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
First things first, to improve your Google My Business listing, is to check that you have all of the relevant information included on your page 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’ve had a listing for years, or 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 at the bottom of your Google My Business listing and stay there for 7 days. Uploading at least 1 post per week makes it easier for potential customers to engage with your businesses. Including an image is also recommended as it helps to 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 the opinion of your past/existing customers before they know anything else about your business. This can help to build their trust in your business instantly, based on the feedback you’ve received from other customers – meaning the likelihood of them choosing your business over a competitor increases.
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 page, and these reviews will then contribute towards the star rating and total number of reviews displayed against your search result. 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 your business and its products, services, and stores directly through the Google My Business listing. The business is then able to answer these questions where it will be displayed publicly.
One of the reasons this feature is so useful is because it allows your customers to ask the necessary questions before committing to purchasing from you. It also presents the opportunity to make a great first impression to the potential customer by answering their question promptly and professionally.
Another useful advantage of the question and answers feature is that you are able to get even more information about your business onto your page, and therefore in front of your prospective customers. That way, any consumer that comes across 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 potentially had may have been answered already which could encourage them to buy from you.
The popularity of direct messages continues to increase, as customers keep looking for the most immediate service they can find. Having multiple ways that customers can get a quick response from your business could potentially stop them from moving on and looking at the other businesses that could help with their needs.
Messaging on Google My Business works in a similar way to other messaging apps and, when 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 engage with your customer straight-away.
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 reassure potential customers that you are indeed a real business and allow them to see how, and where, you work. This can also make your service seem more personal to consumers, as you’re giving them an idea of who they’re talking to, rather than just emailing a screen.
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 page as this means you will then get a ‘Videos’ tab appearing on your listing on mobile devices.
If your business sells services, rather than products, you can create a ‘menu’ of them for potential customers to have a look at when they’re deciding whether to buy from 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 listings 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!