How to use Google My Business to boost business growth in 2020

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Learn how to optimise your Google My Business in 2020. Hidden insights and tips to grow your visibility online. 

The internet can be mind boggling for businesses to advertise and get found online. With many platforms and social media websites where do you start?

Google My Business listing is vital if you want to boost your business online in 2020.

If you’ve already claimed your listing, Great! This guide will also show the very latest techniques for 2020 to optimise your GMB and improve Local SEO.

What is Google My Business?

Google Maps Listing Example

Google My Business is a powerful free platform for gaining new customers and leads. Google will display all company details and customer reviews on your Search listing and in Google Maps. Once verified, business owners can post latest news, new product offerings and welcome offers to build trust with potential customers.

Manage Google My Business on the go. 

Manage GMB listings easily on the move just download the official Google My Business app, available for download on iOS and Android. Main benefits of using the app, is customers can send direct messages from the listing, request quotes and also make bookings. Insights also provide monthly reports on how listings are performing, impressions and user actions and engagement.

Google My Business is VITAL for your business to succeed online.

A powerful free tool that boosts the growth of your business, it’s that simple and a great place to start promoting your business in 2020. Find out about our expert Google My Business & Local SEO Services.

Customers can find your company, visit your website, contact you, get directions and more.

Without a GMB page you won’t appear on Google Maps or Local Searches.
Want to know how to stand out from competitors in your industry? We’ve summarised a simple step by step guide below on getting started.

Setup Google My Business.

Step 1. How to submit your business to Google My Business.

First you need your business location verified by Google. Start by Signing Up or Claiming your Google My Business Listing.

Fill out your exact 
• Company Name
• Location Address
• Phone Number
• Website. 

Google will verify your location by sending a postcard to your business address containing a unique code. Can take up to 14 days
Once you’ve received the verification code, simply sign into your GMB account and click ‘verify business’, you’re all set!

Select businesses can be verified by phone, email address or instantly. Detailed information on how to verify listings can be found on Google’s Support Community.

Only use your CORRECT company name as it appears on your signage or printed stationary when signing up to Google My Business.

If you want to rank in the long term on google we highly recommend not to add 'Keyword + Town Name' after your business name as Google will eventually start penalising business for this, and SEO's are seeing listings drop off the Map Pack from November 2019.

Why it's crucial to keep business citations consistent...

Citations means everywhere your businesses NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is referenced online, think of it like your online business card, consistency is key! Company details must be identical across your own website, directories, social media and review sites.

Incomplete information will prevent you from ranking in SERPs (Search engine result pages), so make sure all telephone numbers, addresses, opening hours, email addresses, website URLs should are consistent everywhere you appear online. 

Inconsistency can confuse potential customers and cost you business.

We recommend keeping a note of company details that’s easily accessible. Then you can easily copy paste when submitting business listings online. Bright Local’s Citation Checker is a great tool we use in our agency to clean up local clients online NAP issues.

Step 2. Complete your Google My Business listing.

Make sure when creating GMB listings, all information is correct and consistent. There’s over 200 google ranking factors, inconsistent company information or errors means google won’t class you as authoritative for your industry and you won’t rank for related keywords.

Once verified, take advantage of all the features Google My Business offers you. Google want’s to give users relevant and in depth content, give yourself the best chance of ranking by using all the features available. Google are constantly releasing new features and tools for GMB owners; be quick to benefit from the latest features for a competitive advantage.

Make use of ALL these features from Google:

  • Reviews Build trust online by asking customers to leave positive reviews. Don't buy or post fake reviews, this is spammy. Google will suspend your listing or close it down permanently.
  • Instant Messaging Download the official Google My Business app on iOS or Android, engage with customers through the app. Be sure to respond promptly, customers love quick replies; so does Google. Within the app, set a friendly custom auto response message.
    [November 2019 Update] - Google have started removing the messaging feature for business that fail to keep up a quick response time.
  • Cover Photos/Business Photos Just like Facebook and Linked In, upload an eye-catching cover photo that represents your corporate image. Show off your business with high quality interior/exterior photos of your office/shop/venue, photos of your team and the product/service you provide. Organise them into relevant galleries that google provide.
  • Questions & Answers Potential customers can post questions on GMB listings, answer all questions swiftly; other potential customers may see a relevant Q&A, this could convert them into a new customer.

