GOOGLE MY BUSINESS may be more important than your own website.
It’s probably not news to you that local business is the bedrock of our economy. But it may come to you as a surprise that it is also becoming the bedrock of digital marketing and search engines.
Did you know:
- 46% of all Google searches have a local intent. [Source: HubSpot]
- That’s about 1.6 billion searches per day where people are looking for products, services, and information in their location.
- 68% of people contact a business directly from search results. [Source: Search Engine Land]
- People are seeking interaction with local businesses when they go online and Google has picked up on this.
No Click Search – Why You May be Getting Less Clicks
They’ve been trying to come up with ways, unsuccessfully, to compete with social media giants like FaceBook, with new products such as Google + in an effort to better connect these local user’s with local businesses. However, after many failed attempts, they wisened up and realized they could leverage their core product for attention… Google Search.
Thus the invention of ‘no-click searches.’ No-click searches are when a user searches something and finds the information they are looking for without ever leaving their browser.
Now the user stays on Google’s search page and is more likely to click ads that are served up rather than click away to the top result web pages.
Times have changed where Organic SEO results are not as important as leveraging Google’s tools to rise to the top and stay on their browser.
With the rise of “No-Click Searches”, organic results have moved further down the page (or completely off of the page). Where local businesses used to be able to get quality leads pouring time into Organic search rankings, they now are getting less bang for their buck.
Even paid ads are taking a hit as a result of No Click searches.
With No Click searches monopolizing the attention of Google’s browsers, local businesses are looking for solutions to drive traffic to their brands. The answer: Google My Business.
The Rise of Google My Business
Google recognizes that they can’t monopolize ALL of the search traffic. At some point, users need to get in contact with local businesses, and eventually, that means bouncing from Google to the business’s site… Or does it? Realizing that “No Click Searches” couldn’t replace the value of local businesses, Google came up with a plan to help users get in contact with local businesses while also keeping them on a site that they owned.
The solution? Google My Business.
Google designed Google My Business as a platform to connect customers to local businesses, with functionality that replaced the need for users to come to your website. They can now contact local businesses (using Google’s direct messaging feature), post questions for the community, call the business, leave a review and more. It also helps local businesses continue to get leads (in some cases, even more than before) following changes to Google’s algorithm.
Now, at this point in the article, you may be coming to this realization: “So, this means Google is keeping people from my site with Google My Business?!”
The short answer is “Yes”. However, this may not be a bad thing.
Turns out, Google is actually better at turning leads into customers than businesses are on their own. 5% of customers that view a Google My Business listing take action. Whereas organic search offers a 2.35% conversion rate on average. [Source: Search Engine Journal]
In other words, you get more than twice as many people taking action through your GMB listing than if you didn’t have one. And when the average GMB listing gets about 33 users coming to their listing per day, that 5% conversion rate can generate some serious business.
Therefore, for those that actually know how to use Google My Business and do it well (we’ll talk about that in a second…), it can be leveraged to develop leads using a tool that is completely free.
Here’s how I see it… small business owners have two options:
- Try to take on Google and pour time and money into organic and paid search hoping to get traffic to your site with diminishing returns.
- Or, you can use Google’s algorithm to your advantage and double down on Google My Business.
For those that chose the second option, the results have been highly promising. Local businesses are able to get more leads with highly visible listings and exposure through Google Maps.
Here are some of the strategies they are using to get more leads using Google My Business.
Our Secret Tactics for Mastering GMB
Tactic #1: Build up 5-Star Customer Reviews
Did you know?
88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” [Source: Forbes]
When it comes to attracting new customers, they are all searching through reviews before going to contact. And those reviews are a huge part of GMB.
When we work with our clients, we set up a system for them to start receiving 5 star reviews, because the higher your reviews are the higher you rank and attract new business. And new business means new revenue and growth…
Here are some tips and tricks to getting 5-star reviews from your customers
- Make sure to ask all of you old and new clients to rate you on GMB if they had amazing service. Make it easy for them!
- Provide clients with an example of a great review if they are curious about how to write one, it never hurts to hold their hands to make it easier for them to complete.
- Have clients state the problem they had, how your product or service solved it, and the feeling they had when it was all taken care of!
Tactic #2: Add posts with business updates
With Google My Business you can now post directly to your listing (this walks you through it step-by-step). This is a great way to let customer’s know about upcoming events, sales, or offers you are running.
Pro tip: Use GMB posts to keep your customer’s up-to-date regarding any changes to your business’ operation during Coronavirus.
Your customers want to know what to expect from your business with so many changes happening in the economy. Changes to hours of operation, limiting capacity in store, expansion of services, and protocol’s for in-person interactions are all things that may be new for your business during COVID19. Your customer’s want to be in the loop!
Tactic #3: Speak directly to your customer’s using direct messaging
One of the great new features added to Google My Business is the direct messaging feature. This works similar to IG or FaceBook direct message where you can establish a direct line of contact with your customers.
As a local business, your customers expect a personal feel. It’s how you beat out your big box competitors. Using direct messaging through GMB is a great way to establish trust with your customers and show them the value in shopping local.
Tactic #4: Post high quality photos
According to research, if you want to improve engagement on Google My Business, post high quality photos.
Posting 3-5 high quality photos can double your leads alone. And, luckily, it’s one of the fastest ways to get results.
Nowadays, using an iPhone will get the job done. Take some photos of the interior of your shop or store. Show your products or services being used by the customer. Capture what your product or service looks like when completed and in the hands of the customer.
Tactic #5: Complete all of the information in your listing
Another super simple tip and an easy way to get quick results: finish your listing. Be sure you have all of the following to ensure that your maximize each customer interaction:
- Phone Number
Be sure that the information in your listing is the exact same as what is posted in your site. This will ensure that Google can accurately drive traffic to your website of customers in your area who desire your services.
Tactic #6: Track customer paths through GMB Insights
As you get more leads using Google My Business, it is absolutely vital that you can track the performance of your listing. Luckily, Google provides a built-in tool that can provide a lot of essential information.
- Where on Google customer’s find your listing (Search vs. Maps)
- How customers access your listing (Direct vs. Discovery)
- Actions customers take on your listing (click to website, make a phone call, leave a review, view a post, etc.)
- Number of phone calls you get from your listing
If nothing else, understanding how your customer’s search for your listing can help you understand more about your audience.
Direct searches mean that your customer has searched for your business name, website or address directly.
Discovery searches, on the other hand, are customers who searched a category and found your listing. For example, I may search “car repair” and click on your car maintenance business. This would categorize as a “Discovery” search.
Understanding the difference between the two and the ways in which customers are coming to your listing can be super helpful.
Google My Business can be your secret hyper-fuel to drive new local business.
If you’re feeling worn down by spending hours trying to move up to page 1 of the Google rankings, now may be the best time to shift course.
Google My Business is the secret that local businesses are using to get their brand in front of customers that are searching on Google.
Rather us do it for you? Click here and let’s talk!