Today, Google My Business (GMB) has turned out to be the best marketing opportunity for small businesses. In this post, we will break down 13 tips that you can use to optimize your listing and get to the top of Google. These are the same tips used by many marketing consultants—so, if you want to get more customers and make more money, continue reading the post.

Maybe you’ve been struggling with online marketing, and wondering why your strategies are not succeeding. Well, it’s not your fault—online marketing has never been more challenging. There is a possibility that your Facebook page reach is very low, or your online ads are becoming more expensive because they are crowded—you shouldn’t blame yourself for that. What you need to know is that you can succeed in online marketing, and this post will help you do that.

As we highlighted earlier, Google My Business is a great new marketing opportunity for small businesses. This post will help you to achieve your dreams of creating a successful business and mastering your online marketing.

Encourage Your Customers to Leave Reviews

Maybe you’ve already heard of this—but it’s never been more critical than right now. According to online marketing experts, businesses that attract a lot of customers, and really depend on Google reviews should be asking their customers whether it’s through email, text, displays of information in the store encouraging and asking them to leave reviews. However, there’s one thing that many businesses forget—telling their customers exactly where to go and how to do it. So you can’t just tell people to leave you reviews online; you need to direct people exactly where to go.

Here is another tip—until you double the number of reviews, your competitors are getting, keep pointing people to Google. There is one thing that a lot of small businesses struggle with today–connecting with people and following up. Today, there are many software programs out there that can assist you to connect with your clients. But, the recommended way is to text people the link to your Google reviews.

You can use a Google review link generator, which can allow you to easily send emails and encourage people to leave a review for you or text some of your best customers and ask them to leave a review.

Order Your Free Package from Google

This package should include cool things like a poster, a card, or something you can stick to your door, encouraging people to leave reviews. Google offers this package for free, and they say that they have about 10,000 of them. Therefore, it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis, and if you don’t have any of these, consider getting one as soon as possible.

You can get things like free posters, social posts, and more for your business built by Google. These things can assist you in showing off some testimonials but also encourage people to leave reviews for your business. This is a fantastic resource, and if you haven’t taken advantage of it, go ahead and do it, since it’s a nice and easy way to encourage customers to leave your reviews.

Replying to All Reviews

A lot of business owners miss the opportunity to thank their customers, and make that connection with them for being a great customer, and also leaving a positive review. However, there something else that you need to know, and this is something that many business owners lose a little sleep over—negative reviews. If you happen to get any negative reviews, it’s not the end of the world, and you should make sure that you reply to them.

A couple of negative reviews are not bad for your business, and here’s why—people are getting a lot better at sizing up reviews. So, if your business has a couple of negative reviews, most people will want to look into those negative reviews to see what they’re all about. In addition to this, they’ll also want to see how you respond to the reviews. This is a character-revealing moment for your business and for you if you are your business to show people how you can reply to negative reviews, and how do you address them. The main reason behind this is because most negative reviews come off a little crazy. At times, the people leaving the negative reviews seem a little extreme, maybe a little intense. These negative reviews can be because someone who works for you messed up things, and you will need to write the wrong.

So, how do you handle negative reviews? 

Here a few tips that will assist you in handling negative reviews.

The first thing that you need to do is respond quickly within 24 hours because that’s when the person’s going to be upset. In addition to this, try to resolve their issue when responding to the review, and make sure that you keep your response brief.

There are some business owners who get angry when they see that they’ve been given a negative review, even when they are responsible for putting the customer in that situation. So they put on the all-caps locks and then start typing a response that might not be appropriate for the situation.

The best thing to do is to have somebody else review your response before you post. You will want to do this because you want to make sure that your response is brief, and also that own up to whatever the complaint is about. Even when you think it’s not your fault, still own up to it and apologize. The most essential thing in such a situation is offering to fix the problem and follow up with your promises. Therefore, make sure that you satisfy that customer with your response.

Another thing that you need to understand about negative reviews is that it’s not always about that one customer. Instead, it’s about the thousands or tens of thousands. If you have a business that searched a lot, you may have hundreds of thousands of people over several years reading this review. Therefore, make sure that you make a quality reply to it, and it’s something that people will see for many years to come.

