Google My Business – How To Rise To The Top With Google Local Search
Bmoozd • Google Local Search
So What Is Local Search?
We have probably all heard of local search. Those results which pop up when you search for “pizza near me”.
But as a business, how many of us actually use local search and for those that do, how many are actually getting seen?
Google local search or google local maps as it used to be called, is probably the most powerful form of local search, and one that as a business, you cannot afford to ignore.
With so many of us searching for local foods or local amenities, being on top of local search will always ensure that you are seen online.
The problem being though that search engine optimisation is never the easiest of tasks to accomplish.
As a business we all want to be within the first three to four results that appear nationally or even universally, however with the amount of competition that is out there, this can take a long time and will need a lot of hours and plenty of investment.
And with businesses paying agencies hundreds if not thousands of pounds per month, to appear in national searches, perhaps now would be a good time to invest in Google local search or Google My Business.
So Why Start Locally?
What most of us still don’t get, is that local search still dominates a huge proportion of google and for a lot of businesses, this would be the ideal situation to be in. Wouldn’t you like to pop up as number one?
Whether you are a dentist or own a local gym, local search will do you some serious benefit, especially if you appear at the top of your local listings.
Local search is also not just for B2C or Business to Consumer, as its better known.
Take a quick look at how we fair on Google My Business and you will soon realise that this works very well for B2B or Business to Business, as long as you set this all up correctly.
So Just What is Google My Business?
Google my business is the new name for what used to be called google maps or google places. It’s a sure-fire way of getting seen locally and getting customers to either visit your website or call you, to enquire about what you provide.
Opening up an account and adding your business would be the first thing to do when trying to appear in all local searches.
Unfortunately, there is a lot more to it than just adding your business.
Putting down your telephone number and opening hours won’t get you the rankings that you truly deserve and will lead to nothing more than frustration.
Like all things internet based, we have to follow a certain set of rules and procedures.
Only once we have ticked all the boxes and added the correct type of content, will we see true success from local search.
How To Set Up Google My Business
The first thing needed is a google mail account and whilst this may seem obvious, so many people simply forget this first and basic step.
So let’s head over to google and create a Gmail account.
Once we have verified our Gmail account and are all set to go, we will need to go to Google My Business, where you will be led through the steps required to list your own local business.
From here you can follow all the steps required to getting you listed online.
Getting Started With Google My Business
The first screen that you will see is for the name of your business.
Enter the name as you wish it to appear in google search and hit or click on submit.
Well done, you are in!
You have just taken that first step to success for a local listing.
Setting your location
The next step will be to set your location.
As you can see from the screenshot, this is fairly straight forward.
Make sure that you tick the box marked – I deliver goods and services to my customers – if appropriate.
The other box I would shy away from, as being a local business, you want to show your customers exactly where you are based.
How You Deliver Goods
If you have ticked the deliver box in the previous screen, you will be prompted to enter details relating to how you deliver.
All fairly straight forward.
Tick the box that applies to how you deliver goods and hit next.
What Type Of Business Do You Run?
Now you are given a chance to enter the type of business that you run into Google My Business.
Whilst this might seem fairly straight forward, ensure that you choose correctly and that you use the right business type.
If you are running a café, then yes it’s fairly easy, however there are certain categories that might seem quite ambiguous, so again choose wisely.
Next Up Are Our Contact Details
This section forms a vital part of your listing and should be treated as so.
You will need to enter your contact or business telephone number (mobiles will also work).
You will also need to enter your website address – again another vital aspect for getting customers to find you through Google My Business.
Keeping In Contact With Google
This section is purely down to a matter of choice. If you feel that receiving emails from Google will benefit you, tick the box and move on.
We can tell you that most businesses will tick this box, as Google being who they are would not spam you and will possibly send you emails of some benefit.
Verify Your Business With Google
This is probably the most important bit and will get you verified and listed on Google as long as you carry this out correctly.
As you can see from the screen shot, Google is telling you what will happen and what needs to happen, in order to get you that local listing.
Verification is vital and without this in place, you won’t be able to do things like –
- Get found through Google search and on Google maps
- Respond to your customer reviews
- Create various promotional posts
- Upload photos
- And last but not least, track your business on Google, through Google Analytics
Choose A Way Of Getting Verified
Next up is the actual verification process. The preferred option and the choice of most businesses is option one.
Google will send you out a postcard to your place of work. Please ensure that they have the correct address and contact name.
Going Live With Google My Business
Within about two weeks you will receive a postcard from Google, and on it will be a verification code.
All that is then required, is for you to login to your Google My Business account and to enter the verification code.
Once done you are live with Google My Business!
Now Let’s Get Stuck Into The Nitty Gritty Of Optimising Google My Business
As mentioned before, Google My Business is very much a marketing platform and will showcase your local business for you, as long as you have taken all the correct steps for optimisation.
When we login for the first time, we will see a menu running down the left-hand side with various options that need tackling.
