Whether you are a local service provider or a nationwide company with multiple storefronts, Google My Business is an essential tool for your business.

Not only does it provide you with an official business listing on Google, but it also comes with a host of features. These make it more likely customers will do business with you.

Let’s take a look at five best practices for using Google My Business, so you can give your organization the exposure it deserves.

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Update Your Business Information

While it might seem obvious, your business information is how consumers know when and where to contact you. If your data is incorrect, you could be sending people to the wrong addresses or having them call at the wrong times. This does not make for happy customers, and it increases the chances of your competitors getting the business instead.

There are a few types of the necessary information you can update on your GMB listing:

  •     Business hours
  •     Physical address
  •     Phone number
  •     Category (a kind of business)
  •     Website
  •     Photos

Aside from these main features, you can also update your business information with special hours and events. For example, if you offer extended shopping hours during the holiday season, you want to include those for your customers. 

If you are a service provider, such as a plumbing or roofing company, you can list your services as well as your service areas. 

If you are a salon, spa, dentist, or other business where appointments are necessary, you can use the appointment URL in your GMB listing to make it easy for customers to reserve a time.

Even the San Diego Zoo uses Google My Business to give more information about the zoo and displays helpful questions and answers for visitors.

San diego zoo

Source: Google Search

Google is adding more features all the time, and–depending on your category–you may have features that other types of businesses do not. Restaurants, for example, can provide links to their menus, food delivery, and reservations right from the main listing.

For organizations with multiple locations, Google My Business allows you to create location groups under one main account and then add new locations as needed.

Use Google Posts

If you aren’t familiar with Google Posts, it’s mostly social media posts that display on your GMB listing in search results. You can update it as often as you like, and after seven days the post is archived on your main business page.

Hayes cafe

Source: Google Support

One of the main reasons for using Posts is many businesses are not using them so that you can stand out from your competitors. By consistently updating your Posts, you also show customers you are a legitimate business actively involved in how you represent your company online. 

Posts are also an excellent opportunity to show customers what’s happening at your company. Whether you talk about a new product or service or show a photo of your employees, Posts allow you to connect on a deeper level with consumers. It might just be the difference between them choosing you or another business.

Encourage & Respond to Customer Reviews

Since online reviews heavily influence customer behavior, it’s considered a best practice to have reviews on your Google My Business listing. Your rating (zero to five stars) is also displayed on your listing, and this is based off customer reviews.

sea paddle

Source: Google Search

If you are in a competitive industry, then reviews can give you the edge you need to stand out from the rest. Even if you aren’t in a saturated business category, excellent ratings and reviews give customers the confidence they need to move forward with you.

Learn how to get more online reviews for your business.

Once you have reviews, be sure to respond to them – both positive and negative ones – quickly. It represents your business cares about its customers and gives you a chance to react to any problems right away.

Manage your Q&A Section

One of the great features of Google My Business is the opportunity for customers to ask questions about your business. In return, your business should be diligent about checking your page for new questions and providing timely answers. Consider it a best practice to manage your questions and answers section, so customers can build a relationship with you and get accurate information.

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Tap into Your Insights

Google My Business has built-in Insights tools to help you measure the impact of your listing. You can learn more about how customers are finding your business, the actions they are taking on your listing (where they are clicking and what they are viewing), where your customers reside, and the total number of phone calls and what time they are calling.

This is a lot of valuable customer data, so you can see why a GMB listing is essential.

customer search

Source: Google My Business Listing

Make the Most of Your Google My Business Listing

Following these best practices for Google My Business–update business information, use Google Posts, customer reviews, manage Q&A, and Insights–can help you stay in front of customers with the right information when they need it. It inspires confidence in your business, legitimizes your brand, and encourages customers to build a relationship with you from the moment they discover you.

Learn more about how and your team you can make your business stand out in the crowd through Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Specialist training program which consists of the Advance SEO Training Course, Advanced Web Analytics Course, and more.

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