How to Use Google My Business to Get More Customers

Want to know how to get more customers? Look no further than Google My Business. Most people who search online don’t, so why should you?

With all the focus on social media these days, Google My Business can get lost in the noise behind Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn. But what most business owners don’t realize is just how powerful an optimized Google My Business profile is. In some cases, it can be even more potent than their website because it’s the first thing people see when they search for products and services.

It’s essential, then, not to let your Google My Business profile gather dust the same way your Instagram might be (don’t worry, we won’t tell!). Google heavily favours active profiles, so the best way to ensure you’re getting the most out of yours is also the easiest – by simply using the tools within the platform itself.

This post will run through the top five features to be using inside Google My Business. Taking our advice will help your business stay relevant, become found online, and get more customers.

Pictures

People like to see what your store or business looks like and examples of the products you sell. For returning customers, it’s fun to see familiar faces and the owner of their favourite local business online. 

Start by adding a logo or a cover photo. If you have just your basic information filled out, Google will display your logo, helping to build brand awareness. By adding a cover photo to your profile, you control what the first image is (and the first impression) customers see when they come across your listing.

Then regularly add new photos of your business to highlight different features, showcase the behind-the-scenes, share new products, and more. Periodically adding new pictures to your profile keeps your customers informed and lets Google know that your business is active, which encourages it to prioritize your Google My Business Profile in the results.

Take it an extra step and rename your photo file to the format business-name-description-of-photo. (Note the lower case and dash between each word.) This format tells Google what the picture is about and helps the search engine properly index it. Doing so gives you an extra boost in the search results.

Reviews

Don’t just sit back and wait for reviews. Ask for them! Reviews tell potential customers valuable information about your business, and the feedback is something that helps you learn and improve.

You can request reviews from customers by sharing a unique link to your business profile. Be sure to verify your business so you can respond to reviews, too. Responding is a critical way to earn the trust of your current and potential customers because it shows that you value input.

Actively Monitor the Q&A

Potential customers can ask questions about your business on your profile. Watch for these and answer them as soon as possible. Responding could help bring them into your store and shows that you value your customers. 

To receive an email when someone leaves a new question, look for the gear icon near the bottom left sidebar and select Settings. Make sure to check the box next to “Questions and Answers” to turn on the notifications.

Messaging

Did you know you can message directly with your customers from within the platform, too? Once you turn it on, customers will see a “Message” button on your profile and use it to Live Chat with you.

We recommend you turn on an automated welcome message so customers receive an acknowledgement right away. But make sure you respond to all messages as fast as possible. Google recommends responding within 24 hours. If you don’t respond within that time frame, Google may deactivate messaging for your profile.

You can turn on messages by visiting Messages -> Settings -> select “turn on messaging”.

Google Posts

Keep your customers (current and potential!) up-to-date by sharing posts about new products or services, share announcements, and promote events. Here is a list of the different kinds of posts you can make:

  • COVID-19: Provide an update due to the current pandemic, including adjusted hours or temporary closures, changes to business operations, safety and hygiene updates, or requests for support.
  • Offers: Share promotions or sales with your customers. A ‘view offer’ button gets automatically added to your post!
  • Products: Add new products that will appear in your ‘products’ tab on your profile.
  • What’s New: Share general information about your business – for example, if you’re a restaurant, you can share a new take-out menu.
  • Events: Promote events happening at your business to let more people know about them.
  • Hours Update: Updating your business hours will advise those who visit your business profile that the new hours are a recent update, so they’ll know the hours are current.

Google My Business is a valuable platform that does so much more than let you connect with customers. It allows you to share important information and updates and keep everyone informed while also readily appearing in Google search results. 

If you’d like to learn more about setting your Google My Business listing to get more customers, sign up to access our Google My Business guide. If you’re looking for help setting up or managing your Google My Business profile, book a free consultation and let’s chat!

 

Why An Active, Accurate Google My Business Listing Is So Important

Have you been reading our blog for some time? Then you know that having an accurate Google My Business listing is essential for driving web and foot traffic to your business, improving your SEO, and helping build your brand reputation through reviews and posts. But what happens when the system breaks and your listing on Google is no longer accurate?

Daniel Gavsie, owner of Aliyah Massage in Montreal, had the unpleasant experience of twice having his business location changed on his Google My Business listing. For reasons unbeknownst to Daniel, after almost two years at his current location, Google updated his street address from Jean-Talon Street West to Jean-Talon Street East – a 30-minute drive away.

