Google My Business Listings for Local Businesses

 

Hello and welcome to this tutorial about Google Business Listings.

Regardless of your goals, the one most important platform for a local business is their Google My Business listing. Google says: “Google My Business connects you directly with customers, whether they’re looking for you on Search, Maps, or Google+.”

Today I want to share with you what having a properly set up and optimized “Google My Business” listing, or “GMB”, can do for your business.

To do this, let’s first consider some statistics from Google:

Did you know that…

  • 4 out of 5 consumers search online to find all, or almost all, of the local information they are looking for.
  • 88% of Americans search for local businesses on a smartphone and 50% of those users are ready to act and will actually visit that business within one day of their search.
  • 84% of local searches come from a computer or tablet and 34% of those will also result in a store visit.
  • 32% of all of those visitors will actually make a purchase.

Those numbers clearly illustrate how important it is for your business to be found by those doing the searching and perhaps you are already beginning to see the urgency in getting your business listed as soon as possible. However, there is more to know before we jump in and get started building your listing. Source

Let’s begin.

What is a Google My Business listing?

Google My Business is Google’s user friendly tool to help local business owners get some “Google Love” in the search engine rankings and it can put your business on the 1st page of the search results.

From a marketing standpoint, having a claimed, verified, and professional Google My Business Listing is a no-brainer.

The top 10 reasons why GMB listings are a no-brainer:

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#10. Your Google My Business listing is linked to all the other great Google products that perhaps you, and many of your customers and prospects are already using.  For instance, Google Hangouts, Google+, Google Insights, Google Analytics, and more.

#9. Customers and prospects can read and post reviews of their experience with your business and you have the opportunity to reply to their reviews.

#8. Your listing leads people, with just a click, to your website.

#7.  You’ll gain access to Google Metrics.  These metrics show you how many people are finding you and looking at your listing.

#6. You can post images of your place of business, your team, or even your products to your listing.

#5. Google My Business listings are available for both local and online businesses.

#4. Your information is perfectly proportioned and displayed for any size screen including phones, tablets, and computers.

#3. Not only is all the pertinent information easily accessible, but it’s clickable! Google will also show the prospect a map of your location and even navigate them right to your front door!

#2. Google My Business is the ultimate business directory! It includes all of your local business’ information like your business name, address, phone number and business hours.  Your listing makes your information easily accessible to your customers and prospects.

Drum-roll please…

#1. Reason that having a GMB listing is a no-brainer…. It’s completely free!  That’s right, Google does NOT charge for your business listing.

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Chances are, you already HAVE a “Google My Business: listing.

You might be surprised to learn that you probably already have a Google Business Listing.  Most businesses do. Google set out to provide a free listing to every local business and they have been very successful in doing that.  The downside is that about 40% of these listings haven’t been claimed, verified, or optimized so they may not be easy to find in the search results.

If your business listing is unclaimed or, you’ve claimed it and aren’t getting the results you expected from your listing, then this video is for you.

I think the best way to show you how important these POWERFUL business listings are to your business, is to review with you both a well done Google business listing and a poor one.

Let’s get started…

If I was looking for a family dentist in Summerville, I would probably begin my search on the internet by searching for the words “Family Dentist Summerville”, from my computer, tablet, or phone.

Searching from my computer, here are the listings that Google returns to me for that search.

As you can see, there are about 103,000 results for that keyword search and there is only room for about 10 listings on the 1st page of the results.  This is the #1 reason why it’s so important to be listed in the business listings.  They are ALWAYS on page 1 of the search results.

Let’s look at the search engine results page (SERP).

As you can see, near the top of the page, there are three listings along with a map that shows the location of each business.  We refer to this as the listing “3 pack” and this is where you really want your business to be listed.

Above the “3 pack”, there may or may not be paid ads. Paid ads are identifiable by green ad buttons. Paid ads work differently and should be discussed separately.

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As you can see, Google Business Listings provide the name, address, and phone number of each of the top 3 businesses related to my search.  The listing will also show me where the business is on the map, how far away it is from me, and what time they are open today.

