So you want FREE advertising for your business? Instead of competing with the big boys (and their big ad budgets) in the ads section of search engine results, get started for free with our Google My Business Guide.
What is Google My Business?
If you found our Google My Business Guide, you likely already know. If not, Google My Business is a powerful business listing tool from Google that is a game-changer for small business owners. Especially local brick and mortar businesses. Unlike traditional advertising, Google My Business lets you focus on what you do best: serving nearby customers in your community.
Another benefit of Google My Business is that it is directly tied to Google. That means that Google’s algorithm likely favors businesses that maintain an active GMB listing—posting regularly and maintaining their listing with updated info.
So how do you make a great impression on Google My Business? And how can you use it to bring in more sales? Read on! Our Google My Business Guide can empower you to convert customers and rank higher in search engine results!
Step 1: Claim Your Google My Business Listing
First things first in our Google My Business Guide: Do a Google search to see if your business already has a GMB page (most do).
Next, claim your business. Once you claim it, make it official by entering the verification code provided by Google.
Enter AS MUCH INFO AS POSSIBLE in your GMB listing!! The more details, the better.
Just so we’re clear, we’re talking:
- Business address
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
- Website (Make sure to keep your website URL consistent throughout for better SEO!)
- Description of your services
- Photos (Cover photo, profile pic, and LOTS of pics of your products or services)
- FAQs (Anything your customers have asked in the past, or questions you get all the time)
- Anything else that’s going to help customers learn more about what you have to offer!
Make sure the info you supply matches the contact details on your website—if they don’t match, Google may think you haven’t bothered to update your listing and they won’t send as much traffic your way. If you’re Matt’s Towing on your website contact page, don’t type in Matt’s Towing and Auto Repair on your Google Listing. And make sure your address is the same, down to punctuation and other small details.
Step 2: Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
To optimize your GMB listing, just follow our simple Google My Business Guide steps!
Once you’ve set up the basics, you can move on to the more strategic stuff in our Google My Business Guide…like search engine optimization. Optimizing your Google My Business listing is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to ranking in local search results. And keywords play an important role, as we mentioned above.
Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into Google search for when they’re looking for your services. If you’ve ever Googled, “best pizza near me”, you’ve likely seen the top three pizza places pop up on the results page.
These results are clickable and convenient, which means they get the most visits. These top three results are what’s known as the “Local 3 Pack”. Getting a spot there is marketing gold.
An SEO audit can help you to choose the right keywords for your audience. Once you have selected a few keywords, add them to your business description. Don’t forget to use your keywords when you’re renaming your photos for upload. These small details matter when you’re competing for the #1 Google search results position.
2. Set Up a Product Catalog
What are your best-selling products or services that you want to promote on GMB? Do you want customers to know which of your locations are stocked with which of these products? How about updates on seasonal product availability? You can share all of this information by setting up a product catalog.
3. Set Yourself Apart
Is your business Woman-Led? Black-Owned? Do you offer free WiFi? What are the awesome things about your business that differentiate you from your competition? Highlight these in the “Special Attributes” section of your profile.
4. Streamline Appointments and Bookings
Activate the appointment booking button and messaging to allow for on-the-spot bookings. Making this super easy for your customers means doing more business!
Google works with many scheduling providers—if you don’t already have a service, you’ll need to set that up to add this button to your GMB. Integration is pretty easy, and Google will guide you through each step of the process. Once everything is set up, Google will even add customer’s appointments automatically to their Google Calendar, so there’s less of a chance of no-show reservations!
5. Add High-quality Images
You’ll need a cover photo, a profile pic, as well as pictures that show potential customers what you do and sell. All images should be high resolution and professional. Include images of your office interior, storefront, happy employees, and satisfied customers. This is your chance to visually entice your audience, so make sure your images are top-notch.
Don’t forget to name your photos strategically with keywords when uploading! Google can’t crawl photos, but it can index them according to the alt tag/description you add when you upload. This also helps those who are visually impaired to know the subject of your image, so be as descriptive as possible!
6. Get Google My Business Reviews
Do you have regulars that love you and want to share their positive feelings? Ask them for an honest Google review! Customers are willing to shell out 31% more money with a business that has earned great reviews. You can learn more about why you need reviews and how to get them by reading our related article, Why Online Reviews Matter and How To Use Them.
Step 3: Post Regularly to Google My Business
To succeed with GMB, you’ll need to post regularly and engage with your followers. While it’s easy to think of Google My Business as a social media platform, but your posts should be extremely strategic. You want to keep posts short, professional, and business-related. But also FUN!
We recommend posting at least once a week to keep your customers up-to-date and engaged.
There are 4 types of Google My Business posts:
1. Events Posts
Promote your next event on your listing and maps! This is a great way to expand attendance to promotional events like book signings, holiday sales, movie screenings, poetry slams, or even online events, like webinars.
2. Offers Posts
Offering free consultations or 50% OFF one of your most popular products? Let people know! Offer posts expire in 7 days, so make sure you repost if the promotion lasts longer than a week.
3. What’s New Posts
You can use What’s New posts to share new store hours, spotlight your Employee of the Month, brag about your recent volunteer activity, or introduce new team members! What’s New posts expire in 7 days, so they’re great for spontaneous updates.
4. Products Posts
Products posts can highlight a new product or service, or inform your customers about upgraded product benefits or reduced pricing.
Use Photos for the Most Impact
Posts that include images tend to do far better than text posts, so you want to include them as much as possible. We suggest showing off your store, your team, your favorite product, or your office pets. 😊 Show potential customers all you have to offer!
Don’t forget to size your images correctly before uploading. You want your photos to look professional!
Here’s what you need to remember:
- Minimum file size = 5mb
- Maximum file size = 10kb
- File Types = jpeg, png, bmp
- Default Size – 720(w) x 540(h)
- 4:3 Ratio
Step 4: Track Your Google My Business Results
If there is one take-away from our Google My Business Guide, it should be this: pay attention to the free analytics Google offers! One of our favorite things about Google My Business is how exciting it is to watch your business’s impact grow! The GMB analytics tool allows users to see customer actions and where traffic is coming from.
Knowledge is power. You can track HOW customers are finding you, WHERE they’re coming from, and WHAT they’re doing once they land on your listing!
Customer actions you can track…
- How people are finding you (Google search? Maps?)
- Where they’re googling you (Mobile? Computer? Adjust as needed to accommodate!)
- Clicks to your website
- Direction requests
- Clicks to call
- Messages + chats
- Photo views (+ comparisons to your competitor’s photo views)
- Search queries – What words are people using to find you? (Hint: These should be your keywords!)
- Highest traffic times + days
Equipped with this powerful information, you can tweak your business listing to perfectly appeal to your target audience. You can also apply this knowledge to your website, social media platforms, and blog for better overall SEO performance. And more sales.