Latest feature releases from google in 2019 / 2020:

Step 3. How to optimise Google My Business

Once you’ve been using all the features available in Google My Business you now want to start seeing results. We recommend hiring an experienced Internet Marketer to get the best possible results from your listing. Start with the recommendations below if to give you the best advantage.

Competitor Comparison & Research.

To rank higher than your competition you need to have more quality content, authoritative back links, positive reviews. In the Google My Business Account you can view insights into the performance of your listing. It also shows the number of photos similar businesses have in your industry – make sure you have more images than the industry average. Studies show businesses with more GMB photos perform better on Google! Aim to upload pictures regularly to stay ahead.

Manage and respond to ALL reviews.

Build trust with potential customers by collecting reviews from your customers. Always respond to Positive & Negative Reviews in under 24 hours. Use keywords in your replies to boost your search rankings. Stay professional when responding to negative reviews and go the extra mile to resolve any issues. The way you handle negative reviews could have a positive impact on your business reputation.

Although it can be tempting to get friends and family to leave reviews or buy fake reviews, this is against Google’s guidelines and will have a negative effect in the long run and could get your Google My Business Listing suspended or even deleted!

Post regularly on Google My Business to increase customer engagement

With Google My Business posts you can post up to 300 words, add an image, or an event with start and end dates. This puts your latest content in front of searchers at exact time of the search. Posting as a Local Business on Google will increase your visibility on the search results and provide potential customers up to date information about your business.

Types of GMB Posts:

Upload high quality photos of your business

Google and it’s users like high quality photographs and imagery when choosing a business to purchase from. Google has set galleries for you to use including interior, exterior, team and product galleries. Invest in high quality original photography and upload images at the recommended sizes. Images should be of hi resolution, bright and vibrant at a minimum size of 720px x 540px. 

Don’t use stock imagery or other businesses photos! We can perform advanced techniques such as Geotagging to ensure the Exif data stored in the images are relevant to your location.  

Optimise your business description

Demonstrate your expertise and achievements with a well written, detailed business description. Include search keywords within the description but be careful not to stuff keywords into the description. It should read naturally and inform potential customers about expert service offerings, business location and unique selling points. Your description needs to be unique. Don’t copy and paste another businesses description as google will see this as duplicate content.

Advanced Local SEO.

Not ranking for local keywords?
Ranking organically on Google takes a lot of hard work and time, you may not see results for 6 months or more. Beware of SEO companies that claim to guarantee first page rankings, there is no guarantee when it comes to Google Rankings. Many factors influence your websites organic google rankings and GMB listings, key points are:

  • Consistent NAP on authoritative and industry relevant directory and review sites.
  • Quality of Back links to your company website.
  • Website Usability on Mobile and Desktop.
  • Use of HTTPs secure SSL on your Domain Name.
  • Optimised Page Speed on Mobile and Desktop.
  • Correct On-Page SEO.
  • Online Reputation and Trusted Reviews.
  • Proximity of the Search User.
  • Optimised Unique Title Tags and Meta Description for every Website Page.
  • Bounce Rate & Dwell Time.
SPM Creative are Google Digital Garage Certified, Hubspot Digital Agency and SEM Rush Certified. We have extensive experience in Local SEO, generating results for local businesses and providing intelligent Digital Marketing Consultancy.

Bonus Marketing Tip.

Google Marketing Kit.

Google Marketing Kit

Go to Google My Business Marketing Kit. A free small business marketing tool by Google.

This is one of our favourite Google My Business tips from Google themselves. It’s free and easy to create custom social media posts, posters, window stickers and table talkers to promote your listing online and offline without having to hire a Graphic Designer

Simply input your Business name on the Marketing Kit website. This tool automatically creates a downloadable marketing kit featuring your best online reviews, business review score and printable stickers and table talkers to let your customers now you are listed on google. Choose from preset unique designs to stand out from your competitors on social media and print attractive marketing material for you office or shop.

You can even post these on your GMB Posts for extra exposure and show off snippets of your Google reviews.

Google Marketing Review Example
Find us on Google Example

Questions and how we can help in 2020.

Comment below and I will respond to any questions you have about Google My Business. SPM Creative offer advanced Google My Business optimisation for small businesses and multi location businesses. If you want to boost your business in 2020 contact us to find out about our Local SEO packages. If you have found our post useful please share with your contacts.

What online 'Marketing Guru's' don't want you to know.

Monthly Online Marketing Secrets that the ‘Guru’s’ don’t tell you, direct to your inbox

Credits & Further Resources.
Featured image illustration by @Diego Velazquez
Google My Business Community Forum

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