Reach Out to Local Traffic with Google My Business

Joe Towner

Posted by: Joe Towner

Reach Out to Local Traffic with Google My Business

It has never been so important to maintain existing business relationships and to be visible online so that we can continue to develop new ones. With premises beginning to open and some organisations continuing to work remotely and spread out across disparate locations, it is vital to keep connected.

Now is the ideal time to focus your marketing efforts on some essential housekeeping to ensure your business is ready now lockdown is relaxing. It is a good time to review your strategy and polish your current presence to connect with both current and potential new customers in new ways.

Google My Business (GMB) offers a unique way to integrate web presence, local advertising and social media-like communications into one platform. Completely free to use, GMB is perfect for local SEO and when fully optimised and used correctly, can be a powerful tool to drive clients your way in both digital and physical terms.

Getting started with Google My Business

Google My Business is simple to set up. All you need to get started is to be logged into the Google account you use for business.

Once you have signed up for GMB, the user-friendly platform will talk you through the required information needed for postal verification.

You will typically receive a code through the post within a week or so, which you will add to the portal where indicated to verify your business.

This will put you, quite literally, on the map for local Google search.

Now you have your GMB ‘real estate’ its time to start making it work for you. You can add business-specific details and photos, connect with your local clients with short posts, announcements and news, make the most of geo-targeting in your ads – and much more.

Five top tips to optimise your GMB listing

1. Make full use of Geo-Targeting

The use of mobile is growing all the time – this is not new news. Local searches are increasingly being carried out by mobile users looking for something specific right now. This is the key element to remember – they are often out and about, on mobile and are ready to buy your product or service. Don’t simply add your company’s base city but add as many locations as are relevant to your business.

2. Post often

To make the best of GMB, think of it as you would a social media page and post regularly to engage and connect with your existing and potential clients. Share links to blog posts and video, product reviews and other useful information that will resonate with your clients and give your business a personality.

3. Add images

Adding photos to your GMB profile is one of the most important ways to get the most from it. Make sure you optimise your images for local search and that they are of a good quality before resizing, otherwise they will appear blurred.

There are different categories of images and addressing each of them can make a real difference. Google recommends a minimum of three images in each category:

External images – this makes your business recognisable as your customers approach from different directions.

Internal images – try to capture the atmosphere of your business with some great internal shots. Show them what to expect when they arrive and be truthful!

Product pictures – showcase some of your most popular products. If you offer services rather than products, try to show what you do in pictures. If you were a guesthouse, for example, you’d add some great images of the facilities or the food.

Team photos – show your customers who you are. This is a more personal connection with them and can help to put new clients at ease if they can see you’re a friendly bunch of people. Today, social connections are as important as business ones and plenty of good images can help to humanise your business.

4. Add as much detail to your GMB profile as you can

Fill in every available option with as much detail about your business as possible. Make sure your clients know about everything you do, the support you offer and add any terms and conditions or delivery information.

Double-check opening hours and adjust these when you need to close. Be extra careful with opening times in local search, as if you aren’t open when you say you are, you’ll lose the client that came to find you – maybe for good. Update holiday hours and lunchtime closures too.

Google reviews

GMB displays your reviews and scores your business accordingly. Encouraging happy clients to leave a review is a key part of creating a profile that truly reflects who you are. Many new clients will read the reviews before they even step foot in your business, whether literally or digitally. Regularly check your reviews and reply to them to maintain the connection.

Google will provide you with a link for your clients. Add this to the footer of your emails and gently encourage your existing clients to leave you a review.

Want to take GMB to the next level for your business?

GMB is an easy way to get started on your business marketing and SEO for free and Google offer plenty of resources to help you get it off the ground. If you want to take it further, GMB can become an integral part of your marketing strategy, particularly when it comes to local search targeting.

Using the insights section of GMB can demonstrate how and where your clients are coming from and analysis about your listing, queries used to get there, what actions they took when they arrived and much more. This can be extremely useful in determining the user journey and can help to focus paid campaigns as well as organic ones.

J&L’s approach is fully integrated with SEO and user journey best practice and we delve deeper into the current and historic analytics to find the best way for you to reach your goals. Please get in touch if we can help you make the most of your GMB presence.

Joe Towner

About: Joe Towner

Joe is a Principal Systems Developer who has led the design and build of a variety of website and IT projects, drawing on his technical expertise in PHP7, HTML5, Windows/Linux servers, requirements analysis, web applications, web services and e-commerce.

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