30 Second Summary
- Google My Business is often overlooked as a powerful tool to grow business
- Use Google My Business to engage your customers
- Keep your customers up-to-date on what’s happening at your business
As marketers we know that it’s almost impossible to keep up with all of the channels that are available. Constant change, additions, and new ways of using digital marketing channels that have been around for a while is enough to wear you out.
We wanted to take a quick minute to highlight a features that Google has available that probably doesn’t get enough visibility. The feature is the Google My Business (GMB). This has been around for a while, however, the power of it is often over looked.
Google My Business (GMB)
This is one of the Google features that I think gets very little recognition as a powerful tool to gain visibility for your business on Google’s search engine results (SERP) page. Also known as Google’s three pack.
To help clarify this a bit, think of GMB as the “account” that you can control and through that account you can manage information that will show up in the Google 3 pack.
Do You Sell Locally?
Based on what we are seeing in terms of how people are searching, today, if your business does business locally, showing up in the Google 3 pack and keeping your company’s information current is vital.
First, the 3 pack is a widget on Google’s SERP that highlights businesses that offer products and/or services that match up with the search phrase that someone typed into Google’s search box. It’s called a 3 pack because the widget displays what Google considers to be the top 3 most relevant websites. Now, a user can click a link to show more businesses but, just like being on the first page of Google’s SERP because most people won’t go further, the same is true for the 3-pack. Most users won’t click the link to see the rest of the businesses listed.
Page 1 Of Google
The other very big benefit to the 3-Pack is that it is displayed on the first page of the SERP. As mentioned prior, the first page of the SERP is critical for visibility. Google’s 3-pack is on the first page of Google’s SERP! This means that by showing up in the 3-pack you are on the first page of Google for the search phrase that the user is using to find what you do or what you sell.
That covers a little bit about what GMB and the 3-pack are. Next, we’re going to talk about how to use this tool and why you should be paying a lot of attention to GMB during today’s current business environment.
Why Local Search Matters
Google has reported that about 46% of all US searches are “local” meaning that people are using the phrases “near me” or “where to buy”.
Let’s put the features of the GMB into the context of today.
1) Are you open. The first feature that you must keep current in your GMB account is your company’s current availability. What days of the week are you open? What time of the day are you open. These are the first things that your customers are checking before they leave the house. With all of the upheaval they want to know if you’re going to be open of if you’ve altered your hours of operation.
2) Is the information listed current. Another feature of GMB is the ability to post to your account. You may be doing a very good job of keeping your information up-to-date, but your customers doesn’t know if you’ve updated it recently. In fact, because so many businesses don’t keep their GMB information current, it would be helpful if you posted to your GMB the last time that you updated your hours of operation. This will build confidence in your customers that the information that they are looking for is current.
3) Start a dialogue. With the GMB, your customers can ask a question right from your 3-pack listing. How much more simpler can it be! You can setup your GMB to allow for questions and when it’s setup properly you can get an alert on your smartphone as soon as someone submits their question. At that point you can promptly reply with an answer to their question, making you a customer service superstar!
4) Set an appointment. A number of businesses are moving to an appointment system during these times. If an appointment system is right for your business, you can setup your GMB to give your customers the ability to schedule an appointment with your company.
5) Tell them you’re safe. Many people want to know what you are doing at your place of business to keep them safe. Use the posting feature of GMB to keep them up-to-date on your policies and activities that will give them the peace-of-mind to do business with you.
There is a lot more to the Google My Business feature than we can cover in this post, but if these features interest you, you can sign up for a GMB account go to google.com/business and click “Manage now” to setup your new account.
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