Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most important pieces of digital marketing for businesses. It helps your customers find you online, and by optimizing your listing, you can be chosen over the competition more often.
So, how can you become a GMB expert? In this blog, we will walk through the Google dashboard and share some tips that can help you get ahead of the competition.
Before I dive into the specifics, it’s important to note that you must create a Google My Business profile first if you don’t have one or claim an existing one! This blog covers the initial steps you need to take.
After your profile is created or claimed, it’s time to head to the GMB dashboard. Within the dashboard, you’ll find several buttons.
Let’s break down each one:
- Home. The home page is where you can see an overview of your listing performance as well as quick links to request a review or to find your listing in search.
- Posts. This is where you’ll add new posts to your Google My Business listings. You can find more information on this in Tip #1.
- Info. When you need to update your business information, you’ll want to go to the info tab. You can change things like your business name, address, phone number and website as well as categories, hours, service area and more.
- Insights. Your marketing strategy should be data-driven, which is why the insights section exists. See how your listing is performing based on searches, views, clicks and calls! Check out this detailed walk-through to learn more!
- Reviews. Reviews can make or break your business. Luckily, GMB allows you to easily manage your reviews in one spot. You can filter them by rating, date and reviews awaiting a response.
- Messaging. Communicate with your customers through the Google My Business app! You’ll be able to manage your listings and respond to messages or questions from your customers.
- Photos. Google keeps track of how many photos you have posted and whether or not your customers are uploading photos to your listing as well. This is called UGC. Read more here!
- Website. If you don’t have a website or are in the middle of creating one, GMB offers a customizable site that you can create directly in the dashboard! Keep in mind, this isn’t meant to be a permanent solution. We advise you to have a professional, locally-optimized website created.
Now that you know where everything is in the dashboard, I want to discuss some important online marketing tips.
Tip #1 – Use Posts to Promote Special Offers, Events and New Content
I mentioned earlier that you can create featured posts on GMB, but you don’t have to think of them like traditional social media posts.
You can post anything that your potential customers want to know about your business, including info on your products and services.
However, you can also post about upcoming events, special offers or new content your business is pushing out like blogs, news articles or downloadable resources!
This blog discusses some tips when it comes to marketing your events. Check it out!
Tip #2 – Update Your Holiday Hours
If you’ve ever been deterred from visiting a store because of the “hours may differ” or even “Thanksgiving might affect these hours” on Google, you know the importance of updating holiday hours online.
Customers who are looking at your business listing will have the assurance to know whether or not they can visit your store or office. You wouldn’t want customers to show up to your business when the door is locked, right?
Making sure your hours are up to date is especially important now as many businesses are experiencing limited hours due to shutdowns and curfews. You want to make sure customers have the correct information in order to visit when you're actually open for business!
Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to update your hours!
Tip #3 – Ask for Customers Reviews
Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been in business for a while, it’s important to ask your customers for reviews!
Most people depend on reviews nowadays when choosing a business. If your business has very few reviews, potential customers may go to a competitor instead.
Normally, if you ask your customers to leave a review, they will! You don’t have to make it an in-depth process.
During check-out or before they leave, simply ask them, “Hey, would you mind leaving us a review on Google to share your experience today?” They’ll either say yes or no and go on their way.
Remember, to respond to reviews within 48 hours after they are left! If you're having trouble knowing what to say in response, head over to this blog for suggestions based on the type of review they left.
Google My Business is a very important part of your business’s online marketing strategy. Make sure you keep your listing up-to-date and stay on top of the updates Google rolls out periodically.
A significant amount of changes came to Google My Business in 2020, so if you haven't caught yourself up on all of this information yet, make sure to check out our blog.
If you need help navigating GMB or any other digital marketing tools, don’t hesitate to contact us! Our digital marketing consultants are here to help.