Google My Business Optimization Updates for Local Business SEO
Are you a small business owner? Well guess what? Google has some huge updates that mean a lot to your small local business. Keep in mind, this is for local businesses with physical locations, just like myself. This 5 minute video will be the most important thing you watch this month, so take the time and follow my lead.
If you don’t already know me, my name is Mac Frederick, local entrepreneur and business owner. Why should you listen to me? Well, I worked at Google, sold a few businesses, and have grown my current two companies 8000% in 18 months. Here is a good article and video from CBS — but enough about me. Who cares? Let’s talk about you, and growing your business.
The 3 main things I’m going to cover in this article and video:
- What is Google My Business (and why it’s important to optimize it regularly)
- The new GMB Messaging Feature
- The new GMB Posting Feature
What is Google My Business? Well, if you’re a local business owner and don’t know then that’s a HUGE red flag. GMB is Google’s way of verifying and showcasing your business online via Google Search & Maps (mostly). This is something you verify your name, address and number (NAP) with so that Google can review and approve to showcase it to people searching online.
You verify your location by filling out the address when setting up and claiming your account. Google will then mail you a postcard with a verification code to approve. Once claimed you need to then optimize your account with updated categories, hours, information, pictures and more. What is more? Well, Google is starting to care and compete more for local (over Yelp and others). So they want to get more data and content from business owners to share with people searching.
What are some of these new features and updates? The main ones are updated categories, more photo options, Local Guides accounts, business messaging, posting to accounts, and 360 Virtual Tours. At Momentum Digital, we know the importance of optimizing your accounts by adding more content and responding to your customers (reviews).
Let me list some key stats from Google Local Search. Then I’ll jump into the video updates.
- People are 38% more likely to visit businesses with more complete listing info, so don’t forget to confirm your address, phone number, and website too.
- Businesses with photos get 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps. Entice your customers with high-quality photos of your summer menu, patio seating, or merchandise.
- 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps.
- 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase.
Need any more stats? Good. Let’s talk about these two new features mentioned in the video.
Messaging Feature – You can now receive and send texts as a business owner. All you have to do is use a phone number that can receive and send texts. Then just prove that by verifying it with Google within your account. You can use a few different types of numbers for this feature. SMS cell phone number, Google Voice Number, or Google Allo number. You will be able to receive texts about pricing or hours once Google shows this to customers searching on mobile who prefer to text. This Forbes article talks about the texting habits and statistics, especially from Millennials.
Posting – Google now allows you to Post to your Account. This post will will occasionally appear in Google Search and Maps to local customers. My post 4 days ago almost has 600 views. In the video I show how to post by adding written content, a picture, a call to action button and a website link. Users can view this post and go to your GMB page or your link on the post. This will help with the SEO rankings as well due to having more content for viewers.
Now, the real question is, are you going to stop what you’re doing and implement this? Hopefully, but if not, then let me know!
Next time I’ll talk about Google 360 Virtual Reality Tours and Momentum Digital being a Google 360 Trusted Photography Agency!
Thanks for reading!
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