Order a Quality Virtual Tour

Well, there’s a possibility that you are aware of this, or you may have even ordered it. However, there is a little caveat to it that happens to most people. But first, what’s a virtual tour? This is the only paid feature that experts recommend when it comes to Google My Business–everything else is for free. A virtual tour depends on the size of your business, but on average, it costs about $300 to $500, and what it does is, it allows people to see inside of your business. They can now have a 360-degree view and walk through it.

If you own a business, you might want to own this now. But, one challenge with most business listings is they don’t hire professionals to do their interior virtual tour. This means that they are not able to move around inside—it’s just a picture that a client can look around. But that’s not what you want as a business. What you want to do is hire an expert who knows Google Maps well for an interior virtual tour of your business.

Make Product Based Google Posts

May now you are asking yourself what a Google Post is? This is a way for you to make a post and provide information about your business on your GMB listing. A product based post, on the other hand, is a post optimized for products.

But what you’ll notice is that when you make a product based post, Google will take in that post, and start making a list of other products that you have. Google will take those posts put them under the products tab, and you have all of these products listed. This means, online users can figure out and learn what products or services you provide without ever having to go to your website. This is a pretty cool feature, which is a bit more advanced, but you should be aware of it because it’s something Google is starting to roll out.

Optimize Your Google My Business Description

This is one of the new features that Google has rolled out—your ability to describe your business on Google. Some people have already done this, and it is advisable that you to use all of the characters to fill it out. Make sure that you insert some keywords in there that people might search for in Google. This means using the same keywords to tell Google about what you do.

When optimizing your business description, you will realize that it’s a bit lengthy, but you should make sure that you fill it out. Once done, go back and make sure that it is optimized with the different things you do, that it’s appealing to your customers, and speaks to them.

The description should not be your mission statement, and it shouldn’t be formal. You can make it a little bit more informal and fun, but make sure you fill it all out as much as you can. When writing the description, ensure that you’re saying the right things to get the attention of your customers, and make them believe that your business can solve their problems.

Fill Out All the Attributes on Your Google My Business Listing, and Monitor Them

This is another new feature introduced by Google. What we mean by attributed is those little bits of information that Google allows you to provide for the public to get more information about your business. These are just little things, but what’s important is that Google is adding new ones all the time. So this is something you want to check-in at least every few months so that you can know there aren’t new attributes that apply to your business, but you haven’t them applied yet.

These attributes are ever-changing, which means they’re going to be different for the type of business you have. But, the whole idea behind this is that Google’s trying to collect all this information. So if someone lands on your Google My Business, listing they can get all the information they may need about your business to make a smart decision. And again, most of this information is not cast on a stone, and Google is moving things around, which means it’s going to change often. So it’s something you want to check up on frequently.

Monitor Your GMB Insights

These are the analytics composition of Google My Business. When monitoring the photos, compare how many photos you have uploaded to your competitors. One thing you need to note is that it’s definitely possible to have 10 times the amount of photos uploaded and viewed than your competitors.

You should make this your goal and something to reach towards. When you do that, then you are assured that people will be looking at many photos of your business. This alone should make people more interested in the visual component of your business. And, if that’s the case, they are more likely to take action, call you, ask for directions, or visit your website than your competitors.

This is an amazing opportunity that you should capitalize on—upload photos and also encourage customers to leave photos on your Google My Business listing. But before you do that, it’s good to see where you’re at compared to your competitors in your industry.

Download Google My Business App

Recently, Google has been investing a lot of money, time, and resources in this app. They just launched a new version, and it looks really nice. You can take photos and videos, and upload them directly to your GMB listing through the app. Google My Business app is available on both Apple and Android.

You should consider downloading it because you can do a lot of things within a few minutes. With the app, you can do a lot of things that we highlighted earlier. Some of these things include:

  • Making posts which we talked a little bit about earlier
  • Replying to reviews
  • Getting notifications for reviews

You can edit that all from the app without ever visiting or using a computer. Some business owners don’t even have computers in their business, but they have tablets and phones. So, they can use the GMB app to edit everything they need.

