Google My Business is a powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal and can boost your organic rankings if done well. Particularly for a brick-and-mortar business that thrives on local customers, having a professional-looking Google My Business page with rave reviews could mean an influx of new customers. Even though it’s fairly easy to set up a Google My Business profile, making your page stand out and contribute to your organic rankings is another matter. To help improve your local search rankings, here are some tips from our team to enhance your Google My Business listing.
Complete as Many Details as Possible
When creating your Google My Business profile, you are asked to fill in details about your business. Even though many fields are optional, try to fill out as much as you can. The more information you provide, the easier it is for customers to have a clear picture of what you offer, where and when to get to you. This is especially important to keep updated as your business hours and service availability may change with your area’s pandemic response right now.
Use Keywords in Your Listing
Apply the same principles for traditional SEO when managing your business listing. Try to include the keywords you are ranking for in the description. This way, when a user residing in the area you serve searches for that keyword, Google can pull your listing from their database and display it. For some more detailed tips on keyword research, check out our podcast!
Utilize Google My Business Posts
There is a section in Google My Business that allows you to publish short posts that may show up in search results. Use these posts to inform potential customers about your upcoming events, current promotions, holiday sales, or new product launch. Again, utilize this space to update on your business’s new or temporary guidelines for staying safe during this pandemic.
Take Care of Customer Reviews, Especially the Bad Ones
The number of reviews and ratings on your listing can be used by Google to determine how popular you are. Businesses with lots of reviews tend to achieve higher rankings. Even though it’s up to the customer to decide whether they would write you a review or not, there are various ways you can incentivize them to do so. Businesses have reported success using freebies, contests, and gentle nudges to invite their happy customers to leave a review.
What about negative reviews? Some businesses ignore them saying by replying to them, you are drawing other customers’ attention to the negative remark. However, this is not recommended from a marketing standpoint. When discovering a business that you have never used before, would you be wary of negative reviews people left online? If those reviews go unattended, it just shows you that the business doesn’t care about its customers. You don’t want to create that image. Treat each negative review as a chance to improve your business. When potential customers see how much effort you put in to resolve the problem, they may decide to give your business a try despite the negative reviews.
Make Use of the Google My Business Direct Messaging Functions
For businesses that require customers to set up appointments in advance, Google’s booking feature can be a real timesaver. By integrating your scheduling software with Google, people can book an appointment with you without leaving the Google page. The more convenient it is for customers to come to you, the more likely they will give it a try.
The Google My Business app also has a Messaging feature which allows customers to directly send you SMS messages when they are browsing on their mobile. This is a great way to connect to potential customers. Be sure to reply to messages within twenty-four hours for the best chance to keep their interest!
There is also a Q&A section you can use on your Google My Business listing. Both you and your potential customers can pose frequently asked questions for you to respond to. This can be useful for both industry-specific and general queries, such as “Do you have any vegetarian options?” in a food business, “What are the accessibility options?” in a real estate or hospitality business, or “Do you require patrons wear masks?” for all in-person businesses right now.
Another great aspect of watching your business rank is that Google My Business will email you a monthly report with detailed analytics so you can study how many followers, clicks, and bookings you are getting from your listing. It does take time to see the results so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see any increased traffic instantly.
By consistently working on your listing and applying other SEO tactics, you’ll reap the benefits of organic traffic in the long run. Are you ready to focus on your SEO? Contact our team to schedule a consultation on how to best position your business for online and digital marketing success.