When it was first introduced in 2014, the digital world was sceptical about how impactful Google My Business (GMB) would be. With thousands of online directories – of which only a select group are major ones – how would this new Google feature add to a business’ marketing campaign?
Now four years later, it’s become evident that it’s in fact paramount. With the ability to gather new leads, promote sales and products, build an audience and gain valuable insights, amongst other things, businesses have come to the realisation that GMB is now a marketing tool, not a burden. Find out what you can achieve through GMB:
GMB provides the platform to build an online audience, and a loyal one at that. But before anything, the first step is to get your business seen. Claim or add your GMB page and ensure all the details are relevant – such as your phone number, website address and opening hours – so that if a customer wants directions to your brick and mortar store or to contact you, they’ll be able to do so.
Showing up in more local searches will result in much better business, so be sure to have a local focus with your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy, by targeting keywords relevant to your products, services and locations.
A great new feature Google recently introduced is the addition of a ‘Follow’ button, which will allow users to follow your GMB page to receive ongoing updates and to get easy access to your listing. This is a great way to generate new leads, because you’ll be able to direct message your followers or target Google Posts when you have a promotion on offer.
Be sure not to implement a set and forget strategy with your GMB page. Instead, update your information when it changes and regularly post about your business, as we explain in the next point.
Just like you would post business updates to Facebook and Instagram, there is now great benefit in adding a Google Post as well. Not only does it provide an alternative marketing channel, but it’s an incredibly effective one, if used well.
Google Posts are associated to your GMB page, so they will show up when people either search for your brand, or click on your listing in the Maps. What it allows you to do is promote your products/services or sales in a visual way, and drive traffic directly to your dedicated landing page.
Although this feature is still fairly new, Google is continuing to develop it to ensure it offers more innovative ways to promote your business. For example, there was a recent introduction of video posting, on top of images, and there’s no doubt it will continue to evolve.
One of the key areas of a GMB is the Reviews section, which will be one of the first things potential customers look at when they visit your listing. This is why it’s so important to encourage happy and loyal customers to share their experience by posting a review on your GMB page, so users can get an idea of how your business operates. Of course, this can also have a detrimental effect on your business should you receive a bunch of negative reviews – which all comes down to your business’ practices and customer service.
We highlighted some effective methods of gathering positive reviews in our recent blog, including asking customers face-to-face or in-store, sending email campaigns and putting out social media posts.
Knowing how your GMB page is performing is crucial to getting the most out of your listing. By gaining insights into how many visitors, clicks and direction or call requests you receive will allow you to see how users interact with your page. Do they click on posts with particular messaging or visuals? Are there direction or contacts from certain locations? These are questions that will allow you to optimise your GMB page to target the users that are most likely to convert.
Very recently, Google updated the Google My Business app to allow business owners to easily manage their GMB page. New features include being able to direct message your followers and reviewers, post on-the-go by taking or uploading images, and getting more valuable insights into your listing’s performance.
Not sure how your Google My Business page is performing? Need help claiming your listing? Get in touch with our digital strategists today.