How to Use Google My Business to Generate More Business With Minimum Spend
More Buyers Than Ever Are Searching for Products & Services On Search Engines Such As Google & Bing And This is Killing Many High Street Retailers & Small Businesses. But Smaller Businesses Can Use Online Low Cost Online Marketing Even Without a Website.
Potential customers are getting smarter and are using their smartphones, tablets and PCs to research all sorts of purchases before they buy. This doesn’t necessarily mean they by online, many prefer to go to a physical shop to make the purchase. But any business that can’t be found online is severely disadvantaged.
Strangely enough this doesn’t mean you need a website (although as website designers we know having a good website is a huge advantage). What It means is that you need to be found online.
Where Businesses Must Be Found Online
There are three places to be found by searchers online.
Firstly you need to be found on the search engines when someone searches for a product or service you offer. The problem is that most searches have millions of indexed pages to choose from and getting on Page One of Google is incredibly difficult. For various technical reasons the bigger websites, with lots of traffic, and bigger budgets tend to win this battle.
Although, as advertising experts that want to get found online, we know that if you search for terms like … three types of advertising … we stand a very high chance of being found on Page One of Google. Try it and see if you see our StefanDrew.com website.
The only problem with this is that you need a really good website that can be found online. And in our experience very few businesses have that good a website!
The second way that people search is via Google Maps. This doesn’t apply to all businesses but people that are travelling, and visiting a particular location, will often look for things like hotels and restaurants on Google Maps. But it isn’t just catering and hospitality type businesses that can gain from being listed on Google Maps. I’ll explain a bit more about that in a moment.
The third place people search is on YouTube. The sort of search made is often for “How to … “ type videos. Everything from how to put up a shelf to how to apply makeup, service a car, make a video .. they are all on YouTube.
So if yours is the type of business that would benefit from showing people how to do something .. and then sell them the things they need to do the job, then YouTube videos could be for you.
The Ultimate Place to be Found Online
Without a good website it was impossible to be found online until quite recently.
But look at the following image
When I search on Google for a marketing consultant I discover there are 294 million possible results.
The results page then starts showing me adverts. Someone has paid to appear here. The adverts can be quite pricey, beyond the reach of many smaller businesses.
But below the ads is a Google Map. And my business is shown as number one in a list of three recommended businesses. It hasn’t cost me anything to appear here. All it needs is for me to have a listing on Google. And Google pulls these from other online lists such as directories including Companies House etc. So the chances are you are already listed.
But how do you get to be included in the list of three recommended businesses?
There are hundreds of factors that come into play. The map displayed will always be local to where you are when you search. Google can locate your location using a thing called your IP address. Don’t worry about the details but it’s a bit like you’ve told Google your address.
The next factor is how highly you are rated by your customers. That’s where the star ratings come in. Generally speaking the better your star rating the higher up the list you could come.
But life is never quite as simple as that. Google uses many other signals to decide on your position in their list. And sometimes a business with a lower rating can beat one with a higher rating. We’ve spent a lot of time studying what matters most because we know how powerful it is to get a business like yours on the magic First Page of Google.
Because we understand the rules better than most people we manage to get that number one listing on the maps on Page One of Google.
Of course you might argue that we only appear when when someone local searches for our area of work. That is absolutely true. But there is another side to this story. If you are a local service such as a hotel or restaurant in say York you can appear in the results even if I’m in Devon when I search.
Anyone searching online for a B&B in York will very likely use those words in their search. And the map they see in the results will be of B&Bs in York.
And once again the map shows just three recommended B&Bs.
This means that being high in the Google Map listings is an extremely powerful way to be seen by potential customers. One thing you’ll notice is that hospitality and leisure businesses appearing on the map are seen before the results for the Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia, TripAdvisor, Booking.com. This means that people can come direct to you and book via your website. This way you avoid the commission fees the OTAs charge. This can save you 12-30% in commission fees.
And the principles apply to any type of business. You could be a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker or anything else and could be being found on the First Page of Google.
But as you see only three businesses get listed every time. That’s why it’s important to ensure your details are spot on and that you have done everything possible to get into that list of three recommended businesses.
Some People Search Google Maps Rather Than the Google Search Bar
Not everyone uses the search bar to find businesses. Some go straight to a Google Map and search there. The result they are shown depends on the area that the map displays. They might be looking at map that only covers a small village or they might scroll out and see a whole region.
The three recommended businesses will be based on the area they search.
Look at the image below. The search is for marketing consultant with the map showing the whole of the southwest of England and most of Wales.
More than three results are shown in Google Maps. But we still manage to get at the top of the list.
Our top place in this list is not due to chance.
Our 5 Star Rating Certainly helps. But other places with a 5 Star Rating get beaten by those without a star rating. So, like in the search bar results, the position isn’t solely down to having the best star rating. It’s far more complicated than that. And its business like ours that are winning the war to dominate both Google search and Google Maps.
We’d love the chance to work with you and help you get a highly placed position on Google search and Google Maps. We can’t guarantee a top place, that partly depends on the service you offer to customers and their votes. But as you can see you don’t necessarily have to be the best. You have to understand the rules and do your best.
I’m on 07904 897929 if you want a chat about improving your listing.