The Google My Business platform is a valuable, free marketing tool that any local business or chain store can use to improve its presence on Google Maps. The very basic functions of this platform allow people to find the location of your business and read/write reviews . However, many businesses fail to take advantage of some of the most beneficial features on Google My Business and do not unlock its full potential. Let’s fix that!
1) Reviewers Get Notifications When You Respond
In the event that your business receives a negative review, the best move is always to respond in a way that is professional and timely, while addressing the customer’s complaint. Doing this gives you a chance to win back your customer while projecting a good image to the public.
The Google My Business feature now sends an email notification to reviewers once the business has responded, increasing your chances of having your response being seen and your customer’s mind being changed. Here’s a screenshot of what that looks as discussed on Google’s Community Forum:
When you post a response, the notification from Google will reach the customer’s inbox after five minutes. During this 5 minutes window, you can make any changes to your response in case you notice any mistakes or simply want to alter your response.
2) Google Questions and Answers
If left unnoticed, Google Questions and Answers can hurt a business, but it can be used in your favor if managed properly. Google Questions and Answers is a relatively new function that allows users to post their questions about the business on a public forum and for others to provide answers.
Many business owners are unaware of this feature or simply don’t bother to respond. The danger with that is potential misinformation being posted if a user answers a question inaccurately (which happens surprisingly often). This can cause a customer to be deterred from your business or to approach it with false expectations. In any case, whether misinformation is being told about your business or not, not responding on this function is a missed opportunity to engage with potential customers and draw in business.
Another tricky aspect of this feature is the fact that Google does not send businesses notifications on new questions. Fortunately, Reputology’s system can send you alerts any time a new question is posted. If you are able to answer questions politely and quickly, ideally before misinformation is posted, you can expect to see those people turn into customers.
3) Google My Business Descriptions
This feature is seeing its resurgence by Google and should appear on your Google My Business dashboard soon if it hasn’t already. As a business owner, this is your chance to use up to 750 characters to make a statement that will draw in customers. This function is different from a meta description; it will appear right below the reviews section on your business listing and can be more detailed and creative.
This description is a golden opportunity to really sell your business to a potential customer when they may not have actually clicked to view your website before. If writing isn’t your strong suit, and if you don’t have any internal writers within your company, you may want to consider hiring a copywriter to write your description for you. You want to make sure the description concisely and accurately advertises key selling points to readers, while being compelling and engaging. By posting a description with keywords geared towards your market, you will also give your SEO a boost, allowing potential customers to find you before your competitors.
Any opportunity for free marketing ought to be used to its full potential. By taking full advantage of the features on Google My Business’ platform, you can build your company’s reputation, win customers, and watch your success story unfold.