17 Sep How to Improve Your Google Local Listings with Google My Business
For all Small Businesses, the key to the golden ticket is getting found in Google’s Local Listings (MPA and Search). The easiest way to do this is by optimising your ‘Google My Business’ Listing – and here’s how!
See the end of the infographic for a transcript of the above video
Good morning, good afternoon, perhaps I should even say good evening. Whatever time it is, wherever you are in the world right now, hello, and welcome. Thank you so much for taking the time to come and join with me for this months’ Serious Business. So what are we talking about? Today, we’re talking about how to improve your Google local listing with Google My Business in 10 easy steps. So I’m going to give you a checklist. I want you to grab your pen and paper, start jotting some of these things down.
These are things that you can do to improve your Google local listing. Or if you don’t have the time and you’re in southeast Queensland, give us a call and we can do it for you.
Step one, the most important thing you have to make sure that your NAPs are accurate and consistent. So that’s your NAP, your name, address, and phone number.
Now what I mean by accurate and consistent? It really gets down to the nitty-gritty here. We’re talking about your name, address, phone number being exactly the same on your Google My Business listing as they are on your website, as they are on other directories around the web. So that means if you use the shorthand Rd for 21 Smith Road, Rd., then you need to make sure it says 21 Smith Rd. around the web as well. Same as it says on your website.
Go and check these things especially if you’ve moved at some point and make sure that you update your listings, your citations across the globe. So, look for your old business listing. If you’ve purchased a business from someone else, and the phone numbers have changed, make sure that these things are also reflected in Google My Business and around the web, as well.
Number two, make sure you claim your Google My Business short name. Now, if you’re not quite sure where to find this, no problem, just Google it, it’s pretty easy. But you can have your long listing. And if you can also get a short name as well, which ideally explains what you do and where, that would be just wonderful. Because this is one of the small things of many that can make a difference to you getting found online. So that’s number two, find your short name.
Number three, write the perfect, I mean, the perfect business description. Now by memory, you’ve only got a currently about 750 characters for this. This is not something you should rush. You should perhaps go and read what your competition is doing and have a look if they’re doing it well. And if so make sure you do it better. Spend the time to talk about what you do, who you do it for, and where, that’s the ideal business description.
Number four, you want to make sure that you put yourself in the appropriate category and if available, subcategory. So once again, go and have a look, see what your competition are doing. This is always a good indicator. If you go searching in Google Local and you find yourself there in maps and look at those that are ranking one, two, or three, if you’re not it, have a look, see what they’re doing and update things from there.
Number five, make sure that you are always, regularly, consistently uploading high-quality, relevant photos for products and/or services. Now the best ones are those that have a good photo and some kind of caption on the photo as well. That way when people see it in an instant, they can see not just what it is, but who you do it for and if possible, where. That’s key to getting found. But consistency is also part of the key that unlocks that very, very important facet of Google My Business.
Now, next one, number six is always monitor and respond to reviews, both good and bad. Now, this is an interesting one, because I know sometimes we have to deal with bad reviews from customers if we’re lucky. Sometimes we have to deal with bad reviews from trolls. If they’re a troll, just say it. “Yes, no problem. Appreciate your point of view. It’s a shame you’ve never done business with us. But thanks for the comment.”
People will see that, they’ll understand. Trolling is not uncommon in today’s business place. I heard just last week of a situation where a staff member who’d been let go for poor behavior and poor standards in customer service straightaway jumped on to Google business, left an appalling one-star review.
Customer or sorry, business owner got on there and, “Yes, I understand your point of view. What a shame because of your attitude, your way of life,” whatever it is they said, “we had to let you go. We understand why you’re upset, but our customers didn’t like your service.” Something like that, do it without being nasty, but respond to and monitor reviews. If you get lots of them, there are tools out there that can plugin and let you know when these things come up.
Number seven, there we go. You also want to be utilizing the Google posts function in Google My Business. Now, post is where you should jump on, I believe two, maybe three times a week if it’s possible, and you upload a new image with some kind of information to go with it. Now, could be a product offer. And make sure you then select the option, offer. It could be just a service call out and here’s a phone number, click-to-call.
It could be something, it could be anything but do it. It might be your latest blog posts, it could be past blog posts. It’s something that keeps you active in posts, and it literally takes two to three minutes to do each and every time. But oh boy, it can just boost that conversion rate at the end. Because when people searching for you and what you do, and they see that you’re active, and they see images, and they see calls-to-action, they see offers, that’s the kind of thing your competition probably aren’t doing. So you really should be doing it and do it really, really well.
Number eight, you should be utilizing the Q&A to build a database. I mean, there’s got to be some questions that people ask about your business? Yes, I’m sure there are. So, find out what they are, and fill in the Q&A. Now, usually it’s customers asking questions. You get in there, you answer. But why can’t you also have one of your staff ask the most frequent questions?
This is not you leaving false reviews. This is you answering questions that people want to know and then . . . Well, sorry, asking them and then answering them. Okay, it’s a really important part to build an information database in Google My Business.
Now, number nine, we’re getting down to it, make sure that you’ve got your hours of operation clearly inserted into Google My Business. And of course, we all do that. But do you also include your public holidays? Do you update those special days when you’re not working, perhaps New Year’s Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve, whatever they might be throughout the year, “Hey, it’s my birthday, I’m taking the day off.” Maybe not such a good idea.
But whatever they are, do you also jump in and include them? You see, for me, the very end of December, early January, that’s the quiet time for my business. So it’s when my wife and I, we take our holidays, and we take that time off from work. So I make sure that I adjust the hours of operation just for that two-week period so that’s only four hours a day when the staff are manning the help desk, and so on. But let people know, this is important for you, especially if you have a retail business or a service business where you get called out from time to time.
And then lastly, number 10. This is an important one and this is what I do so I think you should be doing it too. You monitor the search engine results and you keep an eye out for ongoing upcoming Google My Business special features. They include them all the time. You know, just recently, well, it wasn’t recent but a little while back, they brought in the Google My Business mini website, which is based on the amount of content. So you can press Click, and as long as you’ve populated your posts and your data and all this, it creates a website for you.
Maybe that can help you get some extra traction and get some extra traffic once you’ve populated your Google My Business listing. Maybe it can, and they’ll be other features coming out along the way. You should be giving those a try also just to see how it works because I guarantee, I can almost guarantee your competition won’t be putting in the effort. So here’s the thing, easy to do. Easy what? Not to do. It is easy not to do, but the good thing about Google My Business, it’s also very easy to do.
So you need to make sure you become one of those who to-do. And of course if you don’t have the time and you’re in southeast Queensland, that’s Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, maybe out to Toowoomba as well, look me up. Give me a call at paulbarrs.com. You’ll find all our contact details there. Look us up. We’ve got some great packages to help people do these things, to monitor, to keep them up to date, to make them fresh and what get you found in Google local listings because that’s what it’s all about.
Getting business through the door, getting traffic, getting engagement, getting sales, that’s what we want for you.
All right, folks, that’s my video for this month. You have a great day, a great week, and a brilliant, fantastic month. My name is Paul Barrs from paulbarrs.com, signing off. Bye-bye.