One of the main and most important functions of Google My Business is to get customers to make reservations, book appointments, place an order or view menus. With the help of local business links (AKA local action links), your business can get customers to perform certain actions without them having to navigate throughout your website.
In a nutshell, local business links are typically placed below your NAP (Business Name, Address and Phone Number) and guide customers to make a specific action, whether it’s to:
- Make an appointment
- View your menu
- Make a reservation
- View your products and/or services
- Book appointments
- Make an online order through their website or through a third party
But what are these and where do you see them? How can they help you as a business and why should customers bother clicking them? Let’s find out.
How Local Business Links Help You and Your Customer
After typing “vegan pizza restaurant near me”, a potential customer finds themselves looking at your Google My Business profile on the first page of their search results. Imagine that they’re already sold with your offers and want to order online so they immediately find the “Order” link below your primary details and go through the ordering process.
In that short example alone, you’ll immediately see how local business links help you achieve your goals faster, whether if it’s to make a sale or to promote the products you have available. It’s a giant green flag that’s waving at your customer to click here because it skips so many steps (clicking on your website and finding the appropriate page) and gets the point across (“Hey, customer, if you want to reserve, here’s the link”).
On the business end, AKA your end, you’ll benefit from this too. You’ll immediately see, from Google My Business, the customer journey: how many clicked the action link and how many went through and completed the ordering/reservation/booking procedure. This is made possible when you add UTM tracking codes to each of your links.
Types of Local Business Links
Depending on your primary category, you’ll be presented with different kinds of action links. Some might have just one link, others might have more. Either way, it’s important that you fill them out to make the most out of them. Here are the 5 types:
Perfect for: any F&B business with a menu landing page
As the name suggests, the Menu action link brings your customers to a landing page that displays your menu. This helps them see what dishes are up for order should they want to perform another action on GMB – either click the Order link, make a Call or head over to your physical location.
2. Make a Reservation
Perfect for: dining establishments that allow seated dine-in guests
(Due to the current COVID-19 situation, this may not be visible for many GMB profiles especially if you are temporarily closed)
If you allow seated guests in your restaurant, the Reservation link will be available. You can either add your own website link to it or a third party website URL, as in the case in the above example. You can count on this action link to get your restaurant packed with guests (considering social distancing protocols, of course) more efficiently.
3. Products and Services
Perfect for: Any business with a product catalogue or a variety of services
Do you want your customers to learn more about your products? While you can add them to your product catalogue on GMB (more on that on a later blog), it’s also helpful to give your customers a more specific view of what the product or your services can do for them.
4. Make an Appointment
Perfect for: Local services that require appointments before entering their place of business
From solicitors to hair salons, appointments are a must nowadays – and you need to add that to your GMB profile.
5. Place an Order – Own Website
Perfect for: Dining establishments that have a dedicated online order system on their website
If your website is capable of taking orders from customers without having them call your location, you can add your Order link on the profile too. This is perfect for those who would rather engage with your website than with third-party apps and websites for whatever reason.
6. Order Ahead – Third Party
Perfect for: Dining establishments that partner with 3rd party delivery websites and apps
Another option for ordering is with a third-party app. You can actually add both your in-site order link and another food ordering link in the same type to provide customers with a choice to directly order from you or go through your delivery partner. We’ve quickly tackled what to expect from food ordering links on a previous blog, which you can read here.
How to Add Local Business Links on Google My Business
At first glance, if you look at the backend of your Google My Business manager, you won’t find any instruction on how to add these links. Here’s a quick 6-step guide to get you started:
- Log in your Google My Business manager
- Choose the listing you want to edit if you manage multiple locations
- On the left-side panel, click Info
- Scroll down a bit until you find the local business links related to your business or primary category
- Paste in the URL with the UTM tracking code
- Press Apply
Q: Will this be available on the DigitalMaas Platform?
A: It definitely will be available! We’ll update this blog with more information on adding local business links on your respective Google My Business listings. What you can still do while waiting for this is to do a location audit and continue optimising your GMB listings. Here are some guides to get you started if you haven’t done so:
- Your Ultimate Guide to a Google My Business Audit
- Optimise Your Google My Business Like a Pro (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
As with anything on Google My Business, we’ve got some tips from our local SEO experts based on taking care of over 30,000 GMB listings on the Platform. Here are our 2 most important tips you need to know:
- You can add up to 10 links. While it may sound daunting, you don’t necessarily have to add 10 links – just add what you think is most appropriate and it will still go through when you click Apply. If you have a substantial number of links, however, there’s a star you can tick beside the text editor (where you place the action link) that signals to your manager to prioritise that link above others. It’s a great way to organise your links!
- You still need to regularly optimise your GMB. Even if you have these links available just below your NAP, you can’t just sit back and wait for the customers to come. Local business links are part of the optimisation process, as well as posting photos weekly, responding to reviews and publishing Google posts. An effective GMB listing is a fully optimised GMB listing.
Google My Business local business links efficiently provide more value to your website by eliminating several steps in your customer’s journey and presenting to them with the link they need to click. This also helps you, the business, convert views to profit faster.
But it can get a little confusing to organise everything together, especially if you have multiple locations to look after – that’s when you turn to the DigitalMaas Platform to simplify the work for you. With new features coming out all the time, the Platform is designed to make it easier for businesses to be their customers’ first choice each and every time. Sign up for a free account today!