You’re here because you want to be better at SEO. We know. And you know that we know. It’s time, time to optimize Google My Business.
One of the many but vital steps to diggin’ your heels into SEO is working on optimizing your Google My Business listing. If you haven’t done that yet, well, uh, now is that time, friendo. Go open a new tab and we’ll wait right here while you’re on that lil task.
Done? Back? Awesome.
So Google My Business (GMB) is the invite you need to any party, but especially a business party. Whether it’s Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder or Google Maps, all the cool (read: profitable) kids on the block are showing up and you need to show up and show off, too.
GMB’s not a secret, but it can, at times, feel overwhelming if you don’t know what features you’re looking for or what steps you need to take to keep up.
The worst thing you can do is let the enemy, err, competition, descend on your business. The quickest way that can happen is by leaving something as simple as a blank space in your listing, which leads us to our first point.
No Information Left Behind: Keeping Your Info Fresh
When it comes to optimizing your Google My Business listing, just signing up isn’t enough.
Every blank space in your profile makes room for guesswork that could be perilous for you and your business if filled in by the wrong person. Yup, you heard right. Anyone that uses Google has the option to suggest edits for GMB because of that whole “open forum” thing.
By clicking the Suggest an Edit button, your competition and prospective audience gets to control your narrative in a way only you should, so ensure that you’re all over that GMB dashboard like ants on ice cream.
Beyond all of that, Google has fostered a community environment around their products and they heavily value customer feedback in a more chill non-Yelper kinda vibe.
What do we mean by this? To find out more about your business, Google, much like an overly attentive sales clerk, would simply prompt a probable customer with the question “Know This Place,” which leaves users with the opportunity to answer questions on the business being viewed.
I Like This Post: Google Posts
Like an Insta or Snapchat story post which only last for a short period of time (seven days, if we’re exact). This keeps your content fresh, allowing you to highlight things like:
- A bombass blog post that you and your team may have written
- New inventory that your clients may have been looking for
- Special messages that you’d want to share with your customers. Nothing as awkward as “I love you” but nothing nearly as cold as “Have a Good Day!” (That’s right, we said it).
Pushing Buttons: Google’s Booking Button
We all like buttons, and whereas this one may not be as shiny as we’d like, Google has a new booking button, and it’s as straightforward as it sounds.
This feature makes it easier than ever for clients to make appointments directly from your GMB listing. As long as you have an account with a scheduling app supported by Google, the booking button will automatically be added to your listing.
Down with the DMs: Google Allo
To be more apt, down in YOUR DMs. Yep. Google has a feature that allows potential customers the ability to communicate directly with you via text. It’s like eHarmony for business, but less complicated and fewer strings attached!
All of this can be done via the app called Google Allo.
It’s still in Beta with a few restrictions on when and how it can be used, but rather than make you feel weird about strange numbers messaging your phone, Google sends the message via a notification and not an actual text.
Right now only those that use Google Chrome can send you a direct message. We don’t see Google keeping the party limited for long, though!
(No One Expects) The Inquisition: Google Questions
No question is a dumb question, and an answer to that question isn’t always obvious. Unless the question revolves around pizza, in which case we say choose pizza. Always.
If you’ve ever done a Google Search, though, you’ll notice that the questions feature is pretty new.
Whereas this feature is new and helpful, you should probably stay on top of this. Much like the “Suggest an Edit” feature, anyone (literally anyone) can answer a question about your business. If you’re not careful, prospective clients can, in fact, get the wrong answer.
It’s also important to know that:
- You can manage the Question & Answer feature on your Android by using the
Google Maps app and signing in using your GMB listed email address.
- You cannot view Q&A on the GMB app, so don’t freak out when it’s not there.
- In order to see new questions, signing into the GMB dashboard is a must.
- Right now only Android users can monitor questions when using a mobile device
(Sorry Apple fans).
Critic’s Choice Awards: Business Reviews
Ah, the feared and fabled review. A comment can either make your business or slightly inconvenience your business with an unnecessary flourish of drama. You need reviews, though. Obviously more good than bad ones, but you need ’em.
Google promotes the ethical sourcing of business reviews, AKA reviews that would then appear on Google Maps next to your listing. The more reviews you have, the more likely you’ll have customers connecting with you as a brand.
As brilliantly covered on Review Tracker:
Google is the review site of choice. 63.6 percent of consumers say they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than any other review site.
Consumers expect brands to respond to reviews — and are disappointed. 53 percent of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week. 63 percent say that a business has never responded to their review.
Negative reviews drive away customers. 94 percent say an online review has convinced them to avoid a business.
Customers don’t really trust businesses with lower than 4-star ratings. 80 percent of consumers say the star ratings they trust the most are 4, 4.5, and 5 stars.
Like anything you do though, there are certain policies set in place, and as long as you follow them, Google encourages you to go out there and source reviews.
Utilize and Strategize: Improve Yours and Use Us
Optimizing your Google My Business listing is all about knowing what features are available and how to utilize them properly. Once you know the tools of the trade, you’re significantly better suited to take on GMB.
Obnoxious reminder, though: this is process that should be highly monitored, and should you find that you need help along the way, why not slide into our DMs. We’d love nothing more than to help. Besides, you know you want us to help you dominate your industry.