Why Every Local Business Owner Should Care About Google My Business and What the Heck is a Google Guarantee?
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a company’s public profile that shows to local ‘Googlers.’ Whether someone is looking for a plumber, restaurant, home alarm company, or any company that has actual people in an area, they will see the Google My Business profiles in the form of maps listings:
Why Google My Business Matters
People use it. In fact, more people pay attention to the GMB listings than organic search results in many cases. Take the image below, of the 12,900 times my client was found in the last quarter, over 8,000 of them was due directly to the GMB listing. Here’s the kicker, the company doesn’t even have a consumer accessible location.
Where is Google My Business Headed?
Letting advertisers pay to put their ad in the maps listing wasn’t enough for Google, and to be fair, it isn’t enough for consumers. The last four years have been a wild west on Google My Business, and Google has relied on crowd sourcing reviews to sort the good businesses from the bad on their listings. For the near future, this will still be how most industries are run, but Google just changed the game.
Introducing The Google Guarantee
Google has introduced a unique system that guarantees the consumer quality service for certain service industries with a $2,000 money back guarantee to cover unhappy consumers. Right now, this is limited to very specific areas, but you better believe that Google wants to roll this out across the nation.
Like anything else Google does, they’ve monetized this. Rather than the complex and controllable environment offered in Google AdWords, Google simply asks businesses to pay for a lead.
Prepare To Be Assimilated
Not only does Google show these ads above Google My Business listings, but there are reports of companies being required to sign up for this program in order to even use AdWords. That’s right, it’s not enough to pay Google, but you have to go through their background checks, business license verification, and background checks to even be allowed on their platform. Ouch.
What Can You Do?
There are three things that you should do right this moment to prepare yourself. The first, go to Google Guarantee’s homepage, enter your area, and ask to get notified when they enter your area. Secondly, get some reviews. The Social Proof of reviews does wonders in map listings currently, but they will be even more essential when Google Guarantee comes to where you are. Not only that, but if there are four people trying to get to the top three Guarantee spots on Google, can you guess who’s not going to get shown? Likely the one with the worst reviews.
Here are some advanced tips to help you improve your Google My Business position:
Consistently add dozens of high quality, geotagged photos to your GMB.
- Make frequent posts that highlight special offers and community activism.
- Assume that Google checks KeyWords in your posts to boost map listings, because they just might.
- Set up messaging and have a quick response time. Response time will be a ranking factor in Google Guarantee.
- Respond to every review you can as quickly as you can.
- Ask for users to take and upload photos of your location.
- Ensure your business citations are up to date and high quality.
- Never, ever depart from Google’s guidelines.
Google started Google My Business to be like any other of their products. A free platform for consumers that turns into a profit-generating machine. Keep Google happy and you can share in their success, ignore them, and be cut off from the greatest revenue generating platform in the world.