Raise your hand if you have claimed your Google My Business listing. As I work with various clients in a number of industries, I am learning that a lot of business owners aren’t familiar with the impact a Google My Business listings can have on their overall online presence.
My favorite part of a Google My Business listing is that it’s free to business owners and offers features that significantly impact a small business overall online presence. My small business clients rarely have the budget to invest thousands of dollars into an SEO or PPC campaign. The Google My Business listing is one of the best ways to control content, enhance their SEO presence and create an approachable online platform for their future clients.
GMB is always releasing new features and enhancements to these listings. Among my favorites are the post function, text and the Q&A sections.
The posting feature on Google My Business is an SEO no brainer. We all know that content is king, and adding regular updates about your business is free way to create more content from your business and more content for Google to reference and index when delivering search results. Utilize this feature by sharing business updates, information about sales, new products and more. I encourage my clients to post new job openings within their organization, share blog posts and even post a holiday message.
The data is clear, texting is the way most consumers prefer to communicate. By allowing your potential customers to message your business via SMS message, you’re making your business more available to these consumers and increasing lead volume potential from this platform. GMB also allows the business owner to set a welcome message as an auto response to those who choose to message the business. This way the business owner isn’t bound to an immediate response, and can buy themselves a 24- or 48 -hour window by simply building that into their auto response.
The Q&A section
I love that GMB allows potential customers to ask questions and have our community answer them. Community and connection are the most powerful marketing elements we have in our arsenal and can only be deployed with authenticity and transparency. As business owners, we should welcome feedback, be it within the Q&A platform or through ratings and reviews. Not only do these potentially negative reviews point out opportunities for improvement within our business operations, but they give us the opportunity to show a potential customer how we address an issue with current customers. It’s an opportunity to create loyalty and increase referrals. No amount of online marketing can secure this valuable client.
Small Business Marketing needs to focus on fast, easy and low-cost options to increase online presence and establish a strong presence in the market. Free online listings and free content are one way to start creating that online presence and consuming more space within your specific market.