Google My Business Optimisation and Management
All local businesses should make the most of this free feature from Google to stand out online…
How quickly can your potential customers find the information they need?
When people are searching for services like yours, time is of the essence. Relying on potential customers trawling your website or finding you on social media to get the information they need can lose you sales.
66% of adults feel that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with a good online customer experience – Forrester.
Placing your essential information directly in search results
Google has a tool to help fix this problem. It’s called Google My Business and it effectively provides customers with a mini information hub about your business, directly in search.
You’ll have already come across Google My Business listings whilst searching – they’re the results that appear with a map when you search for ‘restaurants in Nottingham’, for example.
Google My Business listings appear in the following places on search results:
Google Maps searches for a service or type of business
such as ‘Italian restaurants in Nottingham’ or ‘plumber near Derby’.
These are often high-intent searches from someone who is looking to buy or visit a place in the near future – but to gain visibility you’ll be up against other businesses who appear on results.
In the ‘local pack’ on a Google search results page
This is effectively a Google Maps search that is embedded within a normal search results page.
The local pack displays results based on the user’s location when they search for a service, or displays relevant results if they search for a service + location (such as the ‘plumber in Derby’ as in our previous example).
Again, you’ll be up against competition from other businesses – the top 3 results are the ones which are highlighted on the search results page.
As a panel in direct searches.
If someone searches for your business name, rather than an unbranded search for a service, your full Google My Business profile will display in the search results on page 1 of Google.
People will need to have heard of your business name in order to search for you directly, but this type of search can show high intent and is often done by people researching a company and perhaps comparing a few options.
What are the benefits of a Google My Business profile?
Having the information customers need presented instantly in the search results can help by:
- Reducing customer frustration. Your contact details, opening hours and other vital information is all available straight away, without prospects having to hunt for it. Potential customers can phone you with the click of a button, get directions to your location and get up-to-date information about whether you’re open on an upcoming bank holiday – all easily and quickly.
- Lowering the barrier to conversion. The quicker and easier a potential customer can get the information they need – and the less steps required in that process – the higher your conversion rate from leads to customers is likely to be. At every step that someone needs to take to become a customer – even tiny steps like clicking a link – there’s the potential to lose them. Particularly with urgent services, such as plumbers and locksmiths, the conversion journey is likely to be short and quick. If a customer can find your listing, see some good reviews and phone you quickly – all from one place – the chances of a conversion are increased.
- Presenting a professional image. With more and more of our interactions with brands moving online, what appears for your business through search results may be the first impression a potential customer has of your brand. A claimed, completed and maintained listing helps to show your business in a positive light – giving an impression of credibility and reliability that your business is active and in control of its online presence.
- Developing trust. Customer trust and business transparency are rightly becoming more and more important in marketing. Google My Business listings offer an unbiased, third party place for customers to review their experience with your business – good or bad. A claimed profile also gives you the opportunity to respond as the owner of the business. How (and whether) you reply to both positive and negative reviews can be very telling about your business’ personality and approachability.
Google might already be representing your business- without your control
There’s an interesting feature of Google My Business, in that rather than listings only appearing when business owners set them up, many have been generated automatically – using information available on websites, social media profiles and online directories.
If your business has been online in any of these places for a while, it’s likely you’ve already got an automatically generated listing. You can check this by searching for your business name on Google or Google Maps and looking for a profile.
Whether or not you want the benefits of an optimised profile, at the absolute least you should ensure that you’ve claimed your business listing. This is free and easy to do – simply click ‘Own this business?’ on the listing and follow the steps to verify yourself as the owner.
The risk of leaving your business ‘unclaimed’
An unclaimed or unverified business listing gives you no access to edit any incorrect information about your business. The ramifications of this can range from innocent (but potentially costly) delays in having the correct contact information – such as updating your phone number but having to wait for Google to recognise the new one from your website – through to bigger issues such as malicious edits to your information by spammers or unscrupulous competitors. This can include people altering the web address, contact information – or even business name – in an attempt to cause chaos or send business elsewhere.
There’s no way to stop people suggesting edits to Google – but with a claimed and monitored profile, these suggestions can be seen and changed back if necessary to ensure your customers always get the right information.
