There’s no doubt that Google is the most powerful search engine in the world but it offers so much more. Among the plethora of tools is one true gem that many people underestimate and that is Google My Business.
In this two-part blog series, you will learn how Google My Business has helped a Garage and Tyre Depot take their marketing to the next level. We will share some expert knowledge, real-life examples and real data with astonishing results.
Optimising Google My Business
As any digital marketing expert will tell you, a well-optimised Google My Business (GMB) listing can significantly boost your chances of showing up in a Google search while increasing local search traffic. This is something you would normally expect from running costly PPC campaigns and yet, GMB is free (at least for now).
Whilst anyone can create a Google My Business listing, partnering with the right agency, such as WSI eMarketing, means you could greatly improve your online reputation and boost sales in the process. If you’re a garage or tyre depot, buckle up as this case study will reveal the true power behind GMB.
What’s The Purpose Of This Case Study?
Google My Business can benefit any business but this case study focuses on Garages and Tyre Depots with one or two sites up to 20+ locations or centres. You will discover how WSI eMarketing helped a prominent UK Garage and Tyre chain save big on ad spend while generating more business. But first, let’s briefly look at how GMB works and why it’s important to have an optimised listing.
Please note that for confidentiality purposes, we are not using any imagery from our own clients. All of the GMB examples are from North America and based on completely different industries to avoid portraying anyone from the Tyre and Car Servicing sector in a bad light with bad examples. Thanks to WordStream for some of the North American examples.
How Does Google My Business Work?
An essential part of GMB is that it provides a certain amount of social proof. That means it collects feedback about your business from unbiased third parties – from reviews and photos to experiences of customers who have visited your premises.
In addition to giving you incredible search visibility, GMB also provides you with a business information page. Think of it as a mini-website which has been laid out with the type of information Google understands people want to know when searching for a local business.
As a result, a GMB listing provides a clean, uniform way of displaying things like business hours, special offers, a menu and description of services, prices, photos, and customer reviews. It also provides other info Google injects from their own data like how busy the location is at different times of the day and days of the week.
Recommended: ‘Google My Business: Tips For Beginners’
GMB Example: Bark City Doggy Daycare
The Google My Business listing of Bark City Doggy Daycare is a great example of how effective it can be as a ‘mini-website’. This profile has all the basic information plus a whole lot more. From showing popular times (which means customers can more easily book at quieter times!) to customer reviews and a 10% discount offer, all of which adds to their ‘searchability’.
Why You Should Have A Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is particularly powerful for local businesses and those focusing on location-based marketing strategies. If you look closely at search engine results, the top ones are most often Google Maps Listings which come directly from effectively utilising Google My Business.
A particularly appealing attribute is that GMB is free. That means even without a PPC budget, you can still get your name out there and achieve impressive results. PPC is an on-going commitment and even though it’s a big success for many, once you stop spending, your leads and phone calls start drying up.
On the flipside, GMB listings may not cost anything in advertising but it does require an investment in time and effort. This involves managing the listing with a focus on weekly posts, reviews, products and services etc. However, the investment is far less while the returns can be much greater.
Unoptimised Versus Optimised GMB Profiles
On the left is an unoptimised Google Business Profile, Carl’s Electric. It’s merely a small box with very limited information and while it still serves a purpose, it’s nowhere near what the fully optimised profile offers. Remember, the more details on your GMB listing, the better search results you will get. Good content and setup will encourage engagement as it signals to customers that you are a trustworthy establishment.
GMB Listings And Google Maps
In this example, posts were created in the GMB dashboard from where they will appear on the “Updates” section toward the bottom of the profile. Depending on the search term, you could show up on Google search results as shown below and Google Maps on the screenshot in the next section.
Also, GMB displays “People also searched for…” directly below your GMB listing (where competitors for the same search will appear), so having weekly posts here pushes your competitors further down the page, often ‘below the fold’ where they won’t be seen without scrolling!
The Power Of Google Search And GMB
Here’s a closer look at how people typically search for garages or tyre depots. For the most part, the primary focus is on “garages” or “tyre depots” but there is more to it, especially for location-based searches. Some examples of common search terms you can rank for without any ad spend include:
- garages near me
- tyre depots near me
- garages + “location” Wandsworth or Chertsey etc.
- tyre depots + “location” Southfields/Farnham/Witney etc.
- MOT Centres near me
- MOT testing centres Basingstoke/Kingston Upon Thames/Sunbury
Optimising your GMB listing is not an easy task as it takes time and effort to get right. As you’ll see in Part Two of the case study, we show some fascinating results but it came from putting in the hard yards. Some investment is indeed required but you don’t have to ‘pay’ when someone clicks on your listing as you would with PPC.
How Google My Business Categories Can Help
GMB has another ace up its sleeve and that comes in the form of the category section. It allows you to tell Google what your business is about based on the category or categories that best describe it. These categories help your business listing on Google Maps as people use various search terms (keywords) to find your business or those like yours.
Until recently, you could only choose one or two categories which meant limited exposure to keywords beyond your own brand name and location. However, with the introduction of Products and Services, Garages and Tyre Depots who take the time to exploit these opportunities can now be found for many more keywords without setting aside a PPC budget or time-consuming SEO.
Choosing The Right GMB Categories For Your Business
There are 3942 Google My Business categories as of August 2020. Whilst you can select up to 10, you are only allowed one primary which Google’s algorithm sees as most important. You also don’t need to use all 10 as the more you choose, the weaker each category gets in a potential search.
With local searches, all relevant businesses labelled within a specific sector will appear in a search result. This is where Google adds the information into a detailed map of the location where users can compare travel locations, distances and times.
Be specific when choosing your categories and make sure they describe your business and not your amenities. Setting your category helps your business show up for relevant searches in Google My Business and Google Maps. It can give your business a considerable boost if you primarily target local customers.
Recommended: ‘Hyperlocal Marketing Tips For Best Results’
Example: Adding Products To Google My Business Listing
In the next example, we show a GMB listing where the company, HomeSmith Services LLC added information to the products and services section. Google may actually link to your products from your category section increasing the likelihood of people finding your business.
Source: 13 Essential Google My Business Optimizations for 2020 by WordStream
What To Expect In Part Two
In part two, we will dive straight into the action showing the tremendous amount of ad spend this Garage and Tyre depot had saved. Not to mention how much their optimised Google My Business listings improved their online visibility and boosted growth.