6th December 2018
Launched in 2014, Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows you to create a business profile which can appear towards the top of Google’s local search results.
Displaying your opening times, address, and phone number to users, your profile competes with other nearby businesses in your industry to feature in the top 3 listings of the Google Maps search results (which are shown above the organic search results).
Referred to as the ‘3-pack’, these 3 listings are awarded top positions by Google based on a number of factors. Indeed, search experts Moz conducted research that suggested the results are partly determined by the keywords, name, and website of your business. They also suggested that standard SEO metrics like a strong domain authority and good backlinks also have a bearing.
The proximity of your business to the searcher is the biggest influence on whether you appear in the 3-pack. For example, if you sell car parts in Tunbridge Wells, your business stands a good chance of earning a spot in the 3-pack for users searching in this town. It won’t appear for someone searching for car parts in Glasgow.
In this article, we’ll look at 5 reasons why Google My Business should form a big part of your local SEO strategy. We’ll also explain how you can optimise your profile to appear in the ‘3 pack’ to improve sales.
One of the key advantages of your business appearing in the 3-pack is that users will be shown details for your shop on Google Maps. This makes it easy for them to get directions to your door.
To illustrate the benefits of the 3-pack when it comes to giving out directions, I had a colleague perform an incognito search for ‘office furniture’ in Google. Right below the paid ads was a list of 3 office furniture suppliers. One of our clients – Office Furniture Scene – appeared in the middle of the 3-pack.
Proving it wasn’t a fluke, I then asked another colleague to search for ‘office furniture stores near me’, also in incognito. This time our client appeared first in the 3-pack.
Here’s why this is a great thing for increasing sales. Presumably, the kind of person searching for these things would be quite far along their purchasing journey. Not simply looking for information, someone searching ‘office furniture stores near me’ is likely looking to buy some products.
The value of having your phone number appear at the top of local search results cannot be overstated.
Think about it this way. Imagine you searched for ‘hairdressers near me’ and were presented with a nearby hairdresser that could be contacted from your smartphone. Would you really look any further? Or would you simply get in touch to find out more?
Whilst rates will differ across industries, research carried out by Marketing Land suggested that phone calls to business have between a 30% to 40% conversion rate.
To make sure your phone rings as frequently as possible, you’ll want to ensure that all of the information you provide on your profile is both accurate and in-depth.
For users who want to find out a little more about your business before calling, Google My Business helpfully provides them with a link through to your site.
With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure that your site provides an effective customer journey. Make purchasing your products or booking your services online as straightforward as possible.
To find out the best ways of increasing your online conversions, be sure to read our blog on creating the perfect call to action.
Providing you with an additional channel to engage your audience through, GMB allows you to share posts on your profile.
Got some special Christmas products in or redesigned your shop? Take a picture and share it on your profile to give potential customers a better understanding of your business.
Applying the same clear CTAs on these posts, this part of your profile provides another excellent opportunity to drive sales.
There are few things business owners like more than understanding their target audience. Through getting to know their specific needs, it’s possible to refine everything they do.
This is something that can be achieved by paying attention to the reviews that users leave on your profile. Designed as a rating system for other searchers to base their purchasing decisions on, there is plenty of information that can be acquired here. Simply drop in and listen to what previous customers have to say.
Indeed, by reading through the reviews left by your customers, you’ll get a clear picture of what’s working. It’s also possible to reply to reviews, building a rapport with your audience whilst suggesting ways you can help out.
A great example of a business where reviews from previous customers are crucial to building trust is Burton Waters. Burton Waters sell luxury boats and yachts, and as a customer, a purchase like this is an investment. Therefore, it’s pivotal that customers not only find the yacht of their dreams, but also a company they can trust to buy it through. Positive reassurance from a fellow yachtie and their experience is a sure way to put them at ease.
As well as the selling and buying of yachts, Burton Waters provide day boat hire and luxury yacht staycations. (Our team are eager to experience the day boats!) Again, people love to try out things that others have recommended, whether it be a day out, a new restaurant or the latest gadget. Reading other people’s experiences, positive or negative, can be the final decision as to whether a new customer books a trip with Burton Waters. The important take away from this is to encourage customers to post a review about their experience with the business via Google My Business, this way future customers have something to reference to when comparing which business to go with.
Another aspect of your GMB profile that can provide you with valuable insights is the FAQ section. As the name suggests, this section allows users to ask questions that either you or other users answer.
This is useful for improving sales as you’ll be able to identify the things your audience are looking for. Are you seeing that people are put off by administration fees? Consider waiving them. Are people disappointed to find your shop shuts before 6PM? Consider extending your opening hours.
At Nu Image, we’ve spent plenty of time getting to grips with Google My Business. Our team will be happy to help optimise your listing along with a variety of other essential SEO services. Get in touch today to find out more.
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