Your Google Listing is not a website; it is a listing on Google that appears when potential customers are searching for your business name or service. It is sort of like a hub that allows customers to quickly find all of your contact info in one place. And let’s face it…the simpler it is for your customers to contact you, the more likely they are to do it. Each click that stands between them and your phone number increases the likelihood that they’ll give up.
Why You Need a Google My Business Listing
Google has reported that a staggering 46% of all searches have local intent (Source: Search Engine RoundTable). Yet, despite knowing this information, so many businesses fail to take advantage of the free-to-use Google My Business platform. There are several perks of getting set up on Google My business, so whether you’re considering creating a listing for your business or looking for the best ways to boost your local presence, this article is well worth your time.
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing in Few Steps:
First step to getting your Google My Business listing up and running is to actually conduct a Google search to ensure your business doesn’t already have a GMB listing.
If your business has been around for a while (several years or more), it’s likely it already has a GMB listing and you just need to claim it.
Once successfully claimed, you can manage the information just as if you started the GMB listing yourself years previous.
Head over to the Google My Business page for adding and claiming GMB listings and enter your most important business information (business name and address) to ensure your business doesn’t already have a listing that you need to claim.
If there is already a listing for your business, it will notify you.
It may also notify you that someone else already claimed your business. If that happens, follow these steps.
Fill out the remaining input boxes with your business details, ensuring everything is accurate and grammatically correct (capitalize your business name, street names, etc.).
Be sure to find the best relevant category for your business (there are a lot of variations to choose from).
The last option listed asks if the business being created delivers goods or services to customers at their location. This is valuable for many businesses that operate away from their brick-and-mortar headquarters and, typically, at the home or business of the customer (cleaning services, construction companies, pest control, other home services, etc.).
Monitoring Your Google My Business Listing Insights
Over the last several years, Google has made tremendous strides with available analytical data for Google My Business listings.
Now called Insights, Google offers businesses a different way to understand how customers interact with business listings, including:
- How customers find your listing.
- Where customers find you on Google.
- Customer actions.
- Direction requests.
- Phone calls.
How Customers Find Your Listing
This section of Insights shows how customers found you in a “Direct” search (they searched for your business name or address) versus a “Discovery” search (they searched for a category, product, or service that you offer, and your listing appeared).
These sections have the following labels in bulk insights reports:
- Total searches.
- Direct searches.
- Discovery searches.
Photos for Your Google My Business Listing
The most important piece of imagery in your GMB listing is obviously your profile photo. There likely won’t be an image that gets more exposure, and there likely isn’t one that will have more of an impact either.
Your business profile photo should not be the brand logo itself, but of something appealing and encompassing of the brand, what it stands for, and/or what it offers.
Other types of images that should be added to your GMB listing are:
- Logo image: Google recommends businesses use their logo to help customers identify your business with a square-sized image.
- Cover photo: Cover photos should really showcase a brand page’s personality. It’s the large photo featured at the top of the brand’s Google+ page, it will always be cropped to fit a 16:9 aspect ratio.
- Additional photos: Other, different kinds of photos are used to spotlight features of your business that customers consider when making purchasing decisions. These photos will differ and are dependent on the kind of business you manage. These photos may include the goods and/or services your business offers, business staff working and/or assisting customers, the interior and exterior of the business, and other general photos that summarize the business and what it can do for its customers.
The Benefits of Google My Business Listing
It’s obvious that having a solid online presence can attract more customers to your business. An eye-catching description and positive reviews can send crowds of new customers your way. But here are just a few ways that a Google My Business listing can enhance your online presence:
- Increases Audience Outreach: Whether a phone, tablet or desktop computer, your Google My Business listing will be shown consistently in the search results– no matter the device your audience uses. Google’s standard, organic search results tend to show up differently depending on the device that is being used. No matter which device a person is using, if they’re looking up “landscape design” your business will show up.
- Interacting with Potential Customers: Utilizing Google My Business is an easy way for potential customers to view and interact with your company. It gives them the opportunity to look at the reviews, engage in discussions, ask questions and more.
- Everything in One Place: This is perhaps the most important benefit of Google My Business. Your business’s name, address, phone number, description and reviews will be displayed in an easy to view box. Potential customers won’t have to search countless pages in order to find everything they need.