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Success Stories: How Small Businesses Thrive with Google My Business

Let’s Be Real: Google My Business Stands On Business

Having a strong online presence is no longer a luxury for small businesses – it’s a necessity. With stiff competition and businesses fighting to gain customers’ attention, achieving local visibility can feel like a lost battle.

However, it’s not a lost cause, thanks to Google My Business. We’ve talked extensively about GMB, which is a free tool offered by Google that specifically caters to small businesses, offering them an excellent platform to connect with local customers and establish themselves as a trusted presence within their community.

GMB isn’t simply a business listing or directory resource; it’s an incredibly dynamic tool that allows you to create a comprehensive profile that showcases your brand, services, and offerings.

Think of your Google Business Profile as a digital storefront that appears prominently on Google Search and Maps whenever a potential customer searches for products or services related to yours. This helps build brand awareness, driving more traffic to your website and playing a major role in small businesses’ success stories.

A graphic of a business owner setting up a GMB profile.

There are several advantages of using GMB, ranging from building a steady online reputation to managing customer reviews, which is a crucial factor influencing purchasing decisions. Responding to positive reviews shows appreciation, while addressing negative ones demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction and may be the difference between a one-time customer and a long-term partnership.

GMB also offers extensive insights into customer behavior. It continues logging and sharing data on how customers discover your business profile, the actions they take, and how they interact with your profile, allowing you to tailor your online strategy for maximum impact. This enables businesses to adopt different strategies, including optimizing their profile with relevant keywords, choosing more specific content approaches, and diversifying their reach in multiple ways.

We took to reaching out to various small businesses asking about their GMB success story, and what worked for them. Many of them had varied approaches and saw a significant jump in their reach, which is why we’re sharing what worked for them and how they benefited.

Strategies That Have Worked Well for Small Businesses Across Industries

In liaising with multiple businesses, the Google business profile optimization experts at SearchBerg noticed a pattern. Certain strategies worked well across the board, while other businesses did take a leap of faith and experimented with the methods they used.

Let’s break them down methodically and see what worked for each endeavor and small business to fuel their success story:

Keeping Your Business Information Fresh and Up-to-Date

When 49% of customers use Google and online searches to find local businesses, having a strong Google My Business (GMB) profile is essential. However, contrary to popular misconception, GMB isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it solution. You need to consistently update your information and make sure it’s all current and accurate across all platforms.

You must ensure that your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) trio does impact both, how the algorithm and potential customers interact with your profile. Google prioritizes listings with accurate and consistent NAP information, ensuring these businesses appear first in search results. Missing, inaccurate, inconsistent, and outdated information impacts your rankings and visibility and confuses customers, too.

Additionally, you need to actively optimize your profile to ensure that you’re leveraging trending keywords, local keywords, and user search intent within your content. This combination of consistency and keyword optimization may seem like the bare minimum anyone needs, but it’s the first step to any small business success story.

How Optimizing and Updating Your GBP Helps Businesses

Maintaining up-to-date information on your GMB profile offers a multitude of benefits that directly translate to increased customer engagement and business success:

  • Improved Search Ranking: Accurate NAP information ensures Google will accurately categorize your business and show it in relevant search results, thus increasing your visibility, ranking, and customer engagement. This can be seen through some of the responses we received, wherein a business we spoke to saw a 35% increase in website traffic, a small restaurant experienced a 40% increase in online reservations, and a bakery40% increase in their GMB listing’s visibility, a 25% uptick in foot traffic, and a 30% increase in online orders after ensuring that their profile was updated accurately, alongside other measures.
  • Enhanced User Experience: Imagine the frustration a customer feels upon finding an outdated phone number or incorrect address on the GMB profile of a highly-rated local business and how that leaves a foul taste in their mouth. You need accurate information and clear details to help build trust and create a seamless user experience, encouraging customers to contact you for inquiries or reservations. Two great examples we’ve seen for this were 1) a business called London Gardeners, which optimized their listing and eventually saw a 40% increase in website traffic, and 2) Miss Tourist, a travel resource site that saw a 30% increase in organic traffic after ensuring that their location (home base in Lisbon), timings, and other information were up to date.

