2018 was a big year for the Google My Business (GMB) platform. Local SEO was affected by changes to the algorithm, whilst new features were rolled out throughout the year. According to a recent Yext report, it appears that responses from users have been positive, as there has been a 20% increase in actions and an 87% increase in reviews compared to the previous year.
Seeing this increase in user interactions, we thought it would be a good idea to share some updated tips to help you optimise your GMB listing for 2019.
1. Name, address, phone number (NAP)
Let’s start with the basics. In 2019 it is still essential to have the correct name, address and phone number on your GMB listing. This is by far the most important element as it allows your customers to easily find your brick and mortar stores and call you around the clock.
As a business in a competitive industry, it’s also important to remember that anyone (including your competitors) can change these values on your GMB listing so it is recommended that you frequently check your NAP to ensure it is still correct.
2. Photos and videos of your business
Adding photos to your GMB listing is a great way to increase visibility and help your brand stand out from your competitors. Best practice is to add photos of both the interior and exterior of your store or business in order to help potential consumers easily identify you if they choose to visit. It is also recommended to add your logo and a cover photo to your listing to create a well-rounded profile.
A bonus for consumers would be to add a 360° image. This would make your listing interactive and set your business apart from your competitors.
Video is the way forward when it comes to content, so to keep your GMB listing up to date, you can now add short 30-second videos to your profile. These could be promotional or a short tour of your location to give an insight into what your customers will be walking into.
Reviews are a way for consumers to express their opinions on their experience at a location. Regardless of whether a review is positive or negative, it is important to react in some way to as many as you can. This could be as easy as ‘liking’ or commenting, and will shape how your customers perceive your brand. Even commenting something as simple as, “That’s great to hear” or “We’re sorry to hear that” can make your customers feel seen and heard.
From a consumer point of view, it shows them that you value their feedback. Responding to reviews can potentially even be a ranking factor for the listing. So there is plenty to be gained from responding to reviews.
Posts are a relatively new feature that allows businesses to post about updates, promotions or new products. This tool is a good way to cohesively promote your brand while helping you stand out in the search engine results page.
If your business offers an array of services or is a hospitality establishment, the GMB platform now lets you add a menu of your products/services straight from the GMB platform. This new function helps consumers conveniently find what your business offers and can serve to increase your competitive advantage. Please note, this feature is slowly being rolled out and therefore isn’t currently available to all businesses.
So there you have it, our top five tips for mastering GMB. You can find out how we helped Regus optimise their GMB across 3,000+ locations in our case study. Otherwise if you have any questions or tips which you would like to share with us, get in touch.