Google My Business - a must for yours
Updated: Jun 23, 2020
If there is one thing that you can do without any help from me online, which also happens to be the one thing that can super charge your local search results, It is to claim your Google My Business listing.
What is Google My Business?
Google is ever expanding and the features and services they offer seem to cover most things these days. My Business, which used to be called Places for Business is essentially their Yellow Pages (does that still exist?). It is an online listing of businesses, the services they offer, and where they offer them.
Local search visibility is a must for small business marketing. When someone searches for a term which is relevant (web design in Surrey, tree surgeon Caterham, pubs in Oxted, beauty therapist near me, marketing Coulsden, to name a few), you'll get websites that are well optimised up there in the top ten. Above that will be three relevant business listings and a handy map, like below. Let's have a look at Plumbers in Woldingham, because why not.
The search results, explained
The top three local listings are shown. How they are rated to be shown comes down to a mix of relevancy, being well maintained, and the stars out of five rankings (which come from reviews from the sort of customers you want). The red dots
which appear on the map are other businesses which can be looked at and clicked on so you can decide where to go, all with their own rankings and page info. Or not, if they haven’t claimed and filled this in. What are the chances if this were you, you'd go for one of the suggested three?
How do I get one and boost my local search marketing?
Localised search terms are an essential part of where you are going to get any new business on the internet from. You're operating in a competitive, geographically tight market, so you need to make sure your small business shows on here as part of any marketing strategy. Claiming it is easy, all you need is a Google account and then follow these simple steps to get set up. You can add in services, location, opening times, whether you have a physical shop or areas you work in. Imagine all that being available to potential customers right in the prime landing spot of where they search!
Also imagine if you don’t have this claimed and filled in, and you don’t show off those good reviews for the great work you do, what chance do you have of appearing in the top three? The exception to this is if you are one of fewer than three of *business type* in the area, then you are guaranteed a spot, but you are missing out on wider opportunities.
I should put a plug in here and say I do claim, manage and update these listings for small businesses I work with as part of my managed marketing services. This takes some of the hassle off my clients, but you can totally do it yourself if you want to and have the time.
What can it do for my small business search results?
Let’s talk about the numbers. I have one client whose Google My Business appears in the search results for people looking for the services they offer on average 100 times a month. That’s aside from any other marketing like Facebook and the website. That is 1200 people a year extra seeing a business online who may not have otherwise.
The other great thing is that you can encourage direct action from the listing. People can call you direct by clicking on your number, go to your website by clicking on the link, or perform any other call to action you want. It also has a great update feature, much like Facebook where you can post changes to opening hours, special promotions, job adverts, anything you want. You can make as much or as little as you want out of it.
It’s also where all your Google reviews will sit. So, if you want to really go to town, you can encourage customers to leave them on Google after you have done a job (through an email follow up or even a simple WhatsApp request). This then feeds into your rating, which in turn feeds into where you sit in the local search rankings when someone looks for businesses like yours online.
Summing up – the one thing you must do
To recap what I said at the top, this is probably the easiest and quickest win you can do for your small business. It should form part of a wider sales and marketing strategy; but even if you go through, fill it in and only house keep it to make sure the details are current, you’ve already scored yourself an easy win on Google. It is a no-brainer.
Need any help? Want someone to set this up for you? Drop me a line
07843 989 176