Google My Business Impacts SEO More Than You Think
Reports show that only 44% of businesses have claimed their Google My Business Listing, putting them ahead of their competitors when it comes to SEO and online visibility. Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.
When a customer searches in Google for a product, business name, or a category, they will find only verified listings and businesses. For businesses who do not claim or manage their business listing, they miss out on a majority of potential customers. Google My Business is simple to update and can be maintained by the business owner or anyone within the company. To set up an account or claim your business, visit www.google.com/business. Once you set up a page, you will have to verify the page with a Google postcard to ensure its a legitimate company or organization.
For those who have a business page, it’s essential to optimize and update the information frequently. This is the information customers will be seeing first, so if the hours, website, and details aren’t correct, then there is no point to having a page at all. We recommend reviewing every aspect of the page for accuracy. Select the proper categories, subcategories, address, phone number, and business hours for your business and then add photos that reflect the company too.
3 NEW FEATURES OF GOOGLE MY BUSINESS TO UTILIZE
This new feature integrates with third-party software and lets customers click to book appointments, place orders, reserve tables, etc. without having to leave Google Search. This is convenient and helps increase leads due to its simplicity. Restaurants can share their menus and have customers reserve a table while salons can have their customers book appointments online without calling.
Direct Message is similar to a live chat where clients can message the manager of the business with any questions they have, rather than calling. This message will be sent as a text message to the manager’s page, so the customer has a response almost instantaneously. The direct messaging helps with customer communication and gives a more personal feel to the business, which customers enjoy. The best part of this feature is that it doesn’t need to be turned on 24/7 and away messages can be implemented. If the page owner wants to shut it off for the evenings and weekends, then the direct messaging feature can be changed to reflect those hours!
Google has now added a Questions and Answers section on the Google My Business page, which is exceptionally beneficial for SEO and customers! Since a majority of people ask questions already within Google Search, its recommended to now add the most common questions and answers to the GMB page. Customers can also ask questions directly on this page too, so you can reply for all to see. If a customer approves of an answer, they can “approve” of it, by giving it a thumbs up. The more ‘thumbs up’ an answer gets, the more authentic it is to search and to customers.
These new features and Google My Business as a whole is significant for local businesses. The number of people using mobile devices to search is increasing, which means that if your business is not actively using Google My Business, the time to start is today.
Keep in mind that Tomo360 is here to help set up and manage your Google My Business page if you are interested.