If you are looking for Google My Business support then look no further than Digital Agency Birmingham. As a leading digital marketing agency, we can use GMB to take your business to a whole new level. But what actually is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free and easy to use tool designed for businesses and organisations to manage their online presence across the Google platform. By verifying and editing your business information you can help customers to find your business. And, at the same time, by adding content you can tell your customers about your business.
Why should you choose Google to promote your business?
The answer to this question is simple, by using Google you are promoting your business to the widest audience. You might think that all search engines do the same thing, but the truth is, they are not equal. In July 2019 research by statista.com showed that Google had an 88.61% market share of all internet searches. By comparison, Bing only had 2.72% and the Chinese search engine Baidu only 0.74%.
Google have identified GMB as a huge growth area and have optimised their search engine towards this arm of the business. This has been driven by the huge year on year amount of mobile phone users who are making local searches. Research by Deloitte shows that four out of five UK adults now have a mobile phone, equivalent to 37 million people.
Do I need Google My Business to support my business?
The answer to this is an emphatic yes. Google My Business will support your business undoubtedly. Google on average get over 100 million searches a month, research has shown that approximately 50% of these searches, (and that number is rising), are local searches. Most of these searches are made using mobile phones, with a growing number of searches via voice search. Arguably the best feature Google has is its ability to identify local businesses through “near me” queries. When a mobile phone location is visible, Google can make full use of near me searches to locate the type of business you are looking for. A simple search such as “restaurants near me” or “Barbers near me” will return results similar to the examples shown below.
As you can see, both of these searches returned the top three businesses in Googles listings. (Note: these listings could differ slightly as these searches were not done locally and are purely examples). What these two examples show, are the importance of near me searches. As alluded to earlier; over 50% of all Google searches made are looking for local services. You might ask how does this affect my business?
Well it has a huge impact on your business because without a Google My Business listing your business will not feature in local searches. Only the top three listings appear on local searches and statistics show that only 5% of users go beyond the first page. With Google My Business support you can make sure your business is presented to locals who are looking for services or products you offer.
If you look at the above examples you can see why people would not look any further. All the information they require is right there in front of them on the first page. The top listings with their opening hours, location and star rating. One click on any of these businesses and you can find much more detailed information about that business.
Take a look at the example below for The Sole Proprietor restaurant.
A quick look at this example gives you all the information you need to decide if you want to visit this restaurant. It even has the facility to reserve a table there and then, without having to contact the business.
How do I get a Google My Business listing?
Getting your Google My Business listing is a very simple process and will only take a short time to set up. Once you have registered and had your business verified by Google you can begin to add local SEO and start telling people about your business. Follow the guide below to start this exciting new journey for your business:
- Go to Google My Business and click ‘Get on Google’.
- Enter your business name and address in the search box.
- Select or add your business. Click on your business listing if it appears among the suggested matches, if not select ‘Add your business’. You will then be asked to provide some information. As you answer the questions, remember that the more specific and accurate the information is that Google has about your business, the better it will be able to correctly classify and display your business listing. The category selection is very important as it is essentially the way Google will classify your business, and the type of search query it will display your listing for. Google has preset categories or keywords for each industry. Start typing your keyword to see if Google produces a match, then select the best one. You will get a chance to add more categories later in the process. Be very careful if adding further categories as this does not always enhance your listing and can be confusing for Google searches.
- Verify your business. Google will need to verify that your business is located where you say it is and this can take a week or two.
- Confirm your Business and set up a Google+ page.
How to optimise your Google My Business listing
Once you have had your business verified by Google you can begin to add local content about your business. I would suggest that you visit a few other business listings that offer the same services as you. Take a good look at how they are presenting their business, what content they have added. Have they used images to show the premises, images of what they sell etc. If you are in a business where the surroundings are important to the customer, for example a restaurant or a cafe, then it is important to have good quality images of both the inside and outside of the premises. If you are close to tourist attractions or anything of interest locally that draws in the crowds then you should add this information within your content.
Once you have made yourself aware of what other businesses like yours are adding to their content, you will be able to decide what features you like and dislike and will begin to formulate a plan of how you would like your listing to look.
Getting it right
In order for Google My Business to support your business, you need to be paying attention to detail. Getting the best out of your GMB listing starts with getting the basics right, this means checking that your business name, address and phone number (NAP) are correct. This may sound obvious, but if you look at any article about SEO you will see it always gets a mention. This is because so often people make basic mistakes. It can be a wrong digit in a phone number, a changed number that you forgot to update, small things but crucial to the success of your business. To check your NAP simply log into your Google My Business dashboard, click on the “info” icon on the left hand side and then verify that all the information is correct.
GMB allows you to add a 750 character description of your business, this should be used to describe your business, but should not include things like sales or promotions (these can be added in updates later when they are relevant). This section is for you to tell your business history and mission statement.
We have briefly spoken about categories however, it is worth another mention, it is vitally important to have your business listed in the correct category. GMB plays an important role in local search rankings as it tells Google which searches your business could be relevant for. Photographs are very important and Google advise that you upload a minimum of three exterior and interior images of your premises from different directions and different times of the day. The interior images should try to show the ambience, atmosphere and decor of the premises, Google also recommend showing a minimum of three images of your staff at work and the same of food and drink if you are in the hospitality business. Quality is key when it comes to images and it is worth considering paying for a professional service for this.
The importance of reviews
Reviews can be the lifeblood of any business and it is important to understand the effect they have on your business. In a recent consumer review by BrightLocal they found that on average consumers will read 10 online reviews before they feel that they are able to trust a local business. This highlights how important positive reviews for your business are. In the same survey they also ascertained that more than half of consumers will only use a business if it has four or more stars. Essentially, this means your business must gain consistently good reviews to attract the type of customer that is using Google to look for services.
Typically 50% of consumers will visit a local business after reading positive reviews.
Reviews also play a large part in how your business is ranked by Google. If your business has great reviews then you stand a good chance of being on the first search page. You need to be proactive when it comes to reviews and try and encourage your customers to leave them. Once you start getting reviews it is important that someone responds to them in a timely manner. Most reviews will be posted within 24 hours of your business being visited, a timely response will show that you care about your customers opinions. A simple thank you may well be enough in most cases however, some reviews may need a more detailed response. Do not ignore negative reviews as this will show your business as being uncaring.
If you want to get the most out of your business by using Google then a GMB listing is essential, here’s a couple of important things to remember:
- It is totally free and does not take much time and effort to start up.
- Over 50% of all Google searches are looking for local businesses. If you do not have your business listed then you will not attract any business at all from them.
It is a constant battle to keep at the top of the game in any business, especially when it comes to digital marketing, that’s why taking advantage of Google My Business (a free tool), is a must for any forward thinking business owner. If you are looking for Google My Business support then head to our website today.
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