Are you looking for local customers? Google My Business could be the answer you’ve been searching for.
We get approached by quite a few local businesses looking for new customers in their area. While search marketing provides lots of opportunities, many of these businesses still struggle to get found online. They’re not looking for much really, they just want to be found by local customers searching for their service.
To their credit, Google recognises the challenge SME’s are faced with. One of the most powerful tools the search engine giant has released is Google MyBusiness Listings. If you’re a small business, looking for local customers, you can’t afford to ignore GMB. Let’s take a closer look.
What is Google MyBusiness Listing (GMB)?
In a nutshell, Google MyBusiness (GMB) gives SME’s more visibility on Google by showing your company details in the Maps Pack and the Info Panel, as illustrated below.
Formerly known as Google Places, the free service puts businesses on the mobile map – with a virtual pin – and makes it easier for local customers to find you.
Benefits of Google MyBusiness Listing
The key benefit of GMB is the increased likelihood of appearing on page #1 of Google – every marketers dream. Moreover, once you set up an account and verify your business, you will appear in Google Maps and feature among the pack of local listings in search results.
Local listings are crucial for small businesses, especially now almost 60 per cent of searches are conducted on mobile devices. As an additional benefit, a large portion of a mobile screen is dominated by GMB in the search results.
Ands that’s not all. GMB provides you with easy-to-use tools that enable you to manage how customers see your business.
For example, you can add or easily adjust opening hours, showcase products and post promotional offers. You can even encourage customers to leave reviews in order to build brand reputation and trust.
GMB takes very little effort to set up.
Yes, it’s easy to set up and did I mention it’s all free? So, where’s the catch? – Well there isn’t one.
How To Set Up A Google My Business Page
The first step is to claim your business and verify you are the owner. Simply visit the Google MyBusiness homepage and click “Get Started.”
Because Google identifies business listings using several sources – user edits, third party providers, verified business owners – Google sends a PIN number to make sure you are the owner. You have the option to receive the PIN electronically or by post.
The actual set up is straight forward. If you don’t already have a Google account (gmail, Analytics etc) you will need to set up a Google Account first. Otherwise simply sign in if you’re not already. All you need to do then is follow the online instructions.
How to get the most out of Google MyBusiness
When you set up your account, Google offers you the opportunity to receive tips and advice about how to get the most from your GMB account. It’s worth receiving this as it contains good advice and information.
One of the tools you should take advantage of is reviews. Modern consumers want to know they can trust brands. According to Nielsen, peer reviews remain the most credible form of advertising. Google also recognise this. The more positive reviews you receive through your GMB listing, the more credibility you earn in search results.
It is therefore important to encourage customers to leave reviews and make it easy for them to do so. Some good options are to provide incentives or state leaving a review as one of the terms & conditions in a promotion.
Google MyBusiness is an effective way for SME’s to reach local audiences – GMB is an essential tool. Don’t let it go to waste.