google my business

Are You Utilizing The Full Potential of Google My Business?

By: Frank DePino | November 16, 2020

Google My Business is a great tool for businesses to use. However, many businesses may not realize that they’re holding their listing back by not utilizing it properly. How do you know if you’re doing everything right? 

There are key things to know about utilizing the full potential of your listing, including: 

  • What Google My Business is 
  • Why it’s important for your business 
  • How to optimize it properly 

What Is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free tool Google released back in June 2014. Its purpose is to help businesses and organizations manage their online presence across Google. This includes listing: 

  • Your business’ name 
  • Your website 
  • Your business hours 
  • Your locations on Google Maps 
  • Photos of your business
  • Customer reviews 

Essentially, it helps internet users find essential information about your business, its service, and its products. 

Why Do I Need Google My Business? 

Google My Business is essential for your business for a number of reasons. For starters, it helps your customers (and potential customers) find your business faster online. Here’s how your business benefits from this free tool. 

It Helps People Find Your Business

We live in a digital-first world where, if people can’t find you online, you’ll likely get looked over. Studies show that between 70 % and 80% of people research a company online prior to visiting a small business or making a purchase with them. That means if people can’t find you, you’re missing out on sales. 

Let’s use Dunkin’ as an example. If you search “Dunkin’” into Google, the first thing you see on the right side of the screen is their listing. It outlines their company’s name, its website, and a brief description of the company’s history. 

If you scroll down further, you’ll see the flavors of coffee they have available, nutritional information, and links to their social media profiles.

This listing gives you an easy understanding of Dunkin’s brand, what they sell, and where you can find more information about them. It’s an effective online one-stop-shop for the brand. 

It Lists Customer Reviews

Social proof is essential for any business’s marketing strategy. Nielsen.com reports that 92% of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other type of advertising. These non-paid recommendations include: 

  • Customer reviews 
  • Testimonials 
  • Positive social media comments about your business 

Google My Business listings contribute to social proof by listing customer reviews. Here’s an example of reviews being left by customers at an auto garage in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. 

google search results

As you can see, there’s an option for customers to write a review or add a picture of their service. This form of social proof helps businesses gain credibility and build a loyal base of brand enthusiasts. You can get customers to leave a review of your business in a number of ways, including: 

  • Emailing customers & asking them to leave a review 
  • Running a promotion that encourages customers to leave reviews
  • Encouraging employees to remind customers to leave a review 

It’s Free Advertising For Your Business

Another perk of using Google My Business is that it is free advertising for your business. Think about it: if you set up your listing properly, it’ll show up at the top of the first page of Google. That’s prime real estate for businesses trying to reach internet users. And you get to claim it for free. 

A properly established listing will provide your business with free advertising on a highly sought after space in Google. Normally, businesses may have to use paid Google Ads to get within the same space. However, if you set your listing up correctly, you could own the space when someone searches for your business or its products. 

It Boosts SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial part of a business’s organic growth strategy. Sparktoro reports that 92.96% of global traffic comes from Google search, Google Images, and Google Maps. If you want even a fraction of that traffic to find your business online, you need to make SEO a priority. 

Google My Business helps boost your SEO by helping you rank for local SEO. Local SEO is essentially how it sounds: it helps your business become more visible in local searches. For instance, if you were to search “nail salons near me”, you’d likely get a map with locations pinned. Below the map, you’d see a list of nail salons in your area. 

Part of the reason these businesses show up organically on the first page of Google is that they rank well for local SEO and, therefore, rank within Google’s Local 3-Pack. A listing can help you rank locally and increase your chances of landing on a map like the one above if it: 

  • Is accurate and well-organized 
  • Promotes engaging content 
  • Provides essential updates and news for customers 
  • Has photos of services and products 
  • Is known for responding to customer reviews 

There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it: if you serve customers in a local area, you must have a listing if you want to be found by more people. 

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

10 Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

How To Optimize Your Google My Business Listing 

Once you set up your listing, the next step is to properly optimize it. Here are some key things you must include to properly optimize the listing. 

NAP (Name, Address, Phone)

The most important information to put on your listing is your business’ name, address, and phone number. After all, if people search for your business, you want them to know who you are, where you’re located, and how to contact you. 

You’ll be able to edit your business’s name, address, and phone number within your account. If any of these things change for your business, change the information as quickly as possible. Google rewards your account for showing accurate information about your business. If you accidentally forget to update it, it could negatively impact your organic rankings. 

Updated Information On Multiple Locations

If your business has multiple locations, you’ll want to manage each location separately in your account. Luckily, Google allows you to manage all your locations in one spot. 

