Google My Business – What is it and why is it important for boat brokers?
Boat brokers in this day and age need to have a good presence online. As consumers turn to Google and other places around the web on their hunt for their next boat, you want to make sure that you’re doing all you can to be found online. We’ve recently spoken at great length about the importance of search engine optimisation (SEO) and you can read our introduction to SEO here. But today we want to talk about Google My Business.
Google My Business (GMB) is a great tool that you absolutely must be making use of. It can have a huge beneficial impact to your business, helping you become more visible online with just a few small steps. By signing up to GMB, and having a detailed listing set up, you can appear in Google Maps (which is very handy!) and you can improve your chances of ranking well in search results pages.
Read on to find out more about GMB, as well as details on how to sign up.
WHAT IS GOOGLE MY BUSINESS?
GMB is a tool set up by search giant Google. It is described by Google as “a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organisations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps”.
You can create a listing on GMB which will offer potential customers up-to-date information including:
- Opening times
- Google Maps location
- Contact information
- Customer reviews
- Links to social profiles
The reviews aspect of GMB offers anyone searching for your services online the chance to read the honest thoughts of your previous customers. This means they can see what others thought about the boats you sell, the levels of customer service on offer, and what they generally thought of their experience with your business.
Not only are positive reviews proven to help influence people to visit your business, but Google also takes them into account when deciding how to rank your business in its search results pages. This highlights how GMB can help you drive more sales.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
When people are looking for their next boat, they’ll perform a number of searches online. Most will do their research, and then look for boat brokers in their area with searches like ‘boat brokers in Sussex’, ‘boats for sale in Sussex’, or ‘boat brokers near me’. It’s the results pages for these types of search query that you should be appearing in if you want to generate sales through your website. With Google being so influential, ranking well within Google will play a huge part in the success of your online business.
A well-optimised GMB listing that is up-to-date and features the correct details can help your website rank high on search results pages. By not appearing high up in local searches, you may well be missing out on plenty of potential customers.
Hopefully, we’ve made it clear what GMB is and why it’s important to your business. Read on to find out how to sign up to this free and easy to use tool.
SETTING UP YOUR LISTING
To have a Google My Business listing, you’ll need to have a Google account set up. If you don’t already have one, then you can follow this link and set one up. It doesn’t take long at all to create this account, and once it’s done you can get to work setting up your GMB listing.
Follow these steps to set up your Google My Business listing…
1 – Go to the Google My Business website
The first step is nice and simple. Just go to google.com/business and click the big green button that says ‘Start now’.
2 – Enter your business name
First up you should enter your business name. You need to ensure that your business name is written the same wherever it’s mentioned online. This is vital for SEO. So you want to make sure that your business name is the same on your GMB listing as it is on your website, social media profiles, and any other listings you have created.
Once you’ve typed your business name, click ‘Next’.
3 – Add your location information
You then want to add your business location. Similarly to your business name, it’s important that your address is the same wherever it’s presented on the web.
The address you enter on GMB is where your brokerage will appear when people are searching on Google Maps.
4 – Confirm your location on the map
After entering your address, you’ll then be asked to confirm your location on the map. You just need to drag and drop the marker to the exact place where your business is based.
5 – Choose your business type
GMB will then ask you to select the category that best describes your business. For example, you could choose ‘Boat dealer’.
6 – Enter your contact details
You will then want to add your business contact details. These will appear on the listing, meaning anyone browsing the web will be able to get in touch directly from Google. This saves them having to click through to your website to make contact. By removing this extra click, you’re increasing your likelihood of people getting in touch.
As with your business name and address, your contact information should be the same here as it is everywhere else!
7 – Verification
Google needs to make sure that you are who you’re claiming to be, so you therefore have to verify your business. Google will send a postcard to the address you’ve entered with instructions written explaining how to verify your listing.
The postcard can take around four or five days to arrive, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled.
In the meantime you can do the following additional steps…
8 – Additional info
You’ll want to ensure that your listing has plenty of useful information. You should therefore add in details such as your opening times, the services you offer, and a description of your business. Make sure you add as much detail as possible to your business description, as this can help you appear higher up in search results.
9 – Good quality images
Google says that Google My Business listings with photos achieve 35% more clicks through to their website and 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, than listings without images.
So, as you can see, images are important. They make your listing more visually appealing and show off your stock to potential customers. Therefore, you should spend time uploading a variety of photos of your dealership, your boats, and any other things that you feel are relevant to your business. It’s also worth ensuring that only the highest quality images are added.
In order to ensure your listing looks professional, you will want to follow these image size guidelines:
- Profile image: 250 x 250 pixels (minimum 120 x 120; maximum 5200 x 5300
- Cover photo: 1080 x 608 pixels (minimum 480 x 270; maximum 2120 x 1192)
- Shared images: 497 x 737 pixels (minimum width 497; maximum 2048 x 2048)
- They need to be JPG or PNG format, and MUST accurately represent your business.
WHAT TO DO ONCE YOUR LISTING IS SET UP
Keep it up-to-date
When you have your listing all set up and verified, you’ll want to make sure that you keep it up-to-date. If you move locations, change your phone number, or adjust your opening hours, you must make sure that your listing is updated.
As you already know, positive reviews are vital. So make sure that you are encouraging all of your happy customers to leave a review on your GMB profile. This is the most important place to gather good reviews as they positively impact your SEO.
Reply to reviews
It’s also a good idea to make sure that you reply to reviews. If someone leaves you a nice review, why not thank them for it? It’s little things like this that go a long way to showing the human side to your business, and might be an influencing factor in other potential customers choosing your dealership the next time they want to buy a boat.
Sell more boats with the Spidersnet Marine SEO Package!
If you want to get a better idea of what our SEO Package contains then you can view the package here. If you’re interested, and want to speak to one of our team to get an idea of how we can help you drive more organic traffic to your site, then enter your details in the boxes below and we’ll be in touch…