“It’s crippling,” said Daniel, who first noticed the problem when a client was 10 minutes late to their appointment. After calling his client to check-in, Daniel discovered the client was lost and looking for the clinic at the wrong end of the street. The client didn’t make their appointment – and Daniel missed out on the business.

“Searches for information are higher this year,” said Vanessa Gingras, an industry expert. “Every time government regulations change, there is a spike in searches. Ultimately, these inaccuracies lead to lost revenue.”

Guard Your Revenue Drivers

During the pandemic, when small businesses are lucky to be open and operating, lost revenue is no small matter. And when clients are already exasperated with COVID and with trying to figure out if businesses are open or operating regular hours, inaccuracies like this can lead to lost business on a larger scale, too. These inaccuracies may include:

  • Loss of new business.
  • Loss of already scheduled appointments.
  • Loss of recurring business from clients upset with travelling to the wrong location.

So how can you get ahead of Google’s automation system, which determines if your information is accurate or not and, sometimes, makes changes without you knowing? Along with ensuring you are updating your business information regularly, having an active listing is crucial.

“Keep updating the listing even if there are no changes,” says Vanessa. “This tells Google you are an active business, which helps it value your business more than others.”

Because Google is a user-centric business directory, it will always prefer listings that it believes are active and up-to-date.

“It’s important for business owners to understand that having an ‘updated’ listing isn’t just about ensuring your hours are accurate. You have to be consistently updating your description, add photos, and so on, to stay relevant.” Doing so sends the right signals to Google, as their algorithms are always looking for business owners who are active and engaged. And why would they be if their listing was inaccurate? 

Agencies Connected To Google Can Help

That’s why, when you’re relying on Google to maintain your online business information, it’s crucial to stay on top of your listing and show Google you are both active and that your information is accurate. While it’s not a fool-proof system, as Daniel witnessed, it’s your best bet to ensure Google leaves you alone and doesn’t try to override the content you’ve created.

If you’re still unfortunate enough to have an issue with how Google interprets your business information, it’s good to associate yourself with an agency. Choosing the right agency is key because some oversee thousands of business listings and work closely with Google to help solve these types of problems. With an agency on the case, these types of issues get solved more quickly than if you’re attempting to navigate the waters yourself, as the agency will have more pull with Google. And, for small business owners, a quick resolution in these instances is everything.

“This error is on every level,” said Daniel. “It’s tough right now. We’re lucky even to be open.”

And Daniel is thankful this problem is now in his rearview mirror.

–––

If you have questions about how you can better manage your Google My Business listing to avoid this unfortunate situation, send us a message – we’re always happy to help.

How Your Car Dealership Can Take Advantage of Google My Business

If you’re looking for a way to get more foot traffic into your car dealership, look no further than Google My Business. Google My Business is a powerful tool that can help raise awareness, drive website visitors and ultimately increase foot traffic to your car dealership. The goal? To help you find new leads and increase sales.

What is Google My Business?

Not to be confused with Google+, Google My Business is one of several listing sites – and probably the internet’s most important. A listing site is a directory where your business can appear. When the listing is correctly set up and managed, the people who actively search for a car dealership near them will be able to quickly find your business. A proper set up in Google My Business makes it easier for potential buyers to discover you and:

  • call your car dealership
  • get directions
  • click through to your website to browse the inventory
  • or share your location with others.

Google My Business is often the first point of contact people have with your business. This makes the platform even more important than your website in some ways. Why? Because Google My Business can become an online hub for your business location. The platform will feature all of your pertinent business information, reviews, posts and updates, events, offers, products and photos.

Also, when you take advantage of all that Google My Business has to offer, Google will understand your car dealership more and be able to point even more qualified shoppers your way.

How Can Google My Business Help My Car Dealership?

No matter how established – or new! – your dealership and its online presence is, there is an opportunity to increase your visibility and the number of interactions potential customers take with your dealership.

Still unsure of how important it is to have your dealership listed on Google My Business? The eight key metrics we track will indicate improved awareness and increased interactions. The metrics we track will show numbers steadily increasing when your Google My Business listing is active and optimized. They are:

  • Total Views:Total number of times your Google My Business (GMB) listing is presented in a given month.
  • Total Actions:Total number of times people clicked through to call, map your dealership’s address, or visit your website from your GMB listing.
  • Action Rate:Total actions/total views. The action rate shows the percentage of people who acted on your business information to learn more about your dealership (for example, called your location).
  • Map Views: The number of times your local listing appeared in the Google maps results following a query.
  • Search Views:The number of times your local listing appeared in search results following a query.
  • Calls:The number of calls made to your dealership initiated from your local listing on desktop or mobile.
  • Directions:The number of times someone mapped your address from your local listing on desktop or mobile.
  • Website Visits:The number of times someone visited your website after clicking from your listing on desktop or mobile.

