Are you familiar with the importance of a Google My Business Review?
According to Podium.com, a Google My Business Review
- increases trust in your brand
- increase your exposure
- boosts your local SEO
- adds to customer intelligence
- improves Click-Through Rates
- converts more customers
Today, Google My Business is widely used since it’s an effective means of local internet advertising.
Truth be told: Google My Business is an effective means of internet advertising local or otherwise. I even have a Google My Business account although I don’t have a local business.
This post offers a case study using a local senior care home.
By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know how to reap the benefits of Google My Business such as lead generation and the importance of a Google My Business Review.
Let’s enter the world of Google My Business.
How to Avoid $7K Referral Fees Using Google My Business
Caring.com and A Place for Mom are two websites that dominate search results in the assisted living and memory care categories. Both companies spend large amounts of time and dollars on content and ad marketing to ensure they show up at the top of search results. The reason is collecting contact information from people searching for local assisted living, and memory care options can be lucrative.
For instance, historically, A Place for Mom has asked us to pay them 90% to 120% of the first month’s rent and care costs as a referral fee if a lead they send us moves in. For top memory care providers like us, a referral fee equal to 90% to 120% of the first month’s rent and care costs could easily be up to $7,000 or more.
Google My Business
Suppose you’re a small business owner in this category. In that case, it can be challenging to make it to the first page of results, particularly if you have limited time and dollars to spend on digital marketing. These digital marketing disadvantages are compounded when you have to pay up to $7,000 or more for a lead.
Fortunately, Google provides a tool that allows local companies to display on the first page of local search results. The tool is called Google My Business, and it lets local businesses submit their physical address, phone numbers, hours of operation, etc., to Google in a way the search engine can easily digest.
Google My Business then takes the business information and displays the information as local business “cards” in the search results for the Google and Google Maps products.
Here’s an example of a local business card:
Google search almost always tries to display the most relevant information to searchers. For local search, they continuously take into account all of the recent reviews, photos, posts, links, etc., for local businesses and then display the most relevant business to a searcher.
Suppose you’re a top memory care provider with lots of photos, posts, and reviews on your Google My Business profile. In that case, the card for your local business may show up as the top result in local search results for your business category if Google feels it is the most relevant. Typically, businesses with lots of satisfied customers will have more photos, reviews, etc.
Another critical factor in local search is the proximity of the local businesses to the local searcher. Google search wants to display local businesses that are close proximity to the searcher. For instance, our memory care homes are in Maitland, Florida. If someone local searches for “memory care near maitland florida” or “memory care near me” our business, Vivant Senior Living, Memory Care Homes, typically shows up in the top results in Google and Google Maps.
But if someone located in Maitland, Florida, searches for “memory care near chicago illinois” our business would not show up in the local business results for Chicago, Illinois. In that case, it would typically show memory care facilities closest to the city center of Chicago that also have lots of photos, posts, links, and reviews.
If you have a local service or business, try searching for your service or business category using the same format. If you’re an accountant in Plano, Texas, try “accountants near plano texas” or “accountants near me”. If you’re an interior designer in Santa Rosa, California, try “interior designers near santa rosa california” or “interior designers near me”. You may be surprised how few local business categories use Google My Business consistently if at all.
Some business categories like coffee shops or restaurants receive consistent updates on their Google My Business profiles. For instance, popular coffee shops and restaurants will regularly receive reviews and photo uploads from customers.
For these types of businesses, it’s crucial to make sure your business regularly updates the hours of operation and holiday hours in Google My Business. The reason is many customers use Google Maps or Google search to look up hours of operation for businesses.
You do not want a customer leaving a dissatisfied review for your business because they look up your hours of operation using Google and then when they show up your business has a closed sign in the window.
When you have a small business or you are starting a business, you have limited time and dollars to spend on advertising and digital marketing. Each minute and dollar you spend needs to make an impact on your business.
Senior living referral companies like A Place for Mom and Caring.com have been creating digital marketing content for nearly 20 years and 13 years, respectively.
A Place for Mom also owns SeniorAdvisor.com, YouveGotLeads.com, Alzheimers.net, and AssistedLiving.com. It would take a massive effort to replicate the amount of content both companies have produced on their respective websites over the last decade.
Large companies like A Place for Mom and Caring.com also spend a lot of time and dollars on creating and buying search and display ads. Those are the ads that show up at the top and sides of Google search results.
They purchase search and display ads because they want to be first to capture contact information for anyone searching for assisted living or memory care services. If you remember, collecting contact information first is what allows them to charge top memory care providers like us a referral fee up to $7,000 or more.
We avoid paying referral fees to senior referral companies like A Place For Mom and Caring.com because we feel if someone is searching for memory care near Maitland, Florida, they will find us using Google products organically. It just may take them a day or a week to reach out to us for more information about our care or to schedule a tour, but when they do we will not pay a referral fee.
Wrapping Up: The Importance of a Google My Business Review
In summary, we have found Google My Business to be an excellent way for customers to find relevant information about our memory care business in Google local search results including Google Maps.
Author Bio: Andrew Meyer is a manager-member at Vivant Senior Living. Vivant Senior Living provides exceptional memory care services in vibrant, residential homes for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia in Central Florida.
Host blogger’s comments:
I have a Google My Business for my blog consulting service. Even though I don’t have a local business, I use Google My Business reviews to advertise.
According to Rock Digital,
“The quality and quantity of reviews on Google is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. And, when a person scans the search results for a local product or service in Google, the business listings that include customer reviews present greater credibility and, naturally, receive more clicks.”
When you get a Google My Business Review, put it on your LinkedIn homepage so it can boost your marketing success in both places.
When you make a Google My Business account, Google My Business sends you analytics so you can be even more effective at using the site for marketing.
Readers, please share other local business owners know how to effectively use a Google My Business review.
I look forward to your views in the comments: Which would you prefer receiving: a Google My Business review or a Yelp review?