Do you remember the good old days when you had a phonebook lying beside your landline or under the table?
Surprisingly, I found mine a few days ago, and I couldn’t help but go back thinking about the days when the phonebook was an essential thing in every household.
Fast forward to today, smartphones and tablets have been the most important device on earth to call your local vegetable dealer or search for restaurants near you.
Today you can get quick information at your fingertips with a simple Google Search.
If you think from an owner’s perspective, the internet has been a boon as your customers can quickly access your services if they have your phone numbers and related details mentioned online.
Thus, you need to make sure this information is made available to your customers when searching.
I believe you all are familiar with the term ‘Google My Business (GMB).’
Let me give you a quick recap.
‘Google My Business’ is a simple and easy way to claim your office address or storefront on Google. When someone searches for your business, you’ll show up on the right side of a Google search.
Something like this!
Even when someone searches for a service or product that you offer; your company should look like this in the local pack.
As more and more customers turn to GMB, a well-optimized GMB listing is paramount to get in front of your customers before the competition.
To make your local business discoverable, never undervalue the power of GMB!!!
According to research by BrightLocal, the study explores Google My Business insights and trends for 36 industries across 4 countries.
It states that, on average, businesses are found in 1009 searches per month – i.e., roughly 33 times per day.
This means that there are 33 opportunities every day to leave a positive impression on customers with a Google My Business listing.
These numbers justify the importance of an optimized Google My Business account. Here’s, why you may want to create one:
- Increase online visibility
- Keep your customers informed to provide good experiences
- Earn trust from your potential customers
The interesting thing is that Google has been providing sales-specific features to help you generate leads and sales. I would advise you to leverage these Google-given features and give your Google My Business listing the attention it deserves.
The Ultimate Guide to Organic Traffic for Small Business
6 Ways to outdo your competition and increase revenue with GMB
1. Provide welcome offers
It’s the best way to turn your first-time customers into loyal customers.
Let me tell you this: There are more than half of online customers who are looking for an offer or discount, according to Google.
You’re giving special offers and discounts to increase the visibility of your business. It’s a great alternative to ask people to follow your business since they won’t see what you offer until they follow the business listing.
Never go overboard with outrageous discounts, as it might turn down customers thinking you’re fake.
How do you set up a welcome offer?
- Open your Google My Business app
- Click on your profile
- Tap on ‘Create Welcome Offer’ and hit ‘Create’
Your offer should have all the details, including title, description, coupon code (if necessary), terms and conditions, and a website link. Make sure you preview your message before publishing it.
2. Speak to your customers through messaging
The live chat functionality for businesses is the most indispensable communication medium for today’s customers.
Fortunately, new channels have emerged, and businesses are engaging with customers through a wide range of platforms like web forms, self-service, forums, emails, and social media platforms.
However, the biggest challenge here to serve your customers is response time. Customers expect immediate services and instant responses. To prevent this, companies offer live chat as a communication channel to provide better customer satisfaction.
Today, live chat is the most preferred customer communication channel achieved through real-time conversations online.
This is why 79% of customers mention that the number one reason for using live chat is that their questions get answered immediately. This helps businesses to stay competitive and keep up with customer expectations.
Incorporating this function enables you to connect directly with your target audience and engage with them in real-time while they’re busy browsing your GMB listing.
How do you get started?
- Get your hands-on messaging by logging into your GMB dashboard and hit on the messaging option.
- Verify your phone number and add a custom welcome message reply, and you’re done!
- If you don’t want to receive messages directly on your phone, download Google’s Allo app and connect your number to your Allo account.
Isn’t it a great way to interact with your customers instantly?
3. Affix a ‘Request A Quote’ button to your business listing
This button was first spotted by Joy Hawkins, who shared a screenshot on Twitter after Google added a large ‘Request A Quote’ button to eligible business listings in search results.
To be specific, this button is added to the business listing that has opted for the GMB messaging feature. It can help in generating more leads and better traffic.
How do you set up messaging?
- Open your Google My Business app and move to your listing
- Go to the location you’d like to manage
- Click on customers
- Tap messages and turn it on
All the messages received can be viewed and responded to from your GMB app, and users will receive messages on their Google Maps app.
Now, searchers can request quotes from businesses without even browsing the local business website. Local businesses can review these quotes and reply to them on the GMB app and connect with customers easily.