Of these eight, the two most important metrics we track for our clients are views and total actions. We recently worked with a local dealership with three locations (and therefore separate listings for all three). One of these was brand new, opening just before working with us. Take a look at the trend report below for those two metrics after working with us to optimize the listing at this location (i.e., manage information, reviews, and post to the listing twice weekly):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This car dealership had impressive, business-changing results with all three locations, not just their newest one. For one of the dealerships, our service helped improve views and actions by 88% and 61%, respectively, after ten months of working with us. Results like these represent a lot of new leads – and car sales!

What Happens If A Car Dealership Doesn’t Optimize Their Google My Business Listing?

Every error in your dealership’s information across the internet reduces your chances of appearing in results when potential customers search online.

Without having an active and optimized Google My Business listing, each day you miss out on:

  • Increased awareness of your business (eyes on your listing)
  • Additional awareness by appearing in Google Maps
  • Phone calls to your dealership
  • Website visits
  • Easy directions to your dealership for potential customers right from their current location (key for attracting those who are spending an afternoon browsing dealerships)

In addition, Google My Business helps validate your business, which has an impact on SEO, and makes your dealership more ‘findable’ overall.

Remember the days when you needed a plumber, and you went right to the Yellow Pages Book under P for ‘Plumber’? No plumber in town would intentionally not have their business listed there, and Google My Business is today’s digital version of the Yellow Pages. You can’t afford not to appear there when people are searching for your business.

Not using or not optimizing your Google My Business listing is a missed opportunity.

What You Get For Your Car Dealership When You Work With 10|20 Marketing

When you work with us, you get more than just a quick review to ensure your listing is set-up correctly. We will:

  • Claim business listings online
  • Manage how locations appear across the internet
  • Fix errors in listings that are costing businesses sales
  • List locations on new engines, review sites, social networks and maps
  • Improve search engine optimization
  • Monitor customer reviews and ratings
  • Drive more customers to your client’s locations

If you have questions about how your car dealership can start taking advantage of a Google My Business listing right away, and start seeing more foot traffic on site, send us a message and let’s chat. Want more info on the process and results you can expect as a car dealership? Write us and we’ll happily send you our case study.

It’s The Right Time To Be A Small Business With No Website

Small business owners will often confide in us that they don’t have a website. They’ll tell us that they have a Facebook page, but no website, and they may even feel embarrassed that they’re not properly set up with one. 

We’re here to say, it’s alright! In fact, there’s no better time than right now to not have a website if you’re a small business. 

Reasons Why Small Businesses Might Not Have A Website

In our discussions with small business owners, we’ve run across the following reasons for why they don’t have a proper website set up for their business. The list is wide-reaching:

  • No budget to build one.
  • Have signed a contract with a developer but don’t have time to create content and never got started.
  • Lack the skills to create a website and don’t trust outside suppliers.
  • Worried about maintaining the website after it goes live. 
  • Feel they’re doing just fine with Facebook or Instagram
  • They’re not an e-commerce business so they feel they don’t need a website. 
  • Think nobody would find them or visit their website. 
  • Believe they’re already so far behind the eight ball that there’s no point in having one now. 

These are backed up by statistics as well, as we’ve read that “Small businesses cite cost (26%), irrelevance to industry (27%), and social media (21%) as key reasons behind their decision not to have a website. And while the same article states that at least a third of small businesses don’t have a website, we have reason to believe that even fewer Canadian small businesses have a website

Whatever the reason, these are all valid concerns for not having a website. But not having a website doesn’t mean these businesses shouldn’t be online. 

Let us explain further.

Google Is All-In On No-Click Search Results

What is a no-click (or zero-click) search result? Ever try to book a flight? A hotel? Make dinner reservations? Have you noticed that, now more than ever, you can get all of this done within the first page of Google’s search results? Welcome to the era of no-click search results. While you may never have heard how these results are described, we’re pretty sure you’re familiar with the concept.  

Just so we’re all on the same page,  a No-Click Search Result, as defined by BXB Media, are “when the search engine results pages (SERP) provide an answer to the user’s query within the search results, negating the need for a user to click through to the actual website.”

