When undertaking any new project it seems a bit overwhelming when you look at the list of things you need to do, especially with digital marketing. But don’t worry, that’s why we’re going to outline the top 4 things you need to focus on to get the best bang for your buck from Google My Business (GMB)!
1) Reviews – Get Lots, Always Reply
A few years ago this was talked about, but not acted on. In today’s market, it’s vital to your success. Not only do you need a reliable and repeatable system in place to collect lots of great reviews from your clients, but you also need to take the time to respond.
Reviews account for a large portion of the overall score that helps your business rank in the 3 Pack, and that’s where the money is. Now some of you may be able to point to a listing that is ranking in the 3 Pack that doesn’t have a single review, but that is the exception, not the rule. The truth is that if you have many more positive reviews on GMB than your rivals, I’m talking 2 or 3 times more, then it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll rank in the 3 Pack, assuming you also have your other ducks in a row.
Reviews also have a massive impact on sales! If you need to see revenue climb, then focusing on reviews is a great way to do that. Over 80% of consumers have said in multiple surveys that they trust reviews as much as they trust a recommendation from a family member or friend. That is POWER! Use it to your advantage, and profit.
Also, make sure you respond to every single review your business gets. It doesn’t need to be a long-winded response, but a short simple “thanks for coming by! Hope to see you again soon” kind of response shows Google that you are paying attention. It also gives you the chance to plead your case when you get that random, always unsatisfied person that lights you up on a poor review. Responding is the perfect opportunity to make sure your company seems like the fair, willing-to-fix-the-problem business and that the other person is viewed as being unreasonable. This two way communication looks good to consumers checking you out for the first time and to Google.
2) GMB Spam – It’s not just for eating!
One of the most common complaints about GMB is the number of spam listings and garbage information to be had. And while Google has been making reasonable strides in recent years to combat this, there will most likely be a few spam listings in your market that are holding you back.
Un-intentional spam can be found in the form of old listings that never actually existed, or maybe even old businesses that have since closed their doors. It’s a good idea for you to check the listings of businesses that are ranking ahead of you and make sure they are real! If you’re not sure, drive past the listed address on GMB and check. If you see an out of business sign and boarded windows, then you can feel good about reporting that business as closed to Google and helping yourself move up another spot.
Intentional spam listings are a little harder to fight because they are backed by someone who wants to game the system. A common type of spam listing in Google My Business is a “rank and rent” site. It’s a front business that some enterprising marketer has set up to take advantage of GMB listings to drive leads to his “business” that doesn’t actually exist and then he turns around and sells those leads for a nice profit to one of your competitors. And yes, I said “he” because I’m happy to blame this on the guys because we all know the women have better manners than that.
Doing a thorough search to make sure each of the listings that are ahead of you is a good way to find bogus businesses, get their listing deleted and move up quickly towards the 3 Pack. And a word of caution – Yes, you can even mark one of your competitors as “permanently closed” and damage their business for a short while, but please don’t. Not only is it morally and ethically wrong, but it doesn’t help us as a community prove to Google that there really is a spam problem. And Karma!
3) Correct Business Information
The third biggest priority is making sure that your information is up to date. Just as you can mark another business as permanently closed or add attributes to their listing, you can also change other information. It is not uncommon for people to mistakenly update information for your business and get it wrong. When this happens you’ll be notified, so make sure you jump back into Google My Business and make sure that information is corrected quickly. If you wait too long to make that fix, then Google will sometimes assume the change to be accurate and you’ll have to re-verify your own business listing to change that information back. It’s not a hard process, but may cause you to drop out of the 3 Pack for a few days and miss out on some business.
4) Google Posts
Yes, think of Google Posts just like a Facebook post, but with more punch to it for a local business. In a recent survey of local marketing experts, the overwhelming majority of them said that creating Google Posts on a regular basis was a priority for them and one of the top 5 tasks they perform for their clients. But the more interesting thing stat was that when you looked outside of the experts and asked the average SEO agency how they felt about Google Posts you got the opposite result. They don’t prioritize posts at all. If you take into consideration that the experts are very good at landing their clients is the profit rich 3 Pack, then I think you’ll realize that the experts are right, Google Posts have a lot of value, use them!
We could go on about the tools available in Google My Business, but the point is that we want to show you what you can do as a local business owner to get the best return on your time. If you focus on these 4 items, do them faithfully for the next 6 weeks you’ll see a major increase in where you rank. If you already rank at the top of the 3 pack for your market, then great, these tips will help you keep the competition at bay. If you don’t rank in the 3 pack, these will be the 4 most effective things you can do to prove to Google that you belong on the podium! Either way, if you’re a local business and need your phone to ring with new business every day, then you can’t go wrong with these 4 steps.
And if you’re a local business that is interested in a solution that can help you leapfrog over your competition and get into that very profitable 3 pack even faster, yes, we can help (click here)!