Google My Business is an often-underutilised tool that can generate more leads for your business. As well as being a good source of digital visibility and lead generation, the only cost involved is time to keep it looking fresh and up to date. With expenses like hiring a Search Engine Optimisation expert, or using pay per click ads, it should be clear that using Google My Business to help people find your company and make yourself easily accessible online is a no-brainer. Your business should not ignore this valuable tool.
Why is Google My Business so valuable? Let’s take a closer look.
Understanding Google My Business
Google My Business is a directory of local business in real time. People make searches as they need them, so they could be at home, at work or in transit and be looking for a solution to a current challenge. Nobody with a digital prsense can overlook the fact that 92% of digital journey’s start in search and utilising Google Maps as well as search engine listings gives you double the opportunities to show up.
For example, if you live in Birmingham and are looking for a florist, naturally you would type Birmingham and Florist into your search field. What you will see on the first search results page for Google is a section of the results separate from the rest that shows several locations on a map and then names and phone numbers of three local florists listed below; this is known as Google’s “Local Pack” and is one of the most effective ways for you to generate leads. What could be easier than when a potential customer is actively seeking you?
There are ways you can optimise Google My Business to make it even more useful. Remember too that if someone is searching directly on Google Maps the person searching doesn’t even have to type a location, Google automatically considers location, opening times as more, to make a recommendation that is accurate and relevant to the searcher. Here are some tips that will help to generate more leads for your business.
What’s in a name?
Use a business name that Google won’t identify as your company attempting to use My Google Business for spamming. Don’t use a name such as “Best Florist in Birmingham” even if that is the actual name of your business. You should also ensure that your business name is accurate across all directories that with you have registered. Google will get a bit suspicions if your business name is “Joe’s Diner” on one directory and “Joe’s Flowers” on another. Consistency will keep Google from seeing you through a suspicious eye.
If your business details are consistent across digital platforms then Google is likely to pull through your Facebook reviews, for example, into your Google Maps listing, helping you to build credibility and trust with your audience.
Location, location, location
Listing your address on My Google Business may seem at first to be a task that doesn’t require much thought, but take the time to check your submission as errors can be harder to change once the listing has been verified. As with your business name, make sure your address is the same across directories with which your business is registered. Remember that your business location can be seen on Google Maps and Google Earth through street view, so keep the exterior tidy.
Encourage engagement with your audience
If you are serious about your business, you will already have a website, make sure to list it, your phone and email address in the contact section. A word of advice, using a Yahoo or Gmail address will make you look less than professional. Use an email address with your domain name and keep the name short; most people have little tolerance for longer email addresses that are harder to spell, say or remember. Use an email address such as these:
Keeping your email address easy to type and easy to remember will make your company appear professional and memorable.
Stay where you belong
When choosing a category in Google My Business you will be able to select on when first creating your listing. If your businesses covers several categories, choose the best fit and make sure you add the other on after verfication. Be as specific as possible so people can find you more easily, even though Google doesn’t let you create your own, you can always add specialist services in the services section.
Don’t just use words that you use to describe your business but try to use words your customers would also use. They might not know they need a specialist service when they are searching Google but they might recognise that your listing can solve their problem if you describe yourself well. At the very least it will entice them to pick up the phone. When writing your business description, adhere to the same principals, don’t keyword pack and be relevant.
Make sure that your company’s website is optimised for mobile devices. When a user searches for your business, the majority of the time it will be from a smartphone. A website that doesn’t fit the screen quite right can be annoying and will cause potential customers to seek another business for their needs.
Customers searching on mobile might be more likely to see your Google Maps listing over a direct search result, particularly if they are on the move. They will be just as likely to click ‘call’ or ‘message’ as they are to click through to your website if they have an urgent need. Google My Business has a detailed Insights section that allows you to see the traffic your Maps listing generates and what action people take on your listing.
Make sure to include photos of your work in your Google My Business listing, so customers are able to see examples; this may be difficult for intangible services. Consider your Google My Business listing to be like any other social media platform your business has an active presence on. Images can speak a thousand words and pictures of your products and happy smiling satisfied customers will help potential customers get in touch with you.
Google My Business has the ability for you to post regular updates as well as images and your business can also add promotions, discounts and events, use all of these to your advantage if it’s relevant. These different post types can generate more attention and traffic your your listing and helps Google to understand why it would be relevant to show your business over the competition.
No cost advertisement
We can’t really stress enough what an opportunity a well serviced Google My Business listing is, it is another place to appear at the top of the first page of Google – what business doesn’t want that!
Even if your team doesn’t have the capacity to be posting daily, then weekly updates and promotions can shine a floodlight on what you do and why you are a good choice for potential customers.
Get the message
Google My Business also has a messaging feature that lets you message directly with customers. Just verify your phone number and people will be able to text you directly. This feature is an excellent way to convert a lead into a sale.
If your company doesn’t have a Google My Business listing, you are depriving it of a wealth of potential leads. With a little work, you can turn your listing into a viable lead generator.