Google recently announced that they are updating and rebranding Google My Business — for larger multi-location businesses it will be renamed “Business Profile Manager.” If the news has got you thinking about your Google My Business listings for the first time in a while, you aren’t alone.
Even though Google My Business is one of the biggest drivers of local leads, most businesses set up their listings and then forget them. Unlike other search channels like Google Ads or organic search that marketers continually monitor and update, the success of Google My Business listings is too often left to chance.
It’s a common mistake, but one you don’t need to make. There are optimization levers you can pull to drive more engagement and customers from Google My Business, especially when it comes to phone calls. Calls are often the most valuable conversions from GMB — many consumers searching for products, services, or specific business locations call the location to schedule an appointment, place an order, or ask questions before visiting in person.
At Invoca, we help many of the biggest franchises and multi-location businesses in healthcare, automotive, home services, financial services, travel, and retail drive and convert more calls from their marketing channels, including Google My Business. This blog explains the role phone calls play in acquiring customers from Google My Business and the strategies marketers can use to drive more phone leads, appointments, and revenue from GMB listings.
Phone Calls Are Popular Conversions From Google My Business
According to Google, nearly half of all searches are for local information, and there has been a sharp increase in local searches for terms like “where to buy” and “available near me” over the last two years. These local searches drive a ton of actions: Google has said that search results showing local businesses drive over 2 billion monthly phone calls, website clicks, direction requests, and other connections.
Google My Business remains one of the biggest drivers of phone calls to businesses, especially when the search takes place on a smartphone:
60% of consumers said they overwhelmingly prefer to engage with Google My Business by calling vs. other methods (BrightLocal)
Consumers using mobile search to find businesses are 39% more likely to call the business (Google)
Phone calls to businesses convert to customers 3x more than web clicks (Google)
These calls are one of the biggest sources of new business for locations. Driving more calls from GMB — and converting a higher percentage of them to appointments, visits, and customers — would have a huge impact on revenue growth and marketing and sales results.
Strategies to Drive and Convert More Phone Leads From Google My Business
If you want to acquire more new customers or patients from calls from Google My Business, consider these strategies:
1. Drive More Calls by Driving More Engagement With Your GMB Listings
Post Photos: Google My Business enables you to post photos of your locations, products, services, events, staff, and customers, and listings with photos are more likely to generate calls. A study by BrightLocal found that businesses on Google My Business with 10 photos get 3 times the calls as businesses with 1, while listings with over 25 images get more than 5 times the calls as those with 1.
Solicit and Reply to Customer Reviews: Review ratings often determine the order your listings appear in a search, and top-ranked listings are more likely to receive phone call conversions. Also, consumers often take reviews into account when selecting a new business, so the better your reviews, the more engagement from new customers you can generate. Be sure to respond to reviews promptly — it shows potential customers that you value their business.
Post Content Regularly: We all know social media pages enable marketers to post content to drive engagement, but so do GMB listings. And the number of posts you make on your GMB profile is a factor in improving your ranking in local searches — posts signal to Google that you are actively maintaining your listing. Consider using posts to promote sales or special offers, upcoming events, and new products or services to drive more engagement and calls.
Drive More Calls With Local Search Ads: If Google My Business is a good source of phone leads for your business, you can test investing in Google local search ads to boost call volumes, especially to locations that aren’t getting as many calls. Local search ads appear at the top of GMB results, increasing their visibility and likelihood of driving a call or other conversion.
2. Attribute Phone Call Conversions From Your Google My Business Listings to Measure Results
It’s important that marketers get attribution and analytics on the phone calls from GMB listings to understand their volume and value. Insights from those calls provide the foundation for many of the marketing actions you can take to convert more callers to customers and revenue.
A conversation intelligence solution like Invoca can provide you with that data. When someone calls from your Google My Business listings, Invoca correctly attributes the call, captures identifiers and data about the caller (such as phone number, name, location, and device), and connects that data to their call experience and conversation with your business, analyzing if the call was answered, if the caller is a marketing lead, if they converted on the call, and more.
You can view reports on how GMB drives calls that convert to sales opportunities, appointments, and customers in Invoca. Comparing the volume and value of GMB calls to other channels like Google Ads and SEO helps you understand the total impact of your search marketing, and activating Invoca call data in tools like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and Salesforce enables you to analyze online and call conversion results together to see what drives the best results.
3. Take Control of Call Routing to Improve Experiences and Conversions
Driving phone leads from Google My Business is only the first step — you still have to provide the right experience to convert them. What the right experience is, however, can depend on when, where, and why a person is calling and the options your business has to assist them.
Marketers can use Invoca to take control of call routing and automate the right experiences at scale using two options:
IVR: An IVR is an automated phone menu that asks callers questions to determine how to route them, provides information and answers to common questions, and more. Invoca makes it easy for marketers to build and modify your own IVRs without help from IT.
Rule-Based Call Routing: Marketers can set up their own rules within Invoca to use any data points you choose to route each caller automatically to the best location to assist them.
Popular call routing options for calls from Google My Business include:
Routing Sales Calls Differently Than Support Calls: Many multi-location businesses also have a call center and prefer to have sales-related calls handled by one and support-related calls by the other. Or they may have agents in their call centers that specifically handle one type of call. You can use Invoca’s IVRs to qualify if the caller is a new sales or patient opportunity or an existing customer and then route them to the best location or call center agents to assist.
