Can Local SEO & Google My Business Skyrocket My Local Sales in 2020?
Spoiler alert: Your business needs to be on Google My Business….
The days of phone books have come to an end. Your target audience is innovative, savvy, smart with time and tech intuitive. While they still rely on other people’s recommendations, they don’t shy away from doing their own research; especially on the internet (let’s face it, normally Google).
We all pull out our smartphones and ask Siri questions, ask Alexa advice, or do quick Google searches about the brands we are interested in, the kind of services we need or where we can find a product or place near us. With these answers at our fingertips, businesses need to be switched on and think about how their brands will come up in search queries……
What better way to do that than getting listed on Google’s very own free business listing platform? That’s right, we’re talking about Google My Business listings that you can use to make yourself easily accessible to your potential customers and clients.
Want to know how Google My Business listings can help boost your business in 2020? Yeah, of course you do….read on.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is essentially a free online tool from Google that helps businesses manage their online presence. Like any other online directory, businesses create and claim their Google My Business listing and populate it with all important information that can help their customers and potential clients make an informed decision.
Google My Business is nothing but a database that Google uses to pull up information about your business and display it to its users. It is what Google uses to show information on the knowledge panel result whenever someone searches for particular keywords or a business name. Ok, so how they hell do you use it?
How to set up a Google My Business listing
Setting up a GMB is a relatively easy process. Like all tech, there may be some glitches but stick with it! Follow these steps to kick start the GMB listing process.
- Log into your Google Account that you use with your business. If you don’t have one, create it one….just need a Gmail address to kick start.
- Go to the URL – google.com/business, and once you reach the page, click on “Start Now.” You’ll find this option at the top right side of the page.
- You’re now in the process of creating your account. You will need to add your business name and business address here.
- If you deliver to people at home, then you can click on the box, “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” If you do not want to share your address, you can select the option – “Hide my address (it’s not a store) only show region.” If you chose this, you can choose a delivery/service area.
- Select the category of your business (the most accurate one). This is used by Google to help you get the exact kind of customers you are looking for. You’ll find there are over 2000 categories ….gulp.
- Add your business website and phone number in the details. It’s very important to note that the NAME, ADDRESS & PHONE NUMBER should be the same across all your online platforms. Google calls it your NAP. If you use the same NAP on your website, your GMB and social media it’s easier for Google to verify you are one and the same.
- Select the verification option so that your business can be considered as a genuine one by the customers. If you are still not ready to have it verified, select the opportunity “Try a Different Method” and then “Later.”
How Google My Business boosts local sales
There are so many ways Google My Business listings help businesses boost their online clicks and sales. Let’s go over some of the most important benefits of using Google My Business in 2020:
1. Show Up on Google Maps
Local customers are looking for local solutions. If you create a Google My Business listing, it helps you get closer to local customers looking for help online. Let’s say you sell sports equipment. If someone in the local vicinity searches for the nearest sports shop, Google will pull up information from your listing and help your business show up in the results.
2. Show Up in Google’s Local 3-Pack
Google’s 7-Pack has now become Google Local 3-Pack. This highly sought after list of businesses is known to boost the visibility of all businesses listed in it. Google Local 3-Pack doesn’t just make your business show up on Google Maps, it also helps it show up before the organic results. Did you know that businesses showing up on Google’s Local 3-Pack enjoy a 700% increase in clicks?
3. Establish trust in customers
Internet users trust Google for how quickly it produces accurate information for them to consume. They (we…I!) rely on Google when they’re deciding on what purchasing decisions to make. From a behaviour psychology POV, consumers tend to trust search engines to give them the best options, answers and solutions, so why not get your brand ranking highly on the back of this research? This unmatched trust can be leveraged for boosting sales for your business. If you create a Google My Business listing and optimise it to perfection (worth carrying out monthly local SEO too), Google will start showing you on its SERPs. There really is no better place to be than at the top Google’s SERPs if you’re looking to earn trust from potential customers or clients from an online search.
4. Boost Website Traffic
Local businesses often find it challenging to maintain a solid stream of traffic for their business website. In order to generate highly qualified leads in 2020, one simply has to have a Google My Business listing! The more you offer GMB with content, offers, incentives etc, the more you are likely to show up in local searches and attract location visits from browsing potentials. Be savvy with your keywords. Make sure your website is optimised for your monthly SEO work. Quality content, optimised keywords, speed downloads and up to date information will work a treat. Oh…and photos – they are fabulous for attracting your audience. If you are a fashion shop – get those beautiful cameo trousers or seasonal frocks showing up in HIGH RES.
5. Get Ranked Higher on SERPs
We all know what it means for a business to rank at the top of a search engine results page (without paying ads). Creating a highly optimised Google My Business listing will only improve your chances to rank higher – want to be found? Keep on top of your GMB account. All you need to do is provide consistent, quality content and accurate information about your business across all Google platforms. If you are really want to get there faster…..then outsource to a Local SEO Agency will get you there quicker! (when I say outsource….we mean to us!!!)
6. Increased Engagement
To get the most of your Google My Business listing, you need to generate engagement. Google My Business profiles help you engage interested customers as all they need to do is tab a few times to connect with you. A consumer or potential client has complete access to your website and phone number through GMB; we all want speed and we want everything now….so with GMB we can BUY from you directly, accept an OFFER directly, send you a MESSAGE directly….
7. Free Google Advertising
While it’s tempting to spend your hard-earned cash on Google advertising, we’d suggest creating and claiming your Google My Business listing first and working on the content and link building seriously hard to build up your domain’s authority. Google tends to like a domain that’s been established for more than 2 years, so if your website is new…..work on your free GMB account – this will be the most cost-effective way to “advertise” on Google. GMB is essentially a form of fast and free advertising on Google that can even be optimized for better targeting. That’s not to say Google Ads don’t have their place, just be strategic with keywords and be prepared to see them drop off your rankings if you end a campaign.
Google is becoming more and more sophisticated in its algorithms that determine user intent and behaviour on its search engine. It’s important for your business to take advantage of Google’s quest to make businesses more visible online. Google have brought out GMB to make it easier for us searchers to find relevant, fast and accurate answers. Google would like us all too support local businesses. Team Pickled Ginger highly recommends you create your Google My Business listing today. Looking for help? Connect with us today as we can set things up for you in no time AND if you’d like to get ranking faster through targeted and strategic local SEO work, we just need to know your industry and location to give you honest feedback about what we can do and how we can do it.
Want us to send you a questionnaire to see if we can help? Contact us and quote LOCAL SEO.
Thanks for reading and we welcome your feedback. Elaine and team.