In our last Clever Chronicle, I eloquently laid out the basics of organic marketing. In this one I'm going to be double tapping on that organic concept with a true hidden gem in the organic traffic world; Google My Business!
Most of us have heard of the platform, and if not you've surely heard of its mother brand Google. Google My Business is Google's modern answer to the Yellow Pages of old. If you Google a business and you see the side panel pop up like below - that's Google My Business.
There are dozens of powerful benefits of using Google My Business for small businesses like you and today I'll be breaking down exactly what they are and walking you through how you can optimize your very own business listing in less than a weekend!
Benefits of Google My Business
Google processes about 99,000 search queries worldwide per SECOND. That adds up to more than 8.5 Billion (with a B) searches in a day! In fact, Google eats up more than 90% of ALL worldwide search queries on any given day.
That power is hard to ignore. Plus when you have an active Google My Business listing it shows up as a search panel on the right-hand side (like above), making it impossible to miss! There is no better visibility boost than that!
Pro-tip: Strategically stuff your profile with high-value keywords and watch your efforts multiply!
Google My Business panels feature a lot of information at a glance making it that much easier for potential customers to connect with your business. One of the most powerful of these pieces of featured information is the reviews.
Reviews are worth their weight in gold! Not only do your potential customers count on reviews to help them determine who they can trust with their money (when was the last time you purchased something without reading the reviews first?) but they also provide you with invaluable customer input! This is true for even the bad reviews.
Pro-tip: Be sure to respond to every review. It goes a long way to show your customers and potential customer that you care!
When interacting with the Google My Business panel you can take several actions and these actions are powerful. From inside the business panel - right there on search - potential customers can:
Call the business
Ask the question
Leave a review
Get directions to your business
Reserve a table
Of course, you can recreate these actions on social media or your website but nowhere as seamlessly as here!
Google My Business also allows you to list services offered. You can add photos, descriptions, and prices allowing those searching for the services you offer to find you without even having to know the name of the business.
Google My Business has so many ways to increase your overall engagement and while that is true of social media or youtube Google can do better with less than anything else I've ever seen before. Why? Simple, because it's powered by Google. Virtually everyone is on Google every day and the stats showing how much time customers spend researching a product or service before making the purchase are undeniable.
Here are just a few of the ways that Google My Business can contribute to higher engagement rates:
with Actions (as mentioned above) such as calling or getting directions
by leaving a Review
by responding to a Review or review response
by Asking a Question or answering one on your profile
with Real-Time Messaging available on the app
by commenting or interacting with your Posts
Wait, did you mention posts?
That's right, Google My Business even allows you to post to it like any other social media platform. You can upload images, videos, captions, and a CTA button all within the post tool. These posts will look and feel like a plain social media post but they will be so much more powerful showing up in Google search results for 7 days and being embedded on your Google Side Bar Panel.
Pro-tip: Keep in mind these posts, unlike on other platforms, will only last for 7 days. After that time you will not be able to see them again.
Budget-Conscious Pro-Tip: This means you can easily make a batch of posts and recycle them for months!
And did we mention it's FREE?
Yes, you heard that right. Google My Business is 100% free to use and when we say free we don't mean there is a free version that you can make do with. We mean free. No premium to upgrade to, no upcharge or anything, and no annoying salespeople calling you all the time to offer you promoted listings. (I'm looking at you YELP!) It's just free.
What about the setup?
I know what you're thinking okay but what's the catch? The setup has to be confusing and time-consuming. And while I appreciate your cynicism the setup isn't half bad either.
If you're asking The Clever Catalyst for help it will take us less than 2 hours to get the whole profile listed, optimized, and ready to go! Or you can download our FREE Google My Small Business Set Up Guide right now and start working on it yourself today!
Pro-tip: Handle what you can yourself and schedule a FREE consult call with Christi to go over your work and answer any of your lingering questions.
Whether you're a brand new small business without a website to your name or you've been in business for decades Google My Business can be a powerful tool in your small business marketing arsenal.
Google My Business can help you increase your awareness, visibility, brand recognition, search rankings, reputation, credibility, and public engagement. All of this for FREE and all while providing you with powerful analytics and the backing of the most popular search engine humanity has ever seen!
It's really a no-brainer!