How To Increase Brand Awareness Using Google My Business – Secret Strategy SEO Tips
Are you struggling to get brand awareness for your business?
If you’re bootstrapping your marketing efforts, Google My Business is one such tool you’ll want to leverage in your business toolbox to create visibility and brand awareness for your growing business.
TIP This works for both brick-and-mortar AND home-based businesses.
Lisa shows you step-by-step how to claim and build your Google My Business page, optimize it for website traffic, and verify it.
Are you struggling to get brand awareness for your business?
Google My Business is one such tool you’ll want to leverage in your business toolbox to create brand awareness. This tool allows you as an entrepreneur to manage your digital presence without doing any extra work on your website. As you optimize your digital presence on GMB, you can easily display all kinds of company details, including your website link, contact information, location, and any current promotions you’re running.
A quick aside: GMB is not a replacement for your business website. GMB is a compliment, a secondary platform to help potential customers find your real home. It gives your business a public identity and presence on Google. You’ll want that advantage as you build your brand awareness.
GMB serves as yet another touchpoint for your customers to find you when they’re on the pain awareness journey. So, don’t neglect this potential avenue for customers to find you.
Claiming your business on GMB ensures accurate details about your business and maintains brand consistency on search engines. Remember, you’re competing with 30 million other companies in the US alone, so you want to take advantage of every service and tool available to you.
A quick note: GMB isn’t just for brick and mortar businesses. If you’re an author and you’re wondering whether establishing your digital presence on GMB is appropriate, I say hell yes! If you’re sending mail to customers or eventually want to create virtual meetups, this is an excellent way to start building brand awareness. When bookstores, libraries, and other public-facing properties are allowed to reopen, you’ll be able to take advantage of the local aspects of GMB platform.
As you optimize your digital presence on GMB,
- you’ll earn customer trust as you attract attention to your brand’s existence,
- strengthen your online reputation as you boost your local presence
- drive quality leads and traffic to your website when you provide accurate SEO information
- build brand authority as you create and share updates
What’s more, you’ll maximize your chances of appearing in Google Search, Google Maps, and on Google’s Local 3-pack.
In the end, GMB SEO is vital to your online success.
And now, I’m going to show you how to set up Google My Business
If you haven’t set up your Google account with a root directory yet, check out my video (see video) on setting up your Gmail that sets the foundation for your online brand visibility.
Let’s get into it step-by-step.
Claim Your Business
There are 2 ways to do this: type in your business name within the Google Search bar and finding your establishment along the left side of the map.
If someone has claimed your business, follow the steps to reclaim it. I’ll provide a link in the description below. https://support.google.com/business/answer/4566671
I typed in the general word hardware to see which stores popped up. The folks here in Seattle are pretty good about claiming their businesses. For this shop Fasteners, it appears that no one has claimed their business. So, if you were the owner of this business, you could click on the link that reads Own This Business to help support your brand visibility.
Select manage now, confirm the name of your business and go through the process of setting up your GMB account.
If you don’t have an established business, type GMB into the Google Search bar.
Under Find and Manage, type Your Business Name
Choose the category that fits your business best. You’ll notice that the business category search bar auto-populates as I type. (I’m choosing Camera store)
Be mindful as you choose your category. There are more than 3,900 GMB categories available. The key to choosing the right category is research. Choose a category that describes your business and not your services or products. This important point is critical to the success of your business – especially if you have to pivot to include an essential service or pivot altogether.
Google’s guidelines stipulate that your primary business category should be your specific niche market. The more specific the category, the lower the competition and the higher the chances of landing at the top of Google search results.
Because you can’t create your own category, make sure to choose the nearest possible category to your business type. If there’s no specific category that describes your area of expertise, settle on more general classification. If you’re still unsure, check your competitors to see what they’ve chosen. You’ll want to show up in those search results, too.
In addition to selecting one primary category, you can also select up to 10 secondary categories. I recommend that you stick to a few specific, highly-relevant classifications.
Do I want to add a location customers can visit? Not at this time. It’s a mock business and we’re in the middle of a stay-at-home mandate. So, I’ll just select no at this time. There are no penalties for selecting no.
Where do I want to serve my customers?
For now, I’ll start in my home town of Seattle WA
I could select other neighborhoods, but I’ll stick to the greater Seattle area.
Because it’s a mock business, I’ll add only my phone number (because I don’t have a URL yet)
Here I’ll add a mock business description for entertainment purposes only. Later, you will want to write a comprehensive and engaging description. This is an opportunity to share your useful information about your company brand -like your mission, brand message, and offerings to help build and support brand awareness. This also helps all people determine if they’re your customer or not.
If you’re not quite sure what your brand message should be, consider signing up for my upcoming free brand masterclass.
A quick tip for you:
Remember to use your selected SEO keywords that you want to capitalize on to become an authority in your niche.
Here’s a prompt to add photos of my business but we’ll address that later in this video.
My business profile is almost ready.
I’ll click the Continue button
Tada. GMB dashboard is waiting for me to add all of my business details.
As of July 2020, this is what the GMB landing page looks like. It could change tomorrow. Apologies if it doesn’t appear this way to you today.
Here we’re presented a dashboard with 2 columns of information that you’ll want to complete as much as possible.
The right side of the menu is larger and it’s filled with prompts as you begin.
