efficient way.
If your business sells products or services (or both), businesses can IMMEDIATELY find this out through your summary and website link. But, before all this good customer interaction happens, your business needs to be found. Here’s how GMB works:
Increase Your Visibility
Google Search is the starting point of GMB, the part most of us know because we’ve tried it ourselves … Where can I get my phone fixed? Where’s the best seafood in Boston?
When you search for a product or service on Google, you’ll find:
- The first listings are usually Google Adwords advertisements,
- Followed by a Google Map,
- Followed by the Local 3-pack,
- And then the organic search results appear.
When you have a GMB profile, you’re automatically ranked higher in Google searches. The higher your ranking, the more visible your business is. Potential customers are more likely to “click” on the business listings high up in the search. This is especially true for mobile users where only a few listings are visible at a time.
Share Key Info To Increase Your Traffic and Sales
GMB functions like other social media networks — offering BOTH information and opportunities for interaction. And since it’s a simple platform, potential customers can see what they’re looking for QUICKLY.
Businesses are 70% more likely to attract BOTH ONLINE AND LOCAL VISITS from people who browsed and found a GMB listing.
This is a BIG percentage! And this is WHY I’m sharing this information with you!
Key Info to Share:
- Contact info — including your physical address, phone number, and website
- Operating hours
- Business description
- Covid health & safety protocols
- And more …
Like with any other social site, you’ll get the most interaction when your content is current.
What kind of new content can you add?
Event posts are a timely way to attract customers.
Let’s look at an example:
Potential customers see an enticing image, a well-written description, and pretty soon they’re using the CTA to call for a reservation!
Use Messaging to Answer Questions ASAP
GMB’s instant messaging option appears on the search results page. You can activate or turn off this feature. If you activate it, you can respond via SMS or Google’s messaging app.
While your business may be too small at this point that you can’t handle responding to texts, this may be a tool you come to prioritize as many customers today, especially younger generations, are more likely to connect via text than a phone call. When used well, this feature allows you to answer questions right away, perhaps before that potential customer chooses another business.
Heymarket software company offers business text messaging so they’re the type of business that definitely benefits by activating the GMB messaging. And notice that in the more section, Heymarket is able to let the customer know the details of the text messaging service. The customer learns about the service and then can quickly engage.
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
So … your on-target profile and CTAs engaged customers and they came to your business for a product or service. Their experience was AMAZING! Now they can push that blue button in the bar to give you a REVIEW. And we all know the power of a 5-start Google review! Once again, numbers say a lot:
- 91% of consumers use reviews to decide if a business is good or bad.
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
- 74% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a business more.
- 70% of searches go through Google.
A 5-star Google review is a great thing to talk about! Talk it up wherever you can: in email newsletters, social media posts, on your website and/or blog, and more …
Remember to always THANK your customers when they leave a review!
This is really important and timeliness helps. A great review boosts your credibility and can draw in so many more customers.
When you RESPOND to your reviews, it shows customers that you VALUE them (and it increases activity on your site, driving up your Google rankings.) But let’s get back to the customer relationship because that’s what matters most. If you get reviews that aren’t so great, and that happens, be sure to respond to them, too. A clear, thoughtful response is something that potential customers will see. And your response may carry more weight than the review.
How to Make the Most of Your GMB Review
We all love when our customers give us a glowing review of their own accord. That’s cause for celebration. But oftentimes we need to ask our clients/customers for a review, and that’s totally ok! People have a lot going on and don’t necessarily think of giving a review.
Here’s how the review process works:
- ASK your clients/customers to provide a review on GMG — give them the direct link.
- Once they provide a review, reply and thank them!
- Once they post, copy and paste their review to your website testimonial page.
- Then, ask if they’ll also copy/paste their review to your LinkedIn and/or Facebook pages — in your email, provide both the copy from their review and ALL links to make it super easy for them!
Once you get your free GMB account up and running, you can continue to engage with customers by uploading photos, responding to reviews, and posting announcements.
TIP: On your website, change your testimonial page name from “testimonial” to “review.” This way, search engines will find you more easily. (No one is searching for “testimonials,” they’re searching for “reviews.”)
And … remember to maintain your brand across all your platforms — including GMB. (Read this blog for some guidance.)
Or, if this all seems just a little too much for you to take on, let’s talk! My team and I are happy to help.