As a marketing agency we specialise in seo (search engine optimisation) and specifically getting your business ranked in the map pack (pack of 3) which delivers incredible results for local business owners.
In this article our seo consultant Steve Brown gives an overview of Google My Business.
Want More Customers From Google?
In this video we’re going to look at the second most important thing after your website. If you’re a local business that’s Google My Business (GMB). It’s absolutely critical that you set this up in 2019 in you haven’t already done so. And importantly that you’ve set it up correctly.
In this video, I’m going to cover a general overview of Google My Business and why it’s critical to you if you are a local business. It doesn’t matter if you have clients, customers or patients, Google My Business is going be critical for your digital, online marketing.
Google My Business Access
To access Google My Business, if you don’t have a Google account yet, go to Google’s home page, you’ll see an option there to sign up for an account (or you can Google sign up for a Google account). It’s quite simple (and I’m not going to cover that in this video) but once you have a Google account, you’ll be able to log in (as I have just done as one of our customers) and you’ll see these options at the top and one of them is your drive (these 9 little squares), click on there, you’ll see all the different options you can have, and if you scroll down there’s even more, it’s basically all the different Google platforms – so things like You Tubes, Gmail and Google+ which is becoming obsolete very shortly as Google is stopping this platform.
Google My Business Dashboard
Here is Google My Business. I’m clicking here on the Google My Business button and it’s taking to me to the account of our client DG Heath. If you’re a business that has more than one location, e.g. like a solicitor that may have five outlets within a cluster, you can have a separate entity for each one. Here you have two (the second one was created a while ago in error and we don’t use it). But you can have separate locations eg you may have a location in Birmingham and another one in Coventry and on in Wolverhampton (so all those areas around there). This is where you set these up.
We’re going to have a look at this particular listing for DG Heath, we’re going in to have a look. And what I want to emphasise the importance Google places on all the things we’ve been talking about. We’ve been talking about the Three Pillars, Prominence, Relevance and Proximity.
So here we’re in Google My Business and we’re on the home page. Let’s just look at some of the basic information that Google has put up here straight away. This will help you to understand what Google is looking at when it’s looking at you as a local business.
The first thing I want you to look at here is your latest post. In Google My Business, you come over here to posts and you have the option of uploading posts on a daily basis in the same way that you add content onto your website. The posts on here can be an image, a video, a short description.
So here, on this post that was uploaded 14 hours ago. Quickstep is a particular brand of flooring and DG Heath do wood flooring, engineered wood flooring, timber, decking, composite decking, fencing, they do a wide variety all to do with the home. Quickstep is one of the brands they sell and they’ve put up a very brief description and a link to their website.
Google is expecting you to put posts onto your Google My Business (and I’ll come onto that in a minute).
So we scroll down a bit and what do we see here, Business Reviews. You need to get this. Google is looking for positive feedback from customers, clients or patients. It’s the way the world is driven these days, we all do it on a daily basis. People are always looking for reviews when they’re buying stuff.
So Google, is expecting you have reviews. Looking at this company, they have good score of 4.6 which is basically 5 stars from a total of 23 Google Reviews. They can see the reviews in here and they can see the last one was 4 weeks ago. Google is looking at that as measurable.
Your Local Competitors
You can come over here and look at your business the maps and Google search (and we’ll come onto those). But look at this. Businesses like yours and what they’re posting. So you don’t even need to go and look for what your competitors are posting, Google is pulling it into Google My Business.
In here you can see, this company, Google is showing you all the companies who are posting in Google My Business. But look at this. Today, when I’m recording this on 23 January 2019, this post was posted by this company over a year and a half ago and the most recent one was last September.
So the fact that DG Heath are actually posting means they are beginning to crush the opposition and I’ll show you what I mean by that. So you can see what the competition is doing.
Your Business Photos
You can get messages directly from customers. I’ll cover that in a separate video but don’t forget people are mobile these days, they are on mobile devices looking for your business and your services, and they can message you directly to your mobile phone.
But look over here, and this is so critical with the way the world is moving now. Google is showing the latest photos. So this company, by the very fact that they’re uploading Google My Business posts all the time, it’s adding images into their Google My Business.
