Do You Want to Reach More Customers?
If your answer is a resounding ‘YES’ then it’s worth spending time with Google My Business! Google My Business gives you the power to attract and engage customers when they search for your business on Google.
As we mentioned in last week’s blog, your Business Profile gives you a presence on Google Search and Maps whilst allowing you to respond to reviews, post photos of your business, your products and/or your services, add in any special offers you may have as well as add/edit your business details.
Insights also show you how you can optimise your customer engagement for even better results and you can encourage more engagement by interacting with your customers from the Customers tab.
Time to go Deeper
To ensure that Google My Business works for you please make sure that you complete all of the following.
From the Business/Description
Complete, in full, the ‘from the business’ section in your Google My Business account dashboard. This important section appears lower in the ‘Info’ tab of your Google My Business profile. To fully optimise the ‘from the business’ section ensure that you;
- Use all 750 available characters making sure all key information is contained within the first 250 characters
- Use keywords that your customers are likely to use to find businesses like yours
- Don’t repeat information that’s already visible in the other sections of your Business Profile. Use this space to talk about what sets you apart from your competition and what your customers like most about your business. Remember, writing this long form text ensures that your customers will get a complete picture of your business, what it does and how it can help them. Many, many people just give the briefest of details here and they’re losing out big time as a result!
Choose a category. This is a must in order to fully optimise your Business Profile. By choosing a category you will get found in discovery searches. A whopping 84% of Business Profile views on Google originate from discovery searches (meaning that the customer has searched for a product, service or category term and that business’s profile appeared) versus only 16% coming from direct searches (where the customer typed in the businesses name or address).
Once you’ve chosen your category Google will make available to you category specific features that will make your Business Profile more attractive and effective. For example, restaurants can include a menu or reservation button, hair salons can confirm that they have experience with curly hair or are blond specialists.
When you’re choosing your category remember to;
- Be specific. If you’re a nail salon choose ‘Nail Salon’ and not just ‘Salon’
- Choose secondary categories. Many businesses fall into multiple categories. Set your primary category to your chief offering and then choose additional categories that apply which, again, gives the customer far more detail about your business
Don’t confuse categories with product or attributes. There are separate sections for these!
Publish Google posts weekly. This lets Google know that you’re active and adding fresh content… and Google LOVES fresh content! Just like with social media platforms you can post to your Business Profile and talk about any announcements, offers, events or new products/services you have. Posts are created in your Google My Business dashboard and show up on the ‘Updates’ section towards the bottom of your Business Profile. They can also be created automatically using the Auto Post feature within Trustist!
However, there is talk of them becoming more prominent based on search queries. Remember:
- Posts increase the number of actions taken by customers who find your profile.
- Posting regularly sends positive ranking signals to Google in the same way that adding photos does (see next bullet point).
- Customers have also been shown to have higher intent when searching on search engines versus other posting platforms (Facebook or Instagram, for example, where they are more likely to be leisurely scrolling) making them far more likely to engage with your Google posts.
- Customers can follow your Business Profile and get notified of new posts and updates ensuring you are able to keep in touch with them
Photos and Videos
Upload new photos weekly. Again, Google sees this as new content and, according to Google, customers are 42% more likely to request directions to a business if its Business Profile has photos and 35% more likely to click through to its website!
Furthermore, a BrightLocal study showed that businesses with more than 100 photos get 520% more calls, 2,717% more direction requests and 1,065% more website clicks than the average business!
Our Top Tips for photos on Google My Business are:
- Add at least one new photo every seven days.
- For your thumbnail photo you should upload your logo.
- For your cover photo use an image that best represents your business and your brand but don’t spend too much time on this as Google will display different feature photos depending on the search query.
- For other general photos refer to Google’s photo guidelines for specifications. We suggest including photos of happy customers (with their written consent, of course), interior and exterior views of your business premises and team shots too.
- Do not use stock photos or photos with special effects or branding. Google wants to represent your business as it appears in the real world!
- Focus on quality images that have clear descriptions in order to align with image-enriched results.
- Geo-tag your photos to further indicate to Google your prominence in your area.
- Add videos too! Video is becoming more and more the ‘go to’ media that web browsers look at first.
Use the questioning and answering facility and answer any questions that are asked – promptly! Remember that answers to questions may be the impetus for a customer to decide to visit/use your business.
However, this section is particularly important to optimise because not only can anyone ask a question on a Business Profile but also anyone can answer too! This can lead to inaccurate information on your Business Profile.
You can’t turn off the question and answer feature but there are ways to optimise it;
- Set up alerts so you can stay on top of questions and answers posted to your Business Profile.
- Seed your own question and answer section. Make a list of the most frequently asked questions your business gets and then ask, answer and upvote your answer on your own Business Profile. This doesn’t go against Google’s terms and conditions in fact Google encourages it.
- Keep keywords in mind! Questions and answers that contain keywords can help improve your Business Profile’s ranking for that keyword so keep your keyword strategy in mind when seeding your questions and answer section. Remember to use them loosely and organically so your text doesn’t sound stuffy or read awkwardly.
Wow! There’s a lot there and, frankly, we could add more and maybe we will in another blog but for now we hope that this article has been useful to you and if you’d like to learn more about reviews and how Trustist can help you boost your business you can book a FREE demo here.