How does Google My Business Help My Business during the holidays?Greg Swiszcz
There are so many digital terms floating around water coolers and company meetings. One of those terms is “Google My Business Listing.” Has this term come up in conversation around your marketing team? Your executive team? If the answer is no, then pay attention. This is going to be a great tool to help your company. If the answer is yes, then pay attention. We’re going to share with you how it works and why it’s so important.
We’ve put together a complete how-to-guide for Google My Business here.
First, understand what Google My Business listing is. According to Google, “it’s a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. To help customers find your business, and to tell them your story, you can verify your business and edit your business information.” In more simple terms, it’s an online dashboard that allows business owners to have more control over the information Google Displays about your business when it populates in Search results and Google maps.
This tool gives you the ability to manage the information that Google users find when they search for your business or the products and services you offer. From hours of operation to website, street address, and even photos, Google My Business is a tool you want to be using.
Here are a few reasons you want to have a Google My Business Account:
- Google My Business is one of the primary places Google looks for information to populate their search page. And, now more than ever, that initial search page is where people get the majority of their information that they’re looking for. (Almost ½ of all searchers don’t click to go any further. They just use what they find on the Google Search page)
- “Snack Pack” Local Listing is also populated from a business’ Google My Business Listing.
- The information in Google My Business is used to create a Knowledge Graph when someone Googles THE NAME of your business.
- Updating and maintaining your listing will also help with Voice Search. How many times have you asked Siri or Alexa to find information for you? Part of how they get that information has to do with what information people have uploaded into their Google My Business Listing.
Now you know why a Google My Business (GMB) listing is so important. But, this isn’t one of those “set it and forget it” tools. This is a tool that needs to be set up and optimized. Again, use this link to find the step-by step guide as to how to set it up and optimize it. Here are a few things you SHOULD optimize in your listing:
Google My Business Posts:
You can add text, photos, video, gifs, and even call to action buttons. You can promote events such as webinars or open houses. You can promote sales and limited time offers. You can even link to your latest website blog post (yes, your company should be blogging).
Google My Business Questions & Answers:
Did you know that when your Knowledge Graph is displayed or your Google Maps listing, it includes Questions and Answers and those questions can be answered by ANYONE? The guide we referenced earlier has some great tips as to how to manage this section. This article shows you 3 ways you can access your questions and answers.
Google My Business Photos & Videos:
Yes, you should upload photos of your business to your Google My Business Listing so that they show up in your Knowledge Graph and in Google Maps. But, just like in digital advertising, we are starting to see more preference given to videos.
Now that you have an idea as to what Google My Business is and why it’s important (and you’ve read through the step by step guide hopefully), let’s talk about how it can help you, especially during the holidays.
Street Fight Magazine has provided 5 best uses during the holiday season:
- Holiday Coupons and Deals – let’s face it, in the world we’re in right now (not knowing when COVID-19 is going to ease up a little), everyone is looking for a good deal. Because Google My Business is a free tool, it’s a great way to display your sales. Whether it’s a percentage off, a popular BOGO, or just a limited time offer, attaching a coupon or deal to your listing is a great way to catch the eye of your prospective customer.
- If you’re looking for a great digital couponing tool check out Facebook’s new Offer Ads
- Buying Online or Picking Up In-Store – since COVID-19 came into existence, this popular method of purchasing and receiving what we want has skyrocketed. Grocery stores have increased their pick-up in-store offerings. Also, businesses that sell heavy items that may be expensive to ship and even those stores that offer same-day-need items. Also, we’ve seen a TON of restaurants promoting the curb-side pick up options as well.
- New Product Launches – If you have a new product that you’re launching this holiday season, you can include it in your Google My Business Listing so it shows up in the search engine results.
- In-Store Holiday Events – we all know that events are far and few between right now. However, if you do have Santa coming to your store, or even a special sale, you could include a link to have people register right online.
- Store Services – If your business is going to change hours for the holiday season, offer additional services, free services (like gift wrapping), make sure to highlight that.
The holidays are here, people want to spend money, and Google My Business is a free tool you can use to help yours.
If you are using Google My Business in addition to digital advertising, you want to make sure that you are linking your listing to your digital campaign. It’s very important. Here’s why:
If your Google My Business listing is updated, and you have your hours, your specials, some photos etc and someone can find all of this information in a search engine result, they may never come to your website. We call this a “Zero Click” in digital advertising. It means that they found all of the information they needed from the search engine result. Maybe it was on the search page itself, Google Maps, or even the Knowledge Graph.
By linking Google My Business to your digital advertising campaign report, you can get a look “behind the curtain” so to speak. You can see what people are searching for, what they click on, and how they get there.
Here are just a few things you can see by linking to your advertising campaign:
- Overall clicks to their website
- Overall clicks to driving directions
- Overall clicks to phone number
- How many direct searches (customers who find your listing searching for your business name or address
- How many chain searches (customer who find your listing searching for a brand/chain related to your business)
- How many categorical searches (customers who find your listing searching for a category, product, or service)
- Local Post Views Search (customer who find your listing searching through Google My Business Local Posts)
There is a lot of information to be gathered from your online presence, your Google My Business location included. While being able to monitor and optimize all of this is something you can do, utilizing a team like ours will keep you free to focus on the day to day operations of your business.