One of the easiest ways to increase both online traffic and foot traffic for your business is to set up Google My Business (GMB). Google My Business is a listing presented to consumers when they search your business, products, or services on Google. It lists your business’ basic information like location, hours of operation, contact information, website, social posts, customer reviews, and more!
Why is it so important?
No-click searches on Google rose to nearly 65% in 2020, and as people become more and more mobile, this number is expected to keep growing.
What is a no-click search?
A no-click search means a user’s queries are resolved right on the results page. Say you want to check the score of the Yankees game. Odds are before you can finish typing “Yankees vs. Red Sox,” you’ll see the score in your results without even having to click a link or navigate to the second page of results (which most people rarely do). Consumers want the same for your basic business information.
GMB is a great tool to get your business to Google’s first page, attracting the most traffic possible. A Google study even found that 50 percent of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day.
Once you’ve claimed your business, it’s important to make sure it’s optimized so your business is one of the first listings to pop up in a search of local businesses. By optimizing your GMB profile, you’ll be able to get more engagement, boost your local ranking, and convert more customers.
First, you’ll want to create a Google My Business account to connect it to your GMB profile. You should use a Gmail account for your business if you have one. This is where you will be able to complete your profile.
Once you have access, you’ll want to make sure you complete every section possible. The quick ones will include:
- Hours of Operation
- High-Resolution Photos
You’ll want to be meticulous with this information. Make sure your business name is identical to what’s listed on your store’s website and signage and that your address and hours match your other online listings. Your address should be linked to Google maps.
Did you know customers are 42 percent more likely to request driving directions to a business if the business profile has photos? It’s true! A BrightLocal study even showed businesses with more than 100 photos get over 2,717 percent more direction requests and 520 percent more calls than those without. But make sure you aren’t posting all of these photos at once—customers want to see up-to-date photos, so make sure you add photos regularly.
Sections that may take more thought to fill out include:
- Category and Attributes
- Products and Services
- “From the Business”
Be specific when choosing your category. If you’re a restaurant that serves Italian food, you may want to specify what type of food you serve by including “Italian Restaurant” instead of just “Restaurant.” This will give your profile a better chance of being seen in discovery searches, and you can add category-specific features to your profile (like including a reservation and menu button for a restaurant). You can also select attributes such as free wifi, takeout, dine-in, or delivery.
It’s important to note that the description you see directly under your business’ listing is provided by Google. However, you can customize the description in the “from the business” section. Google allows you to use 750 characters. This is a great space to repurpose your “About Us” page. As with other posts, make sure the most important information is in the first 250 characters.
The following sections are ongoing and should be updated regularly:
- Questions and Answers
As with any other social media platform, you can post to your GMB profile. Posts will show up at the bottom of your profile, but can sometimes become more prominent depending on the search. Consumers have a higher intent when searching on Google, so it’s important to post any updates to GMB, just like any social posts!
Reviews are another feature that will make your business more attractive. Most people would rather visit a business with four stars than one that has no reviews at all. Let’s face it—reviews have a huge influence on consumers, and Google takes that into its algorithm by prioritizing businesses with better reviews.
Ask customers to review your business! Start with loyal customers to get the momentum going. Approximately 60 percent of customers will write a review if prompted.
Questions and Answers is another great way to get some basic information about your business to your customers. Get the ball rolling by posting some frequently asked questions and their answers yourself. This can include questions about parking, holiday hours, and more. Later on, you may see other patrons on Google ask a question about your business and other patrons answer them. Make sure you’re checking in on this section to make sure any questions asked have accurate answers.
There’s a lot to consider when setting up Google My Business. If you have any questions or need help setting it up or optimizing your listing, we’re here to help! Reach out today.