By now, we’re sure you’re aware of how important Google My Business is to your marketing. We’re sure you know how it keeps your business visible on search and allows you to make a positive first impression on your leads. And we’re also certain you feel like you know everything there is to know about optimizing it—after all, you’ll find countless resources on the subject.
In reality, there are a handful of Google My Business tips that get less coverage than others. They’re often glossed over or omitted entirely by many articles online, either by accident or by design (i.e. to keep an advantage through secrecy).
To help you unlock the full potential of Google My Business, we’ll walk you through four of the best hidden gems when it comes to using the platform. Whether you’re familiar with GMB or just getting started, we’re sure you’ll find insights worth noting.
1. Make Use of Posts
Communication builds trust when it comes to doing business. The more active and communicative your brand is online (without being annoying, that is) the more reputable you’ll look compared to brands that haven’t updated their digital assets in ages.
Google My Business allows you to send out posts that appear along the right side of a SERP page (on desktop) when customers search for your brand. Each post can include a photo or video, up to 100 characters of text, and a CTA button you can use to direct users to key actions like booking an appointment or making a call.
Most guides will tell you that these posts are great for launching promos or advertising aspects of your business that you want to make sure your first-time viewers notice. While these are all great use cases, we recommend you look at posts as stops along your buyers’ journeys.
Research by Moz suggests that people who engage with your posts on Google My Business are likely to look through a bunch of your current and past releases. This gives you a specific opportunity to design your posts to carry important brand messages alongside the usual promotions.
For example, let’s say you know that a successful path-to-sale involves a customer:
- Learning that you know about the problems they’re having,
- Learning about the solutions you built to address those problems,
- Seeing what past customers have had to say, and
- Trying some of those solutions out for themselves.
You can and should design a rotation of posts that guide them along that path in sequence. When you’ve narrowed down the recipe that works best for your marketing mix, apply it wherever there’s an appropriate space!
2. Create a Short Name & URL
In 2019, Google enabled a feature that lets businesses create shorter, catchier names and URL slugs for their GMB pages. These short names and URLs make it easier for people to navigate to your Google My Business profile, and add another layer of possibility to your brand.
We find that the best approach is to get creative. Your official business name will always be there, but the fact that Google lets you control how your page is shared means you can take the opportunity to let your brand’s identity shine. Just think about how much more interesting g.page/yournexthaircut looks than g.page/genericbarbershop. Broadcast confidence, levity, or expertise with your short name and give your customers another reason to spread the word.
Since these short names are dished out on a first come, first served basis, we highly recommend you pick one out as soon as you can get around to it. And there’s no pressure to get it right the first time—you can change your short name up to 3 times a year.
3. Enable and Configure Messaging
Messaging is a relatively new feature on Google My Business that allows search users to communicate directly with businesses. You can enable it from the dashboard on the left-hand side when looking at your GMB view.
The feature integrates with the Allo app to send notifications whenever a prospective customer sends you a message. From there, connecting with new leads is as simple as sending back an instant message.
We can’t stress how great it is that Google enabled this feature. Communication is vital to winning new business, and a whopping 80% of customers expect a reply to their social media messages within 24 hours. Of course, Google My Business isn’t social media—but that doesn’t mean your leads will be any more patient. If anything, the trend of instant everything means you want to be the person who replies quickly. The alternative is losing business to a competitor who is.
4. Check for Recommended Edits
When blogs write about setting up a GMB profile, they tend to make it sound like you’re golden as long as you can fill in as many applicable fields as possible. Simply take the time to answer every question Google has for you about your business and you’re done. Right?
Not really. If you’ve ever used Google to find or review local businesses, you’ll know that you can answer questions about their locations and suggest edits to their business listings. Naturally, this means your potential customers can do the same.
We recommend you keep an eye out for notifications of new suggestions and edit requests in case your customers spot anything you may have missed. It can be difficult managing a business or brand and monitoring every channel at once, so take the help offered through this feature and keep your GMB listing up-to-date.
Google My Business is a powerful tool that can improve your visibility and help you optimize for local search. After you’ve set yourself up with the basics, remember that the platform offers plenty of different avenues for you to market your brand and connect with customers.
Your best bet when leveraging GMB is to turn to seasoned professionals—veteran marketers who’ve invested time and study into understanding SEO and search behavior. You can contact us at Igloo to learn how our team of professionals can help you dominate the space for online search.
Want to learn more? Check out the work we’ve done as an SEO agency in Dubai.