How To Craft Your Google My Business Content
About 97% of consumers have searched online to find a local business, and 72% of visitors actually come into the store they found online within 24 hours.
These are some important numbers for the growth of your business. Everyone is using Google to find local businesses that they actually want to visit, try out, and purchase from.
If you have a local business, you need to appear in these Google results in order to gain clientele and compete in your neighborhood.
One of the most effective ways to appear in local searches and attract nearby consumers is with Google My Business (GMB).
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free, accessible tool that lets you showcase your business on a “knowledge panel” when customers search for local businesses related to yours. The panel contains all of the information about your business, like your name, address, hours of operation, and contact info, as well as reviews and ratings from previous consumers. On a mobile search, this card is the first thing browsers see in their Google search; on desktop search, it is positioned to the right of organic and paid search results.
How does this GMB card work for browsers? Let’s say a visitor searches “restaurants near me” or “dog grooming services in Palm Beach.” Google will quickly look at their current location as well as optimized Google My Business pages to show the searcher a series of “cards” with local businesses.
These cards display everything and anything the customer could want to know about the business, including:
Type of business
Hours of operation
Popular times to visit
Posts and content
But Google doesn’t automatically fill in these cards for you. You have to sign up with Google to register your business, input your card information, and promote yourself to customers.
So how do you craft your Google My Business page and content to increase search visibility, enhance brand awareness, improve the experience for browsers, and magnetize traffic to your website and storefront?
Complete the information and description.
You want to include as much information as possible on GMB, so Google knows exactly what kind of business you are. The more Google knows, the better it can and will display your business to relevant searchers. So it’s important to take the time to input all of the information fields—and do it correctly.
Remember that a Google search is often the first impression a customer has with your business. If they don’t see an address, for example, they won’t know where to find you. Or if your hours of business are wrong, they might drive all the way to you when you’re closed, which leaves them with a poor impression and they’ll likely head across the street to your competitor.
Google now offers descriptions, where you can explain your business in more detail. You have 750 characters to describe your products/services, mission, brand, and more. This is an opportunity to showcase your unique selling point to convince your audience why you’re the best business to visit in town. We recommend repurposing and splicing some of the information from the About section on your website to keep your messaging consistent and coherent.
Note: This description should be a static “about us,” not a newsworthy event like a promotion or sale. Save this for the Google Posts, which we’ll get into below.
On your Google page, customers can leave a review and star rating of your business. You want to make sure you have enough reviews on your Google page to seem legitimate. Customers believe that negative reviews are a red flag, but they also think that a low quantity of reviews can be a sign not to trust the business.
You want a high number of positive reviews. 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so you want to make sure you have the reviews present to encourage consumers to visit you.
Getting more reviews is a marketing strategy in of itself. You need to encourage and incentivize customers to share their experience about your business, while also providing them the best possible customer service. Check out this awesome article by Hubspot with 11 strategies to promote positive customer reviews.
Respond to reviews
How you respond to these reviews tells customers a lot about your business. 30% of consumers say they judge a business based on their responses to reviews. They want to see that you’re engaging with your customers and handling customer service inquiries. If someone leaves a glowing review, thank them for their visit and invite them to come back.
If someone leaves a negative review, address their concerns in a kind and service-oriented manner. Start by apologizing for their experience, explain the scenario from your point of view, and offer a path to rectifying the situation. You may not win that customer back, but it will show other readers that the review they left doesn’t define your business and that you take your customers’ input seriously.
Use Google Business Posts
Google now offers a spot for “Posts,” where you can post relevant and time-specific happenings related to your business. You can post a blog article, press release, special offer or discount, product launch, product promotion, upcoming events, and more. It appears underneath your business information on the card, so it’s the perfect place to boost exposure and goings-on with your business. Plus, updating your Posts section shows customers that you’re committed to your online presence and want to engage with them in new ways.
You don’t even have to create new content for Google Posts. It’s a great place to repurpose content you’re already using on your website and flyers.
This is also a great spot to include a call to action that pulls viewers through to the next action in your funnel.
The visuals on your Google page are critical to drawing in searchers. Customers want to see what your storefront looks like, who the employees and customers are, and what they can expect from the products and services.
For example, a lot of viewers will look at pictures of a coffee shop before visiting, because they want to make sure there are enough tables to post up and do work. They might also look at your Google Business info to see if you offer WiFi or outdoor seating.
The images are also the ideal spot to put a face on your business. Think of these like a sneak peak before they decide to open the door and come on in. You want this first impression to be professional, high quality, and tailored to your business.
You can also upload videos in the images portion as well. Video is an integral part to your content strategy, and it is one of the most effective ways to attract and encourage foot traffic. Learn more with the article: Is video taking over digital marketing?
What does your business look like if you Google it? Does it provide all necessary information? Does it intrigue and attract your audience to come check out all the awesome stuff you have to offer?
If you want to update your Google presence and content, contact Palm Beach Content Co. now for an online presence strategy consultation!