Is your Google My Business listing not seeing a lot of action? Maybe your listing is ranking well but not getting the clicks and attention you think it should.
The local search results in Google is getting more and more crowded. There is a constant fight for attention between ads, local search results as well as the traditional search results. When you throw in featured snippets like answer boxes, calculators, tables and more, then you'll see why it is so difficult for any single item on the page to get much attention.
Even when a user focuses on just the local search results there is a wealth of data and information for them to sort through. All of this information can make it difficult for a person to make a decision and make it hard for you as a business to stand out from the crowd.
Over the years Google has added many features to Google My Business. These features allows you to add more unique information about your business, help to make it stand out visually and also allow more communications between the user and the business.
The great news is that most businesses do not take advantage of all of these features, many don't even know they exist.
If you want to make your Google My Business listing stand out and get more clicks, consider taking advantage of the features below.
Google My Business has a question and answer section that is rarely used by businesses but offers an enormous opportunity to get more clicks as well as getting your listing to show up more in the local search results as the added data can help trigger your listing for different searches. Google loves it when a business interacts with people via their Google My Business listing and the Q & A section is a great way for you to communicate with them.
The Q&A feature is a bit different form other features as there is no tab for it in the Google My Business dashboard for business owners. If you want to ask and answer questions you will do it the same way as any visitor would, from your listing in the Google search results. The only difference is that when you are logged into Google My Business and answer a question, it will say it is from the business owner.
With the Q & A feature, anyone can ask a question and anyone can answer a question, not just the business. The reason that the Q & A feature is rarely used by businesses is that they usually passively wait for customers to ask questions, not knowing that they have the ability to ask and answer their own questions, just like an FAQ section on your website. These common FAQ questions and answers can provide valuable information for potential customers and help move them closer to engaging with your business.
The other thing most businesses do not know is that other users can answer questions as well. Sometimes this is a good thing if you have loyal customers who advocate for your business. Other times they may be providing bad or poor answers (often unknowingly) that may be turning potential customers away from your business.
What you can do:
- Find the most common questions people ask about your business and create your own Q & A's on your listing.
- Regularly monitor the Q & A section of your listing to ensure all questions get answered and other people are not providing bad or incomplete answers to questions being posted.
- Add more Q & A's on a regular basis, Google loves it when businesses are active with their listings.
The ability to post to your Google My Business listing is a fantastic way to share the latest news and information about your business. Posts act similar to a Facebook post and is meant to have a relatively short life with posts usually being visible for about 7 days and after that people have to click on the “view all” tab to see older posts. There are currently 4 standard types of posts you can create, though they sometimes add more specialty posting options.
Updates – These work similar to a Facebook post where you can share a status update about your business or post the latest news about your business. These posts currently are visible for about 7 days before they disappear from the main viewing panel in your listing.
Offers – If you have a sales event going on (online or offline) you can promote your current offers. You have the ability to add a start and end date as well as offer codes people can use to redeem your offer.
Events – If you are hosting an event you can use this feature to promote your event. You can include the event start and end dates as well as other details of the event.
Products – You can add details about products you have for sale that will display in the post section of your listing.
Posts on your listing provides expanded content and visibility for free on your Google My Business listing and is a great way to turn your listing into an updated content machine for your business. One of the things I love the most about posts for Google My Business, is that unlike Facebook which greatly restricts what followers see your posts, every visitor to your listing gets to see your post.
What you can do:
- Create a regular posting schedule for your listing. Aim to create at least 1-2 posts a week to ensure you always have posts visible.
- Create event, offer and product posts anytime you want to promote them.
- Use posts to share more details and information about your business. This can be employee spotlights, new products/services, blog content, etc.
Photos & Video
Visuals play a big role in making your listing stand out and also provides a load of useful information about your business. Just look at the Google My Business listing for a popular restaurant in your area and look at the photos. You'll see photos of the inside of the restaurant, different dishes they serve, the menu and more. If you are thinking about dining at this restaurant these photos give you a tremendous amount of information to help you decide to dine there or not.
Pictures and video can be uploaded to the listing by the owner as well as by customers. When someone clicks on your Google My Business listing the images are what catch the eye. Poor images will turn people off and great images and draw them in. Take care in what images you use to represent your business as they play a big role in people deciding to interact with your business or not.
If you have a nice retail location, consider investing in a 360 tour of the inside of your business. It will encourage people to make the drive to your retail location if they can see the inside of the store beforehand.
Pictures are easy to take and upload to your Google My Business listing. You can use your phone or a computer to add them. The same with video, both users and the owner can add a video clip up to 30 seconds long to the listing.
What you can do:
- Be sure the current images and video you have uploaded to your listing properly represent your business.
- Add images and video on a regular basis, Google loves a business that is active with their listing.
- Review customer images and video on a regular basis to ensure there are not inappropriate images on your listing, which you can flag and ask Google to review and remove.
Add Products & Services
Adding your products or services to your Google My Business listing is a great way to expand the content of your listing to make it stand out as well as providing relevant information to people during the decision making process. Products definitely make your listing stand out and offers some nice additional visuals for your listing as well as clickable actions. Services do not always display on your listing but they can help get your listing to show for more specific service searches people make in your area.
Listing your products and services gives people more specific information about your business and can help get more people to click on your listing and to drive more traffic to your website.
Not every business will have the product tab activated in their Google My Business account, it is usually for businesses with a storefront location but may also not display with certain business verticals. Services are usually available for every type of business, even if you are a product related business.
What you can do:
- Fill out the product and/or services section fully and completely in order to maximize the available information you can show to people viewing your listing and to trigger your listing for more types of searches.
