Regular readers of this blog will know that Local Search and Google My Business is something I mention a lot!
It’s one way small businesses can really make an impact in Google. So (if you haven’t already done so) it’s vital to optimise your Google My Business listing.
And it looks like Google is giving My Business a lot of love and attention in 2018, with new features and options to help you stand out from the crowd.
Which means you should be giving your listing lots of attention too.
Check your listing regularly
Firstly, be sure to log into your dashboard and check your information regularly – at least weekly.
This is because ANYONE can submit a change to your listing and Google won’t necessarily tell you about it!
Yup – user generated changes are the next big thing. Google actively asks for information about businesses from users and will use it to update your listing. And it seems to be pot luck whether they bother to tell you. So keep an eye on your listing at all times.
When you log into your dashboard you’ll also be prompted for new information to enhance your listing. Google is adding features all the time so make sure you don’t miss out. The more information Google has about your business the better you will rank in relevant searches.
Regularly Google your business name and location to check how your listing appears in search. And do it from your smartphone, not your desk computer – local search tends to be more mobile focused.
Get the App
You’re more likely to get and spot notifications about your My Business listing if you have the app installed on your mobile (and logged into the Google account which manages the listing).
Recent options include the ability to add services and also a business description. If you haven’t already added these, do it now.
You may also have seen “Questions and Answers” on profiles. Another feature around user-generated content, this lets users ask a question – which anyone can answer. So make sure it’s you that gets there first with a timely (and accurate) response.
Watch out for
My Business in the USA has a number of new features which hopefully will arrive in the UK fairly soon. By logging into My Business regularly you’ll be the first to take advantage when they arrive here – and get a jump start over your competition.
These include messaging and the ability to convert google reviews into shareable social media graphics (I can’t wait for this one!)
And there are also enhanced features for selected business types. For example, appointment bookings (great for salons & therapists) made directly from Google if using a partner service without the need to go to your website.
Finally, you are using Google Posts, aren’t you? If not, here’s why you should.