Here are some examples:

Search for the weather in your neighbourhood and you never need to click through to Environment Canada or The Weather Network. 

Search for “dry cleaners near me” and you get results from your neighbourhood and other related questions. 

The idea is to provide the user with all the information needed so they do not click away from the search engine results page. Essentially, Google wants you to stay on their property longer, so they’re attempting to ensure that the visitor has no reason to leave. ‘

For the local small business owner with no website, though, the no-click search can be an asset if they’re properly aligned with Google. 

How Can Small Businesses With No Website Set Up For No-Click Searches?

Without a website, the goal now becomes to own as much real estate on the search engine result page as possible. And what’s the biggest available spot on that page? The empty right hand side. Or, for the savvy business owner, their listing. And, more precisely, their Google My Business listing. 

Look how much space our client Maison Goldberg Bijouterie takes up on the first page of Google’s search results. 

The whole right side of the page is dedicated to their business, making it an unmistakable destination for those looking for the jeweller – or for a jewellery provider in Montreal. 

In addition, because they’re properly optimizing their listing, adding content, reviews, and questions and answers, the listing becomes a de facto website for the business. If all they needed were phone calls or visits to their location, you could argue that this would be everything they need to drive new leads and customers to their business. 

In addition, this client has been working on getting reviews for their listing. These reviews are a key component of getting new customers to believe in your business and choose to visit your location. The more positive your reviews, the more likely you are to close new business. 

All these elements combined make up the best, most useful parts of a website for many small businesses: contact information, testimonials, photos, social posts and FAQs. The more you update your listing, the more people you can attract to your listing and have call you or visit. 

A Final Word on Websites

Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t have a website. There are obvious reasons why this is important. If you do have one, this makes your listings even more powerful as you can link to your website from the listing, giving people a destination when they discover your business. However, if a small business doesn’t have a website, then they absolutely should claim and optimize their local listings, particularly on Google, because this is the best way to be discovered – website or not. 

The key, though, is to start thinking about being ready for those no-click searches, which means you should be giving web users the chance to know as much as possible about your business on the first page of Google’s results.  

To learn more about how we help small businesses optimize their business locations and be set up for the no-click search, check out our pricing page and let’s set up a discussion.

Do You Have Your Google My Business Attributes In Order?

google-listing-attributes

We write a lot about the power of your Google My Business listing. What most business owners need to realize, though, is that the power of your listing is often made up of the combination of many small things. Reviews, Google Posts, address consistency, proper business description and other key elements help you optimize your listing. Google Attributes is another. Making sure that you have all of these in order is an excellent way to get more views, calls, map clicks and website visits from your listing. We’ve collected some tips for optimizing your Google Attributes here; check out our other Google My Business posts and our case study section for even more benefits of some simple optimizations. 

Defining Google My Business Attributes

An Attribute is exactly what it sounds like: the ability to attach unique characteristics (or, attributes) about your location to your Google My Business listing. Of course, these Attributes will impact search results that could lead people to your business. 

For example, a hotel can list that their rooms have air conditioning, free breakfast and wifi. A restaurant can indicate that its location is wheelchair accessible, offers take out and serves alcohol. A hair salon can state that they specialize in hair colouring, serves coffee and is dog-friendly. You get the picture.

Adding Attributes To Your Google My Business Listing

There are two ways for Attributes to be added to your listing: 

Add them yourself
You have full control to visit the backend of your Google My Business profile and add Attributes yourself. Click on “Info” in the left-hand navigation menu and look for this tag symbol:

Once there, you’ll be presented with a list of Attributes that are relevant to your type of business. Select the ones that apply and they’ll be added to your listing.

Crowdsourcing
Google users are often presented with the opportunity to add Attributes to your listing, as Google will present them with an opportunity to “Answer Quick Questions” directly in the listing. If clicked, Google will then ask simple questions such as, “Is there wheelchair-accessible parking?” and other questions until it is satisfied.

Our suggestion is to add Attributes to your listing yourself so that your business isn’t misrepresented by your customers. After all, nobody knows your business better than you.

Benefits of Google My Business Attributes

So you’re probably wondering what the point of adding Attributes to your listing really is. Well, it’s simple: Adding Attributes helps Google to index your listing for more specific searches. Think of the criteria you use when looking for a hotel, as an example. You may want to make sure that your room will be outfitted with wifi, a fridge, a safe and iron. As a result, you’ll create a very specific search to help you determine where you should book a room. Adding Attributes to your listing will help your business appear as a result of a very specific search. Or maybe someone just searches for hotels in a specific area and uses the Attributes in your listing to make a final decision. Either way, ensuring that you meet the searcher’s criteria is key to getting that booking. So if a competitor has the desired Attributes listed and you don’t, it’s quite possible that the sale will be lost. 