Google is monitoring that and I’ll show you in a minute exactly how’s it’s monitoring. So Google is saying, pictures, videos, they’re all an important part of your business and they’re a way for you to showcase your business, including the services and the products that you do.
And you can monitor all of this through Insights which I’ll show you in a minute.
So this is an overview showing reviews, posts, pictures, competitor activity etc. Google is telling you what it’s looking for and even when it’s looking at your business, it’s looking at similar businesses too. So it’s comparing you to other businesses in your area.
Google My Business Insights
Now let’s have a look at Insights. Over here on the menu we can click on Insights. I want to cover Insights to show you the information that Google is giving you.
One thing I’d like to emphasis here, this is a broad view. It’s not detailed like somebody going into Analytics which gives information like how many people have visited your website and how long they stayed on the page, which pages they went to. This is an overview but it’s a very important overview as it allows you to compare yourselves to other businesses and I’ll show you what I mean.
Here you have this circle diagram and it’s showing you how many people searched for your business over the last month.
Direct what does that mean? …. It means someone has gone and clicked here and they’ve gone on the url and they’ve typed in www.dgheath.co.uk/. When you put the url directly into the search bar that’s what they mean by direct i.e. customers have gone direct to your website. So you can see that this company over the last month has had 3173 people going directly to their website which is around 45% of their traffic.
Then you have Discovery …. which is when Google shows you on a search, whether that be a Google Search or on maps.
Let me show what I mean by that.
If we do a search for engineered wood flooring in Swansea. At the top you have the adverts but when you come down here you have the Pack of 3 (or the ABC listings). And you can see DG Heath is listed in the Pack of 3, so they’re listed in the Google Maps (as the ABC Listing is tied in with the Google Maps) and when you come down here to the organic search, their website is showing up 3 times.
So this is what Google means by Discovery. So somebody typed in a key word looking for goods or a service, in this case engineered wood flooring Swansea and Google is showing that it has been discovered.
There are other ways you can be discovered too. Let’s put in DG Heath here and look at that company. Over here you have your business profile. So I’ve done a search for the actual brand, DG Heath and over here Google is showing the business profile.
Google Local Business Knowledge Graph
This shows images, what your business looks like outside, a link to the website, directions, the option to save it to you computer so you can find it easily next time. So this is the business profile for DG Heath but when you come to the bottom of the page, you’ll see the Google My Business posts we were talking about.
But look at this. ‘People also searched for’. These particular companies have shown up in a search too. They were discovered on the business profile of DG Heath, as alternative companies that you might want to go to. That’s what they mean by Discovery, it’s when you show up on a search, whether it’s on maps, whether it’s on a company’s business profile or however it’s discovered when someone has gone onto Google.
That’s what they mean by Discovery.
Your Local Business Branded Results
Branded …. is another important one as you know you’re getting better and better when people search for you by brand.
So over the last month, 47 people did a brand search of some kind of derivative of DG Heath. Scrolling down you can see some of the queries, showing the different ways people have searched for the brand. They’ve even searched just using the word Heath.
Google knows these are all brand searches so when it add it all up, your brand searches show up. And if you keep checking your Google Insights, if you’re doing your Digital Marketing Correctly, you’ll be able to see the results. And you want your brand to get bigger and bigger locally, you want to become the local brand and Google takes all of that into account.
So let’s have a look what else is shown on Insights.
Search Results and Map Search Results
Scroll down below the queries and look at what Google is measuring. Where customers are viewing your business on Google.
There are two options here.
- Listings on search, which is the example we showed previously showing the organic searches, and the other one will be on …
- Maps i.e. when someone has gone onto Google maps to find all the local businesses.
So if I type in plumber Swansea, it’s going to look for all the different plumbing businesses which then show up on maps. When you look at this screen on Google My Business, you can see how many people are finding you day by day on the search engine (in other words you’re being discovered). That’s what is means by ‘listed on search’ i.e. your website was shown.
It doesn’t mean anyone has clicked on it, it means the website was shown as it came up on the search when someone type the key word in. It gives you a good idea of how many queries are going on every day relating to your business.
So this shows searches were made 224 times on 9 January 2019, which shows that people in Swansea have been searching for things to do with timber, wood flooring, decking and fencing. All of those searches have been bringing this brand up on the search engine. So there’s a chance people will click on that listing and go to their website.
