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Leverage Google My Business for Local Businesses


by Francis Rodino

May 13, 2024

Leverage Google My Business for Local Businesses

Nowadays, people turn to Google for everything from finding the nearest pizza place to discovering a new yoga studio. That is why the local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial for small businesses. Here’s where Google My Business (GMB) comes in. GMB is a free tool that helps local businesses shine in Google searches and Maps, boosting their online presence and attracting more customers.

Getting Started with GMB

🏁 There are two ways to begin your GMB journey:

  1. Claiming Your Existing Listing: If your business already appears in Google Maps, you can claim it to take control and update the information.
  2. Creating a New Listing: If your business isn’t listed yet, creating a new GMB listing is quick and easy.

Once you’ve claimed or created your listing, Google will send a verification code to confirm ownership.

Optimizing Your GMB Listing: Your Digital Storefront on Google

Imagine your GMB profile as a digital storefront on one of the busiest streets in town. The more attractive and informative it is, the more likely potential customers are to stop by, browse, and eventually step inside (or, in the digital world, contact you). Here’s how to optimize your GMB listing to turn it into a lead-generating powerhouse:

1. ✍ Fill Out Every Detail Like a Pro:

  • Categories: Don’t just pick one! Select the most relevant primary category that best describes your business. You can also add secondary categories to capture a wider range of your offerings.
  • Description: Here’s your chance to shine! Craft a compelling description that highlights what makes your business unique. Use relevant keywords that potential customers might search for, but ensure it reads naturally and avoids keyword stuffing.
  • Contact Information: Double-check that your phone number, website address (if applicable), and physical address are accurate and consistent with your website and other online listings.
  • Hours of Operation: Keep your operating hours up-to-date, especially during holidays or special events. This builds trust and lets potential customers know exactly when they can reach you.

2. 📍 NAP Consistency is Key (NAP = Name, Address, Phone Number):

Imagine searching for a restaurant and finding three different addresses or phone numbers for the same place online. Frustrating, right? Google uses NAP consistency across various platforms (including your website, social media profiles, and citations) as a ranking factor. Make sure your NAP details are identical everywhere to improve your local SEO and ensure searchability.

3. 📸 Showcase Your Business with High-Quality Visuals:

People are drawn to visually appealing content. GMB allows you to upload photos and even videos to showcase your business. Here are some tips for using visuals effectively:

  • Variety is Key: Include a mix of high-resolution photos showcasing your storefront, staff (with their permission!), products, services, and even the ambiance of your business.
  • Professional Touch: Blurry or poorly lit photos leave a bad impression. Invest in high-quality photos or consider hiring a professional photographer for a polished look.
  • Captions Matter: Add captions to your photos that describe the image and include relevant keywords.

By implementing these optimization techniques, you can transform your GMB profile from a basic listing to a digital storefront that entices potential customers and fuels your local business growth.

Engaging with Customers Through GMB: Building Trust and Fostering Two-Way Communication

GMB isn’t just a static online listing; it’s a powerful tool for fostering two-way communication and building trust with potential customers. Here’s how to leverage GMB’s features to turn viewers into engaged customers:

1. ⭐ Reviews: The Seal of Approval in the Digital Age

Positive reviews are like glowing recommendations in the digital world. They build trust and credibility, influencing potential customers’ decisions. Here’s how to make the most of GMB reviews:

  • Encourage Reviews Proactively: Don’t wait for customers to leave reviews on their own. Politely ask satisfied customers to share their positive experiences on your GMB profile. You can even include a link to your GMB listing in email receipts or thank-you notes.
  • Respond to All Reviews, Promptly and Professionally: Respond to every review, thanking customers for positive feedback and addressing any concerns raised in negative reviews. A timely and professional response shows you care about customer experience and are committed to resolving issues.

2. 🖼️ Google Posts: Keep Your Audience Informed and Engaged

Think of Google Posts as your digital bulletin board. Here are some ways to utilize Google Posts to keep your audience informed and engaged:

  • Share Updates and News: Announce new product launches, service offerings, or business milestones.
  • Promote Special Offers and Events: Create eye-catching posts to advertise ongoing promotions, discounts, or upcoming events.
  • Showcase Your Work: Post high-quality photos or short videos that highlight your work process, team, or customer testimonials.
  • Calls to Action: Encourage viewers to take a desired action, like visiting your website, booking an appointment, or contacting you for a quote.