Resources

Are you using attributes in your listing? Tell us about the impact you believe they’ve had on your business!

How to write a description for your Google My Business listing

One of the best weapons within your Google My Business listing is the business description Google allows you to write. Your business description is a secret path directly into Google’s credibility book, as they use your business description to ensure that your business is a real business run by real people. This being said, it’s an excellent opportunity to provide those who land on your listing with authentic content explaining what you do. 

That’s why we encourage our clients to take advantage of their business description – right up to the last character allowed. Whether you’ve worked on your business description recently or it’s been years (see what a difference a year makes, by the way), here are some suggestions to help make it even better.

Elements of an excellent business description for Google My Business

  • Make every character count. You have 750 characters to work with—use as many of them as you can. The more relevant the terms you use within your description are, the more chances people have to identify their needs in your listing. 
  • Think keywords… If you offer unique services, state them. If you sell specific brands, name them. If you use special techniques to do what you do, list them. If your restaurant specializes in certain dishes, bake those terms in. 
  • …But be natural. Like anything you write and put anywhere online, be natural and don’t come across as if you’re a robot repeating the same words over and over. This is a big red flag to Google that may lead to your listing being taken down. 
  • Do not repeat your NAP information. Your Google My Business listing has a function to direct people to your business. Your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) and other contact information are readily available. Even if your address has recently changed, do not waste characters repeating this information in your business description – besides, there are other ways to update your address
  • No links, no URLs. Links will not be clickable, so don’t waste characters on them. Remember, your URL is up in the “Website” button at the top of your listing and you can plant links in Google Posts as well. No need to put them here. 
  • Not the place to pitch. No special offers, promotions or pitches. Period. This goes against Google’s policies and will likely result in your description not being approved. 

What guidelines does Google recommend?

Google does an excellent job of describing some dos and don’ts of their own. Rather than repeat them here, we’ll share a screen capture of their guidelines. 

Need help with your business description?

Our clients often ask for help with their business descriptions. When you sign up for one of our plans, we’re happy to review your business description and help you dial it in. It’s a vital part of your listing and we want to help you get it right. If you’re unsure that it represents your business, we’re happy to work with you until it does. No questions asked. 

Looking for some more suggestions for how to make your Google My Business listing even better? Check out our post highlighting some more ideas

So, how does your business description look? Are you happy with how it describes your business? What are some of the challenges you’ve had in crafting your business description? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Where was your Google My Business listing a year or two ago?

We recently received an email from a client after her dashboard was updated with August data. It turns out that there were some dips in the business’s month over month data. And this created concern and some questions. 

Her email:

It seems that both “Actions” and “Calls” were down almost 50% from the previous month on the Google dashboard – is that simply that people were on vacation? Is it something that should spur action on our part? Just trying to understand it all.

When we received this email, I immediately looked at the data and realized that for clients with seasonal schedules, the month-over-month metric may not tell the right story. The answer to our client’s email was in the year-over-year data. As a result, we pulled this chart:

August 2019

Total Actions

Calls Directions

Website Visits

vs 2017

+158.35%

+175.00% +138.41%

+164.71%

vs 2018

+18.41%

+3.13% +9.76%

+21.88%

Here you can see that though August is a quiet month for the client, we’ve been able to achieve significant growth when compared to the two previous Augusts. 

How did we get here with this particular client? The recipe has been a good one for them and other clients as well. First, we syndicated their business information to 15 of the most important business directories online, including Google, Bing, Facebook, Waze, Uber, FourSquare, and TomTom. This creates a wider web presence for their business and builds consistency across the web for their information. Right away, this helps generate more listing views and actions on Google My Business. 

We follow this up with regular Google Posts. New content on their listing helps plant keywords into Google’s engines and shows that the client is active with their listing. Again, this helps the client build interest in their listing. Reviews, which they also solicit, have been positive and affect their listing in a positive way too. 

Of course, we’ve applied this recipe for other clients and we see similar results. Our case study section highlights some of these successes and shows that for different clients in different industries, the results can be effective and fast. 

