Everyone in the world is likely very well acquainted with Google Maps at this point. It’s the most important app when you need to find directions to a place you want to go, and a lifesaver when you need to find a good taco place near you in a new city.
And if you’re a business with a brick and mortar location, it’s a source of inexpensive, high intent organic traffic that you may not be capitalizing on properly.
In my experience helping clients with their digital marketing often the most common and easily remedied issues I find are with the Google My Business Listings. In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the easiest solutions and improvements to GMB listings that are often overlooked.
Wait – Why do I need to care about my Google My Business Listing so much though?
To summarize quickly GMB listings are incredibly useful for businesses for the following reasons:
1) Your GMB listing will have an impact on your regular SEO. Do you want more organic traffic from keyword searches? Well, it’ll help if your GMB game is strong.
2) GMB listings have jumped to prominence since the COVID-19 pandemic. Never before in the history of Google or the internet have hours of operation and if a business is opened or closed been searched more often. And while we hope the pandemic is in its tail-end and we’ll see a return to normal, the disruption has introduced many people around the world to the importance of GMB listings.
3) Your GMB listing is a source of FREE traffic. Not only that but it integrates with the most widely used map search engine in the world. This means that your business can show up on local searches and also websites and apps using the Google Maps API.
4) GMB is a great place to pre-sell your customers and build your business reputation – which are ways to get more conversions helping you turn more traffic into customers.
The 3 most underappreciated parts of Google My Business Listings
The following are the 3 aspects of GMB listings I find are routinely either not used by businesses or could be easily improved for great effect.
This may be the most underused tool that GMB offers and it’s a shame more people don’t take advantage of it.
In your GMB listing, you can designate a series of products that your business sells. These can be physical products that you are trying to sell more and that you would update routinely as new products come in. Or these can be services your business provides that you keep up perennially.
Usually, the issue with this section is that business owners fail to realize that no matter what kind of business they have, they can take advantage of this! Many of my clients in service industries didn’t realize that their legal practice, dental office, or Garbage bin rental business could list their services in these places.
This improves the visibility of your services and can also be a way to pre-screen potential customers by giving them important information about your most popular services.
2) REVIEWS – NOT JUST GOOGLE!
If there is one thing my clients are definitely tired of hearing me say – it’s that they need to keep getting more Google Reviews. And while this is absolutely true – you can never have enough Google Reviews, GMB listings often show more than one review type for a business.
How credible does a business look when they have 103 Google Reviews averaging 4.8 stars but they also have 5 reviews from Facebook or Homestars that give them a 4/10?
This is an often overlooked feature of GMB and unfortunately, I’ve noticed quite a few businesses have this problem. They focus so much on Google Reviews and taking their best customers to Google to write a review that they don’t realize an upset client decided to go to Facebook, Homestars, Yelp, Yellowpages, or another 3rd party site that GMB can sometimes load to complain about them.
While this isn’t going to impact your traffic or organic ranking in GMB – it does hurt your credibility and may make some customers look at your business with more skepticism than is fair.
So it’s very important that when you review your GMB listing you check to see that all the reviews being shared publicly are indicative of the quality of your business. Don’t let one or two bad reviews on a 3rd party site be the reason someone chooses a competitor.
This is one that always surprises me. So many businesses begrudgingly put up a picture of their front desk, or some staff and call it a day. And while this will usually satisfy the bare minimum that Google likes to see for a GMB listing – assuming that you already have a clear picture of the front of the business – there is a lot more that can be done.
Whenever your GMB listing loads it will always display at least one picture. This is potential marketing real-estate. While you don’t have to do this all the time, it is a place where a business can display a new promotion, a new offer, or service to qualified traffic with no financial investment.
Consider if your lead GMB image is one that is helping you sell your product or service or if it’s just a placeholder so that you don’t have an empty GMB.
There are opportunities for businesses to improve and capitalize on their GMB listings that many are foregoing out of convenience. My average client with a managed GMB listing sees upwards of 5000 impressions per month. If we take a conservative estimate and assume 40-50% of that is new visitors, that is 2000 – 2500 potential customers that could buy your product or service and have qualified their intent.
Don’t let those people slip through the cracks!