August 28, 2020

How To Take Full Advantage of Google Business Features

Google business is extremely important for local search visibility.

You can use its features to increase your traffic, leads, and even brand recognition.

And it’s not as hard as most organic traffic building feats.

So let’s explore Google my business features and see how you can take full advantage of them.

What Is Google Business?

Google Business, previously known as Google My Business (or GMB) is Google’s local services and companies directory.

Basically, they use it to keep track of where companies are headquartered, so it’s closely tied to Google Maps as well.

For our purpose today, we’ll talk about the Google Business rich snippet:

It’s a list of companies nearby that shows up whenever people do a geographically targeted search, like “restaurants Venice”, or when the keyword people input suggests a location-specific need, like “hotels” or “spa”.

And if you’re one of those “restaurants”, “spa” or “hotel” you want to be on that rich snippet.

Why Is Google Business Important?

Because it guarantees more clients.

Sure, a lot of people choose their hotel, restaurant or spa based on other things, like friend recommendations or online top tens.

And for that, you have different promotion tactics.

But that doesn’t change the fact that some people search for businesses locally, especially if they’re looking for something more niched like “vegan restaurants” or “glass repair shops”.

If you want those people either contacting you, or just ending up on your website, you need to take full advantage of Google Business Features.

And here’s how you do that.

Fill Everything Out

First, sign up for a Google Business account if you didn’t do that already. You can do it by going here and filling out your basic details.

But that’s not the end of it.

You should aim to have a complete Google Business listing because people use that information to decide whether they want to call you or not.

And it’s especially important because people can suggest changes to your Google Business details.

So if you want people to get information from you, make sure you detail:

  • Address
  • Operating hours
  • Website link
  • Telephone number
  • Email address

And even special information, available based on your business type.

That’s the most important part.

And here’s what you can get:

If you own a hotel, you can display amenities available and class rating.

If you operate a service oriented business, you can show a services list and even add a booking button.

If you own a restaurant, you can add a link for online orders or reservations, and even feature your menu.

For all other businesses, you can showcase your product catalog.

And it’s important to cover all of that information to stand out in the local search listing.

But it won’t be enough to beat your competition.

And that’s not all there is to taking full advantage of Google Business features, so let’s keep going.

Add Photos

Photos in your Google Business listing are very important when convincing potential clients to choose you.

They drive conversions, and they can, just like regular business information, be uploaded by users.

So take the initiative and upload your own photos.

You should have crisp clear pictures that put you at an advantage featuring:

  • Cover photo
  • Exterior photo
  • Interior photo
  • Product images, which are extremely important if you offer products from different categories

You can even take it a step further and add a video to your listing.

Just make sure that, like all your photos, it’s high quality and it actually helps convey your offer, values and identity.

There are a lot of regions where high quality photos aren’t the norm.

So this can be a great tool to stand out from your competition.

But again, it’s not the most important feature to take advantage of. That title has to go to...

Reviews

After you take care of the basic information, reviews should be your number one priority. They’re the criteria that dictate how high you show up on this listing:

So you should do your best to incentivize customers to leave a review.

And that can be as simple as just asking them.

But if that doesn’t work, here are some other tactics:

  • Create a review link and send it to former customers. Follow-up on those attempts, especially if you provided an outstanding service.
  • Offer discounts in exchange of reviews. This can run hand in hand with a fidelity programme, but either way it should work wonders, especially if you’re in competitive local search results.
  • Get your employees involved. Show them the value of reviews and train them to remind employees that a review means a lot.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t start explaining the complexities of competing on the SERP and how 2 minutes of their time would factor into your business processes. Just thank them for their business and mention a review would be appreciated.

Sure, you shouldn’t limit yourself to these tips.

Like any business practice, keep the goal in mind and adapt your messaging or channels to your audience and what they like best.

But don’t get too bogged down in asking for reviews, because you should also interact with the reviews you already have.

Make sure you take the time to respond to all reviews, or at least the most important ones.

The reason for that is twofold.

First, being active on your Google Business listing means people are more likely to leave a review. Second, because it inspires trust. An active business is a business people are more prone to choose.

And that’s especially true when it comes to bad reviews. You should always take the time to provide flawless customer service, because this shows authenticity, and it also boosts your chance of getting new customers.

Offers and News

Updating your offers and adding news about your business is very important for maintaining an actualized Google Business listing, and for incentivizing customers to choose you over your competition.

So if you want to do that, go to “Posts” in the left tab of your Google Business dashboard, click “Offer” and fill in the description of your offer, along with a picture.

This could either be a discount room people can book, or a special offer for a menu.

Whatever you fill in there, it will be displayed for your customers to see on the Google Business rich snippet.

And it’s got a few benefits.

First, regardless of the offer itself, it makes your business stand out among the local competition. Second, if the offer is good enough, it makes it more likely that customers will choose you.

Bonus Tip: Track Everything

This last tip doesn’t have so much to do with Google Business as it does with optimizing your processes for better indexation in general.

But it’s still important, so let’s get into it.

What you want to do is get a good idea of what keywords people use to find your business, and optimize your site for them.

We recommend ahrefs for keyword research, but if you want a cheaper option you can just go to Ubersuggest and use their bar to search for your general industry, followed by a geographic modifier like “New York” or “Portland Area”.

Then search through the tool’s suggestions about what terms people use to look for businesses like yours.

Up next, make sure you include those keywords in your website, especially if they’re more niched like “vegan restaurant” or “free parking included”.

Lastly, set-up Google Analytics to see where you get your traffic from.

And make sure you use that information to optimize both your website and your listing.

If you want to make the best out of your site by using the right software, make sure you also read our take on the best online marketing tools.

In Conclusion

Google Business is an important tool that you should master.

Local search results can help boost your brand recognition, traffic, leads, but most importantly: they help you land more clients.

So if you:

  • Write your information clearly and exhaustively
  • Add high quality photos and videos
  • Incentivize your customers to leave reviews
  • Interact with reviews, especially the bad ones
  • Add offers and news about your business
  • Track your performance

You can use Google Business to its best extent.

So what do you think?

Did we shed some light on how to take full advantage of Google Business Features?

Let us know down below!

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