THE FREE ONLINE MARKETING TOOL THAT EVERY ILLAWARRA BUSINESS OWNER SHOULD BE USING…
The Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report that was published earlier this year cited that 62% of customers will stop considering a small business if they can’t find information about it online. Online marketing as a whole can be time consuming and daunting for small business owners, which is why an increasing number are choosing to outsource this to a professional digital marketer. For business owners who are comfortable getting online themselves, there are a few steps you can take that give good “bang for your buck” when it comes to digital marketing.
This is the first in a series of articles to help you set up your Google My Business listing in an optimal way and how you can improve your visibility online by making the most of this free tool. When used well, this feature can really help you grow your local business and if you’re trying to reach new customers online, this should be one of the first things you spend time on.
Having your local business appear in the top of the Google “map pack”, its’ basically the equivalent to having a full page ad in the Yellow Pages a few years ago under the category your business falls in to. If you’re not sure what the “map pack” is, try Googling a service in your local area such as “emergency plumbing”. You’ll probably see some sponsored or paid ads at the top of the results page, followed by a map with up to three listings shown within that box. This section is referred to as the ‘map pack’. Sometimes, Google will have already created a Google My Business listing for you based on other data it has scraped from the internet, but according to statistics, more than 50% of Google My Business listings go unclaimed. Of those that do claim their businesses, many people aren’t claiming them properly. Key takeaway here: Get this right and you’re ahead of the pack!
HOW TO CREATE YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING:
To find out if you’re business is out there to be claimed, or to create a listing from scratch, you need to go to:
Click on the big green button that says “Start” and follow the prompts to create a Google account if you don’t already have one. It’s free and it’s pretty straightforward – just enter the details of your business and you’re on your way.
Rest assured, Google doesn’t let just anybody create a GMB listing – sadly there are dirty players out there might try to set up fake listings and sabotage their competitors. Google takes steps to verify your listing by sending you a physical postcard in the mail that contains the verification code you will need to finalise the listing. This process can take up to a week and it can look a little like junk mail, so if you have someone else who sorts the mail for your business, I’d suggest wording them up that you’re expecting it to avoid it ending up in the recycling. Once you’ve entered the PIN online, your business listing is verified and live within minutes. It’s that easy.
DO YOU NEED A WEBSITE TO CREATE A GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING?
Google doesn’t display a ‘map pack’ for every search term, but it is becoming more prevalent when it comes to local services. If you have a website, your GMB listing will boost your websites’ quality ranking within the search engine, so it will appear higher in the results where there might not be a ‘map pack displayed. If you don’t have a website yet, don’t wait – go ahead and claim your GMB listing now and you can always link it to a website down the track.
Stay tuned for some further advice on how to optimise your listing and make it stand out from your competitors by following my Facebook Page or checking out some of my other articles at www.topgongdigitalmarketing.com.au