Google wants users to have the best search experience, so they’ve made it easy for businesses to create listings where visitors can get information without even opening a website. Google is the king of search, so it’s important to play by their rules. Here are five things to know about Google My Business.
1. Setting Up Your Listing
When claiming your Google My Business listing, you’ll be asked to verify that you own the business by entering a PIN, which is sent by U.S. Mail to your physical location or by phone. Once the PIN has been verified, you can access your local listing and start to optimize your Google My Business listing.
NAP is the name, address, and phone number of your business. Your NAP data should be identical across all listing sites, including Yelp, Yellow Pages, Bing, and Yahoo.
Include accurate operating hours and you can also include special operating hours around holidays and other special events; keeping your hours updated will keep your customers happy because they’ll know exactly when they can reach you.
Categories describe your business’s services and connect you with customers who are searching for those services in their area.
Capture the personality of your business by adding a variety of high-quality photos to your Google My Business profile. Customers can also contribute photos to your listing, which Google doesn’t allow you to remove unless the photos violate Google’s user terms.
In your listing, always include
· Profile photo – featured next to your name on your Google+ page. (don’t use your business logo).
· Logo image – square logos display best.
· Cover photo – the large photo at the top of your Google+ page, show your personality here.
· Additional photos – photos of your team, office, or products are important. You should also regularly update the images because it shows Google that you’re an active business.
Posts are the newest Google My Business feature, rolled out in June 2017. Posts allow your business to share specials or promotions, promote events, showcase products, and more. When writing a post, you can include an image, text, a link, and a call-to-action.
4. Search Dashboard
How many times have you Googled yourself or your business? Google knows you do it a lot, so they’ve made it easy to access your Google My Business dashboard in the search results. If you’re logged into the account as the company owner, you can access your Google My Business dashboard just by searching your business name and address.
Reviews are critical and Google reviews are often seen as more credible than other review sites, like Yelp, but because Google Search pulls all reviews, don’t ignore those other review sites.
The best way is to ask your customers to leave you a review – you can even ask customers to leave a review in exchange for a special gift or money off their next purchase. Create a link on your website that makes it easy for customers to leave you a review.
Responding to Reviews
Responding to reviews is another way to create fresh content on your Google My Business page.
When responding to a positive review, mention keywords specific to your services. You may even want to mention a behind-the-scenes reason for why they had a great experience, or mention a new feature or promotion they should try next time.
When responding to negative review, don’t forget that anyone who reads your reviews can see your response, so prove that you’re willing to make it right and will work hard to prevent the problem in the future.
We know it’s a lot of information, but don’t be intimidated. Google My Business is a powerful tool, and to compete in today’s marketplace, you need to use it. If you have questions about how to optimize your Google My Business page , contact us today.