Upload Videos and Photos 

When we talk about videos and photos, we mean any type of videos or photos that you have about your business. The most exciting thing about this is that you can upload them anytime you want. This is an excellent opportunity to give a behind the scenes looks at your business with the aim of persuading people. One thing about the videos is that they don’t have to be professional. It can be great if you have a professionally made video, but so long as you have a decent video, that’s authentic, and showing a behind-the-scenes look of your business, upload it directly to your GMB listing.

By saying that the video doesn’t need to be high quality, it’s because you only partly own your Google My Business listing. What you also need to note is that any of your customers can take a picture or a video about your business, and upload it to your GMB listing. Some of those are not going to be quality photos and videos. But, they’re more of an authentic look of what is going on in your business—they are like Instagram stories or Facebook stories. You will notice that they have a similar quality, where it doesn’t have to be very professional, but it’s more of a fun, authentic look.

You can upload the videos or photos to Google My Business listing and make Google posts. This is such an excellent opportunity for marketing your business.

Add Secondary Categories Describing Your GMB

Maybe you probably uploaded at least one category, and you may have done it many years ago. If that’s your case, you should also identify and review your primary category because some new business categories have been uploaded—in fact, there’s over 2000 of them now. This is a very important part of your business because you’re telling Google the type of business you are.

Google has all of these for SEO purposes, and they want to put all businesses in different categories. So when someone types something, Google easily recognizes its category of businesses. So, what you can do, in addition to your primary category, you can add a secondary category or as many different categories as possible.

Now, for example, if you are a dentist, you can put the dentist as your primary category. Now, you should go ahead and add orthodontist, periodontist, or endodontist as your primary category. When you do that, you are more likely to appear on top when someone searches you. Getting more specific gives you an upper hand, especially when you are competing with other people.

Therefore, you should make sure that very specific with your category. If you do many things, add the different descriptions. In case you have a challenge in figuring out which one is primary, add the one that makes you the most money or the one that is the least competitive.

Review the Search Queries in Your Google My Business Analytics

Well, this might be a bit more advanced. When we say search queries, we mean the information that Google gives you about what people are typing into Google to find your GMB listing. So Google is giving you valuable information about what it knows about your business and what type of searches it’s showing. When you see those search queries, you need to look for the ones that are not at the top, but a little bit lower than your pop is showing for in Google. Maybe you are ranking third or second, or you are not even ranking in the top three, and you can do a little bit more with those terms.

You can choose to use them to make more posts, or you can add them to your website. What you need to note about GMB is that it is associated with your website, which makes it a big online presence. Google looks at your website, your Google My Business, as well as all of your online directories as a combination. Then, it tries to figure out your business and determine how the quality of a business it is. This means you can see what Google is showing you for, and if there’s an opportunity to rank higher, you can add more information about that.

In the backend of GMB, you can see the search queries used to find your business, which are the most popular queries for business for your business by unique users. Now, let’s say that you are a dentist. You can type in dentist and your zip code or dentist near me, look at all the businesses that pop up and then see where your business ranks. If it has low rankings, then you need to make more Google posts about dentistry, add more information about dentistry in your business description, or upload more photos about dentistry. Also, you should encourage your customers to leave reviews about your dentistry services, or encourage customers to leave photos of your business.

Lastly, you can add a page to your website about the services that you offer if you don’t have one. Google is acknowledging that you provide dental services, but you need to provide more information about your business.

Enable Messaging On Your Google My Business App (Aka Chat)

Today, chats exploding are around the internet. More and more people want to text and use words instead of calling. Luckily, Google has recognized and tapped into that by providing a free service. Now, it is possible for you to go you to a business’s GMB listing using your phone, click on a button and send text directly to the owner of that business.

This is an amazing feature, which also comes for free. However, you don’t get that feature by default—you have to turn it on in the backend of GMB. Once the feature is turned on, someone can click on it and send a message to you. Google provides a random business number, which means no one can get your personal number.

Well, some business owners are a bit concerned about this, and they don’t want to be bombarded with messages. However, marketing experts recommend turning it on since you can always turn it off. However, this also fills up your profile and makes your business look more legit, and it is important if you’re a new business trying to grow.