These are only some of the many advantages that our GMB optimization agency has previously addressed, which you can learn about in more depth here.

We also recommend working with a reliable service provider who can help you with your GMB SEO, and schedule frequent checks to verify all information on social media pages, business directories, and review websites.

Additionally, you should also be maintaining consistency in the real world whether it’s via receipts, business cards, or even verbal communication.

A screenshot of London Gardeners’ complete GMB profile that includes photo, address, number, and hours.

Regular Content and GMB Posts: The Secret Weapon for Small Business Success

Small businesses need to constantly find engaging and interesting ways to connect with potential customers, and fortunately, Google My Business (GMB) advertising is made easier with its content platform. It’s the perfect way for businesses to connect with their target audience, sharing regular content.

Many businesses, such as the dermatology clinic we spoke to, choose to share weekly GMB posts featuring their products, services, promotions, and highlights.

Boost Visibility and Engagement with Regular GMB Content

Think of Google Business Profile as a digital marketplace where you’re able to display your wares weekly. You can use GMB posts to build your small business’s success story in the following ways:

  • Increased Visibility in Local Searches: The more you share relevant content, the more the algorithm recognizes that your GMB profile is active, which can improve your visibility and ranking in local search results. This helps boost customer outreach when they search for related terms and questions.
  • User Engagement: These posts also keep your profile fresh and interesting, encouraging users to interact. Alongside visual media, you can also share descriptions of your work that spark curiosity, leading to more profile views, clicks, and, ultimately, website visits or calls.
  • Demonstrate Expertise and Authority: This is an excellent way to highlight more information about your products or services and stay relevant in conversations related to your industry. Ultimately, this positions you as an expert in your field as you continue sharing unique features, addressing customer pain points, or offering valuable tips that turn your profile into a value-adding resource.
  • Humanize Your Business: Weekly posts personalize your brand. Let people get to know the brains behind the business, including team members; share behind-the-scenes glimpses; celebrate milestones and post insights that wouldn’t otherwise go up on websites, etc.

Driving Sales and Conversions:

Weekly GMB posts can be a powerful tool to directly influence purchasing decisions and drive sales:

  • Promote New Products and Services: Weekly posts are the perfect way to announce new offerings special features, share discounts, sales, and seasonal events that have a sense of urgency. Use Google Business management to generate a buzz and encourage customers to take action.
  • Drive Traffic and Conversions: Speaking of action, this is the perfect way to leverage a call to action. Promote exclusive online deals, offer in-store discounts for GMB followers, or host contests with GMB entry requirements. Use exclusive CTAs (call to action) to drive conversions. An E-commerce platform we spoke to, named Or & Zon, saw a 40% increase in website traffic with the right GMB posting strategy, while To the Cloud Vapor Store saw a 30% increase in web referrals.

Bonus Tips to Improve Weekly GMB Post Reach

To maximize the benefits of weekly GMB posts, follow these simple strategies straight from our Google My Business experts:

  • Content Variety is Key: Experiment with a variety of content formats like photos, videos, and text posts that appeal to a wider audience base.
  • Post Consistently: Develop a regular posting schedule and stick to it. Consistency is key if you want to keep your audience engaged. A dermatology clinic we got in touch with saw a whopping  60% increase in calls from their GMB listing and a 40% growth in appointment bookings, and if that’s not enough to push you, then we’re not sure what is!
  • Optimize for Mobile: Remember, many people use GMB on their phones, so you need to ensure that your visuals are mobile-friendly and your text is easy to read on a smaller screen.
  • Track and Analyze: GMB post performance data and analytics are valuable in allowing you to see what appeals to your audience, which posts they interact with, and what formula worked.

