Google My Business

Google is committed to bringing its users exactly what they are looking for.

So much so in fact, that if a web user searches for a particular business by name, and that business has a fully optimised listing on Google My Business, they will out rank all other paid and organic listings.

Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself, search ‘Smarter Digital Marketing.’

If you are on a mobile device, our Google business listing will appear right at the top before any ads or organic listings.

google my business

On a desktop, the business listing appears on the right-hand side of the search results page.

This represents the perfect opportunity to grab your customers’ attention right from the start, before they start scrolling and eying up your competition.

The Value of Information

We are constantly being reminded about how consumers are now more informed than ever, and many businesses blame the information age for their declining sales and shift towards online spending.

The thing is, we should not be viewing this as a bad thing at all.

On the contrary, this shift in power actually gives businesses the power to reach consumers on their own terms.

Furthermore, the more information Google has on your organisation, the more it can use this information to accurately place you in front of potential customers looking for your products or services.

This means that before you do anything to market your brand, you should get the basics right, and make sure that Google has all the information it needs to get you in front of its users.

GMB Card Breakdown

Here is our Google My Business listing on mobile in expanded view.

The desktop version is slightly different in layout, but essentially it is the same content.

smarter google business

It can be broken down into 6 main sections:

  • Images and Introduction
  • Quick Links
  • Overview
  • Reviews
  • Networking
  • Competition

Images and Introduction

Humans are very visual, and the old saying goes that a picture can say a thousand words, so it makes sense that people want to see some pictures right off the bat.

First impressions matter, and customers form opinions very quickly based on what they see in front of their eyes.

Here is the lowdown on why pictures matter direct from the horse’s mouth:

“Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their website than businesses that don’t have photos.”

The image and introduction section is where consumers form snap shot judgements about your company, and this all happens based on an image gallery and a few lines of text.

The first piece of hard data that web searchers are met with is the name of your business, what you do and your review score, which is proven to be one of the biggest factors that affect a consumer purchase decision.

Reviews have quickly become the online equivalent of a real-world recommendation, and consumers place huge importance on the opinions and experiences of complete strangers, especially the younger generations.

The quick links section of a company’s GMB card is one the hottest sections in terms of user activity.

quick links

It contains everything that people use to browse through the company’s credentials or get in touch with them in some way.

Here users can quickly navigate to essential information like reviews and services, as well links to the company’s website, google maps directions and direct phone number.

These quick links are crucial in the consumer purchase funnel, as it reduces friction at the top of the funnel and gets the consumer quickly to the decision-making stage.


The overview section gives consumers essential information like location, operating hours, phone numbers and more.

It forms the basic information that consumers need as a bare minimum to make themselves aware of your company and what it does.

Again, it is good to think about the value of this section in relation to friction felt by the consumer.

If the consumer has to click and navigate to your website just to find your phone number or address, this creates a discord in their consideration process.

The consumer is much more likely to go for a business that has all of their details readily available as soon as they land on the search results page.


Reviews form a very important part of the journey that online consumers take when buying a product or service.

A recent study revealed some incredible insights about customer attitudes towards Google business reviews.


Here are some of the main takeaways from this ongoing research into consumer behaviour online:

  1. 72% of consumers won’t take action until they read reviews

If a potential customer is sizing up your business, the evidence shows that most of them need to read some reviews before they part with their cash.  This means that if it is between 2 companies and one of them has reviews and one of them doesn’t, chances are they will go to the recommended company.

  1. 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as their families recommendations

Millennials have grown up immersed in technology and the online world, so nothing gets past them.  So great is their trust in the online review network that they consider it to be on par with reviews from friends and family.

  1. More than half of consumers will not trust a company that has less than a 4 star rating.

And this percentage increases exponentially as the rating decreases.  When faced with a product or service that has no reviews whatsoever, consumers will always look for an alternative that has some kind of feedback from previous customers.


The networking section is fairly self-explanatory.

It allows consumers to dive straight into your social media channels via quick links to these platforms.

These links don’t always show up on the mobile version, but it is usually on the desktop listing.


A little competition is healthy for marketplaces, and helps keep companies sharp and committed to providing the best service possible.

But Google has taken this one step further, and actively promotes the competition related to you.

