How to Optimize your Google My Business Listing
All the standard SEO approaches help to optimize your business on google. You can’t alter your location, but you can improve your relevance and authority through the skillful use of:
Videos, Photos, and Posts.
Features – Booking Buttons and Messages.
Keywords give signals about your relevance to the google search engine. There is no point in using keywords that are not relevant to Google for business. Keywords that describe your business are essential on your website and in your business description – keep them focused. You want customers interested in your business and to use the search terms they use in looking for a company like yours.
You have 750 characters to showcase your business. Load your most key phrases into the first 250 characters to make sure that your message is visible at first glance.
Your words are subject to review and need to comply with the Google guidelines. You won’t go wrong if you are honest about your business and remember that you want to attract the right type of customers. If you are sincere, your customer gets the experience they expect.
Manage and Respond to Customer Reviews
Your business is all about your customers. Google for business encourages customers to write reviews about your products and services. Some customers will volunteer to write a review without any encouragement.
How you respond to customer reviews sets the tone for your customer service reputation.
Glowing or angry, keep your response needs pleasant and positive. Accept and own your mistakes, but don’t be shy in pointing out events beyond your control. Apologize for what you can do better, but don’t take the blame for actions you can’t control.
Google My Business Videos
Videos are engaging – most people prefer a moving image with sound to a static one with text. Videos are not crucial to your My Google Business listing, but they help you stand out from the competition. Google Business manager lets you add a short (maximum 30 seconds and less than 100MB), good quality (Minimum 720p resolution) to your listing.
Google My Business Photos
Businesses with photos get more click-throughs (35% more) and more real-world visits – 42% more requests for directions than for Google business listings without photos.
Photos on your Google Business page give you an advantage in attracting potential customers. One point to note is that you don’t control what images are displayed as other people can upload photos to your listing. You can express a preference.
There are three types of photo you can upload to your Google business account:
Google My Business Posts
Your ability to post news, events, and information along with photos and videos is a powerful free marketing tool on My Business for Google. Take advantage of it by posting regularly to keep your listing current, active, and attractive.
Your posts can include any or all the following:
News about events including date, time, and a link to a registration page. The event post stays up until the event is over.
Sales – if you are having a sale, shout about it.
Products – new in stock or product launches.
Shout about your awesome blog post and add a link.
Seasonal messages – celebrating the cycle of community events keeps your business in view.
Booking Button Feature
You need a scheduling provider to take advantage of this feature. They may charge fees. If your business takes bookings from customers or runs on an appointment system, then online booking makes life easier for your customer and you. Adding the button feature through Google Business Manager makes it easier for your customers to book with you.
You may have a scheduling provider already, but if not, you can select one of Google’s supported scheduling providers.
You can use your booking app across all your platforms, including your website, for one seamless booking system fed by many sources. Your customers get automatic reminders through Google making it more likely that they will turn up to their appointment.
You can turn on messaging and show yourself as open to customer contact. When someone messages you through My Business Google, you (and everyone else managing the account) gets a notification of an incoming message. Any of you can respond.
Your customer gets an automatic response that the message has gone to you – you can write this response to reflect your business style. You can respond with text and photos to your customer and get the conversational ball rolling.
You need to respond to all messages within 24 hours. Pay attention to holiday times and turn off messenger if you know you can’t make the response time.
Messenger is an excellent feature on Google business accounts for engaging with customers and potential customers to build loyalty and attract custom.
Questions & Answers
Anyone can pose a question on your Google business listing. And anyone can answer that question. The questions and answers section are a potential opportunity to promote your business or a marketing nightmare.
Although Google now sends notifications about new questions, it’s an area you want to check routinely. If third parties provide answers to customer questions, they may be wrong or unhelpful. You want to make sure your business stands up for its reputation and service and is shaping the discussion.
The marketing opportunity is to turn this section on My Google Business page into your FAQ section. You can pose and answer your questions to ensure potential customers get the right information to encourage them to do business with you.
Menus are not limited to restaurants and cafés. Any service business has a list of options they offer their clients from hairdressing to book-keeping.
Restaurants can add a link to their online menu or create a list on their Google business page (no third-party providers). This menu features special dishes and prices. The aim is to give the potential customer a taste of what is available.
Service businesses can create a menu of their services and guide prices similarly.
Providing a menu of food or services gives your business an additional shop window where customers find reassurance that your business is what they want and is affordable.