5 Things You Can Do Now To Improve Your Google My Business Listing

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If you are not familiar with Google My Business (GMB), it’s a free and powerful listing tool that allows businesses and organizations to easily manage their online presence within search results, and in many ways its is quickly becoming more important than your website. When someone searches for your company on Google, or the services you provide, the first thing they will see is your Google My Business listing on the side of the page.
Google My Business Example Listing
Screenshot of the search result page for Buckalnd Pizza in Shelburne Falls MA including their Google My Business listing on the right hand side
  People have begun to rely on GMB listing to tell them all the important things they need to know at that time without the need to click on your website, such as:
  • When are you open?
  • Where are you located?
  • What are people saying about you?
  • How can they find out more about X?
GMB listings can quickly get you a new customer or lead if filled out properly, likewise it could also result in losing new leads and customers if it is not up to date or missing important information. To help with this, we’ve included some easy suggestions you can make today in order to get the most out of your business profile.  

1) Check the Hours, Contact Information, and add some Photos

The first obvious suggestion is to open your listing and make sure the open days and hours are correct. Google includes a section called “Special Hours” and “More Hours” which you should take advantage of if you are closed or have different hours during holidays or if you have specific one time openings that are on days that you are usually closed. Next make sure that your contact information is up to date. Often we see that businesses forget to update their phone number or forget to update their physical address after they changed their location. If you are updating your address, Google may require you to verify the location again which would usually involve sending a postcard to the address that includes a code for you to enter into their site. While updating your contact information, make sure that the description of your business is also accurate and complete. Photos are often overlooked as well and can really help establish a personalized connection between you and your audience. Make sure to include your logo, office building or store front, and include a picture of yourself or staff if it’s appropriate for the tone and message of your business. This can help build more trust and makes it easier for your audience to recognize you.  

2) Take advantage of Google’s new COVID-19 updates

When businesses started closing their doors or making drastic changes to the way they operate, Google quickly implemented a set of features that allows companies to accurately convey what is available and what has changed. These include setting:
  • Your adjusted hours of operation, for instance if you close early.
  • Add “More hours” that describe other business operations such as delivery, takeout, and drive-through.
  • Select an attribute to show you offer online services such as classes, appointments, or estimates.
  • Delays on specific business services.
  • Extra services you are providing for the community.
  • If your business is “Temporarily closed”.
  • Covid Alert Post (discussed below)
Each of these new features, while small in the grand scheme of things, offers a lot of new power and control over how your business is represented online during these uncertain times. Depending on the category of your business, there are other options you can set as well including things like special accommodations and discounts for hotels, hotlines and testing information for healthcare providers, and curbside pickup for restaurants.  

3) Create a Post

Google My Business Posts
Example post related to the changing of hours, includes information on total and weekly views along with clicks 
  While the settings in GMB will allow you to specify most of the changes and important information, it won’t always be enough. Creating a post can actually be really beneficial and offer a chance to provide a more personalized message for your customers and audience. A couple suggestions for posts include:
  • “Please call ahead for our hours as we may close early if things are slow.”
  • “With the new regulations please note that you must order food with your drinks.”
  • “Outdoor seating is available but limited, please call ahead. ”
  • “We just reopened and are only accepting reservations and to-go orders at this time.”
  • “We have a new limited menu available on Facebook. Click here to view.”

4) Update your Services and Products

Google also includes the ability to set the services and products you offer which appear below your listing in search results and can help provide a quick glimpse at what you have available. In your listing, go down to Services and enter in each along with a description. Do the same with Products and take advantage of including a picture along with a price or price range. This is more suited for a smaller list of products versus using as an alternative for your food menu for instance.
Google My Business Food Menu
Screenshot of the form used to enter in new food menu items in GMB
  If you would like to include a food menu, Google added this option back in 2018 and can be found in the left-hand column under “Menu” if your business category is set to Restaurant or Food Provider. Simply add the section of the food items along with a picture, name, description, and price.  

5) Respond to Reviews

Lastly whether you like it or not, people will review your business on either Google, Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc. While we can always hope that these reviews will be positive, there is a chance that someone will be unhappy and feel the need to write about it. These reviews will show up alongside your business in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) and will impact whether someone decides to go with you or someone else. The best way to address poor reviews is to come up with a way to respond to these that is both positive and shows your interest in caring for your customers. Offer a special discount or coupon for the poor experience they received or offer an explanation to why it happened. While small, these responses show that your business is here to help and that the poor experience they had may not have been the norm. We hope that this list is helpful to you and easy enough for you to implement on your own however we understand that everyone’s time is limited. If you would like to talk more about how we can help your business listing and improve your local search ranking, contact us now or enter your business name below to get a FREE Local SEO Report Now!

Travis Johnston
Owner, Systems Architect, Developer

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