by Mikki Easton, Freelance Consultant and Guest Blogger
Google is my favorite verb. It didn’t start out that way. Technically, Google started as a proper noun. But when a noun lends itself to a common use—we find a verb for it.
Google My Business is worthy.
I dare say, Google My Business or GMB, isn’t just nice, it’s essential for any growing business. A current, optimized, efficient, clean, original GMB listing can instantly build or improve your online reputation. And it can do even more than that.
Google My Business actually generates more customers than your website does on its own. “68% of people contact a business directly from search results” [Source: Search Engine Land]. Clients no longer need to visit your website to:
- Call you
- Message you
- Text you
- See if you’re open
- Ask questions
- Leave a review
- See what you offer
Let’s make the best of it. STAT Analytics recently reported “93% of local searches now feature Google My Business listings.” Here’s a few of my favorite tricks to instantly improve your firm’s business presence.
Make the Most of It
- Update operating hours and days. Could be a pandemic, could be a corporate retreat, or just someone running late… Don’t leave your clients guessing.
- Regularly add photos to improve visibility. Uploading a cover photo tells Google you’d like this image to display on your listing. This doesn’t guarantee it’ll be the first photo seen, but a cover photo communicates to Google how you’d like to showcase your firm. According to Google, businesses that feature photos on their listings get 42% higher driving direction requests than businesses without photos
- Drop your pin in the right place. Checking your Google Maps location pin is an easy way to make sure they find you. 86% of consumers use Google Maps to look up local businesses. Hubspot confirmed “46% of all Google searches involve someone looking for your product or service near you.”
- Ask for a review. Have a happy client? Make it easy for them to leave a review by sending them a direct link to your GMB form. Recently Forbes found “88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” It takes less than 30 seconds and great reviews add up!
- Respond to every review. All of them. The good, the bad, even the ugly. If you’re not sure where to start, we can help.
Knowledge is Power
- You have the power to remove any images on your listing that puts your firm in a poor light.
- Stake your claim. If your business already appears on Google, do not open a new one. Claim your business listing to avoid duplicate accounts. You’ll be glad you did. Reach out if something is missing, we can help.
- Understand Yelp. A Yelp business listing is similar to the Yellow Pages of the 1980s. It may serve to complement a GMB listing but should not replace it.
- 720 vision. You don’t control your GMB business images, Google does. Google accepts PNG and JPG format, but they want images their way. Ideal photo resolution is 720 px x 720 px wide so consider resizing your logo and cover photos for best results.
- More impact on your bottom line. A GMB listing offers more local views, more mapping, more calls, more actionable analytics, more immediate impact on your bottom line.
In our Information Age, there seems to be an endless amount of web-based solutions for businesses. There may be no free lunch, but the features Google My Business offers are pretty dang close.
Mikki Easton is an experienced marketer and MARKETLINK team member specializing in Google My Business listings and integrated messaging. As a technical editor on competitive pursuits, she knows a thing or two about verbs. She also knows how to make your firm’s Google My Business Listing shine! Mikki is married to an archaeologist who thinks she’s pretty historic. Together they’re the parents of three awesome teens.