Doing well on Google can have a huge effect on website leads and traffic. The search engine juggernaut makes up about 70% of search engine market share every year, so many businesses prioritise SEO and Google Ads in order to appear in organic Google searches.
What many businesses forget is that there is another way to get noticed on Google — optimising their Google My Business profile. Every business has a Google My Business Profile but too many businesses don’t know what it is or how to use it.
Failing to do so means these businesses are missing out on thousands of potential leads and sales, from local customers.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a listing that displays your business’s operating information including your business’s name, reviews, contact phone numbers, opening hours, photos, posts and more. These listings appear in organic Google Search results when users are searching for a local business or service.
For small businesses, Google My Business is an ideal way to target local customers. Search interest in ‘open now’ has tripled in the past few years, while searches that include the phrase ‘near me’ have grown by 500%. That’s a lot of searches for local products and services!
The thing is most business don’t claim their Google My Business profile. This means they are missing out on all of these potential customers. One study by Google shows that 49% of businesses listed on GMB get more than 1,000 views from organic searches each month.
If you are a local business this is your public service announcement to claim your Google My Business profile. It has a tonne of benefits for your business and is 100% free.
Improve Your Website Ranking with Google My Business
With a Google My Business profile, it’s possible to rank on the first page of Google without having to do lots of work to optimise your website. While we will always encourage businesses to optimise their site for SEO, claiming your Google My Business profile is relatively easy and doesn’t cost you anything.
Help Customers Find What They Need, Quickly
When it comes to searching for information online, people are impatient. Make it easy for potential customers to find your opening hours, parking information, or reviews with just one search.
By doing this there’s a good chance potential customers will choose your business over one that requires them to hunt for the same information. As Google My Business is integrated with Google Maps, customers can also find your physical location quickly.
Increase Revenue and Get Valuable Insights
Google My Business can increase your revenue and provide insights about your customers. One study found that 50% of consumers who searched for local businesses on their smart phones visited a store within a day.
Insights give you a look at how your customers interact with your listing. With these insights you can learn about the behaviours of your customers and make improvements to your business based on these findings.
How to Optimise Google My Business to Get More Customers
Now that you know how important a Google My Business profile is, it’s time to claim your profile.
Create A Google My Business Account
A Google My Business Profile and a Google My Business Account are two different things. You need both of them to become visible, but you will use your Google My Business account to optimise your profile. To start visit Google.com/business and sign in the Gmail account associated with your business.
Thoroughly Fill Out Every Section
The more complete your profile is the higher you will rank in local search results. Fill out the Name, Address, Phone, Website, and Operating Hours of your business. Choose a Category and Attributes of your business. Google has thousands of categories for businesses, so it pays to be specific with these parts.
Rather than just choose ‘Restaurant’ you should choose ‘Italian Restaurant’. Use attributes to let customers know what your capabilities are. For a café these could be things like ‘Outdoor seating,’ ‘Kid Friendly,’ or ‘Free Wifi.’ Add photos and keep them updated on a regular basis.
Ask for and Respond to Google Reviews
If you are just getting started, ask your customers to leave a review if you think they have had a good experience. Responding to reviews will also help your profile as Google can see that the information is constantly being updated.
Post to Your Google My Business Profile
Just like other forms of social media, you can post to your Google My Business profile. Posting about announcements, offers, events, products, and any changes to opening hours is a great way to keep customers informed and your profile active.
Be the First to Answer Questions
Make sure you answer any questions on your Google My Business profile. Once a question is asked, any person can answer it, which means answers may be inaccurate or unflattering. Make sure your business is always the first to answer a question. You can set up alerts to stay on top of any questions.
Add Products and Services
Adding products and services is a great way to tell potential customers what you do. If your business name doesn’t accurately depict your services, or if people often don’t know that you offer a certain product, put them in the products and services part of your profile.
Set Up Messaging
This feature lets searches send a text message to your phone from your profile. As 82% of smartphone users shop using local search listings, this is a great way to let customers get in touch
Google My Business Case Study
Now you’ve got your Google My Business profile set up and are keeping it updated, what can you expect?
At Ambitious Digital, we set up a Google My Business profile for O’Reilly’s Garage, a premium luxury vehicle dealership based in Petone, Wellington. We optimised and verified their profile and made sure each part of the listing was filled out to be the most descriptive it could be.
During the five months since the profile has been optimised, the O’Reilly’s Garage Google My Business profile has triggered:
- 150 Calls
- 13,433 profile views
- 4106 searches
- 1.96k website visits
- 147 requests for directions
- 50.8k photo views
O’Reilly’s Garage is now the number one business result for the search term ‘luxury car dealerships,’ are highly visible in organic search term results and 20 of their 21 reviews are rated 5 stars.
Ready to Optimise Your Google My Business Profile?
A Google My Business profile can do amazing things for small local businesses. In fact, if your business hasn’t yet claimed its profile, you are leaving money on the table. If you’re not sure about getting started with optimization, we can help.
Book in a 30-minute free digital marketing strategy session and we’ll show you how we can help optimize your profile and improve many other areas of your digital marketing strategy.
Sessions are limited to availability so act now. Your business doesn’t have time to lose!