It does this by showcasing the competition both in your sector and in your area, which allows the customer to size you up against your rivals, and rightly so.


We think that the more informed the consumer is, the better they can make decisions which brings good results for both the customer and the business.

It results in less bounced traffic online (users who land on your homepage and then quickly exit because you aren’t what they are looking for) and in the real world, it results better expectations of service.

The Triple Stack

This leads us nicely on to Google’s 3 Pack search result, or the Triple Stack as we like to call it.

The 3 Pack appears when consumers search for a product or service in a particular location.

So if you searched: ‘digital marketing Glasgow’ you will be presented with this:


triple stack


The Triple Stack is Google serving up what it has deemed to be the best 3 companies to fulfil your request, and ultimately it is a good place to be.

At the top is a map showing the physical locations of the top 3 players in this area, then the three companies are listed in order of relevance.

It gives a quick snapshot of each companies GMB card, displaying basic company information and most importantly, that crucial review score.

Google’s Three Pack is expandable, and if you click ‘more places’ at the bottom, you are taken to the large view listings.

In this view you get a zoomable map, and down the left hand side you get all the companies listed in order of their relevance score, which is mostly influenced by, you guessed it, review score.

smarter google my business

The companies that have no reviews or a poor review score fall to the bottom, while trusted companies that people have vouched for claim the top spots.

Users can click on each company to pull out their full GMB card, allowing them to quickly compare and contrast each organisation and start the consideration process.

How to Optimise Your Google My Business Listing

So, we understand how it all works, but how do we make full use of this incredibly powerful tool that Google has provided for us, completely free of charge?

That’s right, setting up your GMB card is completely free, which is why you have to be deluded not to recognise the value that it offers.

We are going to give you access to our exact methodology for optimising your GMB listing and hopefully securing a spot in the fabled Triple Stack.

Complete Your GMB Listing

If you have a local business, at the very least Google should already have your company name, location, phone number etc.

The next step is to throw as much accurate and relevant information as you possibly can at your GMB card.

Operating hours, business category, description of your company, website links, social media links, any information that you can provide to increase the visibility of your listing.

Make sure you also add some material to the services and the about section of your GMB card for maximum effect.

Images, Lots of Images

Images are very important as we have already discussed, so make sure you upload some recent and high quality images so that consumers can better understand your business.

You want to have at least 10 for optimal results, but if you have to, we recommend 5 as the absolute bare minimum.

Consumers want to see pictures of your branding, your physical location, your products and services, even your staff, so don’t be shy in showcasing your organisation.

If you are business such as a café or restaurant, you can even encourage your customers to upload some pictures as well, which is better than you uploading your own images since it is essentially a visual testimonial from a previous customer.

Respond to Reviews

Any review, either positive or negative, should be met with a reply from your company.

Every single one deserves a reply, even the negative ones, and this engagement is great publicity for you and shows that you care about your customers’ experiences.

Most importantly, do not shy away from them, and do not be tempted to rise to angry and frustrated customers, this could just be them venting and it is good to let the customer be heard.

In your reply make sure you are calm and rational, but do not be afraid to stand up for your company.

Meet the review with concern, but try to be as transparent and factual about your company and its processes.

Even just replying with a breakdown of the events that transpired during that customers interaction with you can be very productive, and make you come across as non-biased as well as authoritative.

Use Google Posts

People love to scroll through bite sized pieces of information, and consumers can now do this on your GMB listing.

Now categorised as updates and found in the quick links section, you give your potential customers news and updates on your products and services.

It is also a great way to showcase events that you are curating or attending, or a special offer that you are running.

Just like a social media post, they can contain pictures and videos with a short caption, and they can be tied into more in-depth web pages via the link at the bottom of the post.

Customers love to see recent and relevant updates about businesses they are considering, especially in today’s age of rapid consumption of media and information, so make sure you roll out a few Google Posts regularly.

Closing Thoughts

While this is not an exhaustive list for businesses, it is comprehensive enough to get you started and start attracting customers that you would otherwise lose.

Google can be misunderstood and highly underrated by businesses all over the country.

It represents the ultimate free engagement tool that gets you in front of the customers that you want.

If you want to start reaching a wider audience and bring in more high-quality leads and sales, we can take care of all the heavy lifting for you.

Get in touch for chat today about how we can optimise your business online.

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