What is Google My Business?
At Ricemedia, we’re all about Google My Business – you can check out Google’s guide on how to setup your Google My Business profile here. If you’re still new to this, Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organisations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can help customers to find you and also tell them a little about who you are. This is essential for new customers who are searching for your local services as it gives them a little insight into what you offer, and is equally useful for returning customers, keeping them up to date with any of your business’ changes.
Benefits of using Google My Business
Manage Your Business Information
One of the best things about Google My Business, is how easy it is to manage the information that Google users see when they search for your business, or the products and services that you offer. Businesses that verify their information with Google My Business and keep it regularly updated are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers. With this in mind, it’s key to make sure they have access to basic information such as your opening hours, website and street address when finding you on Google Maps and Search. In short, the fewer people have to dig around for your information, the better!
Interact with customers
Another great aspect of Google My Business is the interactiveness you are allowed to have with your customers. Instead of being just a static billboard-type ad, you can read and respond to the reviews that your customers are leaving. You can also post new photos of what you’re getting up to within the business, keeping your online presence fresh and personalised. These actions can majorly benefit your listing as it’s shown that businesses that add photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks through to their website than those who don’t. The key here is to think about the kind of listing you’d want to see and then emulate that in your own.
Understand and expand your presence
So, you may be thinking that it’s all very well and good having a Google My Business listing, but how are you supposed to know if it’s being seen or not? Well, this is where insights come in handy. Once your listing is up and running, you’ll be able to easily view its performance and vital information, such as how customers searched for your business and where they are coming from. You can do this on both desktop and mobile thanks to the Google My Business app, explained in this guide here, which means keeping an eye on things can be done wherever you may be. If you want to delve even further into the success of your listing, you can also see how many customers rang your business directly from the phone number displayed in Search and Maps. Then, when you’re ready to move onto the next step, you can seamlessly create and track the performance of Adwords Express campaigns, allowing you to have the foundations to spread the word about your work.
Will Google My Business Posts Change The Game Of Local Search?
Over the past few years, we have seen the gradual shift of Google to mobile-first indexing. Websites that are fast and mobile-responsive now have a higher chance of being on the first page of Google than those that are not. Google, after all, is a search engine that prioritises the needs of its users — and these days, most of them are mobile users.
What are Google My Business Posts?
Google Posts are posts that display on your Google My Business listing. They first launched at the beginning of 2016 under the name “candidate cards,” and were only available for political candidates to post content that was relevant to political search queries. Google posts were then fully launched in 2017.
Now, GMB Posts has a card-based design. It basically follows Google’s mobile-first design philosophy, as cards fit perfectly on a single-column layout. It also appears right below the knowledge card of your listing, so users can easily see it when they search for your business or topics related to your business. With a design that appeals to a large demographic of Google users, the Posts function is perhaps the tool you need right now to attract more mobile customers in your area. However, the posts only last seven days – Google My Business will notify you the day before they expire, so just create new relevant posts every seven days!
At the moment Google My Business doesn’t track any link clicks to the website, so we recommend adding tracking with Google’s Campaign URL Builder. Put ‘googlemybusiness’ as the ‘campaign source’ and copy the URL below! Once the tracking is added in, you’ll be able to monitor any traffic through Google Analytics. This is done by selecting ‘Acquisition > Channels‘ on the sidebar
Any traffic from tracked posts should show up as ‘other’ – click on this option and have a look!
Google My Business Posts – Call To Action Update
This month Google My Business updated their call to actions for their posts. This means that businesses have the opportunity to utilise two more call to actions; ‘Book’ and ‘Order Online’. These are alongside the standard ‘Sign Up’ ‘Get Offer’ ‘Learn More’ and ‘Buy’ options. It will be interesting to see which buttons have the most interaction – surely ‘order online’ and ‘buy’ are interchangeable? One thing is for sure – these buttons are sure to benefit ecommerce sites and businesses such as restaurants, hairdressers and much more.
Google My Business – Videos
This month, Google My Business announced that a few select businesses with a verified Google My Business listing will be able to test the new video upload feature. This means that business owners can “view videos added by customers and upload videos about their business for customers to view,” (Search Engine Land) The video maximum length is 30 seconds, and can take up to 24 hours for it to appear on the business listing, in Google Maps or local web search results.
How do you upload videos to Google My Business?
- Google My Business Videos show on the overview tab of the Google My Business Dashboard.
- All videos can be viewed together on the “videos” tab.
- After upload, it might take up to 24 hours for the videos to appear. Once the videos are live, they will show alongside local photos.
Log in to your Google My Business Dashboard, select the ‘Photos’ option on the sidebar and then select the video tab. Simple!
Even more in store with Google Beacons
If you haven’t heard of Google Beacons, fear not. These snazzy bits of tech are one-way transmitters which are used to mark important locations and objects. The Beacons are visible using your device from a few meters away in range, allowing you to receive context-sensitive information. Say, for example, you’re in a supermarket and you head over to the area where the pizza counter is located. A Beacon may be set up here to send an alert to your device that will point you in the direction of things that go well with the pizzas, such as a new film or some snacks. You’d be able to receive this information in no time and, for the business owner, this presents the opportunity for a more personalised experience for the customer. Google currently uses an open beacon format called Eddystone which works with Android and iOS and aptly named after a famous lighthouse, which is fitting when you think about its job when alerting those nearby. To help get your head around Beacons, there’s a handy video here from Google themselves. With the rising use of Beacons, ensuring you and your business are firmly on the map will be paramount when it comes to boosting your business, both on and offline!
If you’re keen to get your own Google My Business listing set up but need a helping hand, get in touch with one of our SEO whizzes today.