Gone are the days of heading to the Yellow Pages to find a local business. Though many of us still have these relics stashed in the back of junk drawers, they’re rarely our go-to for finding out local business information. Instead, we pick up our phones or open our laptops and search for what we want or need. “Greek restaurants near me,” “the best pest control in central Texas,” “Maine waterfront live music,” whatever it is you need, and wherever you need it, most of the time you turn to Google for the answer.
Establishing and refreshing your Google My Business Profile is imperative to maintain your current customer base and attract new people to your site and your services. Whether people are searching for your business specifically, your hours of operation, or the services you provide, they’re going to find this information via the information displayed on the righthand panel of their screen from Google My Business. It is the first place people will have access to your company (and your competitors), and if it’s not available or up-to-date, they will likely search for services elsewhere.
Creating and updating your Google My Business profile does the following for your company:
Improves local search engine optimization (SEO) rankings: Now, this one is huge if you know the challenges associated with improving your organic listings by optimizing content. Though updating your website and adding new content is still important, Google My Business provides the easiest way to potentially achieve higher rankings on the search engine results page (SERP).
- Provides a first impression of your business: In previous eguides, we’ve discussed how your website is the online storefront for your business. If that’s the case, Google My Business is the sign that points the way. It’s a snapshot of your business that provides vital information about your company’s logistics, including who you are, where you’re located, how to reach you, and your hours of operation.
- Maps integration: When most people search for a company, they want to know where it’s located. Google My Business provides a list of service area businesses so that your customers can figure out where you are and how to find you.
- Reviews: Google My Business allows customers to access your reviews so that they can compare you to other businesses, understand how customers respond to your services, and digest a snapshot of your reputation, your brand, and your efforts to communicate with feedback.
- Business description: Google My Business provides you with the opportunity to write a 750-character description of your business. You can include your history, values, services, and, of course, keywords to help customers glimpse who you are and what you’re about. If customers want to learn more, they can navigate to your website, but many consumers base their decision on whether to hire based on these short summaries and other patron reviews.
These benefits of Google My Business are simple to use and update, and in today’s world of constant change, you must make them a priority in your online marketing strategy.
Google My Business in the Times of COVID-19
In this post-pandemic world, businesses are reopening, providing more services, and changing their hours at alarming rates. These changes mean consumers are looking to Google My Business more than ever to keep track of updated information. If your business isn’t among them, you will undoubtedly lose customers.
More than ever, customers understand about changes associated with businesses. Hours, staffing, and services seem to change regularly with CDC recommendations and company preferences. Google My Business is an easy way to keep your customers up-to-date with these changes in protocol and hours. Even further, it’s a good business practice to let clientele know that you care about keeping your space clean and your employees and customers safe.
Google My Business allows you to easily change your profile and business description to update these changes and add keywords that reflect our post-pandemic world. You can even add weekly posts that communicate how you’re responding to CDC guidelines and changes in your community’s response to COVID-19.
Why It’s Important To Frequently Update Your Google My Business Profile
Set it and forget it is no longer an option for online marketing, and Google My Business is no exception. Though you may be tempted to set up your profile, including your location, business hours, and description, the simple Google My Business updates should not be ignored.
Google makes regular changes to its algorithms; therefore, you must optimize regularly to keep up. Revising the content in your website, adding new content, and pursuing advertising opportunities are all important parts of your comprehensive marketing strategy, but these valuable aspects take time and money. Fortunately, updates to Google My Business are a little bit easier. Here are a few important updates that will keep you relevant:
- Be sure to categorize your company appropriately in your Google My Business Profile. Consider the core elements that describe your business. With 3,000 categories to choose from, you want to be as accurate as possible. These categories come into play when listing you with other similar businesses on the SERP. You want to make sure you’re listed among your competitors.
- Accurately list your contact details: This includes your location, phone number, website, and hours. It also has a button to link to Google Maps so that customers can find directions to your space. If customers can’t find or contact you, they will most likely search for similar services elsewhere.
- Be sure your hours are up-to-date. This one is huge in a post-pandemic world as hours are frequently changing. Customers are looking to Google more than ever to find out when businesses are open; therefore, be sure these hours are accurate.
Aside from these logistical updates, Google My Business also offers extra features that allow you to engage with your audience, build your brand, and optimize your content.
These 300-word descriptors allow you to advertise products, promote events, share special offers, and communicate your brand to your audience in meaningful, timely ways. Even better, they include various call-to-action button options allowing customers to immediately engage with your content. If you are advertising a special event or limited-time offering, you can set your post to expire on a specific day.
