SEO is a wide, winging and complicated arena. There are so many things you can do, so many areas to focus on that sometimes it can feel a bit like chasing your own tail. But one thing that has become clear in the last year or so is that local search is becoming more and more prominent. This is mainly done through Google My Business listings. Getting yourself a Google My Business listing can increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps and even organic search results for people in your local area. This is a free listing to local businesses, so why would you not take advantage of it? And once you have your listing, there are a few things you can do to really take advantage of it, that we’re going to share with you today.
Complete All The Information Google Asks For
When you first set up your listing, you will be asked to fill in a series of information about your business. There is a ‘skip button’ for this, but we don’t recommend you press it! Instead, take some time to fill in all of the information google asks for. When you’re done, your listing will have valuable basic data that will make it easier for potential customers to find information about your company, and for Google to discover and rank you more easily. And if you don’t fill out that information, someone else can. A lot of people don’t realise that anyone can suggest edits to your listing – including your competitors. And those edits can even be made live without your approval! So, make sure the information listed is what you want to be displayed.
Google My Business Posts
Google My Business Posts are almost like social media posts or mini-blogs that turn up in your Google My Business Listing. They last for a week on mobile and forever on desktops, and can be a goldmine of information for customers and leads for you. Not sure what to post about? If you’re having an event, you can set up a post with the date and time, and a link to the registration page (this listing won’t expire until the event is over). Do you have a sale going on at a specific time? Create a ‘sale’ event post. Is your latest blog post amazing? Promote it with a short description and a link to the main post. New product or service you want to feature? Show a picture and link to where people can buy or find out more. The possibilities are endless, and it keeps your listing fresh for both viewers and Google.
Googles new booking button feature can really help your business stand out from the crowd. Ideal for any kind of business that requires customers to make appointments (like a hairdresser for example) , the booking button allows you to integrate your GMB listing with your booking software, so customers can make bookings with you through your listing. This can make it even easier for you to get new customers, since they don’t even have to leave the listing to make an appointment with you. And if you add a service menu, customers can even pick which service they want to book for through your listing too!
Questions & Answers
Questions and Answers is a great feature for local Google search, and it doesn’t exactly what it says on the tin. People can click on a button in your listing that says ‘ask a question’, and publicly ask whatever they want to know. And you can respond to them! Win, win. But make sure you actually respond to these questions, as there’s nothing worse than an unanswered question, and it doesn’t look good for your business if you won’t communicate with your customers. Also, it’s important to remember that just like suggested edits, anyone can answer questions on your listings, so you want to keep an eye out and make sure you answer questions quickly, and that if someone else answers, it is accurate.
Unlike Yelp, which actively discourages businesses from asking customers for reviews, Google encourages this as much as possible. Your reviews appear next to your listing, and give customers the confidence to continue researching you and buy from you. The more reviews you get, the better your search rankings will get, and the more customers will trust you and click on your listing. For example:
- 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more
- 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business
- Responding to reviews is more important than ever, with 30% naming this as key when judging local businesses
- 68% of consumers left a local business review when asked — with 74% having been asked for their feedback
At the end of the day, Google is always looking to promote the businesses who put the effort into promoting their business properly. This means that the more attention you pay to your Google My Business listing, the better it will perform for you. There are many more tips, tricks and little hacks we can teach you to really make the most out of your Google My Business listing, but to find out what those are, you’ll have to book a consultation with us! Just click here to get in touch, and we’ll be happy to share the secrets.