4. Claim your URL and short name for your listing
A short name is a shortened URL created by using SEO keywords to pop up in local searches and leads your customers directly to your business profile.
It’s available in two forms:
You need to be fast in doing so before someone takes it. There’s no trial and error since you can only change your short name three times per year.
Enable this by:
- Navigating to your locations page
- Press on ‘Info’ on the left-hand side
- Look for ‘add a short name’
If you think it’s fine to have a longer link, you should imagine how a huge link will look on your business cards, emails, text messages, etc.
Short links help show your landing page as ‘g.page/[businessname]‘ for an easy and convenient sharing process.
You can choose a name between 5-32 characters, containing the business name, location, and other critical details.
Disclaimer: Make sure your name doesn’t violate any policies. People can flag your name for impersonating another business, or for being fake, spammy, or offensive.
This feature has helped make GMB easier for customers who can come back to a profile to read posts or updates, write feedback, or make reservations. Also, short names are easier to find in Google Maps.
5. Make your business visible using posts
Many of you might agree with me on this.
Google posts are like mini-ads or social posts that allow you to promote an event you’re hosting or showing off your product/service, etc.
Creating a compelling Google My Business Post is considered one of the most powerful ways to grab your customer’s attention. Also, Google facilitates you with a variety of posts that you can create to promote your business.
- An event
- What’s New
- An offer
- A product
These posts enable you to add calls-to-action (CTAs) to help you influence the actions taken by your visitor after viewing your post.
Make sure you add the following calls-to-action for a better marketing experience:
- Order online
- Sign Up
- Call Now, etc.
Remember: Google My Business Posts aren’t actually social media posts. Make sure you use the most important words at the beginning of your post as only the first 100 characters are seen. Using hashtags is of no use.
For my business, I create new posts every seven days or so, as it’s a great way to show off my business in a unique way when a visitor is searching for it.
This Christmas, come up with festive posts that your customers will appreciate. Simply, go through the following:
- Log into your Google My Business dashboard
- Look for the ‘Posts’ option on the left side
- Add an eye-catching image
Pro Tip: Try using bold headings and shortcuts to make your posts engaging and attractive.
You can use this feature for different types of content like:
- New products and services
- Special coupons and discounts
- Hosting or participating in upcoming events
- Highlighting special qualities like 24/7 service or free estimates
- Anything that you want your customers to know or see when they get to your maps listing
6. Make the most of Google Assistant
Today, you can even order your food from restaurants and stores using Google Assistant, which is delivered through Slice, Zuppler, ChowNow, etc. Order food by simply commanding your Google Assistant by saying, ‘Okay, Google, order food from (restaurant).’
It allows you to update your menu online, see past orders, delivery service carriers, and apps to get started. Google has also updated another feature wherein it adds a popular dish tab on your menu, featuring menu items and images preferred by other people.
There’s more to expect as you integrate your My Google Business with Google Assistant.
What’s new with Google My Business?
Lately, you can set various attributes on Google My Business to let your customers know what your business has to offer. You can also share things like outdoor seating, wheelchair accessibility, Wi-Fi, or if it’s black-owned (only in the US) or women-led.
Google offers two types of attributes:
- Factual attributes
- Subjective attributes
Factual attributes can be edited directly, while subjective attributes are dependant on Google customers’ opinions who visit your businesses.
Sounds great, right?
Food and retail businesses can add health and safety attributes like:
- Mask required for customers and staff
- Temperature checks
- Appointments or reservations needed
They are likely to appear on Google Search and Google Maps.
I recommend you to check your Google My Business account and utilize the new features and updates to collect better leads and revenue.
Many customers are looking for you and are willing to spend money on your products/services. You need to get future-ready as you’ll see an advanced integration between Google My Business and Google Assistant.
These aren’t my words. Several experts expect this to happen in the future.
According to comScore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.
Learn to leverage all of these features as it gives you an advantage over your competitors.
Make sure you try some of these features and share your thoughts in the comment section below. Till then, gracias!
Guest author: Hemal Bhatt works as a Digital Marketing Strategist at e-Intelligence. e-Intelligence provides digital marketing and web development services. They are equipped with the right innovative strategy, technical knowledge, and a professional team to help achieve business goals.