It comes as no surprise that as a society we all want answers, products, information, and services without skipping a beat. We sigh in frustration when retailers don’t offer same-day delivery, give up when web pages lag, and growl with impatience when misinformation is presented.
If you are a small local business, satisfying your customer’s need for immediacy is key and one of the most efficient ways of doing this is by optimizing your Google My Business listing— a local business listing platform where businesses share information such as their address, phone number, hours of operation, and more.
According to ThinkGoogle, 50% of consumers who use their smartphone to conduct a local search typically visit the location that day, with almost 20% of those searches leading to a same-day purchase. In order to capture this audience, increase online credibility, and meet the ever-changing needs of customers, businesses must follow these best practices when it comes to optimizing their Google My Business listing.
Keep Things Fresh
Have you moved locations? Changed your telephone number? Decided to close early on Sundays? Updating this pertinent information will ensure a successful experience every time someone finds you on Search and Maps. We can all attest that there is nothing more frustrating than driving across town to a new pizza joint to find out they actually closed an hour earlier than their business listing indicated. A simple error such as this can result in a break of trust from even your most loyal customer.
Similarly, outdated photos are a poor representation of your business and online presence and can deter potential customers. Adding several high-quality photos of your products, services, business front, and team is a great way to attract new and return customers.
Share What’s New
GMB recently rolled out a new feature that allows you to share posts within the knowledge panel. Reach a greater number of people and them a reason to visit your location by highlighting special offers, events, videos, products, or exciting company news. Post an image, include a CTA button, and link to your site to capture new business with regular updates. Within the GMB dashboard, you are able to see how many people actually viewed or engaged with your post.
Engage With Customers
GMB now allows businesses to respond to reviews, both positive and negative, creating a two-way conversation between owner and customer. While word of mouth is powerful, nearly 90% of users trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and more than 50% of those users form an opinion after reading less than six reviews. Although a one-star review can send up a red flag, businesses who acknowledge these and respond to these negative ratings typically earn a few brownie points.
GMB also allows businesses to answer customer questions directly from the Google business listing. Want to make this information easier to find for customers? Satisfy their need for immediacy by publishing frequently asked questions and their answers to your listing.
Gather Actionable Information
Using the GMB dashboard, businesses can learn more about consumer behavior and how they interact with their listing. Want to know how customers find you and where are they coming from? Curious which photos resonate best with future buyers? See how many people visited your website, requested directions, or directly called your business. Analyzing your customer’s actions will allow you to target them better and set yourself apart from competition.
When it comes to finding information, today’s consumer is unwilling to compromise speed and convenience, leaving businesses to meet these demands now more than ever before.
Not sure where to start, or how to optimize your Google My Business listing? Contact us today, and we’d be happy to help!