To learn more about our services, please head to our solutions section. The case studies on our blog also show how we can impact business in a big way for a very small price

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

We’re often asked about Google My Business and why it’s so important to claim — or own — your local business listing on Google. In this post, we’re going to answer some of the fundamental questions about Google My Business, its importance for local search and break down the what, why and how of this vital business building tool. 

What is Google My Business
(also known as GMB)?

Google My Business is one of Google’s most powerful tools for business owners looking to get found online. It’s free to claim your listing (or profile), which will give you control over how your business is presented across Google’s platform, including Google Search and Google Maps. Whether you’re just getting started with your local business or have been around for decades, claiming your listing should be at the top of your to-do list if you care at all about local search optimization (for the uninitiated: if you have a local business, you care about local search optimization!).

In the last year, Google has introduced new features that allow business owners to post content to their listing. As a result, you can now think of your Google My Business listing as part directory, part social network. 

The directory aspect allows you to publish your most basic business information, such as your name, address and phone number – also known as your NAP. In addition, you can also include business hours, a business description, links to your other online properties and more. As a quasi-social network, Google My Business gives you the ability to post content, such as product posts, social updates, and photos. Together, the combination of the directory and social networking features allows you to attract more views of your Google My Business listing, which leads to more phone calls, website visits and map clicks.

What is the fundamental benefit of being listed on Google My Business?

The key benefit of being listed on Google is to build awareness of your business on the world’s most powerful local search engine. The more information you feed directly into Google about your business, the more times your business will be discovered because Google will present it to search users in organic search results and within Google Maps.

What do you have to do ensure that your business is properly represented on Google My Business?

You need to claim your listing, which means you’ll own it. If your location goes unclaimed, Google may take it upon themselves to create a listing for your business by piecing together information about your location that they find on other websites, directories and social networks. If they don’t do that, then your business simply will not exist within Google’s search and map ecosystems. Given the benefits of being listed – and the power of Google – this could be the biggest missed opportunity your business can experience. 

What happens after you claim your listing?

After claiming your location on Google My Business, your business will need to be verified. This means that Google will want to know that your business is at the location where you say it is. They’ll (snail) mail you a postcard that contains a unique PIN. Once received, you’ll need to login to Google My Business and enter the PIN. Once you do, your business will be verified. 

How To Assess And Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

If your business is listed on Google, you’ve claimed your listing and can see it in search results and on Google Maps, how do you know if it’s working for you? How do you know if you’ve provided Google with the best information? What more can you do to optimize your Google My Business listing?

In this section, we’ll explore some ideas to help you assess and optimize your Google My Business listing. To start, search for the name of your business and bring up your listing within Google’s search engine. Have a good look at it. Have you gone beyond providing Google with the basics, such as your NAP (name, address, phone) information? It’s important to provide Google with a deeper bank of information to help your business become indexed and turn up in more search results.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself and some easy ideas to help you get the most out of your Google My Business directory listing. 

Are you posting social media content to your Google My Business listing?

At the beginning of this article, we explained how GMB is part directory, part social network. A big feature within the social networking component is the ability to add social content to your profile. Posting through Google My Business lets you publish your events, products and services directly to Google Search and Maps. Posts allow you to place timely content in front of customers when they find your business listing on Google. Add pictures, videos, coupons, events or any update you think of. You have 1,500 characters to work with, so make sure you’re as descriptive as possible when creating this content so Google has more terms to index. In addition, make sure to add the call-to-action button. You have several options here, but the important thing is that you drive people to visit or call with the goal of generating business.   

Have you provided Google with a full business description?

Google allows you to upload a description of up to 750 characters. Use every last one to provide a detailed description of your business. Describe your services, products you carry and emphasize brands if you can. Think about what people are searching for and be sure to include it in your business description if it applies to your business. 

Is your logo up to date?

Login to the backend of your Google My Business portal and go to the photos section on the left-hand side. You’ll then want to click on “By owner”. In this section, you’ll see a place to upload a logo and cover photo, much like you can on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. It will look like this:

Simply hit the edit icon (the pencil) and upload the latest versions of your company images to update your profile. Try to name your images with the name of your business and the content of your image. For example, name your logo business-name-logo

Do you have a good number of reviews associated to your listing?

Having a good number of authentic customer reviews is a very important element of your Google My Business listing. Google loves it when your customers leave reviews. The content of those reviews helps you index for keywords searchers are looking for, while the ratings help your listing rank higher on the search engine results page (hint: you want to be as high up as possible!). Ask your best customers for reviews and have them trickle in steadily. Having a steady flow of reviews signals to Google that people show continued interest in your business. This interest translates into more views of your listing. Reviews also offer your business credibility, as people appreciate and value the opinions of others. So don’t be afraid to ask your best customers to leave a review for you. 

