Learn how to take advantage of Google My Business to easily manage your small business.
Google My Business is a replacement for Google+. Since its release in June 2014, it is one of the most powerful tools available to help your business rank higher in local search results.
But to use this tool correctly you must claim and complete your business and make sure that it is performing the best it can.
What Is Google My Business Post?
Back in June 2017, Google released Google My Business Posts. A listing platform that allows your business to be seen on search engines results by being able to post relevant content about your business.
When a customer use search engines to find what they are looking for, relevant websites will show up in their search engine results. If your competitors Google My Business posts have more information that yours then their business will immediately look relevant and up to date compared to yours.
How Does It Work?
With Google My Business Post, you can set your hours, upload images, contact info, manage customer reviews and even create virtual tools. You will be able to create 1,500 character post with an image and a call-to-action feature so it’s important to get your posting strategy right!
As many as 82% of online shoppers research before they make a purchase and 60% starts with using a search engine [efn_note]Consumer Barometer Google[/efn_note].
If you keep your business blog content fresh and relevant it is more likely to appear in the results. The more specific information you share, the more your metadata will build up into your Google My Business listing.
Google “near me” searches have increased twice over the past year, and 72% of customers who searched for a local business visited a shop within five miles.
You can see your posts insights on Google My Business so you can understand what techniques are working for you and what’s not. Google My Business allows your business to be seen again on search engine results for more online visibility, leads, and clicks.
The ability to manage your business reviews on Google My Business is also important. Reviews boost your social conversion, create user-generated content and of course, Google favours highly rated businesses! You just have to look at your competitors’ reviews. Are they better than yours?
Positive reviews are crucial for your business and more importantly SEO. Users are always more likely to click on better-reviewed sites which will improve your click-through rate, a very important component of SEO. If used correctly it will give your business a chance of getting in the top of Google search results.
Setting Up Your Google My Business
Setting up a Google My Business profile for your company is FREE, and it will help your business show up in search engines, Google Maps and local search results.
Sign up with your Google Account and if you do not have business information registered you will need to do this by following a series of easy steps. Follow the instructions and add your business information to the site.
You will need to verify your business listing and there are two ways of doing this; by phone call and by postcard.
Google wants to make sure that you are the registered business owner and will require you to add additional security information by sending you a postcard with a code that you will need to input in the verification area.
The postcard takes around 7 days to arrive. Once you have verified your business with the code you will have full control of your listing. This will also boost your chances of ranking for local services in your area.
When you receive your postcard you will need to do the following:
- Visit Google Verify My Business
- Sign in to your Google Account
- Enter your verification code and submit
Guidelines that you should adhere to make sure you follow the best practices:
Business Name, Address & Phone Number
Keep your business details consistent. Google scans your name, address and number from different sources online. If your details match correctly with other sources this will increase your online visibility on search engines and local searches.
Google wants to know what you are all about. This section should be unique to your business, and not copied from your own website. Create a unique description, target important keywords.
It’s a no brainer, by choosing the correct category you will sure to show up for the right type of search traffic.
Posting Content On Google My Business
There is a 1,500 character limit on your posts so be clever on how you present and write your content. Your post should be clear, informative, easy to read and more importantly actionable.
Ideally you should post on Google My Business at least once every 7 days. Businesses that post once per day have seen good results and improved their rankings. As I have explained, Google trends look favourable on businesses that use Google products frequently.
Add photos, call to action links or buttons. Do not forget that Google removes your post 7 days after the posting date, except dated events. Here are some ideas on what post you can share on your page:
- New products or services
- Awards and recognitions
- Special offers, discounts and promotions
- Latest news
Remember your customers are visually motivated. Make sure that you upload high-quality images. Include photos of your office, products, 360 photos or even videos.
The more content you add the more chance Google will place your business relative to the competition. Write clear and helpful descriptions, make it about your client and give them the best user experience!
Just like in most social media platforms, promoting your business requires consistency. Set a reminder to post every week, use your analytics data to find out when the best day and time to post for maximum reach of your audience. Save time and use posts that you would normally share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Staying ahead of the competition is key. The more you create and share relevant content, the more Google will favour your business!