PLEASE NOTE: THE IMAGES THAT YOU WILL SEE BELOW ARE PURELY FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DON’T REFLECT IN ANY WAY A REAL BUSINESS!
The first section to tackle would be the one called “info”.
Make sure that you fill in every section, not leaving anything out. This is vital and will make the difference between success and failure for Google My Business.
Try to be as descriptive and as informative as possible, when it comes to adding in the details about your business, such as what you do, who you are and what makes you different from other companies in your niche.
Populating every bit of the “info” section will go a long way to ensuring that you get seen online through local search.
Next Its Adding Photos & Videos
Next up would be adding photos and videos to your listing.
Just like most things online, it’s all about interaction, and what better way to showcase your business than through photos and videos.
Adding photos of your business, that’s the inside and outside, is another important part of getting seen online.
The photos don’t just have to be of your business.
Went to an important company event last week? Put it on your profile!
We will also need to be looking at adding a company logo and a cover photo. Think of Google My Business like any other form of online showcase platform.
You need to look and feel professional and a well-designed logo and a well-designed cover photo will do just that. Look to places like Fiver.Com to get your logo and cover photo done, at a very affordable price.
Your logo is what is used to identify you when you make a post or when you reply to a review.
Your cover image should basically showcase the personality of your business and should attract customers to you.
Videos are also a great way of showcasing your business and by adding a video to your local listing, you are effectively telling your customers all about your business and showing them what makes you unique.
And finally, photos showing the interior of your business show authenticity and will give customers a real feel of where you are coming from.
Showcasing Your Products Or Services
As a business you want a way of showing people just what you have to offer or what products you sell.
Google My Business has a section called “Products” which we will use for just that.
Let’s also remember here that whether you are a service provider or whether you sell physical products online, this section should not be ignored.
Products and services that you offer to your customers will be ranked and indexed by Google and will definitely help you acquire more business.
Adding a product to your collection is a fairly straight forward task. Make sure that the icon is on the words “product” and click the get started button.
Next you will see a screen (see below) that will open up and allow you to add a product image, product collection, product name, price, collection description, product description and even a button.
Let’s go through this step by step and show you just how to add a new product or service for your business.
Product Collection: This would be something like Golf Clubs, Summer Collection, Our Best Sellers.
Product Name: Enter the actual name of the product – so for example Nike Running Shoes.
Collection Description: Here you would put in collection choices if applicable.
Product Price: This is self-explanatory
Range Option: By clicking on the range option you will have the choice of entering a price range if applicable to your particular service or product.
Add Button: Another great feature, as it gives he customer a sense of urgency or excitement with options like “Lean More” or “Get Offer” .
Populating the Google My Business Posts Section
This will be the last thing that we will talk about in this article, but one that carries the most importance.
As we all know, Google is a powerhouse when it comes to online traffic.
So, think of the “My Posts” section as just another addition to your website blog.
We are of course presuming that you have a website blog. If not please subscribe to our posts feed to receive updates and articles on how to explode your company blog.
As you can see from the image below the posts section is a great way of showcasing your business. But let’s also remember that posts don’t just have to be actual blog posts.
Start off with an offer and even add in a coupon code. Just more ways of attracting new business to your website.
Adding an expiry date will again create more of a sense of urgency, whilst at the same time creating excitement!
Blog posts and informational posts are also a good way to go, and with Google allowing you up to 1500 words for the entire post, this can be a great way of educating your potential readers and enticing them to click on your website or even to call you direct.
Google will allow to you add hyperlinks back to your website which again is another powerful form of backlink and one that is very much forgotten about.
Simply click on the create post button and you are ready to write your first post.
Posts can be updates, events that might be occurring, offers and even new products.
And if you are running a marketing agency, or a business that loves to share interesting content, it can also include just that!
All posts need to be no more than 1500 words in length and can include images, hyperlinks and buttons such as “Buy Now” or “Learn More”.
Some Local SEO Stats
- 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information ( Source: GoGulf)
- 72% of consumers that carried out a local search, actually visited the particular store within five miles. (Source: HubSpot Marketing Statistics)
- 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. (Source: SEO Tribunal)
- 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device, will either call or visit the business with 24 hours. (Source: Nectafy)
- 61% of mobile searches are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile friendly site. (Source: HubSpot Marketing Statistics)
- By 2021, mobile devices will influence more than $1.4 trillion local sales. (Source: Forrester)
- 18% of local smartphone searches led to a purchase within a day, whereas only 7% of non-local searches led to a sale. (Source: Think With Google)
- “Near Me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years (Source: Chat Meter)
As you can see from what you have just read, Google My Business can and is a real power house when it comes to local search.
It has helped hundreds and thousands of businesses get seen online via local search, and if set up correctly and well definitely help you.
Have you discovered Google local search yet? And if so, have you seen a vast increase in local searches for your respective business?
Let us know in the box below.
We would love hear about your success with Google My Business.