If you found us by searching Google for social media marketing, SEO or digital marketing companies in NI, chances are you’ve seen our Google My Business (GMB) listing.
GMB is a free tool offered by the world’s largest search engine to help businesses get found locally. A Google My Business listing is a handy online snapshot of a business, allowing customers to quickly find the info, products or services they need online. It’s not just for digital marketing companies or social media companies.
It shows important information about the business such as its opening hours, the products or services it offers, its address, phone number and website address, as well as images, reviews and offers or updates from the company.
Like all digital marketing companies in NI, we believe every local business needs a strong online presence. But even if you don’t sell online, have a website, email your customers, or do social media marketing, your business should have a Google My Business profile. Here are the key benefits of Google My Business:
Most people go online to find local businesses
Even if you’re a traditional, bricks and mortar business, your potential customers will look for your product or service online. From plumbers to restaurants to funeral directors to accountants – in 2021, most people do a Google search when they want to spend money.
Currently, 87% of online searches happen on Google, so your business needs to be visible on the search engine giant. Google My Business is a free and powerful tool, allowing people to find your business on Google easily via Google Search and Maps.
If someone searches for “restaurants near me”, at the very top of the local search results page, Google will pull together the three top-ranking restaurants nearby on Google Maps. It will do the same thing if a person Googles “gardeners in Belfast” or “furniture removals in Co. Antrim”.
Having an up-to-date, optimised Google My Business listing significantly boosts your chances of featuring in these convenient and highly visible groups of search results.
Gather and showcase reviews
If most people use the internet to make their spending choices, then online reviews are essential for convincing a potential customer to buy from you or make an enquiry.
Your GMB listing is a quick and easy way for customers to leave reviews. If you respond to reviews, the customer will get a notification, which is a nice way to engage with them post-sale and keep you top of mind. It’s also good for potential customers to see that you are responsive to reviews. Although nobody wants a negative review, dealing with them politely and constructively is an opportunity to build a good public image.
Valuable insights on customer behaviour
As one of NI’s leading SEO companies, we know Northern Ireland businesses have a huge opportunity to use Google My Business profiles to gather detailed marketing data.
For SEO, it’s important to know how many people are finding you online, who they are, what search terms they use, and what they do next when they find you online.
Your Google My Business listings will show you how many people are clicking on your profile, your posts, and your photos, all useful information to determine how well your search optimisation is performing over time. You’ll be able to see the different search terms people put into Google to find you, which can give lots of insights into what’s important to them and the problems they want you to solve. You can use this information to inform product development, marketing and also content creation.
It also offers demographic information, so you can see a report of who is finding you, broken down by factors including age, gender and location. This is useful information you can use for defining your market and market segments.
GMB also shows you the actions people take when they find your listing on Google, including how many people call you directly from your profile, how many click through to your website, and how many people share or comment on your posts. The data can show you which content is most effective, help you see what stage of the buyer journey people are at, and see how your market prefers to connect with you.
Despite its huge suite of features, Google My Business is completely free to use and you can update it as much as you like. Indeed, it works best when it is regularly reviewed and updated.
Posts allow you to share news, offers, events and content, and they expire after 7 days, so creating new posts at least once a week is what digital marketing and SEO companies will recommend.
Repurpose your content
Your GMB posts are a great way to increase the reach of your social media and/or blog content. As well as driving traffic to any offers or events you are promoting, posts allow you to share news and information.
You can include images and graphics too, so we think it’s a great way to bring your content marketing to a new audience. Publish a snippet or a highlight from your latest blog or social post, and use the buttons to link through to the full piece of content. It’s a free way to make your content go further and reach new people.
If you would like to chat about improving your local SEO or utilising Google My Business, give us a call on 028 3833 9100, email email@example.com, or send us a message directly from the website.