According to Google’s Support page, here’s how to create your locations: 

  1. Sign in to Google My Business
  2. Click Manage locations (If you’re part of multiple organizations, make sure to choose the right organization first)
  3. Click Create location group
  4. Enter the name of your group
  5. Click Create
  6. Start adding locations

If you need to add a new location, Google advises you do the following: 

  1. Sign in to Google My Business
  2. Click Manage locations (If you’re part of multiple organizations, make sure to choose the right organization first)
  3. Use the drop-down menu to choose a location group (A green checkmark will show next to any locations groups owned by a bulk verified account)
  4. Click Add location
  5. Enter the business name, location, and other details
  6. Follow the prompts to create the new listing 

If you need help managing multiple locations, Google Support can help. 

It’s important to stay on track with each location’s listing. Each location will have different reviews, and each location may have different store hours. Managing your locations properly will help keep your business’s legitimacy intact and create a better customer experience. 

Business Hours

Remember: Google rewards listings that provide as much information as possible. The more it can tell consumers about you, the better. Not only will listing business hours help your SEO, but it also provides your customers with vital information about your business. 

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If they’re looking for the services you provide, they’ll want to know when they get those services. Listing your business hours builds consumer trust and lets customers know when they can find you. 

Here are steps from Google Support on how to add your business hours to your listing: 

  1. Sign in to Google My Business and if you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage 
  2. Click Info from the menu 
  3. Next to “Add hours” or your current business hours, click Hours 
  4. Turn on each day of the week that your business is open
  5. Next to each day of the week that your business is open, click Opens at, and then select the opening time 
  6. Next to each day of the week that your business is open, click Closes at, and then select the closing time
  7. After you’re done setting your hours, click Apply 

Setting your business hours up correctly is essential for your listing. It tells customers vital information about your business and proves to Google that you’re trustworthy and legitimate. 

Website Link

As you set up your Google My Business account, don’t forget to put your website link onto your listing. Think about it: if customers are interested in your services, they’re going to want to check out your website. 

Instead of making them click back and forth between your listing and the first page of Google, make it easy on them and put your website link in your listing. 

According to Google Support, here’s how to put a link into your listing: 

  1. Sign in to Google My Business and if you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage 
  2. Click into the Info New features URL section, which lets you edit several different fields. Depending on your business category, you may get options to add more links 
  3. Select the type of link you want
  4. Enter the links in the appropriate fields 
  5. For action-oriented links like an appointment, order, or reservation, you can choose a preferred link to display at the top 
  6. Click Apply 

Photos Of Business, Products, And Services

Photos are essential if you want to properly optimize your listings. Photos help drive higher click-through rates from listings to websites and show Google that you’re a legitimate business. 

You can upload pictures of: 

  • The interior & exterior of your business 
  • Pictures of your products 
  • Photos of your services 
  • Your business’s logo 
  • Pictures of events you’ve hosted 
interior photos for google my business

Here’s how to upload photos to your My Google Business listing, per Google Support

  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business 
  2. If you have multiple locations, open the location you want to update 
  3. In the left menu, click Photos
  4. In the top right, click Post Post
  5. Choose the type of photo or video you’d like to add
  6. Upload the photo or video from your computer

When uploading photos, make sure they’re good quality pictures. Your listing may be the first thing a customer sees about your company, so it’s crucial you make a great first impression with your photos.

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

10 Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

Posts 

Posting on your Google My Business account is a smart strategy that legitimizes your business and lets Google know that you’re an active business. If Google knows that, it’ll be more likely to rank your posts online. 

Examples of what to post on your listing include: 

  • New updates about your business 
  • Special promotions 
  • A limited-time special offer 
  • A picture of a special event 
  • A description of a new product 

Here’s how to post on your listing, per Google Support

  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business and if you have multiple locations, open the location you want to update
  2. From the menu, click Posts
  3. At the top of the page, choose the type of post you want to create: Update, Event, Offer, or Product
  4. Click the elements you want to add to your post: photos, videos, text, events, offers, or a button and enter the relevant information for each post addition you choose 
  5. Choose to publish or preview your post 
  6. To publish your post: In the top right, click Publish 

It’s important to consistently post on your listing, as these posts go away after 7 days. The more consistent you are with posting, the better. 

Key Things To Remember About Your Google My Business Listing 

Remember: your listing is only as good as you make it. When optimized correctly, your listing can provide a lot of value for both your business and your customers. As long as you keep things updated, consistent, and accurate, your listing will be in good shape. 

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

READY TO IGNITE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY?

Let's discuss how we can help your brand get results.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Copyright 2020 Mediaboom. All Rights Reserved.