Google My Business Best Practice Guide

23 November, 2018

8 mins read

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It’s no secret the easier it is for people to find your business information online, the more likely they’ll be to contact you. With a Google My Business (GMB) listing, you’ll be putting your business in multiple places (Google search result pages, Google Places, Google Maps, etc.), as well as give your search engine optimisation (SEO) a hand.

We’re going to share with you why you need a GMB listing and a few simple ways to make the most of it, once it’s set up and verified. You can also check out our complete Google My Business Best Practice guide for every way you can optimise your listing at this point in time.

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What is a Google My Business listing?

A verified Google My Business listing can display on the search engine’s result pages, maps and other products. On search result pages, your information will be displayed above organic results for searches relevant to your industry and location.

Our Head of Search Strategy, Stuart Brown, explains it best in this video.

Before you go any further, make sure you start your GMB set up, as the verification process can take some time. Check out our step-by-step guide to make the process super easy.

Already have a verified GMB listing? Here’s what to do with it!

Google My Business Q&A

Let’s me honest, in the digital age, if people can’t find the information they want online, they’re probably going to move onto another business. The Q&A section on your GMB listing lets both you and the public post questions, which you can submit an answer to.

Take a moment to think of the questions people ask you the most. Now, sign in to your GMB listing and add them to your Q&A section. Write as thorough an answer as possible, and you’re done!

You should check your GMB for questions submitted by the public at least once a week, or more often if you can. They’re most likely asking the question because they’re deciding if they want to use your business. The sooner you answer, the sooner they can make up their mind. Wait too long and they may choose your competitor.

Google My Business Reviews

You know the saying about any publicity being good for business? Reviews are a testament to this. We’ve written an article on this very topic, but basically, reviews can be used for gathering feedback, building trust with customers and helping potential leads determine whether to do business with you. Even bad reviews are marketing gold.

When a person finds a bad review for a business, they’ll check to see if the owner has replied. If there isn’t a reply, their mind is made up—they should avoid you. But what if there is an answer? How you respond to the review tells the person what would happen if—heaven forbid—something went awry during their experience with you.

Before replying, take a second (or a few hours) to approach it in a non-confrontational manner. Reviews can often be the result of an ongoing problem but you need to remain level headed. In your response, provide a resolution, such as contacting a particular person at your business. To see what not to do (or for a laugh), search for ‘hilarious review responses from business owners,’ on Google.

Google My Business Reviews from the Web

Technically this isn’t a feature you can ‘use’ on your Google My Business listing, but it’s good to know about. When someone searches for your business, Google will show them the total star rating for your business on a number of platforms, such as Facebook and Localsearch.

Having a consistent star rating across multiple platforms will help build trust in users. For example, if you have ratings of 4 to 5 on majority of platforms and then an average of 2 on another, people will raise an eyebrow and check it out.

It’s always a good idea to ask happy customers to leave you a review (there’s even a tool to help you do it super easily by email). Try to recommend different places for people to review, such as your Facebook business page, Google My Business listing and Localsearch to maintain a consistent rating across all platforms.

For more, check out our complete guide to GMB Best Practices

This guide explains everything from why you should add photos, what type of posts to publish to why it’s important to keep your basic business information up to date. Know a business owner with a GMB listing? Share the guide with them!

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