You can secure some free advertising from Google with Google My Business (or GMB) — a no-cost tool from Google that allows you to configure how your business appears in Google searches and on Google Maps.
With GMB, you can update your business information (like hours or address), provide quick links to your site, respond to reviews and share photos of your business.
The tool is especially important for a handful of industries that can take advantage of special GMB features — like a field for menus and the ability to upload photos of your work. Knowing how Google My Business can help grow your company will be key if you want to attract new customers and drive more sales this year.
4 Business Industries that Will Grow Thanks to Google My Business This Year
1. Restaurants and Cafes
Restaurants are some of the biggest beneficiaries of tools like GMB. All the key features of Google My Business — like the ability to provide your hours, address and a description of your store on a side panel in a Google search — are great for businesses wanting to help customers know when they’re open, where they are and what to expect.
One of the biggest benefits for restaurants, however, is probably going to be the availability of features that let you add links to your GMB listing. You can use Google My Business to add links to important pages, like your menu, your site, and, if possible, your online ordering page or reservations form.
You can also recreate your menu directly in your GMB listing. Both you and your customers can add the names of dishes your business serves, as well as photos of the food. This will offer potential customers a quick and easy way to see what kind of food you serve,
This menu will also help Google determine the price range for your business — represented with one to three dollar signs — which will further help prospective diners know if your business is in their price range.
2. Small Retailers
Like many small businesses, local retailers will benefit a lot from the basic features that GMB offers. Being able to respond to reviews, update key info about your business and link out to your website or an online catalog can help you build stronger relationships with your customers. These features will also help you streamline the online shopping experience, helping customers move from research to storefront as quickly as possible.
What makes GMB especially useful for small retailers is its Posts feature. With Posts, you can quickly post updates about your business — including changes to your store hours, new products and upcoming promotions.
This gives you a powerful, free marketing tool that you can use to show customers who are already interested in your business important information. This can help you secure a sale or, at least, make sure a potential customer doesn’t show up while you’re closed.
GMB also includes some excellent analytics tools, which help you learn how people visit and interact with your Google listing. This information can help you further optimize your GMB listing or better tailor your services to customer needs.
Google My Business provides an excellent complement to other marketing methods that work great for painters — like Facebook ads, an effective business website and lawn signs.
With GMB, painters can provide a phone number and the hours they work. This will help customers get in touch and plan to schedule their painting job. Because some painters don’t have an office for customers to visit, providing easy-to-find info on contact methods via Google search is a great way to ensure that potential customers are able to get in touch.
You can also use your My Business description to give potential customers a little more information on what kind of painting work your business does — like commercial projects, residential projects,
One of the best features, however, will probably be the ability to add photos and create Posts with images. Using these features, you can quickly upload some pictures of the work you’ve done. For example, add photos to show off home interiors or commercial exteriors that reflect the quality of your work.
4. Barbers and Hairdressers
Like many other businesses, barbers and hairdressers will benefit significantly from the baseline GMB features, like being able to update your hours and address.
Barbers and hairdressers will also benefit from a handful of other GMB tools. One such tool allows you to create a “Book Online” button that links directly to your site’s booking form. This makes it easy for customers who need a haircut to move from research to action as quickly as possible.
You can also use the Posts feature to show off your work and include photos of customers satisfied with their hair. This can help you give customers a visual on the quality of your haircutting services.
GMB offers a few different post types, like Events, Offers, Hours updates and What’s New posts. Knowing the difference between these types and how to use them will help you communicate key info about your business and potentially draw in customers.
Using Google My Business to Grow Your Brand
GMB is one of the best tools available for small businesses that want to attract new customers and grow their business. Features like online booking links, posts, menus and reviews can help you demonstrate what kind of work you do. This in turn will help you to build stronger relationships with your customers.
For restaurants, small retailers, painters and barbers, among others, GMB is especially important. Adopting GMB and optimizing your listing may be essential for growth over this year.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.