We can also see the business’ reviews.  Reviews are important. Do you know what people are saying about your business?  If you haven’t claimed and verified your business listing, anyone can write anything about your business on your listing and you won’t even know it.  More importantly, when someone makes a comment on your listing, you won’t have the opportunity to respond to it. Reviews provide a lot of insight to your prospect in helping them decide whether to do business with you or not.

Also, notice where your eye is drawn in this 3 pack example.  If you have an optimized listing and you are meeting the minimum review requirements, Google “rewards” you with this star graphic that really draws the eye to your listing, whether it is the first listing or not.

When searching from a computer, there may be a link or button to both the business’ website if they have one, and a “get directions” button. If the search is being performed by someone from a smartphone they will also have a “click to call” option, and the ability to click on the listing and be navigated via GPS from wherever they presently are, directly to your doorstep.

Now let’s click thru to the full listing.

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In the above image, the first thing you will see are the business reviews, followed by the business’ category.  Your business may fit into one or several categories.  They will be listed here and it really goes without saying that it’s important to be in the correct category or categories.

Next, is the business information.  Name, Address, and phone number.  It’s important to understand that if you haven’t claimed and verified your listing, this information may not be correct.

A little further down, you’ll see the business hours.  The hours that you have listed here power what we saw on the 3 pack listing before we clicked through to the full listing, so it’s very important that these hours are correct.  If you haven’t claimed and verified your listing, your business hours won’t be listed as you will see in a few moments.

In this example, we see that they have given potential clients the ability to actually make an appointment right from the business listing.  If you are a business that works by appointment, this is a very nice feature.  There are other features for you to consider adding to this area of the listing, depending on the nature of your business.  For example, if your business has a menu, it is possible to provide your menu here.

Next, we have images.  Everyone has heard the old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words”, and this is a perfect example of that. Images give prospects information about your business and help them decide if you are the kind of business they they’re interested in doing business with.  Images of your business location, your waiting room, service areas, your team members, and products all help your prospect and allow you to put your business’ best foot forward.  Good use of images is vital to your Google listing.

Lastly, we can see more detail about your reviews.  See how important these are?  Also, notice the little “write a review” button here. Anyone can write anything about you by clicking this button. It’s widely accepted that almost every business will have an angry or unsatisfied customer at some point who will leave them an unfavorable review.  That being said however, it carries a lot of weight in a potential customer’s mind, when they see a business owner responding to the negative comment. Additionally, it often times saves the situation from accelerating into the loss of the customer who wrote the review. Even if you can’t retain the unsatisfied customer, it shows potential customers that you ARE interested in what the reviewer, your customer, had to say about your business.  They will appreciate that you made an effort to try to rectify the situation and because it is widely understood that you can’t make everyone happy, a bad review doesn’t have to form a negative opinion in the mind of the potential new customer. If your business made an honest mistake, having an opportunity to respond to the review can often save the unsatisfied customer. Further, offering an apology and suggesting a remedy to the problem of the unhappy customer, shows the potential prospect that you really do care about running a business who wants happy customers.

At the very bottom of the listing, is a button that allows the prospect to send the listing to their phone.  Statistics tell us that at least 50% of users who are searching for a local business online will visit or call that business within a day of their search.

Now let’s look at an “Unclaimed Listing” example.

In this example, the Google Business Listing has not been claimed and verified as you can tell from all the missing information.

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As noted above, the address and phone number may not be correct or current.  This business may not even be in operation anymore.  There are no business hours listed. There are no reviews. The only image is the one that Google takes for purposes of Google’s “street view” feature on Google Maps. The user doesn’t have a lot to go on and in most cases they simply move on to another listing. The listing of one of this business’ competitors!

I hope this tutorial has helped you to understand the importance and power of having a great Google Business Listing.  Google offers these listing to every local business and you can get started setting it up yourself right here.

Alternatively and very inexpensively, you can hire a company like ours to professionally complete your listing for you. We will make your listing work for you.  We have the experience it takes to optimize your listing giving you the best possible chance of getting your business listed in the 3 pack.

