Out-of-the-Box Idea: Utilising Google My Business
If you have access to the internet, you know what Google is, and you've probably used it to search for something thousands of times already. In fact, Google estimates around 40,000 global searches every second.
If you have a business Webpage, chances are you know what Google My Business is. Whether you have or haven't started looking into the benefits of Google My Business (GMB), the time is now to start getting up to date with what this powerful tool can do for you and the customers trying to find you!
Just as every type of platform, app, and online product or service adapts (think Instagram, Facebook, your I-cal) so too does Google and their products - at lightning speed. The bigger the business the quicker the change.
With Google being the world's leading search engine (holding more than 92% of the world's search traffic), their updates and changes should be part of your Webpage focus if you want to start bringing traffic to your site, organically building your SEO, and seeing sales conversions.
Before we speed ahead, here's a little overview of what Google My Business does:
It puts your business on its map. This means when someone is searching for a product or service on Google or Google Maps eg; "Coffee near me" and you own a Cafe within a short distance from said person, there's a high chance Google will show your business and location to them.
It shows viewers that little bar to the right side of their Google page when searching for a product or service relating to the specific business related to their search AKA; your business product.
It helps to verify your business by offering customers a chance to review you
It's an opportunity to interact with customers, present your business hours and offer images and messages that reflect your business
It helps to verify your webpage, and aids in SEO (truth!)
Essentially, GMB puts your website on its map, making it easier for searchers to locate and verify your business. No matter what changes have been updated for this Google Product, the key takeaway from what GMB remains to do, is to help customers find you.
Here's a known fact: Thanks to Covid19, customers have literally been forced to find businesses online more than ever, and they've adapted. Between January and July 2020 alone, There was a 61% global rise in calls to Business listings found on google.
They, correction - we - have had to start looking online more than ever to find local businesses.
So it's time we all start using Google Business for all it's worth - and saving cash on paid SEO! Here are our month's big out-of-the-box tips for Google My Business.
UNDERSTAND WHY YOU’RE USING IT
Sounds silly, but think about what you want from using GMB and why it's a necessary tool for your business. Without knowing why you're using it, creating a routine of updating and utilising its new services will be forgotten. Think of it this way; imagine your brother-in-law buys you an electric toothbrush for Christmas. Up until December 2020 you've been brushing your teeth (happily twice a day) with a plastic, nonelectric device your entire life. Suddenly you need to charge your fancy brush every few days and remember to buy the brush replacements once a month. It doesn't make sense to you - why create yourself the extra hassle? It's not until said brother-in-law sends you a dental practice blog that explains how effective this powered device is for your pearly whites. It's efficient, faster, and ensures your teeth are cleaner! Suddenly this new gizmo has value, right?
Now imagine GMB from an end-users point of view; Imagine you’ve opened a new local cafe, you're trying to get people through your doors but aside from word of mouth and being on a street, you can't do much else aside from advertising right? Wrong. Google My Business will help those potential new customers find you online and on their maps. Not only that, before even visiting your space, they can see verified reviews, up-to-date pictures of your new cakes and can click directly to your website to see what coffee beans you source. Before they decide to trust you through chance, Google helps make you a fabulous CV to create trust before purchase. So, focus on what GMB will do to benefit you. It may be ensuring your location and directions are improved so customers know where to park? Imagine what constant use of GMB will do in 4-6 months' time when you are utilizing it to its fullest potential...
COMPLETE YOUR PROFILE
Log in - right now - to your GMB account and check your business profile information! Many businesses set up their GMB page and fail to check that all of their Business information is filled. You might have filled your basic credentials but find if you read further that google believes you’ve only offered 70% of info to “complete your profile” which means 30% of your business is somewhat unknown to Google - meaning less chance of search optimization on their end and less information for customers searching for you. Ensuring your profile is 100% filled means you're playing by Google's rules. Without doing this, chances are lower that they will bump you forward to searching potential customers.
Filling your business profile includes:
Questions and Answers
There may be additional fields depending on your industry, so be sure to read through thoroughly and have a look at a few of your competitor's GMB to see if you've missed anything. Always be sure to add as many new photos to your profile. Google now has AI technology constantly looking for genuine images from businesses that reflect your service, not to mention, your customers are wanting to visualize what you offer now more than ever. A high-quality picture of your latest product in someone's home may be what brings your next customer to you.
UPLOAD MORE IMAGES AND USE GEO TAGGING
The word Geo-tagging sounds a little sci-fi but if you break it down: Geo= location, Tagging = the action of attaching a label to something. Essentially, geo-tagging is used to tag your area or your physical location in images you upload directly into your GMB eg: your logo, office, or storefront pictures. This drives image searches back to you, your site, and your location. Try to upload images and services as often as you can (minimum twice a week). Still confused about it or how to do it? Google it.
KEEP UP TO DATE WITH NEW FEATURES
Google, like every social media platform, will always favor your business if you’re using their new features as soon as they’re on offer. That’s because you’re playing by their rules, and generally, if you're regularly checking their updates and implementing them, you’re in the pool of first businesses to do it. They will always promote the “first-ins” on their search engine. So if you’re slow in updates, you’re low in searches.
Remember at the end of the day, this is one of the most powerful, free tools you can use to help build your website traffic, findability (yes that's a word!), and customer trust. So before you start looking at hiring a pricey SEO expert to help your website traffic, try giving your GMB a good update for a few weeks and see what great return google will give you - for free!