You can add images to your posts that give customers a visual of your products and services. This allows customers to see what you create, how you interact, and what you accomplish.
Reviews are key to improving your ranking in a local search. Though an abundance of favorable reviews is preferable, critical reviews aren’t necessarily a problem, especially if you respond to them. Even further, these reviews help create your reputation and give you a way to communicate publicly with your customers.
Five Essential Benefits of Using Google My Business
With online marketing techniques constantly changing, Google My Business may feel like old news. However, the statistics show that it’s more relevant than ever. With over 90% of adults using search engines to find information, you want to make sure that your brand doesn’t miss out.
1. Become a part of Google’s 3-pack.
This is the ultimate goal when using Google My Business as brands in these coveted spots report a 700% increase in clicks. The local 3-pack is some of the most valuable real estate on Google as it is located before the organic search results, and you can get there with a relatively small budget (you may even find yourself in that spot for free). Though there is no surefire way to garner that top spot, it can be achieved with a little finesse.
You must make sure your information is accurate and consistent across all online platforms. This means that information such as your phone number, business name, and location on your website, blogs, and advertisements is all the same.
- You need favorable reviews from customers. Also, use your reviews as an opportunity to interact with your customer base. Thank them for their feedback and respond to criticism graciously.
- Update your business categories to reflect your services. Make sure these categories are accurate, and if you add or remove services, be sure to check (or uncheck) boxes to reflect these changes.
- Add weekly posts. This allows you to quickly communicate updates and changes with your audience. Though added web content is still important, these weekly posts are a quick and easy way to highlight important updates and incentives.
- If you choose to increase your marketing budget, investing in local PPC advertising, and local search ads also help.
2. Google My Business increases customer engagement with your brand.
Customers can book your services or call you immediately without navigating away from the Google My Business page. People like a one-stop shop, especially when searching on mobile devices. Therefore, it’s important to utilize call-to-action button features, feature weekly posts, and include a profile. Even further, customers can leave reviews that facilitate opportunities to absorb positive feedback and respond to criticism. These customer engagement opportunities will help you develop a positive, thoughtful reputation with your customer base while gaining an edge over your competition.
3. Google My Business increases traffic to your online and offline locations.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, if customers can’t find or contact you, they will move on to another business that offers similar services. On the flip side, an updated and complete Google My Business profile will help local customers access your brand. In searching for contact information about a local business, a reported 64% of consumers used Google My Business.
4. Google My Business provides insight to your customer base.
In the insights section of your profile, you can access information about brand visibility, your target audience, and how they engage with your content. Google My Business’s analytic tool helps you learn more about your customers and develop a data-driven marketing strategy that considers what’s working, what isn’t, and what kind of person searches for your services.
5. Free advertising.
What’s better than free advertising? A well-developed and frequently updated Google My Business profile is a free way to communicate your brand and potentially boost your rankings on the SERP
FieldRoutes Uses Google My Business To Boost Your Online Marketing Strategy
In the end, keeping information up-to-date and implementing essential Google My Business benefits requires time and a little bit of expertise. Fortunately, the experts at FieldRoutes have the tools, experience, and personnel to help you with every aspect of your online marketing strategy, including Google My Business. We will make sure your information is accurate and frequently updated to communicate your promotions and your brand.
Not only will we help you establish and maintain your Google My Business profile, but we’ll also provide you with a comprehensive online marketing strategy that encourages lead generation, closes deals, and tracks results. We educate our team of professionals with new and updated marketing strategies to ensure you stay ahead of the curve. We specialize in the field service industry and use our knowledge to help you increase your online presence. We do it all to help you build the brand you need to grow your business – from design to content to implementation. Reach out to us today to talk with one of our experts and schedule a free demonstration.
Agarwal, Manvi. (2021). “Why Every Local Business Must Market With Google My Business Listing”. SocialPilot. Retrieved from: https://www.socialpilot.co/blog/marketing-local-businesses-with-google-my-business-listing
Rahal, Amine. (2021 May 6). “Why Google My Business Is More Important Than Ever In 2021”. Forbes. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2021/05/06/why-google-my-business-is-more-important-than-ever-in-2021/?sh=3fdc6b386a57
Marino, Susie. (2021 July 19). “10 Google My Business Benefits”. LOCALiQ. Retrieved from: https://localiq.com/blog/google-my-business-benefits/
Your Partner in Growth
We hope this guide has been helpful. Whether you’re looking to add efficiencies, make things easier for your employees, improve your customer experience, increase sales, or anything in between, FieldRoutes is committed to helping your business reach its full potential.
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