Since customers often find your business through Googling, it’s important that your Google My Business page is accurate, has updated information and shows up online above your competitors.
Your GMB page is free, so why not optimize your page, maximize your business reviews and add fun items such as videos and photos to make the page more personal?
Using EVERY part of your Google My Business page is the easiest and best way for not only Google, but your customers, to understand your business.
“You want to make sure you’re putting as much information as possible, including updated hours, COVID-19 precautions, address and phone number, etc.,” said Krys VanSlyke, Digital Air Strike’s vice president of operations. “Use all the functions of the page to capture zero-click search traffic. This is a FREE way to get in front of more consumers.”
An optimized GMB page helps Google understand who your business is, what you sell, where you’re located and how to find your website. It gives your business increased local SEO, visibility in searches and maps and website traffic. Increased exposure, click-to-call actions, leads and sales are also positive byproducts of a well-honed page.
The more Google knows about you, the more it considers you an authority and the more types of searches your business listing can appear in.
“You might not think of this as traditional SEO for your website, but this is a very important piece of dominating the search results page,” VanSlyke said. “It’s a guaranteed way to go to the top of the SEO page. Google likes Google.”
A zero-click search is a search that results in a user making zero clicks to find their answer or desired information. This means no clicking on any website featured on the search results page. Instead, the customer’s query is answered by a featured snippet.
Google has streamlined local search so well that zero-click searches have become the norm.
The goal is to claim and verify your GMB listing.
It’s best to fully complete every section, from your full business name and correct address/map pin, to a local, direct phone number and your hours of operation, especially if they’ve changed during the pandemic. And don’t forget updating your description, adding new photos and videos, and choosing the best business category. Make sure you add your website and the website button actually links to your home page.
Developing a succinct 750-character business description is important for your GMB page. Since only the first 250 characters show up in the page’s “knowledge panel,” you have to prioritize your information, include important keywords and highlight the features that attract customers most. You have to set yourself apart from your competitors!
Customers are 42% more likely to visit a business if the listing has photos, and 35% more likely to click through to your website, according to Google. You should continually be updating your photos, even reflecting the seasons and various holidays and events.
Your GMB category helps identify the services your business offers and directly affects your local rankings. If you have separate GMB listings for the different parts of your business at the same address, you may not list the same categories on both listings. No double dipping allowed!
Google reviews are critical since star ratings impact which business a customer chooses, but also affects how high your business ranks in results. Having positive reviews for your business makes it more likely to show up in that coveted local pack of results.
Responding to reviews builds customer trust.
Consumers consider businesses that respond to reviews 1.7 times more trustworthy than businesses that don’t: 76% vs. 46%, according to Google.
Responding to negative reviews though can be tricky. Businesses of all sizes should have a process for monitoring and responding to all reviews. Learn more here on how to respond to negative reviews the right way.
Communicating any changes and promoting your virtual services on search can be done through Google tiles/posts. It’s important to update your hours to say you’re open for business, highlight available services, communicate the sanitizing/social distancing steps your business has taken during the pandemic, and promote any delivery or pickup offerings.
Google tiles can also be used to make announcements, create events, highlight products, display coupons, share positive reviews, and promotional offers.
Whether a customer comes to your business or not may depend on those coupons and promotional offers.
For example, 53% of car buyers and 57% of service customers say the top reason they chose not to contact an auto dealership was because there were no special offers listed, according to Digital Air Strike’s 8th annual Automotive Digital Retailing Consumer Trends Study.
Google posts should be updated to have a call to action and a link to a related landing page, such as how to buy your products from home, where to see new inventory and where to find special offers.
Video is also relevant to include on your Google tiles.
These videos need to work silently, offer timely, helpful content and be short. You don’t want to lose your customer with a long, complicated video. Click here to learn more about Digital Air Strike’s Video Logix, the easy-to-use technology that businesses use to record, send and track videos for customers.
Implementing these best practices for Google is key during the pandemic when people are doing more shopping and researching from home. Learning how to embrace technology and evolve to reach consumers can make or break your business. Don’t get left behind!