In the past two years, Google has launched several new features aimed at making your Google My Business (GMB) listing more like a traditional website. It’s no secret that Google would like searchers to stay in their ecosystem rather than leaving their search results for your website. While this may seem scary at first blush, our view is that we are neutral as to where the phone calls come from as long as you have a steady stream of new customers to your door.
Because Google now provides a ton of features to keep users in your GMB listing, it is incumbent upon you to create a more robust listing that will convert visitors into customers. We combed through the latest features offered in Google My Business and listed the top three you should focus on to improve your online presence today.
New Feature # 1: Google Q&A
Google Q&A is a cool new feature that lets you interact directly with users who have questions about your products and services. Think of this feature as an FAQ that you are building collaboratively with your customer community. Prospective and current customers can now pose questions directly to your GMB listing. All you need to do to answer these questions is to download the Google My Business app for your phone and make sure to log in to the same account you used to create your GMB listing. That’s it; pretty easy, right?
There is one important wrinkle to answering questions on Google Q&A. Anyone can answer questions. That makes it supremely important that you answer questions quickly as you do not want to depend on other users to answer questions that are best answered by you as the business owner. Our advice is to keep your phone handy and make sure you jump in and answer questions quickly and thoroughly.
New Feature #2: Google Services
Google Services is our personal favorite new feature because it allows you as a business owner to enter in each and every service or product you offer directly into your GMB listing. Simply take a look at your products and services pages and make sure those services are reflected in your Google My Business listing. Prior to this feature, the only option available to business owners was to choose from three predetermined categories that most closely matched your products and services.
While this was pretty good, it wasn’t great as many business owners were able to match some of their services to a pre-existing category while other services were a straight-up miss. How granular can you get? As granular as you would like. For example, many restaurants are entering each individual menu item into their GMB listing so they could be indexed when searched.
Follow the steps below to start entering your services today.
Step 1: Log in to your GMB listing
Step 2: Steer to the info tab and then head on over to services
Step 3: As you’ll see in the image below, you can add individual sections, and in each section, individual items. For each item, you can create a description. This is as straightforward as it gets. Simply enter each service individually and don’t stop until you are done.
New Feature # 3: Google Posts
Google Posts provides a space for you to blog in your Google My Business listing. This is a critical new feature that allows you to add tons of keywords in each and every blog post. We also recommend that you add local events, landmarks, and other geographically relevant information to your blog post as this will help Google understand that you are a business in your community.
Our initial data suggest that few people are taking advantage of this awesome new feature. Which is a shame because all that a business owner needs to do is to divert a portion of the blogs they would normally write for their website and send them to Google My Business. In terms of technology hurdles when posting on GMB, we have you covered. We have instructions below for you to post on Google My Business and the good news is that it’s super easy.
How to post a blog on GMB:
- Log into your Google My Business listing
- Click on “Posts”
- Click on “Write your post.” You can then begin writing a post or simply cut and paste a blog that you were originally going to post on your website. Be sure not to post it in two places as this would be duplicate content.
Now, What Do I Do?
If you’ve gotten this far in the article, we assume that you’ve implemented the tips above. Make sure you are blogging consistently or the Google Posts tip will have little or no impact. Assuming you are now blogging regularly on GMB and have implemented the Google Q&A and Google Services tips, we anticipate that your traffic generated via your Google My Business listing will improve.
Check your listing on a weekly basis to see if your impressions and traffic are moving North. If that is not the case, check to make sure your services accurately reflect those on your site’s service page and that you are answering questions in a timely manner. It may take two or three months to see the desired impact, so don’t give up; stick with and it will pay dividends.
But I Don’t Have the Time
If your schedule will not permit you to devote the time needed to implement this strategy, we suggest that you hand the reins to your web design agency. If you believe that they do not provide SEO services, ask them to hire a SEO reseller program to make sure these strategies are implemented for your business