The success of your business depends on how visible you are to potential and existing customers. The larger the audience you attract, the better your chances to maximise sales and increase revenue. One of the most important tools to achieve that is to take your business online.
Apart from creating a user-friendly website and being present on social media, listing your business on platforms such as Google My Business will have a positive impact on your search rankings and also allow you to connect and engage with your audience across multiple channels such as Google search and maps.
What is Google My Business?
By creating a Google My Business account, you are setting up a profile that helps you showcase your business and allow customers to interact with you in many different ways. Whether it is making a phone call right from your Google search listing, leaving you a message or a review, or getting directions to your physical location, Google My Business makes it easy for your audience to find you and communicate with you. It also helps you keep track of which channels customers prefer to contact you through, enabling you to optimize your marketing strategy.
Whether your business operates locally or on a regional, national or a global level, with Google My Business your chances of popping up in listings for relevant product and service-specific searches can increase significantly. If your business relies on customers from a certain area, having a business profile is essential if you want to keep up with the competition. Not only are 46% of all Google searches related to finding local information, but a whopping 97% of users learn more about local businesses online.
Boost your rankings
Using Google My Business affects your Google rankings and can help you get into the 3-Pack, the top 3 results displayed when someone searches for a type of business or business activity. Thus, a well-maintained listing not only impacts where you appear in local and specific searches. It can also have a positive effect on organic searches, increasing chances of boosting your website in general. In addition, the information you provide determines if and where your company is featured on Google Map searches.
Maximising your business profile can boost your search engine results and give you an advantage over your competitors. Apart from providing vital information such as opening hours, contact details and listing what your business has to offer, choosing the appropriate category for your business can determine the future success of your company.
Choosing the right category
When creating your Google My Business profile, you can only specify one primary category to describe the nature of your company. Your choices are limited and the option to make up your own is not available any more. Depending on the primary category chosen, you will be prompted to list additional features such as hotel amenities, restaurant menus or booking appointments. However, not all features are available for all categories, so getting it right is essential to make the most of your listing.
If you find the category you have first chosen does not suit your needs, you can edit it later or add additional categories. You are allowed a total of 10 categories, with your primary one having the biggest impact on your local rankings.
Research potential search volume
Compile a list of attributes and keywords associated with your business and conduct a search to find out which ones are most likely to be used by potential customers looking for products or services offered by companies like you. Do more people search for grocery stores or food stores? Note down those keywords that have the highest search volume while also being most relevant to your business.
Check out the competition
Using your keywords, find out what businesses in your target area operate in the same industry or offer similar products and services as you. Tools such as GMBspy then allow you to take a look at their categories. Most important for your own profile will be businesses ranked first on Google searches and the categories that obviously work best for them.
Stay on track
Your main category should encompass your business as a whole with additional categories describing services you offer or any other features that make your business unique. Using up to 10 categories is fine as long as each one truly represents your business. Adding unrelated categories will confuse the Google search mechanism, potential customers, and eventually damage your online reputation resulting in a lower SEO ranking.
Maintain your listing
Once your business profile is complete and you have added all the necessary data and information for your audience, it is time to ensure you are standing out from your competitors. There are several ways of regularly updating your listing and letting Google know you are ahead of the game.
More and more people make purchase decisions based on online reviews. The more (positive) reviews your Google My Business account is showing, the more likely online users will be turned into paying customers. If you do not have any reviews just yet, asking existing customers is a great way to spread the word.
Creating posts including images, audio or video on your business profile can be useful to review new products, introduce staff members, address customer issues, or share relevant news from the industry with your audience. Regular posts can help build up trust and maintain relationships with potential and existing clients.
Visitors to your Google My Business profile have the opportunity to ask questions about your company. Whenever that happens, make sure you answer these questions as quickly and truthfully as you can. It is not only part of providing great customer service, it can also positively impact your ranking.
If you would like more information on how to create and manage your business profile or have any questions about digital marketing, contact the friendly team at Energise Web today.