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Posts in Google: Google My Business category.
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing for Local SEO

 

An important first step in any local SEO strategy is to claim and verify your local business’ Google My Business (GMB) listing. Getting on Google My Business can increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general. Qualifying local businesses can claim this free listing on Google and include basic information about their company, like their address, phone number, business hours and types of payments accepted.

If you haven’t claimed and verified your Google My Business Listing yet, that’s the first step. To get started, visit https://www.google.com/business.

Optimize Your Google My Business Listing for a Local SEO Boost

Many local businesses just claim their GMB listing and forget about it. What most businesses don’trealize is that there are a variety of other features you can use to optimize your Google My Business listing and several reasons why you should frequently check your business listing to ensure that it’s accuracy stays intact. Want to know more?

Complete all the information Google asks for

There are a variety of questions you can answer to complete your Google My Business profile. When done, your listing will have valuable data that will make it easier for potential customers to find your company. And if you don’t fill that information in, someone else could. Many business owners don’t realize that anyone can suggest a change to your business listing — and that includes competitors.

When a searcher clicks on your GMB listing they can see a “Suggest an edit” option:

 

Google my business marketing media wizard

 

When someone clicks on that option they can literally edit your Google My Business listing (and make some pretty dramatic changes, too):

 

 

This is just one reason why it’s very important that you login to your Google My Business dashboard regularly to ensure that no one has attempted to make any unwanted changes to your business listing. In your account, you’ll see an alert that changes are pending if someone has made suggested changes that need your approval before Google publishes them.

Also, keep in mind that Google encourages people who are familiar with your business to answer questions, so Google can learn more information about your small business. To do this they can simply click on the “Know this place? Answer quick questions” link.

 

They’ll then be prompted to answer some questions about your business.

 

 

If they know the answer to the questions, they can answer. If not, they can decline.

Now, some business owners have cried foul, saying that competitors or others with malicious intent can wreak havoc on their Google My Business listings with this feature. However, Google’s philosophy is that this type of “user-generated content” helps to build a community, more fully completes a business’ profile, and allows Google to experiment with different search strategies.

After you get your Google My Business listing verified, continue to check your listing regularly to be on the safe side.

Google My Business Posts

Google Posts are “mini-ads” that show up in Google search in your Google My Business listing (in the Knowledge Panel and on Google Maps.)

 

You can have fun with your Posts by adding an image, a Call to Action (CTA), and even including a link to another page or website. If you’re using Yext, you can create GMB Posts directly from your Yext dashboard.

Here are just a few Post ideas:

  • If you’re having an event (like a webinar) you can set up an event Post with a date and time and then add a link to the registration page.
  • Do you have a sale going on during a specific time? Create a “sale” event Post.
  • Does your latest blog post rock? Add a short description of your blog post and link to the post on your blog.
  • New product you want to feature? Show a picture of this cool gadget and link to where people can make the purchase.
  • Want to spread holiday joy? Give potential customers a holiday message Post.

The possibilities with Posts are endless! Posts stay “live” for seven days or “go dark” after the date of the event. Google is great about sending you reminders when it’s time to create a new Post.

TIP: To grab a searcher’s attention, you want to include an image in your Post, but on Google Maps the Post image can get cut off. You might have to test a few Post image sizes to make sure it’s sized appropriately for Maps and the Knowledge Panel on desktop and mobile devices.

To get started with Posts, login to your GMB dashboard and you’ll see the Posts option on the left-hand side:

Do Google My Business Posts help with search rankings? Joy Hawkins and Steady Demand tested whether Posts had an impact on rankings, and they found that making Google My Business Posts can improve rankings.

Booking button feature

Google’s new Booking button feature can really help your business stand out from the crowd. If you have any type of business that relies on customers making appointments and you’re using integrated scheduling software, people can now book an appointment with your business directly from your Google My Business listing. This can make it even easier to get new customers!

If you have an account with one of Google’s supported scheduling providers, the booking button is automatically added to your Google My Business listing.

Messaging

Did you know that you can allow potential customers to send you text messages? This is a great way to connect directly with potential customers.

If you don’t want text messages sent to your personal phone number, you can download Google’s Allo app. When you set up your Allo account, use the same phone number connected to your Google My Business account. Now when someone messages you, Allo will send you a notification instead of the message appearing in your personal text messages.

To get started with Messaging, login to your GMB dashboard and click on “Messaging”:

This feature is still in its infancy, though. Right now, messaging is only available to mobile web users and is not available to mobile app or desktop users. People also won’t see the Messaging option in the Knowledge Panel or on Google Maps.

The ONLY way someone can message your business is if they perform a mobile web search on Chrome. (I expect that Google will expand the Messaging feature once they work the kinks out.)

Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers is a relatively new feature to Google local search. It’s very cool! Just like it sounds, Q&A allows people to ask questions about your business and you can answer those questions.

