Market your business for free on Google and boost your online presence
It’s Friday night, and you’re looking for a pizza joint. What’s the first thing you do?
1. Open up the yellow pages and pick out a restaurant by cuisine.
2. Open up Google and type in “pizza near me”.
3. Just park downtown and look for one.
Thanks to smartphones and easy access to the internet, most people will choose option “B.” In fact, “near me” searches have skyrocketed in the past few years and are expected to keep growing. Consumers are even taking “near me” searches a step further, with “near me now” searches jumping by 150% and “near me today/tonight” increasing by 900% in the past two years.
Why’s this important to you and your business?
Well, whether you’re a small business owner with a little taqueria in Tamarindo or a catering business in North Carolina, you’ll want those Google searches to find your business.
Make your profile visually STAND OUT.
With 150 million businesses on Google My Business, it’s easy for people to get confused by listings with similar names, not to mention the millions of fake listings out there. The new features from Google My Business give you more control over what your profile looks like, allowing you to stand out online.
Add your logo and strengthen your brand identity.
Google My Business is rewarding businesses that have claimed and completed their profile by letting them add a logo to their profile. Once added, your logo can be found on the right side of your business name and will help customers know they’re connecting with the real you.
Tell your story with the dynamic photo module.
42% of businesses with photos* on their Google My Business profile receive more requests than those without.0%
While you and your customers can add photos to your profile, the new dynamic photo module allows you to select the photos you want to tell your story and update your profile instantly. Google will be rolling out captions for those photos, so you’ll be able to add some context to the images, giving your customers a better look inside your business.
Choose your profile’s cover photo.
Just like in real life, first impressions also count online. Business owners can now select the image they want customers to see first as their cover photo.
Create welcome offers for new followers.
Last fall, Google rolled out a “follow” button on Google Maps, allowing customers to stay up to date with offers, announcements, etc. from your business. Well, now Google is taking it a step further by letting businesses welcome new followers with a special offer with the hopes of turning first-time visitors into repeat customers.
Share your GMB more easily with short names.
If you’ve ever tried to share your Google My Business profile, you know how clunky it looks, with the random combination of characters making up the URL.
Earlier this year, Google My Business started testing out short names alternative in two forms: g.page/shortname and @shortname to make it easier to share. Google is now releasing this feature to verified Google My Business profiles.
Once you register for your desired name, be ready to take advantage of the upcoming update that will allow users to search Google maps using your @shortname.
Access more marketing tools.
Complete your Google My Business profile and gain access to additional marketing tools to help you show off what makes your business unique. Print out posters, stickers, and customized social media graphics, which are just some of the promotional assets available to you with a GMB profile.
Be eligible for the “Local Favorite” badge.
To recognize the top 5% of businesses who regularly update their profiles and are quick to respond to inquiries from their customers, Google My Business is awarding “Local Favorite” badges. GMB is expected to add more badges in later updates.
It’s not yet clear exactly which advantages recipients will receive from this badge, but if you’re a small business looking to catch the attention of prospective customers, this could be that little extra you need.
Show off with the Product Editor.
Why blend in when you’re meant to stand out. Google My Business has now extended access to the Product Editor to all business categories [except for a few disabled verticals] allowing you to showcase each of your products and services with images, descriptions, and prices on both mobile and desktop. Now you can highlight the features that are important to your customers, as well as make it easier for customers to find the products they’re looking for.
Expand Your Reach with Google My Business
If these updates have left you feeling a bit of FOMO? We don’t blame you. With 97% of search engine users searching online to find a local business, a GMB profile should be a big part of your local SEO strategy. Plus it’s the only way to take advantage of these new features.
Google is already talking about more updates for Google My Business in the coming months. They’ve also added more insights, including helping business owners see how their local posts are performing. So isn’t it time to optimize your Google My Business profile? If you’re nodding yes, let’s set up some time to see how the launchSITE can help you stand out from the competition and keep you up to date whenever Google My Business rolls out a new set of features to use.