Google My Business. This free tool is gaining importance but do you know how to use it successfully? Google is always changing, and Google My Business (GMB) is something you need to stay on top of if you want to continue attracting local customers. In this post, we’re going to help you achieve a Google My Business profile that leverages the power of Google to grow your business.
What is Google My Business?
To start, let’s briefly touch on the basics of what Google My Business is. This tool from Google allows its users to gain more visibility into businesses without having to click through to their website. This makes it easier for potential customers to quickly see if you meet their needs. You might see a decline in your website traffic, but the hope is that customers are skipping that step and heading straight to your business.
For more help understanding Google My Business, head to our GMB Knowledge Center
Setting up Your Google My Business Profile
The top priority with your Google My Business profile is to make sure it is both complete and accurate. A full Google My Business page includes its:
- Hours of operation
- Contact information
For more help with creating and claiming your Google My Business profile, head to this post.
Engaging Your Google My Business Profile
After you make sure that your business’s GMB page is complete, it’s time to start posting to keep your profile active and relevant. Here are some dos and don’ts for posting on GMB:
Vary up what you publish to your profile. Try a mix of blog posts, industry-related articles, announcements, upcoming events, and business promotions.
Use one of the call-to-action buttons Google provides to place your link, making it easy for people to click
Use emojis (just one or two) in your post to reflect your brand personality and make your content relatable.
Post at least once a week. GMB posts expire after seven days so make sure your business profile always has an active post.
Include photos. As with any post, an accompanying visual will increase its appeal and most likely the engagement it gets.
Use video. Did you know that 52% of consumers are more comfortable purchasing a product after watching a video?(Source Impact). Google has created a 30-second time limit for GMB video posts. Use these short clips to post previews, teasers, quick tips and tutorials, or even brief tours.
Although GMB gives you a lot of flexibility with making your business pop on Google, there are some things that you shouldn’t be doing. For example:
Use hashtags. Hashtags have many benefits, but not on GMB. Since you can’t search for hashtags on the platform, all they’ll do is take up valuable space for you to put information that will get people to click in your post.
Create long and drawn out posts. The character limit is 1,500 but only the first 100 characters of a post will appear on your listing, so get to your point quickly!
Use fancy jargon that your audience might not understand.
Include more than one promotion in a post. Your audience is likely to get confused or overwhelmed and not take any action at all.
For more help with optimizing your Google My Business Profile, head here.
Monitoring Your Google Listing
One of the most powerful elements of your Google My Business profile is the reviews section. According to Inc., 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so make sure you are monitoring your reviews regularly.
- Respond to negative reviews to resolve the issue, show the rest of your audience that you value your customers, and also to hopefully turn that negative review into a positive one.
- Respond to positive reviews to keep happy customers coming back. Your customers just want to feel heard, and the more you demonstrate that they are heard, the more new reviews you will collect.
Maintaining Your Google Listing
Having an accurate profile is essential for your online presence. Here are some final tips for maintaining a current Google My Business Profile:
- Update your contact info if anything changes—even as small as a suite or floor number.
- Keep your photos current and lively. If something has changed in your physical space, share a photo of it to keep customers in the loop and encourage them to come in and see it.
- Verify your holiday hours
Google My Business is always evolving, so you’ll need to make regular adjustments to get the most out of it. However, if you set your profile up using the tips above, the adjustments will only be small.
Want to see how you’re Google My Business Profile is doing? Run your profile through our free grader below: