If you own a business, you’ve no doubt taken an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be calling about your “Google My Business” listing, perhaps insinuating that they might be from Google HQ and telling you something vaguely apocalyptic about it being at risk of deletion unless you take urgent action.
We get those calls as well, and they promptly hang up on us when we point out that our Chattanooga Marketing Company actually manages online business listings like Google My Business. You see, they aren’t really calling from Google, but they may let you think that while roping you in to pay them to manage your listings. Pretty sneaky, eh?
At Riverworks, we don’t resort to those sorts of shady tactics to get new clients: We focus on providing exceptional, responsive service to the customers we already have!
So, what is Google My Business anyway? In this blog, we’ll cover 6 of the basics and let you know what you need to do to make sure your small business takes full advantage of it, whether we set it up and manage it or you do it yourself.
How Google My Business Works
Google My Business is an online tool the tech giant offers business owners to manage their online presence across the web, including how the company appears in search results and maps. GMB puts the essential information that a customer needs to reach your small business readily at hand: contacts, website address, reviews, location information, business hours, etc.
It’s a free service, and you actually don’t have to hire anyone to manage it for you, but as many of our clients will tell you, working with Riverworks can help to optimize your listing on Google and the myriad of other directories we get registered.
For some clients, this means adding photos and detailed business descriptions in the marketing style customers expect. Others take it a step further and ask Riverworks to monitor and respond to reviews from customers when they give feedback on their experience.
Our agency also posts weekly updates to the social component of GMB that keeps your business in front of customers and creates incentives for them to return to buy again. Again, you could do all of this yourself (or leave your listing unclaimed and risk getting passed over by potential customers), but wouldn’t you rather focus your time and energy on the hundreds of details that constitute running your business?
What it means to get your Google My Business ‘Verified’
To prevent just anyone from setting up a new listing in the name of your business – like, say, one of your competitors – Google ties the listing to the phone number specified in the listing. To prove that we have your permission to help you set up your GMB listing, we coordinate with you to enter the PIN number associated with the listing. Alternately, a postcard can arrive at your mailing address in about 5-7 days with the PIN on it. With Google having proof that we legitimately represent you, Riverworks is able to fill out your complete Google My Business profile.
If you need to revise some detail of your business (say, updating hours during the holidays) changing it in the listing can easily be done with the responsive service that Riverworks is known for.
As an official Google Partner agency, Riverworks can also help you manage your locally targeted AdWords program for paid advertising while also doing everything in our power to optimize your website so your organic Google search rankings improve as well.
Google My Business Requirements
A physical or mailing address is required to add your business. If you operate your small business out of your home, we can then change the settings to specify a “service area” rather than publicly displaying the provided address.
We’ve had clients operate secondary companies out of the same building as their main business, so we know how to handle that. We set up listings for companies with multiple locations. In fact, we’ve encountered many challenging circumstances that we were able to resolve after a little research and communicating directly with Google. We can likely save you some frustration.
We’re also well-versed on Google’s quality guidelines, which are meant to offer customers the very best experience and ensure that businesses do not make amateurish mistakes. Our knowledge and experience make your listings less likely to get in trouble. You definitely want to do everything you can to make sure your business has everything in order so your competitors do not get a leg up on you when customers search for companies to fill a need.
Google My Business: Not just for Retailers
Even if you don’t operate a brick and mortar store that shoppers will look up in Google Maps in order to visit, Google My Business offer benefits to other kinds of small businesses in Chattanooga. Service providers also want to get their companies listed. GMB is one of the many pieces of the business puzzle that form to offer a complete picture.
Google My Business is Just One Piece of the Online Business Pie
Speaking of making sure your website ranks near the top in a Google search, it’s also very important that your business is listed on other popular directory sites (like Yahoo Local, Bing Places, TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.), and that the information is consistent across all of them. It’s very easy to make a mistake and enter a business name differently on one platform, sending a signal to Google that your business may not be as legit as other companies that are listed the same everywhere. That is one of the many factors Google uses to determine how relevant your company is to a shopper’s search query.
At Riverworks, we can set up all of your listings and make sure they are the same everywhere. You want the people interested in buying to be able to find you without any confusion over the address, the hours, or any other details that may appear inconsistent. You also want to make sure no opportunities to inform shoppers and encourage conversions go ignored.
Metrics: The Other Advantage of Google My Business
As a business owner, you rely on information to help you make decisions. Without data, you won’t know what your customers want and what adjustments you can make to better target their preferences. In the same way that Google Analytics and Google Search Console reveal a plethora of facts about visitors to your website, Riverworks incorporates Google My Business into our robust reporting platforms so you get a wealth of details and know exactly how to pinpoint your monthly specials and messaging.
Your business may be small and local, but we can help you add a lot of the intelligence-gathering resources that big corporations use to manage their stores and make executive decisions that translate into improved cash flow. When you bring in Adwords, you truly gain powerful tools to help you reach the exact shoppers you want in the places they’re at and at the times they’re more likely to convert.
We get excited about this stuff because we know it works! We’d love to explain it in more detail and give specific examples of how Riverworks can elevate your company’s Google My Business beyond a simple free listing that you might set and forget (until those telemarketers try to mislead you again, anyway).
We’d love to help you be able to tell them, “No, thank you. Riverworks Marketing has my Google My Business covered!”
Blog © 2019 Riverworks Marketing Group
500 Notre Dame Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37412