Listing on maps is self explanatory, this shows the amount of queries that went through on the maps. So you get a good feel for what’s going on with this company.
Scroll down and you come to customer actions which shows roughly 9.7 thousand views in a month and shows that 10% of people clicked on their listing i.e. 925 actions.
So what happened: 616 went to the website which is great news as once they get to the website, they’ll be cookied and retargeted with banner advertising which in turn helps to drive more traffic back.
112 people requested directions which is fabulous because they actually wanted to go down to the showroom to see the business, place an order, look at what they have on offer. More than likely they’ve had a look at the website and are very interested so decide to go down there.
Then 197 people actually phone the business, making enquiries, placing orders and all that good stuff. So as you can see, there’s a lot of activity around this business.
Here’s another I love about this.
Here’s a business that is located in a little place called Pontardulais, just outside Swansea. (And I want to emphasise that this company is ranking all over the place for Swansea and it’s actually on the outskirts and nowhere near the town centre. It’s a good half hour drive from the centre of Swansea to this particular company.
Here’s what happens.
Direction To Local Business Requests
When people are requesting directions, you can actually see where these people are coming from. You get a feel for your reach. How far people are prepared to travel to your business. Where they are coming from, giving you a good feel for where your target audiences are.
If I have 20 enquiries from Ammanford. Maybe, I’ll want to do a different type of marketing in that area like a leaflet drop. As I’m getting a lot of people coming down from Ammanford.
So fabulous information in Google My Business.
Tracking Phone Calls To Local Business
Then we come down to phone calls and as Google is tracking phone calls, we can see when these calls were made. Remember I said this company does wood flooring, decking, composite decking, garden fencing, timber products … all that sort of stuff.
When I look at the peak times for phone calls, this tells us when people are going to be placing orders for delivery so they can work on them at the weekend.
If you’re a high volume business where you get lots of people interacting with your business, with fast moving items. You’re going to be able to use this to gauge when your peak times are and you want to make sure your phones are manned on your busiest days and there’s always someone there ready to answer.
Remember I showed you on the home page the photos that were being uploaded onto the Google My Business posts. These photos are being stored in there and the maximum you can load is 100 photos.
Google My Business Insights
In Insights, it shows you the importance Google gives to photos and videos. Google owns You Tube so it can monitor all that performance as well.
So in Insights, it’s showing you photo views and telling you how many times images have been shown. And that Google’s aware of (so it could be on Google My Business or on your website). When Google sees these images it measures them. You can see that these images were shown 13,000 times in Swansea to potential customers over the last month. And incredible figure showing how important images are.
And remember when I showed you that the competitors hadn’t been putting up any posts? With the last one back in 2017 or 2018 for one company. If you have people who are competing with you and who are active in Google My Business. You’ll be able to see how their photos are performing. Because, Google will put your competition in here too, giving you an overall picture.
And as you can see down here, where you have photo quantity.
These are all the photos showing in the last month DG Heath has put 74 images up. Customers can also go onto your Google listing and add images. On here they’ve had 9 images coming from customers. And down here, businesses like you. So you’ll be able to see what your photo uploads are like compared to other businesses ad your competitors. This enables you to see how you are doing in your digital marketing compared to your competitors.
This is fantastic information though I must stress it’s an overview.
We’ll cover other sections in different videos. I just want to emphasise look at the things that Google is covering here. Reviews (we keep harping on about the importance of reviews to get you the click).
If we type in engineered wood flooring Swansea again, look at the ads. Would you click on this top ad? It’s spending the most money to get to the top of the list but has no reviews?
Or would you click on the second ad which does have reviews?
If you go down to the box of three. I’d click on any of these as they all have reputation in the form of reviews. When you scroll down on DG Heath’s website they have all of these five stars. When you continue to scroll down, you are going to be put off by the businesses, who have no reviews.
Google really believes in reviews. It helps your business to rank, makes your business stand out and more importantly it gets you the click.
Same with photos, Google is showing your photos everywhere. Essentially, the whole world of how you market your business has changed. And if there’s one thing you take away from this Google My Business overview, it’s please, please, please, in 2019 get your Google My Business up and running.