Are you taking advantage of the Questions and Answers feature on Google My Business?

Google loves content and likes it when customers or potential customers provide it for you. Encourage the use of the Q&A feature on GMB. Monitor it for questions left for you to answer and then make sure that you answer them with detailed information. If nobody is leaving questions for you, ask yourself some questions. There is no restriction on planting questions and answering them yourself. Think of this section as a FAQ, just like on so many websites you’ve viewed. Ask questions, answer them. Google is always looking for fresh content, especially within its directory. 

Have you updated your listing with photos of the inside and outside of your location?

Photos are an excellent way to attract attention to your listing. Post photos of the outside of your location to provide valuable visual cues for when people want to come by. Photos of the inside of your location can help people feel more comfortable with your business before they visit. Think of it as giving people the chance to connect with the vibe of your location before they ever step foot inside. You can also post pictures of new inventory, your team, and other amenities at your location. 

How Do You Know If Google My Business Is Working For You

After going through all of these optimizations, how do you know if they’ve made a difference? It’s all in the metrics, which Google provides through the admin portal. The metrics you have access to include the number of views of your listing, along with the clicks, calls and website visits generated from your listing, whether on desktop or mobile search. These are just some of the metrics we surface for clients in our monthly dashboards. As you feed fresh content into your listing, it should have an impact on the awareness you can build for your business as Google will be more likely to present your listing in search. Trend these metrics and you can determine a tangible impact and, potentially, an ROI. 

Comb through our case studies and you’ll see how optimizing Google My Business can impact your business too.  

Get our expert opinion

Whether you have claimed your Google My Business listing or not, it’s wise to assess how well you’ve optimized it. If you have any questions for us, we’d be happy to answer them! Get in touch any time.

WAZE, UBER AND NAVMII NOW IN OUR CORE 15 STARTER PACKAGE

10|20 Marketing is proud to now offer three big additions to our Core 15 plan – Waze, Uber and Navmii. While existing clients will be migrated over to our new package, all new clients will benefit from these three tremendous additions to our lineup. With the availability of these three networks, we’re able to help you reach more people with the most important apps and directories. Because we’re committed to ensuring that your business location gets in front of as many people as possible.

With this in mind, let’s take a quick peek at each of these networks.

Why Waze Is So Important For Small Business Owners

Waze is a free turn-by-turn navigation tool that allows its users to contribute traffic reports and report on delays, speed traps, police presence, cams and more. It’s a GPS tool with user-generated input that has 110 million monthly users in 185 different countries. Waze users spend an average of 438 minutes (7.3 hours) per month in the app, turning to it for their commutes, grocery store runs and other daily chores. This is exactly the audience you want to be in front of every day. In addition, Waze is the second most popular navigation app, right after Google Maps. Adding Waze to your web presence is a powerful addition that increases your coverage on important navigation networks.  

Why Uber Is So Important For Small Business Owners

There’s nothing worse than getting a ride and being taken to the wrong destination, particularly if you’re paying for that ride. It’s a problem we’ve helped clients solve over and over again. Being listed with Uber helps solve this problem and gives your customers confidence that they’ll get to you. Why is this service so essential to your business? Consider these numbers

  • 93 million people are actively using Uber
  • There are 3.9 active Uber drivers
  • An average of 17 million Uber trips are taken every day
  • Uber service is available in 700 cities in 65 countries
  • The service represents about 70% of all U.S. hailing business. 

Uber is a key addition for our clients that we’re proud to offer. 

What Is Navmii?

Navmii is a few things. For one, it’s a completely free, voice-guided, turn-by-turn offline navigation app. It leverages crowd-sourced data from over 850,000 contributors. It also is a decade-old mapping and navigation service that provides Google with unique data, primarily about location. 

The system uses crowdsourcing and AI technology to build both traditional map data for navigation systems and HD map data for autonomous cars. Their website goes on to explain: 

The focus of the company is the development of data and tools that enable companies to collect and create map data at a fraction of the cost of traditional mapping companies. Navmii is available in 197 countries and its eOSM map data is available in North America, Western Europe and other key countries. Navmii has already collected over 2 billion miles of data via crowdsourcing, which it uses to create its own map data set.

Getting listed with Navmii puts your business in front of more users, period.