Routing Calls by Day and Time: Calls can be routed differently based on when the call is placed. If calls come in when a location is closed, for example, you can have them automatically routed to an open location or call center to assist.
Routing Calls by Caller Location: Invoca can route callers by their ZIP code to get them to the best location.
4. Segment Callers Into Audiences to Improve Digital Advertising Results
When consumers call your business from GMB listings, those phone conversations can tell you each caller’s intent, urgency, product/service interest, stage in the customer journey, and more. By capturing the caller’s phone number as their identifier and insights from the conversation automatically, Invoca enables you to segment GMB callers into the best audiences for your digital advertising campaigns. For example:
Retargeting: For callers that are good leads but didn’t convert on the call, retarget them with search, social, and display ads for the product or service they called about. Consider providing a special offer to incentivize these good leads to choose you over your competitors.
Upsells, Cross-Sells, and Lookalikes: For phone leads that converted to customers or patients, put them into upsell or cross-sell ad campaigns if you have other products or services to sell them. You might also add them to lookalike campaigns to extend your reach and generate engagement from new prospects resembling your best phone leads.
Exclusions: For callers whose conversations show they aren’t sales leads or potential patients, add them to your exclusion lists so you don’t serve them ads. Why waste ad budget retargeting someone who called for customer support, to inquire about a job, or to solicit business? You might also exclude callers who converted on the call if you have nothing else relevant to sell to them.
5. Acquire More Customers by Reducing Unanswered Calls at Locations
No matter how well your marketing generates phone leads, it won’t matter if your locations aren’t answering the phone. Invoca enables you to monitor location call handling performance and identify issues in your call channel. You can view the number of total calls your marketing channels sent to each location within a selected timeframe, how many of those calls were answered, how many were leads, how many were successfully converted during the call, and more.
You should review these reports regularly to ensure call handling issues aren’t impacting your results. If you see that a location is having problems answering calls, you can also use Invoca reports to diagnose the reason why, including:
Call Volume Is Too High: See if you are sending them an unusually high volume of calls that is impacting their ability to assist callers efficiently.
Too Many Non-Sales Calls: For the calls they do answer, is a low percentage of them actual leads? The location might be spending too much time dealing with non-lead calls while good leads are hanging up or going to voicemail.
Too Many Calls Occur When Locations Are Closed: Understanding if missed calls are happening when the location is open versus when it is closed can help you form a plan to fix the issue.
Once you’ve diagnosed the reasons behind the issue, you can take action. For example:
If missed calls occur when the location is closed, set up rules to reroute calls during closed times to a call center, open location, or IVR to assist.
If missed calls occur when the location is open, work with the location to ensure they are properly staffed to answer calls. If the location gets slammed with too many calls to handle efficiently, reroute a percentage of calls (or a specific type of call, such as support calls or sales calls) during peak times to other locations or call centers to help. You can also pause any ad campaigns during peak times that are contributing to call overload.
You can also have Invoca email call handling reports to locations to help them understand when and why issues are occuring, along with a list of missed calls to follow up with. Plus you can segment missed calls into audiences to re-engage through digital ad or email retargeting campaigns.
6. Use Insights From Phone Conversations to Improve Conversion Rates
Phone conversations are one of the best sources of intelligence on your consumers and location performance. Invoca can record, transcribe, and automatically analyze what’s said on calls to provide important insights your business can use to improve conversion rates, including:
Location Call Conversion Performance: Invoca will analyze calls to your locations and score staff performance to measure the criteria that matters to you, including how well each location greets the caller, follows your scripts, asks callers to schedule an appointment, mentions promotions, and more. Invoca provides reports on which locations do well, which ones need help, and the specific areas where they can improve. You can input coaching comments directly in the Invoca interface in specific areas of conversations and tag locations to review the call to improve their performance.
CX Issues: Invoca can surface calls where a customer experience issue was detected. Is there a problem with your IVR causing callers to abandon the call? Was the caller irate, did they cancel an appointment, and was it the location’s fault? You can share these calls with locations to help mitigate issues costing you customers.
New Consumer Trends: Invoca can analyze calls to locations to spot emerging trends to leverage in marketing messaging, location phone scripts, and more. For example, Invoca might detect that many callers that convert mention your new free promo — you can then ensure your ad and website messaging features that promo and your locations use it as levers to convert callers reluctant to move forward.
Caller Questions: You can access call recordings and transcriptions in the Invoca platform to understand what questions callers are asking about your products, services, and business. Adding answers to these questions on your website can help increase SEO visits and convert more website visitors to customers.
Track Google My Business Calls With Invoca Without Impacting Google NAP
Many businesses use Invoca to attribute and analyze phone calls from Google My Business. But I know some marketers are reluctant to use call tracking for GMB because they worry that call tracking numbers can hurt Google NAP (name, address, and phone number) consistency and impact their search rankings.
To track GMB calls without violating Google NAP consistency, simply add an Invoca trackable phone number to the Primary phone field in GMB and move your primary business number to the Additional phone field.
Learn More About How Conversation Intelligence Improves Marketing and Sales Results
Phone calls are one of the most popular and valuable conversions from Google My Business. Getting the right intelligence on phone calls from GMB — and providing the right experiences to callers — helps marketers increase leads, appointments, customers, and revenue. Conversation intelligence solutions like Invoca can help.