Our expert tips for utilizing Google My Business to help you optimize your online presence and drive new customers for your business!
Whether you’re looking for something to buy, doing research or self-diagnosing yourself with a rare disease that you definitely don’t have Google is the place to look. Google dominates almost every decision we make online. But we are here to show you how to dominate Google to get more customers online!
Google My Business (GMB) was released in 2014 to allow local businesses to seamlessly manage their online presence on Google. It’s an incredibly helpful tool that goes under appreciated by local businesses.
What is the likelihood of patients finding you on google maps? Well right now it’s pretty damn high. In recent years google has given more and more room on local searches to google maps and the “local 3-pack” which is the first 3 map results that google finds to be the most relevant and local to a potential patient or clients search query.
Even more intriguing, a whopping 52% of global internet now comes from our phones, and when searching on mobile how much of the screen size would you guess that the maps and the local 3-pack takes up?
They take up the entire screen, people! So, learning how to make the most of Google My Business is pretty important if you ask us. Here are our top 5 ways to make the move up the maps…
GMB has a posts section that most people (don’t let this be you!) ignore. It’s here you can (and should) post updates, events or even local offers.
Once you select “add update”, make sure you fill it with meaningful and useful content that people want to know and share. Something that would make a great update right now is your business’s COVID-19 policies and safety measures.
Also, don’t forget to add essential keywords to get you ranking for Google searches! This is so important. Products show up on the main tile on Google so even if you are a service based company, include products such as “root canal surgery”, etc.
Finally add a call to action that will turn someone looking into a client (and turn you into a happy business owner!). Our favorites for local businesses are “Call Now” or “Learn More”.
Photos, photos, photos! We can’t stress the importance of this enough. Uploading as many photos as you have will help you appear for more searches and appeal to potential clients.
Under the photos section you can add photos of the interior, exterior, work you are doing, and team. We suggest doing at least 10 of each, but seriously do not skim here. If you have professional photos (see this article on why it’s so important right now) use this as an opportunity to unite your brand and blow competitors away.
Don’t forget that as everyone is stuck at home twiddling their thumbs during Covid, and it’s your time to take advantage of this. Use photos to appear as a top local provider online and make potential customers browsing the web want to trust and do business with you. You can even use the “insights” tab on GMG to see how you compare to competition in terms of photo views and quantity.
What in the world is geotagging you might ask! To boil it down to it’s basics, geotagging is tagging photos with information such as locational coordinates and keywords. But why should you care about this? Google uses this data to validate where the photos were taken, what the photos mean and how they can best utilize that information to show users the most relevant photos as possible.
Your smartphone usually inputs the coordinates of photos we have taken. That’s why our iPhone can tell us “want to touch up this photo you took in Cabo”. As creepy as that sounds that your phone is stalking your location, you can utilize this to your advantage with GMB.
We utilize a tool called GeoImgr but there are a ton of free tools you can use. The process is pretty simple. Upload your photo and the tool detects if it has geo coordinates or not. You can then change them to whatever you want by inputting new coordinates. You can even add keywords to your photos and then download them as new images. This final image is like google photo platinum, well maybe gold at the very least.
Make sure to “geo-tag” your photos using your office coordinates to reinforce to GMB that that is your location and a lot is going on over there.
Pro Tip: Use these now “tagged” images for Tip #1, adding to post updates where it says “add photos or videos” and Tip #2 adding photos to the photo section for interior and exterior shots.
As we have mentioned before in our blog guide to building your online reputation, just having a review widget or office card that says “leave us a google review” isn’t enough to ensure your business is receiving good, quality reviews. Why?
Sadly, unhappy customers are actually more likely to leave negative reviews than happy customers are to leave good reviews. This means the reviews system is rigged against you, and it’s your job to fight back.
Simply using a review widget or office card also incentivizes unhappy customers to leave reviews, which is certainly not what you want. Instead, we recommend a process of vetting your customer’s experience before asking them to leave a review.
Using a widget or office card also lacks a call to action or place to click. Are customers really going to remember the card you gave them when they get home? Well it’s actually presumptuous to even think the card makes its way home before it hits a trash bin on the way. People are lazy! If you want good reviews, you need to make it easy for them.
Office cards hold yet another great weakness. Time has lapsed. Even if customers do remember to do it, they might just leave you 5 stars with no glaring words or wisdom since they are not feeling the good vibes anymore. Quality is just as important as quantity!
So what’s the solution?
At Whippy, our team of engineers has created a tool where, as the customer leaves as happy as can be, you can tell them you are texting them a link they can fill out on the way to the car. Our tool gets them right to the 5 stars page for your preferred Google location and the rest is presto. More good Google reviews and in turn your GMB continues to fly high.
Have you ever seen when companies diligently respond to their reviews in a helpful manner? This is the perfect way to safeguard your business against poor reviews and build a fantastic level of trust with potential customers. You sadly can’t get rid of the “grumpy review writers”, or those who love to leave poor reviews like it’s their job, but you can perform damage control.
If customers feel that you will address any inconveniences or dissatisfaction they face with your services, they will be way more likely to choose your business! Responding to bad reviews can actually have a positive impact on your business. Check out our guide on how to approach this.
For GMG, we actually recommend responding to all reviews that do not have replies (yes it’s tedious but well worth it!). Even good reviews are worth responding to as it shows your customers that you appreciate them and ensures repeat business.
Now, once you’ve applied these techniques, sit back and watch the progress!
P.S. Stay tuned for a part 2 where we will share even more ways to dominate Google My Business!