How Our Clients Benefit

We’ve always considered our Core 15 package to include a “Big 5”: Google My Business, which puts your listing on Google Search and Google Maps, Facebook, Apple Maps, Bing and FourSquare. Today, with the addition of Waze and Uber, we can now confidently say we offer a Super Seven. Your location will gain more coverage on better directories and become even more findable online. 

To learn more about our service and our Local Listings Management packages, book an appointment to speak with us today!

Introducing New 10|20 Marketing Client Dashboards

10|20 Marketing’s clients now have Google My Business metrics at their fingertips. Every month, we’re pulling location specific statistics straight from Google and making them available to you via Google Data Studio. Each dashboard is designed to help you see how your metrics are progressing every month, with comparisons to the previous month and trended for the most recent 12-month period.

The dashboards will also show an important comparison: your metrics before and after you subscribed to our services. And that’s what really gets us going! Because with these metrics, we’ll be able to show you the impact of owning, organizing and optimizing your Google My Business presence.

See an interactive sample of the new dashboard right now!

The Metrics You Will See

What will you learn when accessing your dashboard? We’ve mapped out the following:

  • Total Views: Total number of times your Google My Business (GMB) listing has been viewed.
  • Total Actions: Total number of times people clicked through to call, map your address or visit your website from your GMB listing.
  • Action Rate: Total actions/total views. This shows the percentage of people who acted on your business information to learn more about your business.
  • Map Views: The number of times your local listing appeared in the Google maps results following a query.
  • Search Views: The number of times your local listing appeared in search results following a query.
  • Calls: The number of calls initiated from your local listing on desktop or mobile.
  • Directions: The number of times someone mapped your address from your local listing on desktop or mobile.
  • Website Visits: The number of times someone visited your website after clicking from your listing on desktop or mobile.

Plus, for each metric, you’ll have two boxes below where you can review your monthly averages from before and after subscribing with us. This calculation has already helped us turn out some pretty impressive case studies, as the before/after snapshot shows us the impact we’ve had on our small business clients.

How To Read Your Dashboard

Reading the first page of your dashboard is key to understanding the impact we’ve had on your business. Here’s how to get the most out of your board.

10|20 Marketing Dashboard Example

  1. Use the navigation on the top left to change pages.
  2. Use the date filter to choose the month you’d like to review. New data is updated on the 12th of the following month.  
  3. This is the date that you started working with 10|20 Marketing.
  4. The big number is the total for the selected time period. A comparison to the previous month is below and indicates whether the total has increased or decreased month over month.
  5. Each metric has a comparison of your business’s averages. The lighter blue box is your average prior to working with 10|20 Marketing and the darker blue box shows your average after working with us.
    • Note: If there are no metrics for your Google My Business listing before you joined us, these comparison boxes will only show the average since joining 10|20 Marketing.
  6. The charts trend your total Google My Business views and actions. Hover your mouse over the bars to see your breakdown for each data point and your total for each respective month.

Optimizing Your Local Business Listings

Remember, there are several things you can do on your own to help your views, calls, website clicks and in-store visits improve. Here are some quick pointers on how to optimize your Google My Business listing and your presence on the other directories we’ve claimed for you.

  1. Always maintain consistency with all of your listings. If you have changes to make, please let us know so we can apply the same change to all of the listings in your package.
  2. Keep on top of your online reviews. Thank your customers for their positive reviews and help solve the issues related to negative reviews. Show your clients – and everyone who reads your reviews – that you’re responsive and care.
  3. Update your Google My Business listing with social posts. The content associated with your posts will be indexed by Google and help you increase the number of views your listing attracts.
  4. Post pictures to your listing and name these images with the terms that best describe what is in the image, along with your business name.
  5. Answer any questions that may be posted to your listing. You’ll receive an alert for these. Answering these questions help your customers learn more about your business.
  6. Update your business description for Google. You have 750 characters to use for your description, so fill this space with the keywords that best describe the services or products that you offer. This description helps your listing index with Google as well.

We’re happy to answer your questions or arrange to help you with these optimizations as an addition to your service contract with us. We’ve helped many businesses just like yours increase the views of their listing and the total number of calls, website visits and clicks on directions — all to increase sales.

Alerts Coming Your Way

When you sign up with 10|20 Marketing, we’ll be sure to send you an introduction with a link to your dashboard. You can bookmark it or wait for your reminder to arrive in your inbox every month. You’ll be pointed to your metrics directly from the email.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. We’re happy to walk you through the metrics and help you understand how to optimize further!