Google My Business continues to increase in importance, especially for local businesses. That is why it is crucial to ensure that you not only have a Google My Business listing set up but that it is as informative and complete as it possibly can be.
For more information on the importance of Google My Business please click here.
Completing Your Google My Business Listing
The first thing to do to improve your Google My Business listing is to check that you have all of the relevant information included on your listing and that you have provided everything Google has asked for. The most important information to include in a Google My Business listing:
- Business name
- Business type
- Address/area served
- Opening hours
- Phone number
- Business description
Google My Business Features
Whether you have had a listing for years, or you have just recently created one, the following features can help you to ensure you are getting the most out of Google My Business:
- Google Posts
- Google Reviews
- Questions and Answers
- Pictures and Videos
Whilst not all of the features are available to all businesses, it is definitely worth taking a look to see what you could integrate into your business. The more you can do to optimise your listing, the more likely you are to gain more business from it.
Google Posts can be used to promote your services and offers in Google. They appear in your Google My Business listing and last for 7 days. Making at least 1 post per week makes it easier for potential customers to engage with your businesses. Including an image is also recommended, to help catch the attention of users.
Here are a few examples of possible posts:
- Advertising an event
- Advertising an offer or sale
- Highlighting a recent blog post or article you have written
- Showing off a recently launched product or service
- Seasonal posts about the relevant holidays
- Share some great feedback you have received (Trustist can do this automatically for you – to find out how, book a demo at the bottom of this page)
Google Posts stand out, especially on mobile, so they are a great way to draw more attention to your business and attract more customers.
Having just one Google review means you can get stars against your Google My Business listing, which helps to show users your customers’ opinion of you before they know anything else about the business. This can help to build their trust in the business instantly based on the feedback you have received from other customers – which is likely to increase the possibility of them choosing your business.
Online reviews are also known to impact search results rankings, consumer trust and click-through rates too. BrightLocal’s 2017 Consumer Review Survey found that:
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business
- 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2017, and 12% looked for a local business online every day
Customers are able to leave a review directly through your Google My Business listing, and these reviews will then contribute to the stars displayed against your listing. Trustist can help you to collect more Google reviews from your customers, to find out how please book a demo at the bottom of this page.
Questions and Answers
This is one of the newer features available to Google My Business users, and it allows users to submit their questions about the business and its products, services and stores directly through the Google My Business listing. The business is then able to answer the questions publicly.
One of the reasons this feature is so useful is because it allows your customers to ask the necessary questions before committing to working you. It also allows you the chance to make a great first impression on the customer by answering their question promptly and professionally.
Another great advantage of the questions and answers feature is that you are able to get even more information about your business onto your listing and therefore in front of your prospective customers. That way, any user that comes onto your Google My Business listing can see all of the other questions submitted by users just like them, as well as the answers you have come back with. This means any possible questions they had may have been answered already, and they could be encouraged to work with you.
Instant messaging is continuing to increase in popularity as customers keep looking for the most immediate service they can get. Having multiple ways that customers can get an (almost) instant answer from the business might stop them from moving on to look at the other businesses that could help with their need.
Messaging on Google My Business works in a similar way to other instant messaging apps, and when it is enabled your customers can send you a message straight from your Google My Business listing. These messages will then come through to you, where you can instantly engage with your customer.
As this feature is still relatively new, it is only available to mobile users.
Pictures and Videos
The more information you can give people on your Google My Business listing, the better. This includes pictures and videos of your business, which helps to assure customers that you are indeed a real business and allow them to see how and where you work.
A great way to make the most of this feature is to add a quick 30-second video about your business to your listing. This way any prospective customers can familiarise themselves with you immediately!
The videos can take up to 24-hours to appear after you upload them. To get more out of the feature, you could upload two or more videos to your Google My Business listing as this means you will then get a ‘Videos’ tab appearing on your listing on mobile devices.
If your business sells services, you can create a ‘menu’ of them for prospective customers to view when they are deciding whether to work with you. This allows them to know before contacting you whether you offer the service they are looking for.
You can also add prices alongside the services on your menu, however it is important to ensure you keep this information up-to-date to avoid potential issues with clients being given differing information.
Depending on your business type, these features may not all be available. However, having a good look through your Google My Business dashboard and making sure you are aware of all of the options you have can only help you to improve!