How to engage customers with an optimised listing:
Beyond the basics of accurate opening hours, contact information and a website link, there are a whole variety of ways you can optimise your listing to drive engagement and sales conversions.
A claimed Google My Business listing allows you to:
- Add a description – which is effectively a short statement about your business to say what you do and why you’re different.
- Upload photos and short videos – which not only highlight the personality of your business, but are great for capturing the attention of people viewing your listing.
- Answer Q&As – which can be submitted by people viewing your profile. You can optimise it by submitting and answering FAQs from your customers.
- Include a booking calendar – great for businesses such as restaurants, beauty salons and consultants – allowing customers to immediately make a booking or reservation with your business.
- Add links to menus and delivery websites – of particular use to restaurant owners.
- Publish temporary hours for upcoming holidays
- Add a COVID-19 statement – to let customers know of any changes and updates during the pandemic
- List products and services – highlighting what you provide as a business.
Ongoing management of your listing
A listing shouldn’t just be claimed, optimised and then left alone – ongoing management includes:
- creating posts – quite like social media posts – which appear prominently on your profile for 7 days. These can be used to communicate news, offers and updates with your customers.
- monitoring any changes other users have suggested, to ensure inaccurate information doesn’t make its way onto your profile.
- responding to reviews – good or bad! – and encouraging customers to post reviews.
- answering new questions from customers.
- ongoing photo and video uploads to keep your listing up to date.
How we can help:
At HeyYou! Digital, we offer Google My Business Optimisation and Management services for small businesses like yours – ensuring your business presents a professional, accurate and engaging listing on Google search results.
Not quite the right fit? We also offer custom marketing solutions to meet your business’ individual needs and budget. So if you want to mix and match elements of different packages, swap in some training for your in-house team or run Google My Business optimisations alongside other digital marketing support, call us for a chat and we’ll put together a perfect-fit solution for your business.
Listing Review & Optimisation
We’ll help you claim, create and verify your listing if necessary, then optimise it to ensure all the important information is easy for your customers to find.
- 1 location
- Initial consultation – up to 1 hour (this can be provided by phone or video call during the COVID-19 pandemic)
- Listing creation/claiming and verification where necessary
- Appropriate categories selected
- Optimised business description created
- Addition of services or products with descriptions (up to 10 in total)
- Development of an FAQ section
- Uploading videos and photos provided by your business (up to 50 in total)
- 20% discount on additional locations
- PDF guide to demonstrate ongoing management best-practice and help you get the most out of your listing
- One month of support with any listing management issues
- A 3-month review call
One-off cost: £489
Get in touch
Listing Optimisation & Management
A full set-up, review and optimisation of your listing along with continued management to drive continued customer engagement and conversions.
- A full listing review and optimisation (as detailed in the starter package above)
- Responding to reviews
- Working with you to answer further customer questions
- Monitoring your listing and performing continued optimisation where beneficial
- 1-2 posts a week to highlight your products, projects and offers
- Ongoing photo and video uploads (content provided by your business)
- Email and social media copy provided to encourage review acquisition
- A monthly report on the performance of your listing
First month: £649
Ongoing monthly fee: £259
(minimum 6 month contract)
Listing Optimisation, Management and Local SEO
Gaining a more prominent position in the rankings greatly increases the visibility of your business to customers searching for your products and services. Alongside optimising your listing, this involves ongoing work on your own website alongside gaining and maintaining accurate citations – or listings of your business across other websites.
- A full listing review and optimisation (as detailed in the starter package)
- Ongoing management of your Google My Business listing (as detailed in the standard package)
- Development of a review acquisition strategy
- Social media and email copy provided for review acquisition
- On-site SEO recommendations for your website homepage
- ‘Organisation’ Schema implemented on your website homepage
- Citation clean-up and optimisation (10 per month)
- Creation or optimisation of city/geographic landing pages for your website – up to 1 per month
- Monthly Google Maps keyword ranking report (up to 5 keywords)
First month: £1,449
Ongoing monthly fee: £789
(minimum 6 month contract)