Joshua Hardwick
Mr. Victor V is a qualified and experienced SEO strategist who is the CEO of itraffic, an SEO Agency based in Australia. He has great leadership quality and is a dedicated individual who runs the company efficiently.

7 Quick Tips to Make Google My Business Work Magically for You

Launched in June 2014, Google My Business, has become one of the most sought-after platforms for businesses to gain visibility. Specially for those who are starting fresh with local SEO, beginning with Google My Business listing may prove to be highly rewarding in a short span of time.In case you are unacquainted with GMB, then it is a free tool that gives you greater control over how your business appears when a user looks for it on Google Search and Maps. You must have seen certain details,like name, map location, working hours, customer reviews, etc.,popping up on the right-hand side of the Google search page, that is actually managed through GMB.

What Makes Using Google My Business Indispensable Today

Interestingly, more than 93% of all online activities begin with a search engine. In other words, right from buying shoes to finding plumbing services and from renting a house to learning about any new technology, for example, Google Map Optimization, almost everything goes via search engines.
Hence, if you have the capability and the capacity to attract users at search engine stage itself, you can, literally, make your business’ prospects grow. Google My Business actually gives you the required arsenal and necessary wherewithal to make users gravitate towards you.
If you are thinking why only Google as people use different search engines all across the globe, then here is the answer.
Though there are many other search engines like Baidu, Ask, Bing, Yahoo etc., none is comparable to Google, when it comes to users’ preference. If you look at the global statistics, then a staggering 80% users use Google for their searches and the remaining 20% make do with Baidu, Bing, Yahoo and several others put together. In Australia alone, a whopping 94.91% people trust Google, while Bing being the number 2 choice with a meagre 3.52% users liking it.

7 Valuable Insights About Google My Business

The internet-based service Google My Business will complete 5 years this June, however, there are many big and small businesses, who are yet to make efficient use of it. According to some rough estimates, more than 80% businesses are still unable to exploit GMB as per its full potential. The service has evolved over a period of time and it now boasts of several features which were not present initially.

This blog takes you through 7 lesser-known, extremely beneficial ways that will together act like a magic wand and take your business’ visibility to the next level and help you generate and convert more leads.

Let’s get in to the brass tacks:

1. Make Strategic Use of Posts

Posts provide a convenient option to involve the users. They act like ads, which can be used to promote new products, discounts, events or anything else that your target audience may be interested in.

By using attractive images, enticing words and CTAs (Call to Action), you can make it a point that your business resonates well with the users. You can also make use of GIFs or add a video, instead of an image.

In today’s world, where the one who builds trust and positively engages with the customers win, Google My Business posts offer the right window of opportunity.

Few Things to Keep in Mind

  • For best results, use an image in the ratio of 4:3
  • Always keep the preferences of your target audience at the conscious level and make sure that you present your posts in a way that add value to them
  • The maximum character limit for a post is 1500 words, but it always better to keep it to a minimum
  • You can use CTAs to directly take the users to your website or any other landing page of your choice.

2. Display Your Promptness with Messages

Google My Business Message feature bestows you with an option to respond directly to the questions of customers via SMS. However, many believe it to be a waste of time as often, non-serious users unnecessarily begin to chat. And this makes many thinkthat replying over a phone call is better, instead of text messages.

Sorry to say, but you are wrong if you think this way. According to a study, around 90% businesses receive a textual query, rather than a call.It is indeed true that over a phone call you may understand your customer better by analysing their tone and tenor, but missing out on the messaging feature may significantly reduce your leads.

Another crucial point is that when you respond to the queries of your customers promptly, you end up building better and closer relations and it increases your credibility too.

Few Things to Keep in Mind

  • You can add a pleasant and touching welcome message, which the customers will receive first time they initiate a chat with you
  • You can easily change your phone number on which you want to receive messages

You can any time turn on or off the feature

3. Monitor the “Questions & Answers” Tab

“Questions & Answers” tab is the most interesting of the other features as it may work both ways. Since anyone can post an answer to the questions posted by the customers, it does have a potential to backfire, unless monitored efficiently.