For just $97.00, we will claim your listing for you, verify it with Google, and present your business in the best possible light.

Just click the “Claim & Verify” button near the bottom of this page and we can get your started right away.

It’s important to note that even after we have claimed, verified, and set up your Google Business Listing, it’s possible that you may not be listed in the 3 pack.  This is particularly true if your business is in a large city or a highly competitive market.  In those circumstances, you will find that the 3 pack is harder to get listed in, but it’s not impossible.  The trick is to do more of what it takes than your competitors, the ones who are in the 3 pack, are doing.

If you are serious about getting into the 3 pack – Our team can provide keyword optimization to your listing along with ongoing monthly tasks and maintenance that it takes to get your business listed in the 3 pack and keep it there, choose our “SEO My GMB Listing package.  It’s just $69.00 a month.  In many cases, getting just one new client, more than pays for those services.

Who We Are and Why You Should Care:

about_us

e-Edge Marketing is a credentialed marketing firm that specializes in the marketing needs of locally owned businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs.

For local businesses, being found online is so much more than just having a website. You must have what we call a “web presence”, which can and should include several different marketing strategies that work together to make you visible to local consumers looking for the kinds of products and services your business has to offer.  We keep this in mind when we structure your marketing plan so that each strategy builds upon and supports another. That presence begins with your Google My Business Listing.

Your online foundation is of course, your website and our website designers aren’t just people who know about graphic design.  They also know that there are specific things that must be done both on and off of your website that enable it to be served up, front and center, to the people who are looking online for the kinds of products and/or services that your local business offers.  Sure, it should look great, and it will!  But we’ll never build you one of those fancy websites that can’t be found on Google.  That’s like constructing a well-lit billboard on a dead end road! We understand it’s more important that your website is professionally designed, user friendly, and optimized for the search engines.

business_owner_too

Hi, I’m Leigha Baer and I’m a local business owner too!  I am the founder and Chief Marketing Officer for e-Edge Marketing.

I founded this business because back in 2008, when the economy was in a very bad place. I saw a very real need for local businesses to be able to keep up with, and compete with big corporate companies for local consumers and I knew how to help them do that.

In 2009, together with a small team of designers and marketing professionals, I launched my company and got to work showing local business owners how to create a web presence that equaled those of the “big guys”.

If you want to know more about us, please visit the About Us page on our website.

What’s really important for you to know is that our marketing department team members are experts in marketing both online and off.  We offer a range of marketing strategies that are specifically well suited to capture the local consumers in your market and depending on your type of business, bring new prospects into your place of business or contact you by phone.

With you and your budget in mind, we create a marketing plan that is customized for YOUR local businesses.

Your business needs to be visible to potential new clients and stay at the top of your current customer’s minds when they need what your business has to offer.  We can help you achieve this.  If you have more questions or want to schedule a consultation, give us a call.  We are here Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  You can reach us at 843-647-0489.

I hope you found this information interesting and informative.  If you need help creating a “web presence” for your business, we welcome the opportunity to support you and help your business grow.

Use the buttons below to get started!

Claim & Verify Option:
If you are ready to get started and you just need help claiming and verifying your listing we can help you.  Here’s what’s included:

This includes:

  • Claim and verify your listing
  • Create a strong representation of what your business has to offer.
  • Add or correct all of your business’ identifying information on the listing.
  • Assign your business to the proper category.
  • Add 5 images

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Search Engine Optimization Option:

If you’re a business owner who recognizes how important it is to be in the 3-pack then we can help you get there too!

This package includes:

  • Keyword Optimizing your listing entries
  • Keyword Optimizing your images
  • Ongoing monthly SEO maintenance to give you the greatest probability of ranking in the 3-pack.

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Last Steps…

After your payment has been made, you will be redirected to a page with the instructions for how to submit your business information and schedule an appointment to get your listing posted to Google’s search results.  In the event that Paypal goes astray and you don’t get redirected to that page, please send an email to Support@e-EdgeMarketing.com and someone will send you the necessary information.

We look forward to working with you!

 

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