Google My Business is the modern equivalent of the old telephone directories but it ads much more value to your online brand than its old version.
Essentially, Google My Business is Google’s way of trying to give customers what they want, immediately. It has particularly high value for mobile users, who may be literally on the move and needing help straight away. Here are three tips to help you make the most of it.
1 .Complete the form manually
When you claim your Google My Business listing, Google will present you with a form that allows you to populate all kinds of details about your business. While this may seem like a clear-cut case of “too much information”, it actually makes a lot of sense to complete the whole form and let Google decide what is relevant at the time of the customer search.
Completing the form manually, or at least double-checking the data Google autocompletes, will ensure none of the key data is wrong.
Put a process in place to ensure that your Google My Business information is updated whenever necessary. It’s embarrassing for any sort of brand to get this wrong and may prevent potential customers from communicating with you. Not being in Google is like being non-existent today.
2. Choose your images wisely
Put the same amount of thought into your Google My Business images as you do into the images you use elsewhere in marketing. Be aware that mobile users, in particular, are very likely to home in on images rather than working their way through text.
Consider using either product shots or imagery or the exterior or interior of a store or venue. This will make Google more likely to use the image on things like maps. Avoid using logos or headshots as these types of images will likely get replaced by Google. Aim to choose an image which will perform well both square and landscape, as Google will show the picture in different formats depending on how it is being viewed and take into consideration the fact that images will be viewed on a multitude of different devices with varying resolutions.
3. Incorporate Google My Business into your social media strategy
As an absolute minimum, make sure that you answer questions promptly and respond to reviews both good and bad in an appropriate way. Better yet, add Google My Business to your core social media offering and make the most of Google My Business Posts. This will positively impact your SEO rankings too.
There is a lot to learn about Google My Business Posts and everything that can be done with them, but at a very basic level, they are bite-sized pieces of content that remain live for 7 days (unless removed), after which Google automatically deletes them. This is partly to ensure that the accuracy of Google’s results is not compromised by companies forgetting to update their information and partly to encourage companies to keep posting fresh content.
A Google My Business Post can consist of various elements but, at the current time, the optimal approach appears to be an image and a headline of up to 80 characters, plus, if necessary, further supporting text to make up to a total of 1500 characters. The reason the image and headline are paramount is that these are shown in both the knowledge panel and on Google Maps, which is the main value in Google My Business Posts.
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