The free marketing you’re missing on Google My Business
Every business that wants to be found online should have an active Google My Business page. Whether you have a brick & mortar location that customers visit or visit customers to provide B2B services, a Google My Business page is a free marketing opportunity with a nice payoff. But claiming your page isn’t enough. You must engage.
Hello, new customers! SEO vs. GMB
There are multiple ways to show up in search results when potential customers look for you. Search engine optimization and Google My Business are two.
Simply having a website isn’t a guarantee you’ll be found online. Everyone has a website. You. Your direct competitors. Your indirect competitors.
Getting your website to rank for words other than your brand name takes an established presence, earned over time with content strategy. One piece of a content strategy could include adding fresh and useful thought leadership blog posts on a regular basis to your site. When people spend time reading your website content, it helps Google, Bing and other search bots know that the content is important to your audience. If that happens consistently, search engines will trust your website and show your pages as a search result more often.
This practice is an important part of search engine optimization or SEO. And it’s a marathon. It takes time to build authority and rank higher in search results. It’s worth doing so that your business ranks ahead of competitors. But it’s not instant.
Google My Business
On the other hand, Google My Business is an instant efficient search tool for getting found online.
If your Google My Business page is a match for a search, Google is more likely to return a result for your business. The Google search engine return page could even include a snippet – you know, that special box with call-out information for a business. Snippets often include photos from your Google My Business page, an easy-to-click phone number and reviews. Here’s an example of a search results page with a business’ Google My Business Page snippet on the right:
Why is this important? The higher you rank on a page and the more attention-getting your snippet is, the higher chance you will be seen. That’s a higher chance to rank ahead of your competition. Which gives your page a higher chance to be clicked on. Most importantly, a higher ranking means a higher chance to earn a new customer.
Engage for better results
But like SEO, Google My Business pages work better for your business when you engage. This is no set it and forget it. You have to log in. Post links and deals. Respond to reviews. Engage. (There’s that word again.)
You help your Google My Business page be more effective by posting things here, similar to a social media account. Photos of your product, your space or people benefitting from your business, for example. The brand images you already use can be repurposed here. Like social media channels, you can post your thoughts on a current event or links to a blog post on your website or even a third-party website.
Your customers can also engage with your page through reviews. You can’t control them. They can be 1-star or 5-star. This is where you get to shine if you provide an amazing product or service. And where you can learn how to do it better. The important thing is to be responsive here. To show that you will make things right with customers if they post a negative review. And to thank your customers for taking the time to share their comments – good or bad.
I can personally attest to the power of Google My Business and SEO. Click here take a look at my ClearWing Google My Business page and to see how simple it is to build one. Or, call ClearWing if you need help creating a content strategy and ongoing content to boost your search engine optimization efforts.
And remember, while Google My Business is a wonderful, free tool, it will only go so far without checkins from you. Ask customers for reviews. Sign in, post and respond to customers regularly. Update your hours and holidays. Post links to useful content. There’s no reason to miss out on this effective and free marketing tool!
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