There’s a lot that posts can offer—you just need to use them intelligently and consistently. Take a look at a client that we’ve worked with:

 A sample Google Business post for Platinum Bridal Colorado

Make Your GMB Profile Pop with High-Quality Media

We live in a time when attention spans are shorter than ever, and information overload exhausts us. But captivating visuals are what truly grab attention and act as a medium of storytelling. Using high-quality photos and videos can dramatically turn your small business into a success story.

Showcase Your Business in Action

  • Ditch the Stock Photos: Quit using generic images and switch to professional photos that offer flattering views of your products, spaces, and services. After all, Or & Zon, a luxury handcrafted goods business, saw a 40% increase in website traffic and a 25% increase in sales after ensuring their GMB strategy included high-quality visuals—and your business could see similar results!
  • Consider Short Videos: Quick, informative videos can be incredibly powerful. These can range from case studies and testimonials to BTS processes or product demonstrations and tutorials that offer value and insights to customers.
  • Follow the Rules: This is a bit technical, but your photos should be compatible with GMB’s size and format requirements. High resolution is key, but massive file sizes slow downloading.
  • Descriptive Captions Matter: Optimize captions with relevant local keywords to help users discover your business, services, and products more effectively. Using captions and images while also promoting their discounts helped DealA They saw a 45% year-over-year increase in online revenue and a jaw-dropping 75% increase in new user addition with this simple strategy.
  • Keep it Fresh: Continue adding new media to your GMB profile as a way to remain active and appealing.

The Benefits of Visual Appeal

There’s no denying that Google Business Profiles with photos garner more attention and traction and offer more benefits to businesses who focus on them:

  • Increase Appeal and Engagement: Eye-catching visuals grab attention and keep users interested, leading to more clicks and interactions with your profile.
  • Build Trust: Professional photos and videos project a sense of legitimacy and professionalism, showing your experience and authority in the industry.
  • Drive Conversions: Engaging visuals can emotionally connect with viewers, influencing purchasing decisions and driving more sales, a strategy that worked exceptionally well for a bakery that saw a 30% rise in online orders by using high-quality images.

Investing in high-quality media isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s a strategic investment that can significantly impact your GMB success. Here’s an example of the famous Magnolia Bakery, a business that owes part of its success to Sex And The City, and how they’ve shared various images of their bakery and their offerings in a visually appealing way:

A screenshot of images on Magnolia Bakery’s GMB Profile

The Power of Responding to GMB Queries and Reviews

95% of customers rely on online reviews to make a purchase, and if you’re not paying attention to the ones you get on your Google Business Profile, you’re missing out.

For small businesses, Google My Business (GMB) offers a valuable platform to connect with customers and hear from them, too. You’re not just displaying information but also responding to queries and reviews, both positive and negative, which helps your small business become a success story.

Let’s get into this in detail:

Fostering a Sense of Trust and Transparency

Your customer should be able to reach out to you knowing that they’ll get a prompt, helpful response that addresses their concerns or queries. Why? Because responsiveness does the following:

  • Demonstrates Attentiveness: Prompt replies to GMB queries show you care about customer needs. This helps build a connection with your customers, who feel seen and heard and are likelier to choose you over competitors who might seem unresponsive.This also encourages further interaction, potentially leading to additional inquiries or website visits, ultimately driving sales.
  • Increases Transparency: Addressing customer questions openly and honestly builds trust. From small things like reiterating business hours to sharing product and service-related information or simply acknowledging a compliment, you’ll create a line of open communication and transparency through public interactions. It also inspires trust and encourages potential customers to choose you over competitors who offer little to no added value.

A review on the Google Business profile of Platinum Bridal Colorado with a response from the owner

Turning Feedback into Growth:

Customer reviews, both positive and negative, offer invaluable insights into your business. By engaging with them, you show a commitment to continuous improvement and strengthen your brand reputation. They’re an opportunity for sustained growth and improving your digital presence.