3. 💬 Direct Communication: A Personalized Touch (Optional)

GMB messaging allows potential customers to connect with you directly through Google. While this feature isn’t available in all regions, enabling it can provide a personalized touch and increase conversions:

  • Real-Time Communication: Customers can ask questions, clarify details, or book appointments directly through GMB chat, streamlining the communication process.
  • Improved Customer Experience: Offering a way to connect directly demonstrates responsiveness and builds trust with potential customers who prefer a more personal touch.

By utilizing these GMB engagement features, you can transform your listing from a static advertisement to a dynamic platform for interacting with potential customers, building trust, and ultimately driving sales.

Maintaining and Growing Your GMB Presence

✅ Don’t let your GMB profile gather dust! Keep it fresh and informative:

  • Regular Updates: Add new photos, update menus, and modify business details as needed.
  • Insights and Analytics: GMB provides valuable data on how customers interact with your listing. Use these insights to refine your strategy.
  • Respond to Questions: Potential customers might leave questions on your listing. Responding promptly shows you care about their queries.

GMB Integration: Your Hub for a Unified Online Presence

GMB goes beyond being a standalone tool. It integrates seamlessly with various marketing tools, allowing you to manage your online presence from a centralized platform. This streamlines workflows, saves time, and ensures consistency across your digital channels. Here are some key integrations to consider:

1. 🙋‍♂️ CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Systems:

  • Streamlined Lead Management: Connect GMB with your CRM to automatically add contact information from GMB leads and reviews directly into your CRM system. This eliminates manual data entry and ensures you have a centralized location for all customer interactions.
  • Personalized Marketing: Leverage data from GMB reviews and interactions to personalize your marketing efforts. For example, if a customer mentions a specific need in a review, your CRM can flag them for a targeted email campaign addressing that need.
  • Improved Customer Service: Integrations allow you to track customer interactions across GMB and your CRM, providing a holistic view of their journey. This empowers your customer service team to deliver faster and more personalized support.

2. 🤖 AI Chatbots for Enhanced Communication:

  • 24/7 Availability: Integrate AI chatbots with GMB messaging to offer 24/7 customer support. Chatbots can answer frequently asked questions, schedule appointments, or direct customers to relevant resources on your website.
  • Improved Lead Qualification: Chatbots can qualify leads by asking initial questions before connecting them with a live representative. This saves your team time and ensures they focus on high-potential leads.
  • Personalized Interactions: Some AI chatbots can leverage customer data from GMB and CRM integrations to personalize interactions, making the experience more engaging.

🔗 Here are some additional integration possibilities:

  • Social Media Management Tools: Schedule and publish GMB posts directly from your social media management platform, ensuring consistency across your online channels.
  • Analytics and Reporting Tools: Integrate GMB data with your analytics platform to gain deeper insights into customer behavior and track the performance of your GMB efforts alongside other marketing campaigns.
  • Email Marketing Tools: Utilize GMB data to segment your email marketing lists and send targeted campaigns based on customer interactions and interests.

By leveraging GMB integrations, you can create a more unified online presence, streamline workflows, and improve overall customer experience. Remember, the specific integrations you choose will depend on your unique business needs and marketing goals.

Conclusion

By claiming, optimizing, and maintaining your GMB listing, you unlock a powerful tool for local businesses. GMB helps you reach potential customers searching for what you offer, build trust through reviews, and showcase your business personality through posts. Don’t wait! Claim your GMB listing today and take control of your local online presence.

Boost Your Local Business Today!

Take advantage of our exclusive Local Boost offer, featuring 12 months of local SEO, GMB posting, citations, listings, and more to skyrocket your Google local ranking and keep your phone ringing! Plus, get our powerful CRM system for FREE (normally £299+VAT/m) to manage your leads and quotes effortlessly.

 👉 Book your demo today.

Curious to know More? Book a FREE, no-obligation strategy call and let's see if we can help you automate, accelerate and grow your business!

About the author 

Francis Rodino

Francis has spent over two decades launching global digital marketing campaigns and delivering ROI for some of the world's best-known brands. From the BBC to Fifa, Playstation and Virgin, in 2018 Francis set out to make a bigger impact helping established small businesses and entrepreneurs harness marketing technology and cutting-edge digital strategies to increase sales, gain greater control and free up their time grow a business that runs itself.