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Making the most of Google My Business in 2020
If you care about boosting your online visibility in 2020, Google My Business is crucial for helping new and existing customers discover the products and services you offer, contact you, and find directions to your store.
Google My Business is a free tool that lets you control how your business appears on Google's platforms, including Google Search and Google Maps.
Google My Business is also a core element of local SEO, because it's a way to create enhanced search results. That's important, because four in five searches include local intent.
To ensure you make the most of Google My Business in 2020, read on for some top tips.
Set up your Google My Business profile
The first step is to sign up for a Google My Business account. You'll be asked to fill out core information about your business. This will include the name of your business, a short description, your location(s), the area you service, your opening hours, telephone number, and website.
It's critical you ensure the information you provide is accurate and up to date. Research from BrightLocal showed 80% of consumers will lose trust in a local business if they find incorrect or inconsistent contact details and information online.
Verify your Google My Business account
Once you've registered your account, you'll need to verify your ownership. This helps ensure the accuracy of your business information. It also protects you from rogue individuals posing as representing your business.
There are a number of ways to verify your business listing in Google. Most common is to request a verification postcard from Google, which will provide you with a verification code. You may also be able to verify through other methods like a phone call, text, or Google Search Console.
Verification is vital — you won't be able to edit the business information appearing on Google products until you have completed this step. Plus, verified businesses are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers.
Using Google My Business core features
With a verified Google My Business account, you can unlock the built-in features to enhance your search results. From product listings to reviews, we take a look at all the ways you can inform, attract, and build trust with customers.
Posts are a great way to communicate key messages with your audience directly through Google search and maps. There are four types of posts you can create in Google My Business:
What's New: Update general information, and announce new opening hours, or new products and services. You can enhance posts with images, video, descriptions, and call-to-actions.
Events: Inform customers of upcoming events at the store, like a book signing or a charity event. Include start and end times, an image, a description, and a call-to-action button.
Offers: Inform your customers of promotions and seasonal sales. Include the event's duration, discounts, and terms and conditions. You can even include a coupon code.
Products: Highlight your top products in the search results. Include a product description, image or video, price, and call to action to create the perfect listing.
Download the Google My Business app and turn on messaging to begin communicating with customers directly through Google.
Once you set up messaging in Google My Business, customers will see a “Message" button on your listing. You can answer their questions, entice them with an offer, and chat. You can even create automated messages, and set up multiple users so the team can support in communication.
Customers will often leave reviews for your business in Google. This can be a great way to gain feedback and build trust with your customers. Google reviews will appear in Google Search and on Google Maps alongside your business listing.
If you've verified your business, you can reply to reviews directly through Google My Business. That allows you to thank a customer for their kind words, and show you care about feedback by responding to a complaint.
Adding photos to Google My Business makes it easy for customers to recognize your business in search results.
Photos are not to be underestimated — research from Search Engine Land showed a powerful correlation between Google My Business photo quantity and search performance. Businesses with more Google My Business photos experienced enhanced search visibility, more clicks, calls, and direction requests.
There are three types of photos you can add to your business listings:
Logo: Makes it easy for customers to recognize your business in Google results.
Cover photo: Represents your business in search, as it appears at the top of your profile.
Additional photos: Photos of staff, products, and services visualize what people can expect from your business. An image of the front of your business also helps customers recognize your store when they arrive.
This feature lets you manually upload products to your Google My Business listing using the Product Editor. This is a perfect option if you don't have the ability to integrate product feeds via the Google Merchant Center.
Your products will appear in Google Search, boosting your visibility online, and informing customers of what you have to offer.
Last up is Insights in Google My Business, the built-in analytics functionality.
You can use insights to discover how customers discovered your business, how often you're appearing in search results, and what actions customers are performing when they interact with your listing.
Google My Business is worth exploring
Optimizing Google My Business is a great way to boost your online visibility in 2020. Experience the benefits of enhanced search visibility, which may lead to a higher volume of walk-ins and increased revenue. What are you waiting for?