Hands up if you remember the time when Mum and Dad would whip out the Yellow Pages and flip through to find the phone number for your fave take-out joint. Those were the days…actually no they weren’t. Stuff that, thank god for the internet!
Nowadays the Yellow Pages is pretty damn useless. Unless you’re after a door stopper, squat weight or fire kindling, I guess? But never fear! To fill the dark abyss that Australian Business Bible’s death left behind, there is a new kid on the block.
Introducing <drum roll please!> your Google Listing.
‘So kiddos, who feels like pizza tonight?’
Can you see how this is 500x more efficient than flipping through a freakin’ textbook? Come on!
Ok, enough about the Yellow Pages, that’s not what you’re here for! Last year I attended a Google Digital Garage event for businesses looking to make the most out of their My Business listing. At the event, I learned how to develop and maintain a high-converting business listing and so—because I’m a total gem—I’m here to share it with you!
In this blog you will learn:
How to create your Google listing
How to make your Google listing effective
How to measure your results with Google Insights
Why Does Your Google Listing Matter?
The Yellow Pages bought businesses into Australian homes before digital. It was how we found a company’s address, phone number and opening hours. There’s only so much space on your fridge for business magnets, after all! It was there when your car broke down, when you were looking for a dry cleaner, or if you needed a cake baked for a party. In today’s day and age, Google is there for you instead…roll the tape!
According to Google, Australian businesses with high digital engagement are:
1.5x more likely to be growing revenue
7x more likely to be exporting
14x more likely to be innovating
Enjoying 1.6x more revenue per employee
Search is connecting people and businesses more than ever before.
82% of smartphone users turn to a search engine when looking for a local business.
There’s been a 3x increase in “near me” search interest.
76% of people look at multiple businesses before making a final choice.
It’s now the #1 method customers use to find your business phone number.
Aaand want to take a guess at how most people find your business online? … It’s GOOGLE!
Start typing in your business name. It may show up (like in our screenshot below). If it doesn’t, no sweat. Just click through to create a new one.
Try to be as accurate as possible with the ‘Category’ you set. This tells Google what your business does/sells and will help people find you online.
Pay special attention to the address you enter. If you don’t have a physical office or you work from home, be sure to still enter a relevant location. You can choose to only show your suburb, radius or city in the checkboxes. Easy peasy!
Google will offer you multiple options for verifying your business. Ugh, do I have to? Decide for yourself:
Verified businesses get 5x more business from Google, compared to non-verified businesses.
Optimising Your Google Listing
When setting up or tweaking your Google listing, there are certain areas you should give some extra lurve to. Doing this will set you apart from the retailers who quickly listed and haven’t looked at it since!
“90% of customers are more likely to visit a business that has photos on the Search/Maps result page.”
There’s not a whole lot of room for lengthy copy in your listing so a picture really does need to say a million words. Use quality photos to show off your product, your store and your interactions with customers.
You may remember a little thing called Google+. It was Google’s first shot at a social platform and it didn’t go so well. Anyway, Google hasn’t given the whole social platform thing another shot since, but they do still allow you to upload posts to your listing. Think of it as Instagram, but in search results!
Uploading photos and status updates to your listing is a great way to build credibility, showcase products and share exciting news. There are also options for sharing any current sales or promotions to your listing – this is a great way to drive shoppers in store!
On your Google listing, there are 4 default contact button options: Call, Directions, Website and Ask a Question. Did you know Google also gives users the option to message you directly? Yep, you can give your customers the convenient option to text you directly. We highly recommend turning on this option and downloading the Google My Business app on your phone!
Measuring Your Results with Google My Business Insights
No one is better at simplifying analytics than Google, so you can bet they’ve made your search insights super straightforward. Thanks Googs! Keeping an eye on these insights is a great way to understand not only how well your listing is performing, but also whether your search or paid advertising strategy is working its magic.
Focus on improving the metrics that answer these questions:
How do people find your listing? What are the search terms they are using?
How many people have seen your listing?
How do they interact with the listing? Are they asking for directions? Calling? Messaging? Looking at your photos?
What days have the most activity?
Set your own benchmarks and work on improving week to week. It’s all about being better than you were yesterday!
The takeaway here? Unless your business is trying to appeal to the minuscule portion of the population that still uses a Yellow Pages (we don’t judge!), you need to be focussing on your Google listing.
You can easily spend hours trawling through the internet to find information about Googles services…or you could go right to the source. If you’re a business owner, manager or marketer, Google’s Digital Garage is a great free resource. When you log in, you’ll find videos, quizzes and resources on a wide variety of topics such as Google Analytics, productivity, SEO and paid advertising – it’s super handy and certainly worth checking out!
And of course, we’re always here to help you. If you have any questions, blog topic suggestions or fun facts (I love a good fun fact!), don’t hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alita Harvey-Rodriguez is known as one of Australia's leading digital marketing futurists and the brains behind Milk It Academy – A research-based training firm to advance marketers skills into new school digital leaders and company innovators. For over a decade Alita has worked with global brands including SAP, Experian, SEMrush, TS14+, Estee Lauder, Myer, Power Retail, & Online Retailer.