Although it’s not actually part of your website, a Google My Business page can definitely drive high-quality traffic to your website and any locally-based business that doesn’t have a GMB page is missing out on a big opportunity!
Have you noticed that very often the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) that shows up after doing a Google search based on a business type often lands you at something like this:
That’s a GMB listing and it’s primarily geared by Google to businesses that are considered local. Some examples of these are serviced-based businesses such as barbers, massage therapists, and chiropractors; trade-based businesses like carpenters or electricians; or retailers, restaurants, and a myriad of other enterprises.
A free GMB listing essentially gets you the right to own and operate a nice little mini-website, like what’s shown above. It can display your address, hours of business, questions and answers of prospective customers, and even photos and other graphics. Perhaps most importantly, it can accept and show customer comments, testimonials, and ratings. These are often used by online searchers as an indication of whether to go forward and click on the “website” button that’s on the GMB listing or move on to a competitor with higher ratings and/or better reviews.
Any business that qualifies for a GMB listing is crazy not to take advantage of it! After all, it’s free and potent advertising that could drive significantly more traffic to your website. This is especially true if your competitors aren’t using GMB or don’t rate as high as you.
Good and kind words extolling your business and five-star ratings don’t just appear passively on your GMB listing! You’ve got to drive happy and satisfied customers there to spend a few moments to rate your service and write some praise for the rest of the world to see. After all, what do you think is better: A website rating of five stars with two submissions, or a website rating of 4.7 with two dozen submissions? (I hope you think the latter is better, as I believe most people would!)
Know that you have the ability, as the GMB listing owner, to go into it and respond to both good and bad ratings and comments. If nothing else, responding, ‘Thanks for the kind words, Emily. It was a pleasure to serve you.’ shows your attentiveness to your customers and that you’re actively maintaining the GMB listing.
It can often take a few weeks to fully obtain a GMB listing, especially if you’ve got a physical address that Google will want to send a piece of mail (yes, snailmail!) to in order to confirm that your business actually exists at that location. So plan on it not being just a simple, online application. And also plan on spending an hour or two setting it up because there are lots of aspects of the listing that you can take advantage of. If you need some help here, I’m available.
How do you sign up? Well, you’ll need a Google account (if you’ve got a Gmail address, that’ll do). Just type “business.google.com” into your browser and go from there!
There’s an excellent – and very short – video extolling the advantages of GMB here.
July 7, 2020 Addendum: I just read an excellent article about GMB by an American writer who provides even more information and sense to my blog post. He also provides some step-by-step instructions on setting up GMB.