GMB is also encouraging you to get a custom email for your business. I strongly refraining from doing that now. You don’t have to get a GSuite immediately. You can do so much with this bootstrapping Gmail account you’ve just set up. (Again, the link to the video is right here)
It’s also prompting you for reviews and to claim free ad credit. We’ll ignore those for now.
Verify Your Business
I’m going to verify this mock business by completing my address. Google is going to choose which businesses to verify more easily than others. Typically, it’s a postcard by mail with a secret code. Other times it’s instantly a text message to the phone number you’ve connected with your GMB account or an email. In the case that you have more than one location, you might be eligible for bulk verification.
Remember to verify your business, otherwise your claim on Google My Business won’t show up in the search results.
Leverage the posts section. This is a terrific way of boosting your brand awareness. Make use of as many discrete areas that include add offer, add product, add updates, and add event as you can.
Today, let’s create an update. Updates are like having a micro-blog in that helps keep your online identity fresh and up-to-date. Any blog postings you’ve created for your own site can be posted here, too.
Creating a post on behalf of Copernicus Cameras, I’m inviting folks to drop off their camera for repair.
We’ll consider COVID-19 as threat that’s going to be around for the next year and we’ll plan accordingly. Yah, I know. The thought is harrowing, but we’ll prevail. I’ll set customer expectations by asking them to book an appointment and wear their mask. This lets each customer know that I will honor their time and room to conduct business -without other customer encroaching the 6’ space.
I also add a photo to support my brand visibility. After all, what’s visibility without an image? Aimiright? Photos are key when crafting a post with text. You know that adage, “A picture is worth a 1000 words?” In this case it quickly deepens the level of understanding of meaning for the brain when paired with a literal photo of the product I’m servicing.
Remember the shout out to authors earlier? This goes for anyone who doesn’t have a brick and mortar: You can create an event – virtual, in person, or otherwise.
A note on the Offer Section.
Some may say this is where you should offer discounts, but I’m not of that mindset. When you teach your customers how you want to be treated, this sets expectations. Heck, I want coupons for my toilet paper, too. If you offer them a discount right off the bat, then they’ll expect one each and every time. I show my clients how to offer value over discounts to earn respect and stay in business. That kind of value is sustainable.
For service-based businesses, I strongly recommend that You place your lead magnets here. This will get your potential customers into your sales funnel and onto your email list. Who doesn’t want that?
Google My Business has done a fantastic job of prompting you to add a CTA to each post. This helps you determine why you want to create a post in the first place -the value you’re providing your customer- and assisting you through the steps to achieve a great offer.
According to Google, businesses with photos on their listings receive 42 percent more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35 percent more click-throughs to their websites than businesses without photos.
So you can see how vital photos are when optimizing your business for search.
When you do add photos, ensure that they’re high-quality images. High-quality images attract great customers and influence them to buy. It also improves the performance of your GMB page -and you want that to maximize your brand awareness. Think of this as virtual curb appeal. People like doing business with businesses that look great. This attention to detail lures potential customers and they begin to trust you.
Believe it or not, 95% of the decisions that people make to work with you are based on design alone. So, don’t just throw your product out in the middle of a field and call it a day. Your product photography has to provide some context in order for potential customers to relate to it.
Spotlight features of your business products and services. These will help customers begin to tell a story in their head about you. Product assembly photos are a beautiful way of helping customers understand how to use a product. Products photos featured in their final environment, like a chair on the porch-if you’re a furniture builder, or a planter on a set of stairs leading to your front door if you’re in construction, or a mug of coffee in your hands if you’re either a potter or a coffee brewer. Make your product shots the hero in each image.
For service product shots, consider the after-effects—the benefits—your customer feels and responds to when they’re either working with your service or once the service is complete. What does that feeling look like? Are they rested with their feet up on a stool? Are they exploring the great outdoors with their cameras because you just fixed their lens?
Don’t forget to add a few photos that include business staff working and/or assisting customers or shots of the interior and exterior of the business.
Strive to have the same emotional feeling in each shot -this can be translated through using the same photographer who has a consistent eye or a light filter that helps to make all of your photos either cool or warm, depending on your business culture you want to convey.
Photos should be at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall, and either a JPG or PNG.
Be sure to change the generic file name like IMG_2020 to CopernicusCamerasLensRepairService.jpg. The name identifies who you are and your service. If a customer is looking for lens repair service, your image is going to pop up in their feed.
Confirm that your photos are properly cropped and clutter-free.
Take advantage of any customer photos uploaded to your account. This is called user-generated content (UGC) — studies show that UGC posts receive 28 percent more engagement rate than standard brand images. This isn’t a free pass to rely solely on customer photos to anchor brand awareness. Some photos can be dodgy and marginal and unbefitting to your brand. But some photo hobbyists love taking photos of everything (me included) and the quality may just surprise you.
Consider adding videos to your profile. Google recommends 30 seconds or shorter, 100MB or smaller, and 720p or higher. Videos aren’t a make or break deal, but can help set you apart from your competitors.
If want to learn how effective all your efforts are on GMB, return to your GMB page at least once a week to track Insights. Insights allows you to see how many times people are finding your listing, reviewing your business information, or how many driving directions requests to your location.
You can also see which photos they’re viewing, if they’ve taken the link to your website, or picked up your lead magnet.
All this for free.
Now I want to challenge you to claim your business on GMB and make use of their free tools!
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