Why is Google My Business important for your business
Around 82% of people, before they buy anything, conduct research on Google. But since there are so many options available on the internet, shoppers go through something called choice paralysis. According to Barry Schwartz, an American psychologist, too many choices makes it difficult for people to take action.
How to encourage shoppers to take action?
A survey carried out by Podium shows that 93% of shoppers are influenced by customer reviews online. And it is not surprising, given that these reviews give a business credibility and social proof, which usually takes a lot of time to build. And as reported by U.S. Alexa Ranking, Google My Business (GMB) is the number one and most trusted source of customer reviews for any business.
What is Google My Business?
It is a free tool offered by Google for businesses to supervise and manage their appearance and standing on the internet by managing the information regarding their business supplied to Google Search and Maps.
Unfortunately, a staggering 56% of businesses have failed to verify and claim their businesses on Google My Business, according to a report by The Local Marketing Institute.
Looking on the bright side, this is an excellent opportunity to gain a competitive edge over your competitors. Seize the opportunity to help potential customers find and locate your business as well as get to know you better.
Fun Fact: In the United States, 64% of customers use GMB to find businesses’ contact information and directions.
How to get the most out of GMB?
Provide accurate information
When creating a listing for your business on GMB, always provide accurate information that is identical to the one on other listings, such as on your social media accounts, and other review sites like Yelp and Yellow Pages.
Information such as your location, contact details, and business hours need to be up to date. Search Engine Watch states that Customers lose confidence in businesses with an incorrect name, address, and phone number (NAP).
We love using a tool by MOZ that checks your listings NAP for consistency. Its free tool that shows you how you are appearing on a whole bunch of different websites, and it’s worth checking out for your business…
Selecting the right category for your business
Google search algorithm connects shoppers to businesses based on how relevant its products and services are for the buyers. When setting up your GMB, bear in mind that the category you pick for your business to be in line with is going to make a tremendous impact on how conveniently people can find your business through Google search.
Try to be as specific as you can.
Use pictures to make your listing more alluring & engaging
According to Online Marketing Inc, Google favors businesses with pictures on GMB as opposed to those without it. Using images have proven to be effective in helping companies stand out and improve their rankings. Therefore, provide as many relevant images as possible.
GMB listings with more pictures are alluring and engaging for shoppers. Also, help in creating a powerful brand image for your business on the internet.
Shoppers are more likely to engage with active businesses. In addition to that, publishing posts on GMB is an excellent opportunity for interacting with your target audience and building a relationship.
Also, it is a great way to get insights through GMB about customers’ likes and dislikes.
Focus on getting customer reviews
As previously mentioned, customer reviews have a big influence on shoppers. There is no quicker way to boost sales than asking your satisfied customers to leave a review on your GMB listing.
“A customer talking about their experience with you is worth ten times that which you write or say about yourself.” – David J. Greer
Also, it is just as important to respond to every single customer review, positive or negative, as it goes to show how much you care about your customers and a great way to build trust and transparency.
Reviews are today’s ‘word-of-mouth’. Think back to the last time you were deciding on a business to use and the only difference between several of the same competing businesses was reviews….most people would go for the business with he most reviews…
If you were looking for a plumber below, which one would you choose? Clearly, the top one has so many more reviews than the following 2, it makes it a no brainer for most people… it also helps that they have an average rating of 4.9
Google My Business – Success stories
“The customer’s ability to find us is key. Our position on Maps shows them that we’re actually on the river.” – Andrew Craig, Whittington’s Tea Barge
“For a small business owner, climbing up search rankings is vital – and it was made easy with Google’s hints and tips. For us, it happened very quickly.” – Claire Chapman, The Glamorous Owl
“When we started using Google ads and Google My Business in 2016, things went from strength to strength. In the three years since then, we have grown from a small business to medium business.” – Louis Verrico, Director, ACE Rent A Van
These are just a few of many Google My Business success stories. Businesses of all sizes around the world had great success with Google My Business. It has single-handedly helped them grow their business substantially. And it can do the same for your business.
Do NOT do this with Google My Business
Lastly, let’s take a look at things you should avoid at all costs.
When creating a GMB listing, it is no longer necessary to stuff it with keywords. Focus on providing valuable and meaningful information that helps your customers learn more about your business.
On top of everything else, the fact that keyword stuffing can lower the ranking of your GMB listing should be enough to avoid keyword stuffing under all circumstances.
Using outdated or fake information
It is of paramount importance that the information provided on your GMB listing is accurate and up to date. It is very frustrating for shoppers to learn that the information on your GMB listing is outdated, especially when they are trying to get in touch and find out that the phone number provided on the GMB listing is incorrect.
Also, it must be pointed out that using fake addresses on your GMB listing just to rank for multiple locations is against Google terms of service, and engaging in these types of activities can do more harm than good.
Ignoring customer reviews
You should never forget that it is always easier for customers to not leave a review. When they make the effort and leave a review, always respond as early as possible. Especially if it is a negative review, the last thing you want to do is to leave such comments unanswered.
Dealing with a negative review can be tricky. Emphasis should be on being helpful. Focus on finding a solution, as opposed to engaging in argument, so that your potential customers can see that you’re concerned and want to help, and more importantly, that you are ready to go out of your way to create a better customer experience.
- Step 1: Apologize and sympathize in your response to the negative review. Acknowledge the customer’s concerns. …
- Step 2: Insert a little marketing in your response to the bad review. …
- Step 3: Move the conversation offline. …
- Step 4: Keep your response simple, short and sweet.
Conclusion – Why is Google My Business important for your business
So, I think you can see that the numbers are showing that GMB, Google My Business is well worth the investment of your time. I recently did one of my podcasts with Will Hanke of Red Canoe Media, and his biggest results for traffic in 2020 is from Google My Business, so check out the video below and see how he is using it for his clients.
One other awesome resource that I have LOVED is from Adam at FatJoe.. they have written the Local SEO: A Complete Guide Updated for 2020
I used this article as a guide when I recently set up a new clients GMB listing and it covers everything….this is a one-stop article on all that i Local SEO, so go and check it out