Upload Photos with Purpose
Customers are 42% more likely to request driving directions to a business if its listing has photos, and 35% more likely to click through to its website [Source: Google]. That being said, be sure to upload a profile, cover, and general photos and to do so with purpose.
While your profile photo should focus on brand recognition, your cover photo should shed some light on your brand’s personality and culture. As for the general photos, keep in mind that the goal of Google My Business is to make the the physical world visible online. Your photos should not be embellished with logos, text, filters, or other graphics. They should collectively give people an idea of what it’s like to actually go to your business—what it looks like, what products and services they can expect, and what the general atmosphere is like. The more a potential customer is able to envision going to your business, the more likely they are to do so.
Collect Google Reviews
Have you ever noticed that when you search for products or services on Google, business results in both Maps and Search have stars next to them?
Not only do star ratings impact which listings a user clicks, but they also affect how high you rank in results. Having positive reviews about your business makes it more likely to show up in the coveted local pack of results:
Google is a trusted source because it seeks to display only the most accurate information, and there’s no better depiction of a business than actual customer reviews. To collect more Google reviews, start with these simple steps:
- Ask some of your loyal customers to write a review to get the momentum going.
- Respond to reviews. Knowing that they will be heard adds extra incentive for customers to leave their feedback.
- Go above and beyond to provide a noteworthy experience for customers. “Playing it cool” is not the approach to take here. Customers appreciate good service, and they appreciate it even more when they can see the effort and intention behind it.
- Don’t be afraid to ask specifically for 5-star reviews.
- Emphasize that reviews help others to make informed decisions. They help people who need your services to find your business.
Post to Google My Business
Just like with other social media platforms, you can now post directly to Google My Business. Your posts show up on the “Posts” tab of your listing, but might also become visible on your Google Maps or Google Search result, depending on relevance.
Through Google posts you can make announcements, create events, highlight products, and run promotions. The information in these posts is that which customers need in order to stay engaged with you, which is ultimately what leads them to choose you over competitors. In addition, each post type has a call to action button, making the experience from discovery to engagement seamless.
Become a Google Guide
Have you noticed on Amazon that in addition to the product description and customer reviews, there is a section for questions? Google Maps now offers the same for businesses. Anyone can ask a question about a business on their listing, and anyone can answer those questions. Frequent answerers become “Guides”, with different badges and milestones depending on how many questions they answer and useful information they provide.
Sign up to become a Google Guide so you can answer questions people ask about your business. These answers will show up in your Google My Business listing, and potentially even your Maps and Search results. For example, if you answer that your cleaning service uses eco-friendly products, you’re more likely to appear in a search result for “eco-friendly cleaners near me”.
Google My Business is striving to bring the physical world online, where it can be searched and accessed even more easily. Taking these steps to create, optimize, and maintain your listing will help Google to help your business get found by more of the right people.
For more help with your business listing on Google and elsewhere, download our free eBook below:
*This post was published June 2018 and updated November 2018