This article has been updated to include new information from Google as of 27 July 2020.
Google My Business is going strong despite our new circumstances. It’s a sign that local search is here to stay. From getting business information to contacting you, customers can already know the basics with just a touch of a button!
Recent stats show that almost 50% of all searches now on Google are for local information, with ‘Where to buy’ and ‘Near me’ queries growing by over 200% in the past two years. So if you own a local business, you should know by now how vital Google My Business is.
The great news is that you can perform all Google My Business optimisation via the DigitalMaas Platform. Our platform is easy-to-use and hassle-free, so updating your GMB profile can be simple and straightforward.
But before we teach you on how to optimise your listing, let us give you the basics on what Google My Business is.
What is Google My Business
Google My Business is a free marketing tool by Google that allows you to manage and display accurate information about your business and engage with your customers across Google Search and Maps.
If you’ve ever searched for a business online, you’ll often see a panel on the right-hand side of your screen. That’s called the “knowledge panel” and it contains information about a business whose products or services you’re searching for. Google My Business complements your website by giving your business identity and presence on Google.
From a quick glance, a potential customer can learn about your business and whether or not they want to visit your store. And that is precisely the point of having a Google My Business listing: to provide users with enough information about your company to help them determine if they want to engage with your business.
Make Your Google My Business Listing Stand Out
So how do you optimise your Google My Business listing? And why should you prioritise improving the information on it?
Not only will your customers learn more about you and your company, but an optimised Google My Business page helps Google understand more about your business and the services you provide. And the more Google knows about you, means you have a higher chance of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps.
So get ready to steal the limelight away from your competitors by following the steps below:
1. Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Now, this may seem obvious, but there are still several businesses that do not take advantage of Google My Business. You can’t update your business information without claiming your business. So before anything else, make sure your profile has been claimed and verified.
2. Double Check Your Business Information
When people search for your business on Google, it is necessary that you give them accurate details such as business name and address, phone number, hours of operations and business category.
Edit and update your business information through the DigitalMaas platform. Choose “Locations” and click on “Info” to update your business details. The more information you provide, the better. These are a few of the information you can include on your listing:
- Phone Number
- Service Area
- Hours of Operation
- The year you opened
Now that we’re experiencing a new normal due to the Coronavirus, Google My Business has recently updated their features for businesses affected by the pandemic. This way of life will be with us for a long time, if not permanently, so millions of businesses will have to adjust.
Here’s what you can do on your GMB listing:
- Adjust your hours of operation especially if you close early or if you’re closed on weekends or certain days.
- Add “More hours” to include delivery, takeaway and drive-through services.
- Select more attributes for online classes or appointments.
- Include delays on specific business services (e.g. deliveries).
- Notify your customers if your business is ‘Temporarily closed’.
If you mark your business as ‘Temporarily closed’, Google will still show your listing on Search and Maps.
Did you know you can use the DigitalMaas Platform to edit your GMB listing? Learn how to change your location information.
3. Add A Description
To get more customers, talk about what your business is all about and not what services you offer. With a GMB listing, you can write up to 750 characters to describe yourself – but only 250 characters show up on the knowledge panel before they get cut off – so we recommend that you carefully create your business description.
Remember that you’re not only communicating with your potential customers, but you’re also giving Google more information that can help your business rank in more search queries.
4. Upload Quality Images
They weren’t kidding when they said “A picture is worth a thousand words” because Google has already presented us with the benefits of placing quality images on your GMB listing:
“Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their website than businesses that don’t have photos.”
Below are the guidelines from Google for formatting photos and images ready for GMB:
- Photos should be JPG or PNG files;
- The files sizes should be between 10 KB and 5 MB;
- Photos should be a minimum of 720px in height by 720px in width;
- Photos should be high quality, not use filters excessively or have major alterations, representing the reality of your business.
Customers want to see what your business is like before they choose to work with you. If you sell products, you must provide images to showcase them on your GMB listing. Or if you offer services like landscaping, show off your business’ work through posting pics of completed work.
Don’t know where to start with photos? We’ve got you covered.
- Quick Guide on Business-Specific Photos
- Where do photos on my GMB listing come from?
- How Do I Upload My Logo?
- How to Add Photos or Videos to GMB Listings?
5. Respond to Reviews
When making a purchase decision, most people ask others for their opinion because they want to learn from their experiences.
This is why Google My Business reviews are essential. Reviews can be a deciding factor whether or not a consumer engages with your business. According to stats, about 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Reviews deserve a response – whether it be positive or negative. This improves your online reputation and customer experience. If you have several locations, you can respond to reviews right away through the DigitalMaas platform. Our platform gives you an insight into the number of reviews your GMB listing has received, your average rating, and reviews that you have to respond to.
Good reviews give a positive impression to your business while a bad review is an opportunity to make things right with the customer. Your responses as a business matter, it shows your current and potential customer that you value their feedback and that you care.
Want to learn more about GMB Reviews? Read our quick guides.
- How can My Business Get More Reviews?
- How do I Respond to Reviews?
- How do I Reply to Negative Reviews?
6. Post Events, Offers and Relevant News
Google My Business posts help increase your local search visibility. GMB posts are essentially your mini social media page wherein you can promote your business’ upcoming events, offers and news articles. You can post about anything you want customers to know about your business, your products and your services. Add photos, incorporate keywords and end each post with a call-to-action. By regularly posting, you can draw in more people to your business and maintain your GMB listing.
In case your business has a COVID-19 related update that you’d like to share, you can use GMB Posts to announce to your customers what plans you’ll be doing throughout the pandemic and beyond:
- Closures of certain areas of your business
- Reduced hours
- Safety and hygiene practices
- Online appointments and classes
Learn more about making the most of your GMB Posts:
- What is a GMB Post?
- How to Create a GMB Post
- How to Create Bulk GMB Posts
- Can I upload multiple photos on my GMB post?
Unlock the power of Google My Business with these steps and turn 2020 into a year of progress and profit! With Google continuously evolving and refining its features, stay ahead of your competitors. Keep posting, monitoring, and updating your GMB profile. Make sure you provide your customers and potential clients a pleasant experience.
Let the DigitalMaas Platform help you in achieving digital success!
If you want Digitalmaas to do all the Google My Business optimisation for you, sign up to one of our plans and watch your business grow. You can also sign-up to our digital marketing platform and get your free site audit.