 

Here are a few things to keep in mind about Questions & Answers:

  • The Q&A feature is not visible on the mobile GMB app.
  • You need to login to the GMB dashboard to see if you have any new questions that need answering.
  • You cannot monitor the Questions on a mobile device unless you have an Android phone.
  • You can use the Google Maps App on Android devices to manage the Q&A feature as the business. To do this, download the Google Maps app, sign in with the email address you use for your GMB listing, and you will get push notifications if someone asks your business a question.

TIP: It’s important to note that just like “Suggest an Edit” on GMB, anyone can answer questions asked of your business. Therefore, you want to keep an eye out and make sure you answer questions quickly and ensure that if someone else answers a question, that the answer is accurate. If you find that someone is abusing your GMB listing’s Q&A feature, reach out to the Google My Business support forums.

Google My Business online reviews

Unlike Yelp, which vehemently discourages business owners to ask their customers for reviews, Google encourages business owners to ethically ask their customers or clients for online reviews. Online reviews appear next to your listing in Google Maps and your business’ Knowledge Panel in search. Reviews can help your business stand out among a sea of search results.

Additionally, online reviews are known to impact search result rankings, consumer trust, and click-through rates. According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Consumer Review Survey:

  • 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
  • 79% of consumers have read a fake review in the last year

If you follow Google’s guidelines for Google My Business reviews, you can ask your customers for reviews. (However, if you violate any of these policies, your reviews could be removed.)

When customers leave reviews for you — good or bad — make sure you respond to them. Not only does it show that customer that you appreciate their feedback, it also shows potential customers that you care.

What happens if you get a negative review? First, don’t freak out. Everybody has a bad day and most people recognize that. Also, if you have a troll that gave you a one-star review and left a nasty comment, most people with common sense recognize that review for what it is. It’s generally not worth stressing over.

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Google My Business Listing Features: Some Quick Hacks and Tips

Every business wants to flourish & in order to do so, increasing the business’s ranking on Google is really very essential. On the way to get a place in the top most searches of Google, we make different SEO strategies. One of the basic strategies in this process is to go for Google My Business listing.  The aim behind Google My Business (GMB) is that it increases the chances of getting search result in your favor & makes your Google business page popular.

The GMB is able to do so by showing your business’s name in Google’s Local 3-Pack, adding business to Google Maps as well as to the Local Finder. You don’t have to do much to claim the free listing. You have to provide some basic information to qualify your local business and then you are good to go.

Just to register business on Google My Business listing is not enough; one should possess the knowledge of using it for the benefit of the business. You will not have an advantageous position by just getting listed, you have to use its features to optimize it. We will discuss the Google features in this article, but before we jump into that you need to make sure you register your business on Google My Business by visiting https://www.google.com/business

Now lets have a look at some quick hacks and tips for Google My Business Listing Features Optimization.

Fill your Google My Business Profile Completely

First you have to complete your business profile on Google My Business by filling in basic information about you business. Providing sufficient information helps the customer to find your business from the million others. Here is how you can claim and optimize your GMB profile. It is to be noted that anyone can make a suggestion to edit your business’s information and get it changed. For example, a competitor could use the suggestion box to relocate your business, which benefits them by trying to move you out of the way. If you’re the type that doesn’t get online much or may not check GMB regularly, this could be an issue.

When someone clicks on your Google My Business listing the “Suggest an edit” feature is available for them to use, as seen below.

google my business - suggest an edit

On clicking this option, the searcher can make changes in your listing.

google my business - suggest an edit

In an attempt to remain protected from any such changes, one should login to Google My Business account on a regular basis. Other than this, one should check for the notification of pending changes suggested by different searchers that need to get your approval.

How “Know this place? Answer quick questions” feature works?

In addition to the “Suggest an edit” option, there is another option which says “Know this place? Answer quick questions”. Google has incorporated this option to know more about your business. Any person who has some information in relation to your business can click on this option and give the answers to the questions asked about your business.

google my business - answer quick question

They’ll then get a prompt to answer a few questions about your business and their related experience:

google my business review

There are some business organizations that are against this feature. According to them, the competitors can use this feature as a weapon to ruin their Google My Business Listing. But, Google has a different opinion on this. Google considers this “user-generated content” as an attempt to complete the profile of the business and at the same time, it grants Google an opportunity to develop its various search strategies.

So, it is really very important to check your GMB listing regularly and protect yourself from any malpractice.

Google My Business Posts in Knowledge Panel and Google Maps

Before discussing further, we should first understand that what are Google Posts? The Google My Business Posts are “mini- ads” which appears on the search result for your GMB Listing in both the knowledge panel and google maps.

google my business knowledge place and google map example

One can make various additions to his/ her Google posts like incorporating an image in the post, using a Call to Action (CTA) or hyperlink the post with some other web page. The user can even use Yext to create Google posts.

