If you haven’t already, claiming your GMB (Google My Business) listing is important in terms of SEO, and verifying your local listing is critical as well. You can get started at https://www.google.com/business for free! If you’ve already done this, there are several things you can do to optimize your GMB listing so that it works hard and increases visibility for your Atlanta business.
Be sure to include all the details. Google will ask questions pertaining to your business to help potential clients find you such as phone number, physical address, business hours, website address, category your business falls in, etc. It’s vital to fill in ALL of the information, and to login to your dashboard on a regular basis to make sure no one (including your competitors) have altered your listing. Unfortunately, others can make changes to your listing simply by clicking the “suggest an edit” option so be sure to keep an eye out!
You’ve probably seen business listings that say “Know this place? Answer quick questions.” This is purposeful on Google’s part, as they actually want people who know about or have used your business to answer questions so they (Google) glean more info about your company. This can be a great boost for your business when people provide positive answers and information, but not so good if competitors have a mean streak. Another reason you’ll want to check your listing frequently after you’ve verified it.
Have an appointment-based business? Hair salons, doctors’ offices, and other businesses that generally schedule appointments for clients will want to use the Booking button feature if you’re using integrated scheduling software, as this makes it possible for customers to schedule an appointment right from your GMB listing! Super easy and convenient, great potential for gaining new clients.
Google My Business posts make it possible for you to put timely content in front of clients who see your business listing on Google. Not only can you create posts for customers to see, but publish services, new products, events and more directly to Google Maps and Search through Google My Business. These “mini ads” can include links to other websites or pages, a call to action and even brief description linking to that awesome blog post you recently published. Posts are fun – but even more important, they help grow your business. Navigating around your Google My Business dashboard makes everything pretty straightforward and simple; the Posts option is located on the left-hand side of the dashboard beneath “Home” after you log in.
Messaging is another feature you’ll enjoy with your GMB listing, as you can directly connect with prospective customers via text messages by downloading Google’s Allo app if you prefer not to receive messages via your personal phone number. If someone messages you you’ll receive a notification from Allo. Be sure to use the phone number connected to your GMB account when setting up your Allo account. Messaging is available on the dashboard just like Posts, however currently it’s available only to mobile web users and only for those who use Chrome to search and message you. Being the giant it is, no doubt Google will make this feature available for those using desktops, mobile apps and other browsers in the near future!
Online reviews are another benefit of your GMB listing, and help your business stand apart from competitors if you get great reviews! Good reviews help build consumer trust, and they also increase click-through rates while helping boost search rankings. Last year 97% of consumers read local business reviews according to Bright Local’s 2017 Consumer Review Survey.
Your Google My Business listing isn’t something you just fill out and then forget about! Use it to your advantage and start growing local business in 2018.
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