- Keep your products and services updated and organized, include it in the regular maintenance schedule for your listing
- If you sell products, rotate the product selections on a regular basis to keep it fresh and to attract more people to click on your listing.
Adding attributes to your listing is a fantastic way to get your listing to show more often in the search results and to get found for specific types of searches people make when searching for businesses in Google. It also shows some key bullet points of information to people viewing your listing.
The attributes available to you are dependent on your location (country), what business categories you are listed under, as well as attributes customers may have added to your listing.
When you log into your Google My Business listing you will see available attributes you can add to your listing. Some attributes are factual, “women led business”, while others may be subjective, “popular with locals”. You have the ability to add factual attributes available you in the admin section of your listing but typically the subjective attributes come from visitors/customers of your business.
So when someone visits your business Google may ask them questions about the business and will build a consensus about your business when it receives the same attribute from multiple visitors. So if a few people click the “popular with locals” attribute then Google may display that attribute for your business.
Attributes can also help trigger your listing for specific searches. So if you have the “women led business” attribute and someone searches for “women owned businesses near me” in Google, or something similar, this may trigger your listing to show up. Same with the “popular with locals” attribute, someone may search for “popular coffee shops near me” in Google and your listing may show up specifically because of your “popular with locals” attribute when your listing may not have shown up otherwise.
What you can do:
- Log into your Google My Business listing and review/select the available attributes you have available to you.
- Encourage visitors to your business to respond to questions about your business when they get prompted from Google.
- Add important attributes for your business on your website (wheelchair access, free delivery, curbside pickup, etc.) and in the description of your listing, this could help trigger Google to offer these attributes for your listing and let visitors to your business know these are available so they can answer these questions correctly when Google asks them.
Increase Google Review Count
One of the best and most effective ways to get more clicks for your Google My Business listing and to make it stand out is to get more positive Google reviews for your listing. The review star ratings for listings in the local search results is one of the things that stand out the most and the first thing most people use in determining who would be the best business for them.
If you have a higher review rating than your competitors in the search results then you will stand out from them. If you have a lot more reviews than your competitors you will also stand out from them. If you have both then you will really stand out from your competitors.
Google also scans your reviews and pulls out keywords and highlights for others to see so it's a great idea to encourage customers to leave detailed reviews for your business.
What you can do:
- Do a competitor analysis to see how your Google reviews compare to your competitors in the local search results.
- Create a review process where you ask customers to leave Google reviews on a consistent basis.
- Keep track of how many reviews you are getting each month compared to your competitors and adjust as needed
Respond to Reviews
How highly rated you are and the quantity of your reviews will catch people's attention when comparing your listing to others but many people will also click on your reviews to read through some of them.
Businesses that respond and engage with reviews not only tells the person reading the reviews that you are actively managing your reviews but also tells Google that you are also active with your listing, which they love.
Responding to negative or luke warm reviews is also very important for your business. Often times when you respond to a negative review, it is not for the benefit of the person who left the review but for other people that read it in the future. It shows anyone reading the negative review your side of the story, adds more context as well as the steps you have taken to remedy the situation.
What you can do:
- Respond to all reviews, both good and bad. Responding to reviews will encourage others to leave reviews as they know you are reading and responding to them.
- Take care responding to negative reviews as many potential customers will be reading your response in the future and it may determine if they contact you or not.
- Give thoughtful and detailed responses to reviews, not just 1-2 word responses. Reviews are a marketing tool and many potential customers will read them so take that opportunity to highlight the key points of your business.
Google My Business has a messaging feature where people can message you and start a conversation directly from your listing. It is not on by default, you have to activate the feature.
The messaging feature can be managed from any phone where you have the Google My Business mobile app installed and is really easy to use. There are many people who would rather first chat with a business via messaging to get questions answered rather than having to engage in a phone call conversation. So having messaging activated can help you get more clicks and inquiries for your business.
What you can do:
- Go into your Googly My Business account and activate the Messaging feature.
- Create your response template, which will automatically be sent once someone messages you. This is usually a greeting along with what happens next (how long you will take to respond, etc.)
- When you have messaging on be sure to monitor messaging with the Google My Business mobile app and turn off messaging for times when you will not be able to monitor messages.
Giving people the option to schedule appointments or make bookings online can greatly increase the clicks you not only get for your listing but for your website. More and more people would rather do things online without have to speak to a human so giving an online option will attract more people to make appointments with you. Every business has the appointment link available to in their Google My Business listing but only specific categories have the Booking feature enabled.
The appointment link is a URL you send people to in order to fill out a form for an appointment. This is usually a page on your website like a contact page with a form or an appointment booking page, though it could be to a third party app you use for these functions.
The booking feature is reserved for certain business categories like spas, yoga studios, restaurants, etc. These are just a few examples but there are several categories where the booking feature is available. The booking feature allows you to integrate a 3rd party booking app directly with your Google My Business listing and Google allows you to choose from a variety of pre-approved partners.
What you can do:
- Create a page on your website or use a 3rd party app to allow people to schedule appointments online for your business
- Add the link to your online appointment page in your Google My Business listing. You can list more than one appointment url if you have different pages for different types of appointments.
- If your business allows for the Booking feature in Google My Business, select one of the pre-approved partners and integrate your booking app directly with your listing.
Get more clicks to your Google My Business listing
So here are some ideas for you to help your Google My Business listing standout and get more clicks. Google My Business is a critical asset for any local business but it is becoming an increasingly crowded and competitive field so anything you can do to get more attention is worth trying. So try and few of these ideas or better yet, implement them all!
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