3.5 billion average Google searches are made everyday by people who want instant answers. Whether it’s to confirm the actor in the movie on screen or to find the best local business for their needs, the searches are happening. It’s no wonder businesses that are online grow 40 per cent faster than those that aren’t.
Why should you have a Google My Business page?
Google My Business (GMB) is free marketing! 70% of all online searches are done through Google, with one out of every five being about a business or place. You’re missing out on so much by not checking out the free dashboard provided by Google that allows businesses to utilise these statistics and manage their Google search presence.
A GMB page will allow you to collect key data for your business such as how many people searched directly for you, how many discovered you through other searches (known as discovery searches) and how many of those searchers took action once finding your business. This enables your business to discover how visible you are on Google, as well as track the effectiveness that specific marketing campaigns or strategies are having on their Google search visibility. These insights can help you identify areas of weakness as well as strengths in their Google listings and provide a great way to benchmark for future results.
An Ideal Google My Business Page
An ideal GMB page includes essential information in a succinct form that allows people to understand the who, what, when, where and why’s of your business.
Creating an ideal GMB page is easy, just make sure you include the following:
- Photos of your business, which should include staff, customers, products/services, external shop front, internal areas and service area/checkout. These images allow people to physically associate your business with something and helps them recognise it in the future. Below is an example of a great photo by Vast Logan that shows the service environment, products of the business and customers being served by staff.
- A virtual tour is also recommended as it allows people to familiarise themselves with the layout of your business further so when they visit for the first time they can feel more comfortable. A great example of a virtual tour can be viewed on HTG’s GMB page.
- Your business name; This should clearly identify your business and be consistent with the name of websites/brick and mortar stores. You should also utilise the GMB tool that links to your business website so that it is easy to find for searchers.
- Customer reviews: Encourage customers to post reviews or generate in-house reviews if you’re just getting started. Reviews help with local search engine optimisation (SEO) as it validates the business and the Gold Stars allows you to stand out from other businesses that don't have reviews. Once you start receiving reviews, it is important that you reply to both the negative and positive, as this displays to people searching your business that you care about their experiences. Techwell and HTG provide great examples of how a business can respond to reviews.
- Location information: State, city, postcode, and street address. If your business is located in a shopping centre or larger precinct it is recommended to notify people that you are ‘Located in... ‘ so that they can easily find you. Google will provide a link to searchers, so they can see your business on Google Maps so make sure your address is correct!
- Contact Information should be a phone number that allows searchers to call your business during operating hours. At present, there is no option to list an email address.
- Business hours should also be displayed so that people know when they can visit or contact your business. GMB allows you to customise for holidays, weekends and ‘special hours’, ensuring that the information is clear and relevant to people searching your business at any particular time. The ‘Popular Times’ graph is also handy to customers so that they can plan their visit accordingly.
- GMB has a brand new Posts feature which allows you to update searchers with new and exciting events, products, and services which you can directly display to Google Search. Now you can inform searchers with what your business is doing and how they can get involved by placing a Call to Action (CTA). An example from Google can be seen below.
So, now you can see how a well presented Google My Business page can help your business’s presence in Google search results. By putting a bit of effort into this free resource, you can make your business stand out from others while helping people either searching directly for your business or business like yours find what they want. If you’d like to see what an excellent example of an Ideal GMB page looks like, then have a look at Vast Logan’s well-presented page and don’t forget to check out their virtual tour to see another great example.