Below are some ideas which you can use to create your own GMB Posts:

  • An event post can be created, when you are looking forward to organize an event, in which you can add the details like the time and date. Along with this, a link can also be attached to it which will direct the customer to the registration page of that event.
  • Create a sale event post to let your customers know about a sale.
  • Want to promote your latest product? Just create a post having the images of your product and provide a link through which the customer can purchase that product.
  • You can even make posts to wish the customers and spread joy like a post wishing Merry Christmas or New Year etc.

Creating a Post on Google My Business

You can design a post of any kind and Google assists you in this by giving you reminders about creating a post. You should keep in mind these posts will remain active for seven days or until the specified date on which the event will be held.

google my business post example

Pro Tip: You should  test different image sizes before making a post. If the image is not of an ideal size then it will not appear properly on Maps along with the knowledge panel. Images which are properly sized, will not get cropped and will appear clearly.

You can create a post by clicking on the “Posts” tab which appears on the left side of Google My Business dashboard.

how to create post on google my business

Here, a question arises that whether these posts have a positive effect on the ranking of your Google Business Page? The answer is yes, it improves the ranking, as tested by Joy Hawkins with Steady Demand.

Use Google Booking feature to get new customers

Who doesn’t want to flourish its business and wants to attract more and more customers. This could now be possible with Google’s booking buttons feature. Through this, a customer can book an appointment from the GMB listing without much of a hassle. The customer’s work becomes easier using the button feature and thus more and more customers are attracted towards your business.

google my business booking button

The Google My Business Listing of your business will show a button to schedule the appointment if you have already created an account with any of the scheduling providers of Google.

Enable Text Messaging on Phone Number or Google Allo

Connecting with customers is a good way to make them confident about your business and leave a positive impact on them. So, you can use the messaging feature to connect with customers. This feature allows the customers to send you text messages when they have questions about your product or service.

If you don’t want to receive messages directly to your personal number then it’s better to use Google Allo app.

google-my-business-features-google-allo-app

You will receive notifications for messages on Google Allo app instead of getting the message in your personal inbox.

For enabling this feature, just click on the “Messaging” option appearing on the GMB dashboard.

google my business messaging setup

The messaging feature of Google my Business is still in development stage so you must take a note of it. This means that the option of messaging will show up to the mobile web users who are using Chrome only. It will not appear to the desktop as well as the mobile app users.

In addition, the messaging option will also not appear in the knowledge panel along with the Google Maps.

Questions & Answers on Google Local Search

If people will know more about your business then there are chances that if satisfied with your service, they will become your permanent customers. The Question & Answer feature allows the people to know more about you by asking you some questions and you will give answers to their questions.

questions and answers on google my business listing

Here are some guidelines that will help you out with this feature:

  • The mobile GMB app does not support the Question & Answer feature.
  • Login to your Google My Business dashboard to find out if you have any new questions that need to answer.
  • You need to have an android mobile device to monitor the customer questions, iPhone users cannot use this Google feature.
  • Business owners can use google maps app to get a notification about the questions asked and also answer the questions.

google my business answer questions and reviews

TIP: You can take help of the GMB Support Forum, in case, when someone abuses your Q&A feature by giving incorrect answers using “Suggest an Edit” option.

Ask your Customers for Google My Business Online Reviews

Reviews are a nice way to know what’s there in the mind of customers. Hence, Google wants business owners to ask for reviews from customers. You can easily ask the customer for a review by just following the guidelines given by Google. The customer reviews appear along with your listing in the knowledge panel whenever your business name is searched and also appears in Google Maps too. Good Reviews about your business helps you to build goodwill and good reputation in the market.

Additionally, online reviews impact search result rankings, consumer trust, and click-through rates.

According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Consumer Review Survey:

  • 97% of potential customers checkout online reviews for local businesses.
  • 12% of internet users are actively searching for a local business every day
  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 73% of consumers trust a local business only after reading positive reviews
  • 51% of consumers don’t choose a business if it has less than 4 star rating.
  • Responding to good and bad reviews is very important nowadays, with 30% of consumers stating that this says a lot about how a business treats their customers, when judging local businesses
  • 68% of consumers leave a local business review when they are asked for it.
  • 79% of consumers report to have read a fake review in the last year

Your work doesn’t end on getting the review; you also have to respond to that review. Whether the review is a positive or negative one, a reply to that review makes a positive image of yours that you welcome the feedback given by the customers.

It’s not that you’ll always get positive reviews, there will be days when you’ve to face some negative reviews also. In such situation, don’t feel low as there is a rainbow after the storm. A few negative reviews will be covered by a lot of positive reviews. So, it is not worthwhile to put so much stress on the bad reviews, keep your focus on providing the highest level of attention to customers in order to get good reviews.

Conclusion

If you do it in right way, Google My Business
can provide you significant improvement in your business growth. Each of the points mentioned above are equally important to take the benefit of GMB listing. As a business owner, you must have learnt now how important Google local search listing is for your business growth and lead generation without any charges. Well, if you still have any doubt or queries about Google My Business listing and its optimization, you can always ask us questions here or Contact Marketing Media Wizard to talk with one of our helpful specialist.