  • Turning Negatives into Positives: Negative reviews are a gateway to exceptional customer service. Respond promptly, acknowledge the concern, accept your mistakes or shortcomings, and offer a resolution. Even the most terrible experience can turn into a positive one while showcasing your commitment to customer satisfaction and even converting an unhappy customer into a faithful one.
  • Emphasize Appreciation for Positives: Positive reviews are a chance to express gratitude and build stronger relationships. You’ll build long-term, repeat customer relationships with something as simple as a heartfelt thank you or acknowledgment. We’ve heard

Leveraging Responses to GMB Reviews:

To maximize the benefits of GMB responses, implement these Google My Business SEO strategies,

  • Develop Response Templates: Craft templates for common queries to save time while ensuring consistent and professional responses. Personalize each response with the specific details of the query.
  • Respond Promptly: Aim to respond to all queries and reviews within 24 hours, especially negative feedback. The quicker you address concerns, the less likely they are to get out of control and garner added traction.
  • Maintain a Professional Tone: Even when responding to negative reviews, maintain a professional and courteous tone. Be solution-oriented and avoid being defensive.
  • Track and Analyze: Monitor your response performance and customer sentiment over time. This can help you refine your approach and tailor your communication style for even greater impact—this is something that showed immense promise for London Gardeners, who saw a 25% increase in sales inquiries, and other businesses such as Miss Tourist, To The Cloud Vapor Store, and DealA.

Responding religiously to GMB queries and reviews is a small investment that can yield significant returns. It’s the quickest way to foster a sense of customer loyalty and engagement and ensure that your clients feel seen, heard, understood, and valued, playing a major role in your small business success story.

The Consistent Customer Engagement and Review Reminders

Unfortunately, a one-time transaction with a customer isn’t enough. For small businesses, their success story hinges on fostering long-term relationships and building a loyal customer base. The key lies in consistent customer engagement and post-service reminders for reviews, interactions, and follow-ups. Here’s how some of the businesses we spoke to (including a restaurant chain, an E-commerce platform, a digital marketer, a dermatology clinic, and others) went about this:

Staying Top of Mind with Reminders:

Let’s say a customer has a fantastic experience with your business, but because they’re not sharing their review online, their positive experience will go unnoticed. This is where you can leverage post-service reminders to act as a friendly prompt, encouraging them to engage with your GMB profile and share their feedback.

You can also encourage customers to interact with your GMB profile in other ways, such as following your page, checking out your latest posts, or browsing your service offerings, pushing them to come back to your page off and

A graphic depicting multi-channel reminders, including email, text, and post to send nudges to customers.

The Art of the Gentle Nudge:

The key to effective reminders lies in being firm without being pushy. Keep these tips from our Google Business management service in mind:

  • Timing is Everything: You want to space out reminders and avoid overloading customers with immediate requests. Wait for a while before you reach out, allowing them to fully experience the value of your service and ruminate on the positives.
  • Multi-Channel Approach: Choose a combination of email and text messages for reminders so you can meet varied customer preferences and increase the chance of your message being seen.
  • Keep it Simple and Clear: Your reminders should be brief, informative, and easy to understand. Clearly state the purpose (requesting a review, encouraging interaction), and offer a step-by-step guide (if prompting for a review), which is something one of the businesses we interacted with did. This led to a 40% increase in their review volume within 6 months!

Consistent customer engagement and well-crafted reminders are investments, not a burden. It’s all about going a step above and beyond the initial sale and building a long-term connection. When you prioritize consistent engagement, you’ll notice your customer base growing in the best way.

Set Up Your Digital Storefront Through Our Google Business Profile Services

We’re here to make your small business a success story through our Google Business Profile optimization services.

We have an arsenal of tools and a wealth of knowledge that enable us to design customized strategies comprising multiple elements, including Google profile and business postings, social media, and more, using the latest tools and solutions.

We’re committed to bringing your business to the point of success in both the digital and physical world and helping you connect with your customers more effectively.

Get in touch with us to learn more.

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