As the new year begins, are you wondering how Google My Business tips can help you accelerate your 2019 digital marketing efforts? Google My Business tools are free and effective and leverage the power of today’s most important customer discovery platform. For businesses looking to get ahead, you may have already started to plan how to ramp up your digital marketing efforts this year. Taking advantage of everything that Google My Business has to offer is Root & Branch’s first recommendation.
We believe claiming and properly optimizing the Google Business Listing is the single most important thing for local and regional businesses to do. In general, a well-optimized Local SEO approach is important to be as visible as possible for both customers and prospects searching online. Check out our top 7 Google My Business tips that will take your listing to the next level in 2019:
1. Always keep your business information up to date.
This is one of the most important Google My Business tips. When information about your business changes, it’s crucial to update it on Google My Business. Keeping your account up to date ensures that Google has the most accurate info to share with current and potential customers. These updates include business hours (including holiday and special hours), physical address, phone number, category of business, website, and more. Your Google My Business listing may be the first (and sometimes only) thing searchers see when they look up your business, so having that accurate information is critical.
2. Download the new Google My Business App for on-the-go updates right from your phone.
This is a free mobile app that helps you manage your business on the go. On the app, you can:
- Manage how your local business appears on Google Search and maps
- Edit your business info such as address, phone number, hours, etc.
- Respond to reviews, questions, and messages from customers
- Share new photos and create Google posts
- See customer insights such as how people find and interact with your business on Google
However, some features aren’t available on mobile yet, such as grouped locations or being able to remove a listing or transfer ownership. Other features are only available on mobile, such as being able to see your followers.
3. Add additional owners and managers to share responsibility on your GMB listing.
As a business owner or manager, you have a lot of responsibility, which means you may not have time to keep your online presence fresh. Adding others to help manage your GMB listing can come a long way. Our recommendation is to add additional owners or managers to be prepared if something ever changed with your business. Maybe you no longer have or use the email you set up the account with, an admin left your company and you need someone else to handle the GMB listing, etc. As an owner, you can add and remove users at any time. There are three types of user access:
- Owners: These users have the largest set of privileges and access, can make high-level administrative decisions like adding other owners and managers or removing the listing from their account. They can also update any information on the listing.
- Managers: These users can edit business information, view insights, and do a lot of what an owner can but with less administrative power.
- Site manager: This is the lowest level of access. A site manager can still interact with customers such as posting pictures, responding to reviews, etc. They do not have any type of administrative power.
4. Share more (and better) photos.
A listing with a lot of photos helps you gain trust and credibility with potential customers wondering what your business is all about. This lets you showcase the photos that capture your business the best. According to Google, “Businesses with photos receive 42% more request for driving directions to their location, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t have photos.” You can add a profile photo, cover photo, and many additional photos. For optimal results, the photos you use should be at least 720px by 720px either in JPG or PNG format.
5. Reply to all customer reviews and questions, the good and the bad.
Responding to reviews is a key part of reputation management and maintaining a professional image. By publicly responding to online reviews and answering customer questions with accurate information, a business shows current customers and potential prospects (not to mention search engines) that they care. Handling both positive and negative reviews in an appropriate manner is a big part of building customer trust and loyalty and a positive online image. In addition, 91% of marketers now agree that review signals play a role in driving local search visibility. Search engines like Google use the quantity and quality of reviews to help determine what businesses to show to customers searching for a local business.
6. Stand out by using the Google Posts feature more often to promote content, events, and offers.
Google Posts allow businesses to create content about a promotion, announcement, news, or blog update directly on Google. The post appears alongside their business information on the Google SERP (search engine results page). According to Google, “Seventy percent of people look at multiple businesses before making a final choice.” Posts are a great way to showcase what is unique about your business. You can share timely and relevant updates right on Google Search and Maps to help your business stand out. The Posts feature also allows you to include calls-to-action with the content you post, so you can choose what action you want your customers to take.
7. Use GMB Insights to see how your business performs over time and how people are finding your listing.
Insights gives you an inside look at how people find your business listing on Search and Maps and what they do once they find it. Google recently added a new branded searches section in addition to direct and discovery searches. Branded searches allows you to see when a customer searched for your brand or a brand related to your business. This category will only appear if your listing has appeared at least once for a branded search. You can use this information to make smart business decisions. In addition, Insights will show you things like how many actions customers took on your listing, including visits to your website, requests for directions, and direct calls from a Mobile device.
At Root and Branch, we believe Google My business is becoming increasingly valuable for local businesses. While GMB does the heavy lifting for local SEO, Yelp, Bing Places, and other online business directories are also crucial for presenting a comprehensive and consistent picture to customers and search engines. Root and Branch is a certified Yext partner agency. We use Yext PowerListings to ensure other business listing locations are accurate and optimized after Google has been successfully addressed. How does your business look across the web? Check out our free scan tool to find out.
Are you a new business and need guidance on where to begin? First, you can download our free Google My Business Guide for tips on getting started. If you need help managing your GMB listing, are struggling to manage other listings across the internet, or are looking for expertise with your Local SEO approach, get in touch with us today.