One of the most important steps in establishing the online presence of your business is to claim and verify your business on Google My Business. Being listed on Google My Business can increase your chances of showing up in other services such as Google Maps, Google’s Local Map Pack, and organic rankings as a whole. Aside from ranking better, it also offers you unique opportunities to engage with your customers and keep them up to date about what’s going on with your business!
Utilizing Google My Business
Start off by claiming and verifying your business at https://www.google.com/business
Filling Out Your Listing
Your Google My Business listing sets the standard for how your business is communicated to potential customers. There will be a variety of fields for you to fill out to complete your listing. The result will be a valuable resource that makes it easier for potential customers to find and learn about your business online. Be sure to fill out all of the information or someone else could! Google allows anyone to suggest an edit to your business listing.
These changes aren’t exactly “suggested” as Google will automatically implement them if you haven’t responded to them in time. Google will send you an email to notify you when someone suggests an edit, but many have complained they never received them so it’s important to check the Google My Business dashboard regularly.
Google has also added the option to add a business description to your listing. This is a great way to paint the picture of your business to potential customers and tell your story. Google allows up to 750 characters for the description, with only the first 250 showing up before getting cut off by a read more button. Because of that, you’ll want to include the most important information and keywords towards the beginning of the description.
Posting on Google My Business
Posts are a great way to communicate with searchers (aka potential customers) and differentiate your business listings from the competition. The posts are similar to social media posts and appear on your listing in Google Search and Google Maps.
Google lets you include an image, a call-to-action (CTA), as well as a link to another page or website. You can utilize this to promote an upcoming event or sale, show off a new product, drive traffic to your new blog post, and more. After seven days, posts tend to disappear so make it habit to keep adding content!
If your business sells services, you can add them to your Google My Business listing. This feature is only available to food and drink, health, beauty, and other services businesses that don’t have a third-party “menu” link. The list itemizes each of the services or food items so customers can quickly see what you have to offer. You can even categorize them and include pricing information!
Pictures & Video
Adding photos and videos to your listing is a great way to communicate your brand to customers and even give them a behind-the-scenes look at how your business works. Users are also able to add their own photos to your listing to show off their experience with your business. Google allows videos up to 30 seconds long, but the content has to be related to the actual business. You also can’t upload an advertisement or promotional video, but you can upload a video that helps tell the story of your business to potential customers. Once you have two or more videos uploaded, you’ll even get a video tab on your listing!
Interacting on Your Listing
Google watches the engagements you and the users are having on your listing. By having more interactions on your listing, you’re increasing your chance of showing up higher in the search results.
A surprisingly underused feature of Google My Business is messaging. Potential customers searching for what you have to offer can message you directly from your listing. As with any customer inquiry, it’s important to respond quickly. Not only is the average response time shown to users, but the feature could be removed from your listing if you regularly take too long answering! However, this feature is still fairly new. Currently, messaging is only shown for mobile web users.
Google encourages you to ethically ask your customers for reviews. These reviews appear on your listing and are one of the most important factors differentiating you from your competition. Be sure to follow Google’s guidelines for reviews or they could be removed! The good part is those same guidelines apply to those leaving reviews, so you can usually remove biased or dishonest reviews.
When customers leave a review, regardless if it is good or bad, be sure you respond to them. Not only are you showing the customer that you appreciate the honest feedback, but you’re also showing potential customers that you care.
Questions & Answers
This feature allows you the opportunity to answer questions asked directly by people searching for you. Google will send you an email notification when someone asks a question, However, many have complained that they didn’t receive them so check your Google My Business dashboard regularly. Just like “Suggest an Edit”, anyone can answer questions about your business. Because of that, it’s important that you answer questions quickly. It’s also important to make sure that if someone else has answered the question, it’s answered accurately.
You can also create the questions yourself to preemptively answer questions you know customers ask. It’s a good idea to check in with your sales representatives or customer service staff and find out commonly asked questions to include!
Establish Your Business Online!
Google My Business is only one part of a good online presence. At Impressive Media Group, we work with you every step of the way to grow your business online. Let’s take your business to the next level together, call us today!
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