When it comes to boosting your local SEO, a Google My Business (GMB) page can come quite in handy. But what is GMB, you may be asking? It’s a Google business listing where customers can leave reviews, and where the most important information about a business can be displayed. However, many business owners neglect their GMB page, not giving it the attention it needs to help them thrive locally.
Why think about your Google My Business profile? Isn’t it enough to set iy up and call it a day? The answer is both yes and no. It can be a great asset to your online reputation management, and it can help you position your business as the local go-to place. Let’s have a look at GMB and why it’s so important to curate your page carefully:
Don’t Stuff Keywords in the Name
Google wants to discourage businesses from keyword stuffing in the name, but some businesses still do it because it impacts the rankings. While this can (currently) land you a bit higher than your local competitors on the ranking list, customers certainly don’t appreciate this practice. The name of the business on GMB should match the real-world business title.
Refrain from Allowing or Encouraging Biased or Fake Reviews
It’s never a good practice for a business to encourage fake or biased reviews, especially when their source can be easily tracked through a Google My Business page. In the case of an obviously phony review from someone you’re sure wasn’t your customer, there are a few things you can do. With a screenshot and proper documentation, you can flag a suspicious review, but be warned that Google will not remove it if they see it as simply negative rather than fake.
Make Sure Your Open Hours Are Correct
One of the biggest pain points of customers who rely on these pages is incorrect open hours. Sometimes a customer will drive from out of town, only to find the business closed even though their listing shows it as open. Negative reviews and outrage soon follow. Make sure your business hours are accurate and don’t forget to update them during the holidays.
Know that Users Can Upload Photos
Another issue businesses can have trouble with when using Google’s listing is photos. With users being able to upload a photo that gets added to the listing, and businesses being unable to delete them, the practice may seem unfair. However, it’s important to remember that businesses aren’t necessarily the owners of their listing — Google is, and they care about accurate representation.
Put up an FAQ
With the knowledge of Google being the owner of the listing, it also becomes easier to understand the ability of users to leave responses to other users’ questions. However, to prevent interaction that leads customers away from your brand, or gives incorrect answers to their inquiries, put up an FAQ in your GMB listing. You’ll still need to monitor the Questions & Answers section, but that will significantly improve your ability to capitalize on the leads who are in the consideration stage.
Gaining visibility online takes time, even if it’s just your local area where you want to position yourself. If you wish to start enjoying good results for your business, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to discuss your marketing strategy and help in any way I can.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 20 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.