You may receive misleading replies to the questions from disgruntled customers or jealous competitors and if you do not ensure that you reply to the questions yourself or at least correct the answers written either wrongly or with malintent, you may not be able to make this feature in your favour.

Few Things to Keep in Mind

  • You will not get a notification when someone asks a question, so you have to keep checking your business listing regularly
  • You can use this feature as an FAQ page and answer all the questions which you think may be beneficial for your target audience

4. Be Creative with Photos, But Do Not Clutter

A picture is worth a thousand words

One may choose to disagree whether the above statement is a Chinese proverb or not, but the truthfulness of its meaning is something that no one can deny.

It may sound cliched too, but the wisdom in it is timeless.

Stats reveal that business with photos receive more requests for driving directions, compared to the ones without it. Also, the CTR (click through rate) of the ones with photos is 35% higher, than the ones sans it.

Do I need to say more about the pivotal role photos play in attracting customers?

The reason for such inflated positive response for the listings with an image can be explained by understanding how our brain works. According to scientific experiments, our brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text. Hence, if any advertisement or banner has an image, our brain will naturally fall on the image first followed by the text.

Few Things to Keep in Mind

  • Change the images on a regular basis. Make them do the user engagement!
  • Never upload an image, unless you have renamed it with the relevant keywords and added suitable tags and description wherever possible
  • Delete the photos which are irrelevant

You cannot remove the photos added by the public, hence keep a close watch on your listing and if you see a wrong image, report it to Google

5. Do Not Shy Away from Asking for Reviews

Like it or not, but no, less or bad reviews can pull your business down.

Why? Because more than 90% buyers check reviews before making a purchase and more than 80% of them take buying decision on their basis.

In terms of stars, a business with 4 or 5 stars automatically builds trust, whereas anything around 3 or below makes the user suspicious.

But what if people are not giving reviews on their own? Simple, ask them!

Let’s be very clear, asking for reviews is not the same as bribing for reviews. You may ask for reviews and you may even dole out some free goodies or discount coupons to entice people and there is nothing wrong in it. What is unethical is to bribe the customers in lieu of positive reviews.

By doing so, your number of reviews will slowly begin to swell and then comes the responsibility of replying, not just to good reviews, but to bad ones too. Why bad ones? It builds credibility.

Few Things to Keep in Mind

  • Never lash out at bad reviews. Always be considerate and show empathy. Of course, if it is done with malintent, have no mercy and expose the reviewer’s lie openly.
  • Never forget to acknowledge a review, it makes people write more
  • Read between the lines of the reviews and see if they indicate towards any specific thing that needsoptimization in your operations or products

6. Never Underestimate the Power of a Video

In the recent years, videos have become the most effective form of communication. Users prefer watching videos, compared to reading texts. Videos have become nothing less than a phenomenon on the internet today, so much so, that by 2021, it is expected that around 82% of the all internet traffic will be video.

It was recorded that by June 2017, video watching was increased by 99% on YouTube and by a staggering 258% on Facebook.Seeing the trend of videos, Google has also amended its algorithm for site raking. It now shows websites with a video embedded to it higher up in the searches, compared to the ones which are not.

The future of the internet belongs to video, fast forward your move by adding a video to your Google My Business listing!

Few Things to Keep in Mind

  • The video should either feature the place of business or the people who work there. Any random video will be removed by Google
  • The video should be short, not exceeding 30 seconds
  • It should be within 100 megabyte and must be 720 px or higher

7. Pay Attention to Google My Business Metrics

In order to make your Google My Business listing work for you, you must keep a tab on how it is performing.

The built-in tools let you find out various insights like the location of the people, the total number of phone calls you have received, whether your customers are able to find you directly or via discovery searches and much more.

All such data will help you track your business and give you important indications towards improvement and things that are not resonating well with the users.

Few Things to Keep in Mind

  • You can compare your gallery’s photo views with the businesses similar to yours
  • You can find out what is the most common action users taking after coming to your listing

To sum it all up, Google My Business is a boon for local businesses looking for greater visibility, better credibility and larger sales. It has all the necessary features, which, if exploited strategically, will help your business gain momentum relatively quick.

It offers an amazing platform to interact, engage and impress your target customers with minimum efforts. It is high time you seize this opportunity and make it work for you, magically.