Often overlooked, Google My Business is a powerful marketing platform for any business with a physical location. In the digital-first era, Google My Business is your ace in the hand as a brick and mortar and can be your key to getting noticed right alongside the big online retailers.
The Basics: What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is the little card that appears on a Google search results page with brick and mortar options when you’re looking for local options or include“near me” in your search. Leveraging this platform is especially important for restaurants and retailers, but shouldn’t be overlooked for any business with a physical address.
An organic Google My Business account is free and fairly easy to manage, but there are some easy ways to optimize to get in front of your audience in an impactful way.
Step 1: Claim Your Business
Sometimes, a business will already have a listing created, other times you’ll have to do it. Claiming your business is the first step to optimizing your GMB listing, and an important piece in making your business look legitimate to customers. Do a quick Google Maps search and see if your business comes up. If so, click on the button to claim it, but if not then you’ll have to go through the process of adding it.
Once your listing is created and verified, fill out all the important information listed, add relevant links, and make sure to list a phone number.
Step 2: Add Amazing Photos
Photos are the first thing potential customers will see, and if you don’t add your own, photos will be auto-populated with any images from reviews or Google meaning if you don’t add your own photos, you may be left with some less-than-flattering photos on this platform. Think of this as building your digital storefront. This may be the first time a potential customer or client is seeing your brand so you should put thought into showing a variety of aspects of your business and stick closely to your brand guidelines to tell a cohesive story.
Step 3: Get Reviews
Having and monitoring your reviews is key. Show appreciation for happy customers and make sure to respond (kindly and productively) to negative reviews that may come through. This shows both potential and existing customers that you care about their feedback. As a service-based business, you can include in-house signage or follow up with existing customers to ask them to leave you a review.
Step 4: Add A Call To Action
Depending on your business type, you can add a CTA to make reservations, order online, or call directly from the listing. You can do this through your settings by simply adding these options when you have them available. Want something more custom? You can also leverage posts to add calls to action like Learn More, Reserve, Sign Up, Buy, or Get Offer that drives users to specific conversions on your website.
Step 5: Keep it Up-To-Date
Your GMB listing may be the first place potential customers look for information about your business, so keeping store hours and contact information up to date is essential. The most frustrating thing for a customer is not being able to find an updated phone number, or arriving somewhere only to find it closed. Make sure to keep the basic information up to date, such as phone number, hours, services, multiple locations, etc.
Step it Up: Running Ads on Google My Business
At Workhorse, we use Google My Business listings in advertising campaigns to help drive calls and leads to your website. At the time of writing, the Google My Business platform isn’t used as frequently for paid ads making reach on this platform relatively affordable and highly cost-effective for the right kind of business.
With Google My Business Ads, you can sponsor your listing so that it displays more frequently or at a higher priority when users are looking for a business like yours. You can use GMB to drive direct conversions like click to calls, form submissions like appointments, reservations, or consultations.
Wondering if organic GMB management or ads are right for your business? Get in touch with us, and we’ll evaluate your needs and create a targeted GMB strategy that’s perfect for your budget and your business.