Have you ever Googled a business or service? We know the answer is yes. And probably pretty often. According to BrightLocal’s recent report, the majority of consumers search for a local business online on a regular basis with 69% of people searching at least one time per month in 2018. With more and more people relying on Google to find and vet businesses, it’s extremely valuable to have accessible and updated information online in 2019. Meet Google My Business.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business allows you to take charge of what comes up when your firm is searched. That includes your name, contact information, hours of operation, location, replying to and interacting with clients, and more. Google makes it easy for you to make and update your profile so you can stand out and reel potential clients in! Even better, it’s totally free.
Google My Business complements your existing advisor website by giving your business a public identity and presence with a Business Profile on Google. The information you provide on your profile will be more easily accessible in search, helping it appear on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+. All in all, potential clients will be able to find you easier and faster.
Why Should I Care About Creating a Google My Business Listing?
1. Information Consistency
If you’ve ever seen your financial planning firm misrepresented online (such as your hours of operation, your phone number, etc.), then you know how frustrating it can be. Perfecting your Google My Business will pretty much guarantee the accuracy of your business’s information in search. It allows you to update your name, address, phone number, and other specifics. For clients that are looking for a reliable advisor, this ensures they’re getting the right information right off the bat. If they get the wrong contact initially, there’s probably no chance of them digging through Google to find the right information.
2. Huge SEO and Visibility Payoff
How many times do you use Google a day? We’re guessing a lot. A ton of third-party platforms also rely on Google for information, so finishing your My Business profile will increase your chance of getting featured on those as well. Plus, Google will have more information to categorize your services, like your industry and location, which will help you show up in relevant searches.
We’ve always stressed the importance of a strong local search presence, and Google My Business can help you hit gold in the local search and SEO departments. According to Hubspot, 86% of people look for a business using Google Maps. Furthermore, 50% of local-mobile searchers are looking for business information like a local address. Obviously, it’s important to provide your correct location. Your Google My Business profile will feed information straight to Google Maps, which will definitely help your local search results.
3. Better First Impressions
Bottom line, having this information updated and easy to access looks professional. The easier it is for potential clients to find information on your firm, the more impressed and happy they’ll be. You have full control over what pops up when your firm is searched, so it’s important you get this first impression right. So, how do you fully complete your profile? Great question.
5 Tips On How to Perfect Your Google My Business Listing
1. Add a Business Description
This is a somewhat newer feature, but it’s super important to nail. Google My Business allows you a short description to show off your business and what makes you unique. You are only allowed up to 750 characters in this space, so use it wisely! It’s important to ensure that your messaging is consistent with your website and other digital channels like your social media profiles. Make your description informative, but don’t be afraid show some personality!
2. Upload Photos
According to Google, businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their website than businesses that don’t have photos. Your listing is a great place to showcase the pictures that represent your business. At the very least, make sure to upload your logo and the picture you’d like to appear first on Google Maps results. You can also consider adding pictures of your team, your office building, your advisors interacting with your clients, or other fun representations of your firm. By now we hope you have awesome photos on your advisor site, too, so put those photos to use by posting them again on your Google listing!
3. Use Google Posts to Promote Events and Special Offers
Google Posts are short 100–300 word posts accompanied by a photo or video, but the post only has a lifespan of seven days. Posting through Google My Business helps you publish your events, updates, and services straight to Google Search and Maps. This means you’re enabling your content to show up on Google Search and Google maps in your business’ knowledge panel. As an advisor, you may want to share a post about a lunch and learn or a seminar you’re hosting on retirement, a special offer on an eBook you authored, or maybe even a special offer on your services.
Keeping posts up-to-date with fresh content will bring more and more users to your website. Google Posts even lets you include CTA, or call-to-action, buttons. By including a CTA, you can push people to take the next step by going to your website. Overall, this feature will help you generate more organic clicks. Boo-yah!
4. Upload Videos
You can now even upload short videos for potential clients to see. Google My Business lets you include up to 30-second video on your profile, which will appear in any search for your company. Video is already a hot digital marketing trend in 2019, so you’ll definitely want to take advantage of this. And since this feature only rolled out about a year ago, it’s still widely underrated. Get ahead of your competition by starting to upload videos to your Google My Business listings today!
5. Add Your Services
This feature was previously only enabled for restaurant listings, but now Google has expanded this category to service businesses from plumbers to florists and even financial advisors! The services area on your Google My Business is a place to create custom service categories and write full detailed descriptions of your offerings complete with prices.