The Benefits of Using Google My Business
by Jason Suli
Getting listed on online directories like Google My Business is one of the best ways to connect with customers. Without customers, your business or any business cannot succeed. Finding new customers, however, is a time-consuming and challenging process.
Google My Business attracts a billion users every month, so you shouldn’t ignore this platform. Here are the benefits of using Google My Business.
Improve Search Visibility
Google My Business profiles appear in Google Maps results and in Google’s Local 3-Pack. When users search on Google, the first 3 listings are usually reserved for Google AdWords advertisements. The Local 3-Pack can be seen in a highly visible spot on the search results page. The information that appears about your business in this spot is your Google My Business listing.
Having your Google My Business profile appear in the Local 3-Pack for valuable search terms can improve your visibility and help you gain prospective customers and sales. With a highly optimized Google My Business profile, your business can become more visible without you having to pay for anything. You can list the exact location and address of your company or store on a map. This can help customers find your physical location.
Respond to Reviews
Potential customers can make their purchase decision based on what other people are saying about you. As such, you have to make sure that customers will be able to leave reviews easily and quickly. When you register with GMB, customers can add their review or rating by searching for your business name on Google.
You can use your GMB dashboard to respond to reviews actively. Send a feedback request email that contains a link to your GMB page to encourage your customers to leave reviews. If you get bad reviews, you should respond in a professional manner.
If you get a positive review, don’t forget to thank customers for taking the time to leave their reviews and share their comments.
Share Useful Information about Your Business
Google My Business allows you to share the latest news and updates about your business. When you have a GMB profile, people can see your hours of operation, photos, busy periods, business location and description as well as a contact number.
Mobile users will see the call now button as well. People will be able to access your listings on their smartphones or tablets easily.
Monitor Audience and Website Traffic
You can see the stats about your audience and website traffic by using Google Analytics. This helps you learn where the traffic is coming from, who is visiting your site, how long they are staying and where they are coming from. This can help you make adjustments to your current marketing strategy.
Get Customer Insight
The Insights tab in GMB can help you get customer insight. You can customize the information you get and choose the statistics to compare. The three main sections are engagement, audience, and visibility. The engagement section shows how customers interact with your posts.
You can see the results of the last 90, 30 or 7 days and plot the graphs as well. The audience section displays the age groups, countries and gender of the people following you. The visibility section allows you to know the number of views that your photos, profile, and posts are getting. You can change the setting to show the last 90, 30 or 7 days report.
Connect with Customers through Messaging and Posts
Creating a GMB profile allows you to open up a new interactive channel of communication with your existing and potential customers. Google launched a messaging feature that will enable businesses to chat with customers directly. This allows you to assist customers and answer questions quickly.
You have to turn on this feature in your GMB dashboard to start receiving messages. Google gives you the option to respond and receive messages through their messaging app “Allo” or through SMS. When this feature is activated, people visiting your GMB profile will see a Message icon. You can assign one of your staff members to respond to customer questions.
You can also create Posts to promote your special offers or update customers about product updates, announcements and news. These updates will appear on Google Maps and Search, providing you with more ways to connect with potential customers. Use high-resolution photos that support your message.
You have up to 1,500 characters to describe your update or promotion, but try to use only between 150 and 300 characters. This is because only the first 100 characters or so will appear in the snippet.
The title of your posts should describe your campaign in only 4 to 5 words. Your posts should also contain a Call to Action such as “Visit” or “Buy Now.” Since the lifespan of a post is 7 days, you have to post regularly to stay in front of your target customers.
The only exception to this posting frequency is for event type posts. Your photos should be centre-weighted so that they don’t get cropped off at the sides.
Convenient and Free
When you log into GMB’s centralized dashboard, you can access the best Google tools including Google+, AdWords, Insights, Search and Maps. This makes managing your online presence a lot easier. Google My Business is a free marketing tool that can significantly boost your chances of generating more revenue and being found online.
You don’t have to pay for anything just to use Google My Business. Over 5 billion searches are made every day through Google. This means that billions of people can see your GMB profile. Improving how your business appears on the search engine can have a considerable impact on your results. The best thing about is that you’re benefiting from Google My Business for free.
Creating a GMB profile is the easiest and quickest first step in establishing your online visibility. Google My Business increases your chances of being found online through Google, connecting with your target audience and driving more targeted traffic to your site.
Whether you’re trying to keep up with the latest changes to search engine algorithms or you want to increase your revenue, it is crucial that you continually improve your online presence to stay on top of the competition and grow your business. Use Google My Business. It’s free, so there is nothing to lose but so much to gain.
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