There’s a high chance you’re losing more business than you’re gaining – and it’s going right to the pocket of your competitors. Why? Read on…
We all know Google. We search everything on it. Heck, our entire lives are surrounded by Google. “Google it,” we always say. And that’s just it: people are Googling you. They’re searching for your business. Which means you’re either being found, or you’re not.
Being a local business, it’s easier to be found – and ranked – than if you’re an online blog servicing the entire globe. With Google My Business Listing, it’s easy to find businesses around you – for exactly what you want.
As an example, open a new Google search, and type in a business near you… for example, “vet Mt Hawthorn.” Potential customers always Google whatever type of business their looking for – dentist, hair salon, vet, optometrist, etc – along with their suburb/town.
You’ll notice the first thing that appears in the search results is a box, a map, and three businesses. That’s the Business Listings.
The first three are simple – St Francis, Vogue Vets, and My Best Friend. I can guarantee these three vets are receiving more phone calls, and more doggy patients than any of the other businesses.
If you tap “More places,” this appears:
Notice how there are more businesses listed? North Perth Vet, and Perth Cat Hospital are here – but they won’t be receiving anywhere near the amount of phone calls, website visits, or walk-ins than the top three results combined.
Simple. People always trust the top-3 businesses to appear in the Google search.
Which means if you’re not in the top-3 listings, you’re losing business.
if you’re not in the top-3 listings, you’re losing business
How To Appear In The First 3 Spots on Google
First, you have to decipher whether you have a business listing already, or not.
If you bought the business you own – chances are, the previous owner has one. Google yourself, and see if a listing appears.
If you started the business yourself, and you know for a fact you don’t have a listing – you can easily claim your business.
When you have your own business listing, this means you’ve “claimed” your business on Google. When you claim your listing – Google sends you a physical letter, with a code, to prove you own the business.
Step 1: Claim Your Business
Start by going to Google My Business, and click “Get On Google,” or “Start Now.”
You’ll then be prompted to sign into your Google account, or, if you’re already logged in, you’ll receive this page:
Step 2: Verify Your Listing
Once you’ve filled in all the information about your business – your location, the services you offer, your opening times, payment methods, etc – Google will send you a physical letter in the mail with a special code.
This can take 3 – 4 weeks, sometimes less.
When you’ve received the letter, make sure you follow the steps listed in the letter (it always varies, but it’s easy to follow).
Pro tip: Make your Business Listing as transparent as possible. The more information you have, the better you’ll rank in Google. Include your opening times, payment methods, and photos.
Let’s dive into what happens when you’re in the top-3 listings on Google:
How To Track Calls When You Have Your Listing
When your listing is set up, Google gives you access to manage your business listing. This includes “insights” into how many people are searching for you, how many calls you’ve had from your listing, visits to your websites, and directions requested.
Here’s how you find it:
Step 1: Login To Your Business Listing Account
Head back to Google My Business, and you’ll find your business listing.
Here, you can edit your details, if you ever need to change anything.
Step 2: Go to “Insights”
When you’re logged into your Business account, click on “Insights,” found below your business name, in the bright blue bar across the top of your screen.
You’ll see insights like this:
If you hover over the blue discovery bar, you’ll get an accurate amount of searches by people looking for businesses like yours.
If you hover over the green direct bar, you’ll see the amount of people searching directly for your business, usually by typing in your business name.
The above will show you where people are viewing your business on Google – either by Google search, or on Google Maps.
This section here – the Customer actions section – shows you how many calls you’re receiving, how many visits to your website, and how many people are requesting directions to your business.
This is where you find out how many people are coming to you because of Google.
The business I’m showing you here – a hair salon in Berwick, Victoria – had 139 calls from their business listing in the last 4 weeks.
139 calls = new clients.
That means money.
To show you the value of being in the top-3 spots on Google Business Listing, this is the business of the insights you just read:
Allura Hairdressing is on spot 3. If they’re third – and receiving 139 calls in the last 4 weeks with no paid advertising, they’re rolling in new clientele.
Now that you know the value and importance of having your Google Business Listing in the top-3 results, you must get your listing taken care of.
Start by claiming your business listing, or if you already have one, make sure you’ve got plenty of photos, plenty of real customer reviews (Google know if they’re your friends or family… remember, they have access to the people you email!) – your listing will slowly grow higher and higher among the search results.
Finding new business is all about being found.