When it comes to digital marketing for any business, one of the most powerful online tools is a Google My Business (GMB) listing.
What is a Google My Business listing?
A GMB listing is a public business profile provided by Google and available to all businesses around the world. If you have ever searched for a restaurant, hotel or other local business using Google, you would normally be presented with a GMB listing on the right hand side of Google search results on a desktop computer or notebook/laptop and at the top of local search results on mobile devices. The easiest way to identify a GMB listing is by the four main featured links/buttons usually presented with the following options – call, directions, save and website.
A GMB listing makes it easy for business owners and digital marketing teams to manage important company information and this helps potential customers find and engage with a business online through Google Search and Maps. A Google My Business profile is easy to set up, manage and maintain. The best thing of all – it is completely free.
The benefits of creating a Google My Business listing
A GMB listing is one of the best ways for businesses to improve the visibility of their business and location in their community. This applies to businesses with one location like a restaurant or hairstylist as well as companies that have multiple locations who can make use of multiple GMB listings to easily manage all their locations – this includes restaurant franchises and brand retail stores.
A GMB listing is great for managing company information like your contact details and website address, but there are a few ways to have even greater impact with your listing:
Manage your reviews
A GMB listing makes it easy to build customer trust by responding to Google reviews which visitors, customers and suppliers provide online.
You can keep visitors to your GMB listing up-to-date about work times and whether or not your company will be open on public holidays. This feature is also useful when you need to provide accurate information during unpredictable times, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Add photos and images
Do you have new product photos or menu items? Potential customers use online search engines for more than just finding a local listing. You can upload photos to your GMB listing to give potential customers a visual reference of the products or services you provide, your location and what sets your business apart from other local competitors.
GMB insights help businesses see how well their Google My Business listing is performing for each location. Tracking insights like how customers search for your business or where customers are located when they perform a search and discover your listing can be incredibly valuable.
Why a GMB listing matters?
No matter how well your website is designed and optimised or how many social media platforms you actively use, Google search is still the leading platform to search and find information about a business online, especially a local business. When you meet someone and provide them with your business card, the first thing they will do is perform a search using Google to find out more about your company.
Aside from driving customer engagement, a GMB listing will also help businesses with their local search engine optimisation (SEO). You want your GMB listing and your website to be the first results served to a potential customer.
A few tips and tricks for managing your GMB listing
- Keep your website address, company information and office hours up to date.
- Ask customers and clients to post reviews. The more positive reviews your business gets, the higher it will rank in Google search results. Respond to every review that you receive, positive or negative.
- Consistently upload new, quality images.
- Use video in your listing where possible.