Google My Business is a free online tool that allows business owners and representatives of a business to manage their presence within Google. The platform essentially allows you to control what people see when they search for your company or the services you offer.
There are many important reasons to use Google My Business, one of the first being that it increases your chances of being seen on Google. In fact, 97% of online users learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. As more than 92% of users use Google over any other search engine this is an incredibly important place to have a presence.
Having an optimised business listing on Google will also boost your SEO strategy and increase your chances of showing up elsewhere within the search engine, including in Maps. As Google continues to develop its system, it will encourage users to stay within the search engine by answering questions and offering quick responses, reducing the need to enter third party sites. This means less traffic and visibility to your website and shows that it’s more important than ever to have a Google My Business profile.
If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business Listing yet, that’s where you need to start. However, simply owning it isn’t enough; you must also optimise your listing to ensure the best results possible. Ensure you correctly fill out all details with accurate information – the more details you fill out, the less likely it is that someone else will ‘suggest an edit’ which may be factually incorrect. When another user suggests an edit, these won’t be sent to you to check before they’re made live so it’s imperative to fill things out correctly from the beginning and continue to monitor your listing ongoing.
What else should you check when optimising your Google My Business?
It might sound silly, but particularly if you’re claiming an existing listing on Google, it’s integral to check that all the details are correct. Make sure to check your name, address, phone number, business category and opening hours. There’s nothing more frustrating than a business whose online profile says they’re open when they’re closed!
Photos are a great way to make your listing look more attractive to users and to generate clicks. In fact, Google says businesses with photos attract 35% more clicks than those without.
This includes your logo, which should be your profile picture (as on social media), as well as at least three other photos of your services, completed projects or even your team. Remember, this is the first time many people are interacting with your brand so it’s important to hook them in early.
Obviously, make sure to use clear, high-res images – Google suggests using photos that are at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall, and either a JPG or PNG file.
Arguably the most important part of your Google My Business listing is reviews. As Google updates its system and services, it will increasingly prioritise businesses with many reviews, particularly those with a higher rating. To the search engine, your businesses quality or suitability to a particular user falls secondary to your reviews and the successful optimisation of your business listing.
But it’s not just Google that loves reviews – your potential customers do too! Bright Local found that 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, with users reading an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business. Imagine how untrustworthy your business will look if you don’t have any reviews at all…
We recommend that you aim for at least 14 reviews to be considered trustworthy and reputable by customers. On that note, you should make a conscious effort to reply to reviews as quickly as possible. To the nice reviews, a simply thank you will suffice, while the less positive ones will require a carefully drafted response, written on a case by case basis.
Your Google My Business listing is not something you can do once and forget about. To ensure you remain relevant and ranking with Google, it’s important to log in, check and optimise your business listing regularly – add news photos, double check details and reply to reviews quickly and professionally.
To find out more about how Google My Business can elevate your digital marketing efforts or to begin using this platform today, get in touch with the team at Sea Salt Marketing.
If you want to review Sea Salt Marketing on Google My Business, click here.
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