In June of 2014, Google launched a free tool called Google My Business that quickly became every business’s best friend. It allows you to promote your business profile and business website on Google Search and Maps, making it easier for local businesses and national brands to be found on Google.
With a Google Business account, you can connect with your customers, post updates to your business profile, and track how customers are interacting with your business on Google.
It allows you to bring in new clients – for free! When customers search for products or services like yours on Google Search and Maps, Google My Business helps your business show up the moment they click “search”.
Overall, Google My Business gives your business a stronger online presence!
Google My Business is designed solely for businesses with a physical location that customers can visit or that travel to visit customers in order to offer their services. Brands, organizations, and other online-only businesses are not eligible.
Do you fit the criteria? Are you interested in learning more? Keep reading to find out how you can get more clients with a Google My Business listing:
I Already Have a Website – Do I Need Google My Business?
If you want to increase sales the answer is: Absolutely yes!
Google My Business (GMB) is a digital billboard that displays your business information directly in front of customers. Like the billboards you see while driving down the highway or through the city, they are hard to miss.
The truth is, having a website without having people stumble upon it is similar to owning a physical storefront with no signage. SEO (Search Engine Optimization), paid ads, or listings on other platforms such as Uber Eats, HomeStars, and GMB, are all ways to let the online world know that your business exists.
Without advertising your physical store in one form or another, you’re basically depending on foot traffic from people you meet in person and talk to about your service. While word-of-mouth advertising is great, how many potential customers do you think you’re missing out on?
By claiming and verifying your Google My Business listing, you are doing the following:
- Letting customers know that you sell what they are looking for.
- Verifying that you are a legitimate business.
- Providing social proof in the form of reviews.
- Telling your customers where you are located and how to buy from you.
- Appearing in the top search results more easily.
Once you have verified your listing and uploaded your business name, address, phone number, business hours, and website, take a look at the following best practices:
Step 1: Be Thorough When Filling Out Your Business Information
When you are filling out your business information, you want to represent your business to the fullest. This means crossing your T’s and dotting your I’s!
Be sure to fill out every available field on the GMB platform, following these tips:
Be Specific & Deliberate
You want to give customers a quick snapshot of what your business is about, so keep your information specific. Choose only the categories necessary to describe your overall business.
Google allows 750 characters for your business description, so use them wisely – the first 250 characters will be displayed on the Knowledge Panel.
Create One Profile
Only create one profile per business and make sure to remove any duplicates. Otherwise, you may run into issues when it comes to how Google Maps and Search displays your business information.
Show Off Your Business!
When creating a GMB profile, you can add photos and videos of your business. Think about adding some digital media that shows off your storefront, interior, exterior, products, employees/team, your logo, and your cover photo.
Photos must be in JPG or PNG format between 10KB and 5MB. The recommended resolution for best results is 720px by 720px.
“The photo should be in focus and well lit, and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality.” https://support.google.com/business/answer/6103862
If you’re familiar with geotagging, you can do that as well.
When it comes to videos, they can be up to 30 seconds long and up to 75MB in size. The resolution should be 720p or higher.
Add a Virtual Tour
GMB allows you to add virtual tours to your profile, allowing customers to get a firsthand feel for your business!
You can add a virtual tour by hiring a 3rd party photographer to put it together for you but you can also use an app to achieve the same effect. Check out My360 App and Google Street View.
List Special Attributes
If there is anything about your business that makes it stand out from the crowd, add it to your listing. For example, if your business is Black-owned or Women-led, make sure to mention that.
It’s important to note that GMB allows you to easily communicate information related to COVID-19 such as temporary store closures, delivery options, and health and safety information.
A Call-to-Action, or CTA, urges the customers to take action such as booking an appointment, viewing a product or catalog, viewing a menu, or placing an order.
Be sure to add one to your listing. CTA’s have been proven to increase conversion rates and boost sales!
Step 2: Create a Better Experience for Your Customers
Engaging with your customers is an important way to make them feel valued and appreciated. You can use your GMB listing to create a better experience for your customers.
You should consider performing review campaigns by sending your clients requests via email, text, or even videos. For a more engaging process, you can use Sendspark or even message the Haiku Steps team below to assist.
You should also respond to reviews, both positive and negative as well as respond to any questions or messages your customers submit within 24 hours. This will help to promote trust and encourage engagement with your business.
GMB also allows you to publish posts in order to directly communicate relevant and timely information to your customers via text, photos, and videos.
Why You Should Post Regularly on Your GMB Listing
According to Search Engine Journal:
“Regular posting can earn you a coveted spot in the local 3-pack, which is the top 3 business listings for relevant search terms, and this placement alone is a valid reason to add a new post at least every 7 days.”
Not Sure What to Post?
You can share offers and specials as well as post encouraging content.
Creating content for Google My Business may seem like a lot of work, especially if you already have a website you keep updated. However, it’s up to you to grow your presence on Google Search and Maps. The sole purpose of a GMB listing is to provide searchers with immediate and accurate information – achieving a high rank on Google takes time and relies on current and relevant information.
Step 3: Create Local Citations That Improve Your Listing Visibility
You can increase the legitimacy of your profile by creating citations that 100% match your GMB on business directories such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, Bing, and Apple Maps.
It’s in your best interest to perform an audit to avoid creating duplicate business citations as well as cleaning up old and inaccurate ones.
Haiku Steps is not affiliated or uses the following paid resources, and cannot guarantee the level of customer service or results from the services they provide, but they are definitely still worth checking out (prices may vary since the publishing of this article):
Got a Question or Two?
You can reach out to Haiku Steps for more information, we’d be happy to hear from you. Or you can check out Google’s FAQ for their listing platform.