Welcome to the third podcast by Blue Square Management. In episode 3, we talk about some Google My Business tips and tricks for the beginner, and how important it is with regards to getting more local customers and improving your local rankings in Google.
If you own a local shop, e.g. a tile shop, flooring and carpet, plumbers merchant, restaurant etc, or you run a local service, such as a plumber, accountant, online marketing company, landscape gardening, to name but a few, you MUST claim your free Google My Business (also known as GMB) listing. Then you need to start using it and improve its ranking so you appear when people are searching for local products or services.
You will discover four easy steps that you can take to not only building a positive reputation online, but to protecting the rep you build.
Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Blue Square SEO and Digital Marketing Podcast. I’m your host, Paul Birkett, from Blue Square Management, and in today’s podcast I’m going to be talking about a quick start guide to Google My Business.
Nowadays, every business should know how important it is to have an online presence. If you do not have a well designed website, are not showing up on the first page of Google and are not implementing a social media marketing strategy, you potential customers are guaranteed to be finding and going to your competitors! This is even more important when you are a local shop or provide a local service… this is where Google My Business comes into its own.
So what is Google My Business?
Google My Business, also known as GMB, is a free online tool created by Google for small business owners. It is easy to use and allows you to manage your online presence across Google. It allows you to help customers find your business, should you need your customers to come to you (such as a shop) as well as allowing you to market and promote your services and/or products.
Here are some of the things you can do with Google My Business:
- COVID19 ALERT : In these unprecedented times with the Coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have had to close, while others are still able to stay open but under different conditions. Google has added a Covid19 Alert in their Posts sections. This allows you to tell your customers to the current state of your business.
- Google Reviews – GMB allows you to manage reviews from one main page. Google reviews are also a ranking factor, so its essential to get them. One caveat, make sure they are genuine. NEVER, EVER create “false” or “fake” reviews!
- Google Maps – Take control of your business’s location and contact information as it appears to your customers on Google Maps. If you optimise your GMB listing correctly using local SEO, you can appear on the first page of Google in the Maps 3-Pack.
- Tell People About Events – Using Posts, you can tell people about an event that you are holding
- Tell People About Your Business – You can use Posts to tell your customers what you are doing, new products or services you have, sales promotions and more.
- Book Appointments – you can even book appointments through GMB
These are just a handful of the things that you can do with Google My Business.
So what does Google My Business Do For Your Business?
Google My Business allows you to respond to reviews about your company or organisation. Good or bad! You should always reply to all reviews, especially the negative reviews. By replying to negative reviews, it not only allows you to try and resolve the problem, but shows potential customers that you take customer service seriously.
With Google My Business, you can respond to negative reviews about your company. You can use Hangouts to provide customer service and resolve issues. You can even see how what effect these negative reviews have on web traffic.
You can combine your brand page, social media marketing campaigns, reviews, information, and maps on one platform. This allows you to be sure you aren’t forgetting to keep up with any aspect of your virtual presence.
As a small business owner on Google My Business, you can see where your customers are located and what their needs are. You can use this information to design a better ad campaign. You can control your ad campaign on Google or from your mobile device.
Is Google My Business Difficult to use?
The nice thing about Google My Business is that you probably already use many of its individual components. This means that there is virtually no learning curve. You can get started with the platform almost immediately. As a small business owner, you will find the platform to be not only a benefit to your business, but you will find it to be an extreme time saver.
To sign up with Google My Business, simply type into Google “google my business”, click either sign in or manage now. The site will take you through the registration process. Follow all of the prompts, enter the required information, and your Google My Business account is up and running. It really is that simple.
If you want to increase your company’s presence online, signing up with Google My Business is a no brainer. Get started today for free. It will be the best money you’ve never spent!
Here are some Tips for Using Google My Business Right Now
As I just mentioned, Google My Business is not a difficult platform to use. The key is this: You’ve got to use it! So what four things can you do right now, right from the comfort of your desk?
- Set Up Your Profile
Take the time right now, while you are thinking about it, to set up your small business profile. Claim your space on Google by simply go to Google My Business and click on “manage”
- Add Images
Add images to your profile. The images you choose should showcase your business. Be sure to include keyword-optimized filenames to boost search results. Not sure what to include? Try any of these images: the inside of your store, you and your team, before-and-after photos, or your staff at work.
- Manage Reviews
You can monitor and manage your reviews right from your Google My Business dashboard. One of the coolest things about this platform is the ability it gives the small business owner to manage reviews found across the web. You can see how many reviews you have, and you can respond to any that you choose.
- Leverage Insights
Take a look at the insights section. You will discover how people are finding you on the web and how often they are clicking on your site’s link from a Google search.
The Benefits of Google My Business Are Too Good to Ignore
Think that you can’t carve out 10 minutes a day to keep your GMB account updated? Think again. The benefits of utilizing the platform are too good to ignore:
- Search Engine Recognition
If you choose to ignore Google My Business, consider how many potential customers are being driven to your competition that has choose to utilize the platform. With its ease of use and incredibly flexibility, Google My Business is a platform that every small business owner should be making the most of.
I hope you found this episode helpful and see you in the next Blue Square SEO and Digital Marketing podcast.