When you're looking for a product, service or answer to a question, your first thought is usually, "Let me Google this." That's why your presence on Google is critical and where having a consistent Google My Business presence is essential.
*We're going to refer to Google My Business as GMB in this article.*
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool for businesses and organizations to manage their presence on Google’s properties, including Search, Maps, Ads and more. GMB can help your customers find you, increase your reach, drive traffic, and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
With GMB you can:
- Manage your information: Manage the information that Google users find when they search for your business, or the products and services that you offer. Businesses that verify their information with Google My Business are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers.
- Interact with customers: Read and respond to reviews from your customers, and post photos that show off what you do. Businesses that add photos to their Business Profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.
- Understand and expand your presence: Find insights on how customers searched for your business, and where those customers are coming from. You can also find information like how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results in Search and Maps.
Maintaining a Consistent GMB Presence
It can feel like you have to schedule content across every single platform. GMB can feel a bit like it's yet another place that you need to post to.
But here's where GMB is most valuable: any business where people often search for you. In particular, we've seen this in retail, hospitality and tourism businesses.
For businesses who use GMB (or agencies who want to offer it to their clients), Sked Social makes it really easy to schedule GMB posts, along with scheduling Instagram posts and stories, and other social channels. If you’re ready to start scheduling, Sked offers a 7 day free trial.
Here's a look at the GMB dashboard. There are tons of different features you have control over.
There are a few different kinds of posts you can add to your Google listing including:
- What's New: general information about your business, COVID-19 updates
- Events: event posts have dates and times so you can promote upcoming events
- Offers: having a sale or promotion? This is where you'd share the information
- Products: adding product posts to your GMB will show customers your offerings
- Hours Update: make edits to your hours so your customers know when you're open
Posts will remain on your Google listing for 7 days unless you enter a specified date.
Info is where you will add all of the details of your business for your Google My Business. This will contain your name, category of business, where you're located, hours of operation and more.
You can also add contact information here like address, phone number and email. This makes it easy for customers to get in touch with your business because they don't have to go searching through your website to find it.
Under Insights, you'll get analytics like:
- How customers search for your business
- Queries used to find your business: the most popular queries for your business by unique users
- Where customers view your search on Google
- Customer actions: are people clicking your website or calling you? What buttons are they clicking on in your listing
- Phone calls: how many people are calling you directly from your Google listing
- Photo views: the number of times your photos have been viewed
You can view your analytics over the past week, past month or past quarter.
Reviews is where you can see and respond to customers who have given reviews of your business on Google.
It's important to read and respond to reviews (especially negative ones) to determine areas of improvement and confirm what's working for your business.
Engaging with your customer reviews also shows people that you care about the product or service that people are buying from you. It shows potential customers that you are willing to do what it takes to ensure a positive experience with your business.
Photos and Videos
Here you can add photos and videos to your listing on Google.
Photos can be beneficial for many reasons. They can help show people your location, your staff, what your products look like and more. Be sure to use high-quality images!
You can also include videos in your GMB listing which is great for promotions, introducing your business or how-to videos that customers might find helpful.
Products and Services
Showcase your best selling products and let people know what they're going to get from you.
Add services you offer to your listing so people can easily tell what to expect from your business.
Post Best Practices
In order to use GMB posts, you need to have created your GMB location and verified your account. Also note that Google limits who can use Google My Business posts to only some businesses, so you should also check if you can create Google My Business posts in the Google Business Dashboard.
According to Google, "A post to your customers on Google should be brief, useful and inspire action, and photos should be well-lit and in-focus."
Here is what you should do
- Be precise: What are the three things that your customer needs to know? What do you want them to remember, for how much and when?
- Be personal: Show what your business values
- Highlight: What makes your business, product or offer unique
- Be timely: Use a key selling point or popular item as the hook for your post
- Make sure that you include any redemption instructions, unique codes or restrictions on offers or sales
- Use common abbreviations: For days, months and hours to save space