Curating your online presence is imperative for making it easier for customers to find your business and putting your best foot forward when they do. Google My Business is a fantastic tool for not only ensuring that potential customers can find your business, but also helping you communicate directly with them.
This article covers some of the best features to use to enhance your profile.
What is Google My Business?
As we’ve discussed before, Google My Business was launched by Google in 2014 as a way to provide enhanced search results for local business, especially once search from mobile devices increased.
From Google’s perspective, giving business owners a listing on their website gave them the ability to enhance their search results and provide the most value to the customer, ensuring they remained the kings of search, while at the same time allowing them to collect data without having to go through third parties.
Currently, Google My Business is a free marketing tool available to any business owner or head of marketing, but one study suggests very few businesses are taking advantage of it, which means using it could give you a leg up compared to your competition.
If you need help setting up Google My Business check out our guide on how to get started.
Taking advantage of Google My Business features will help you attract new customers, build a community and learn how consumers interact with your business online.
- My Business Insights: Data at Your Fingertips
In today’s data and consumer driven decision making, information is power.
Google’s My Business insights dashboard provides a huge array of information that can be helpful to any business, including how many people have seen your listing and some of the top searches they have used to find you.
For example, you are able to see if people are using branded searches to find your business or if they are using discovery-based searches like “urgent care near me.”
You can also use Business Insights to track what kind of activities people are doing, including:
- Direction requests to your location
- Click to calls
- Visits to your website from your listing
- Reviewing and responding to online reviews
With these kinds of insights, you can better understand consumer sentiment towards your business, and where to focus your digital marketing efforts.
Pay particular interest to the online reviews section. Online reviews help you better understand what operational areas you could improve in to increase your star rating.
When you are a business owner, you get a lot of questions, especially by people who are online. One of the best features of Google My Business is being able to answer questions users have publicly, so you don’t have to answer the same question multiple times. This FAQ section helps both you and your customers reduce confusion and save time getting important answers.
Seeding common questions is recommended for businesses to get a leg up on the types of inquiries customers will likely make. Some examples of these common questions include details about business hours, parking and location info, specific services and products, and appointment reservation requirements. If you are struggling to come up with questions to answer, take note of questions you get asked over the phone and in person and include them in your Google Q&A section. If one person wants to know something, chances are that others will, too.
Finally, looking at the FAQ section can also help you get a better idea of what parts of your site or listing are confusing, so think about making changes if the same type of questions keep getting asked.
- Google Posts
Google Posts was originally introduced in 2017, but they have since become a big part of how business owners are connecting with their audience. While its prominence has decreased since its launch, Posts is still a good way of highlighting emergency updates, new products or seasonal offers.
In addition to helping make announcements, using Google Posts may improve your SEO by building up location authority.
There are four different types of Google Posts:
- Product: posts that highlight a specific product that include a picture of the product and a CTA
- What’s New: general information or breaking news about your business
- Event: posts about upcoming events your business is involved in
- Special Offers: posts about promotional sales
To learn more about Google Posts, check out Google’s guide.
- Book an Appointment
For people searching for a service-based business, there is a feature on Google My Business that allows users to book appointments or make reservations online. All you have to do is set up the feature and a user who clicks on the URL will be redirected to your website’s calendar.
This is a specifically good feature for doctors, hairdressers and utility workers.
Your Presence Online Matters
These are just a couple Google My Business features you may not be taking advantage of, though it will serve you well to explore all of them to find the features that will serve your business the best. If you aren’t paying attention to your online presence or reputation, there’s no time like the present to start!
Interested in this topic? Here are some related articles:
- 10 Stats That Show How Google Maps Is Evolving For Local Businesses
- Ask an Expert: Google Questions & Answers
- 6 Frequent Questions About Google Reviews
About the Author