What are the major features of Google My Business?
Google My Business is a feature-rich platform, and like most other Google products, it too gets new updates and features on a regular basis.
Here are some of its stand out features:
Collect and respond to reviews: Once your business is listed on Google My Business, customers (with a Google account) can review and rate your business right from the search results page. It also lets you respond to these reviews publicly. The same will appear in your Google Maps listing too.
Tip: In case people are spamming or posting inappropriate reviews, you can always flag them.
Post and answer frequently asked questions: GMB allows people who are curious about your business to post questions on the Knowledge Panel. They can be answered by anyone who is familiar with your business. It will appear under ‘Questions & answers’.
Besides this, there is another list of automated questions for people to answer like ‘Is there a wheelchair accessible entrance here’, ‘Is this place easy to notice from a vehicle in normal traffic’, and more. They can be answered by clicking on ‘Answer quick questions’.
Provides additional information: GMB helps customers to plan their visit by displaying information like busy hours, average visit duration, and wait time estimates on search results pages. Google uses aggregated and anonymized data from users who have opted for Location History to generate this information.
Chat directly with your customers: Google My Business lets customers and potential customers communicate directly to businesses with its Direct Messaging feature. Both parties can receive and respond to messages from their registered mobile phone or Allo app.
Make sure you add a mobile number that is always accessible. By default, you will receive these messages on your registered mobile number. You can always edit it if you want to use a different one.
Pass on important information with Google Posts: Businesses can publish posts intimating customers about upcoming events, offers, and more. These posts will appear on the Knowledge Panel along with the business information, giving them greater visibility than your regular website pages.
Learn more about your target audience with Google My Business Insights: It lets you access off-site data points like click-to-calls, visits to your website, requests for driving directions, and more.
Highlight your attributes: The platform also lets businesses highlight certain attributes that people would search for. You can choose these attributes based on your business category. If you run a restaurant, you can always highlight attributes like vegan, outdoor seating, disabled-friendly, child-friendly, and more.
8. How to go about asking customers to leave you reviews on Google Business?
Google Reviews is one of the most important local ranking signals. So, good reviews and ratings are bound to get you more clicks and visits.
You should start requesting customers for reviews as soon as your listing is verified. Unlike other review platforms, Google encourages businesses to ask customers for reviews.
It also offers a program called Google Local Guides to encourage users to write reviews, share photos, and answer questions about businesses in return for points and rewards.
Here’s how you should go about asking customers:
Search for your business on Google.
Click on ‘Write A Review’ button in the Knowledge Panel.
A pop-up will appear, copy its URL, it will look something like this: google.co.in/searchq=hiver&oq=hiver&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60l3j69i61j69i60.1681j1j9&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#lrd=0x3bae148545a13bd7:0xedcf809003f2aaec,3,,,
Use a link shortener like bit.ly to shorten it.
Send out review requests via email, text message, or DM on social media. Make sure to include the shortened URL and instructions on how to leave a review.
Keep checking your Google Reviews page regularly, be sure to reply to new reviews as they come in, irrespective of whether they are positive or negative.
Note: Don’t be too late or too eager to ask for reviews. Give customers enough time to understand and use the product to its full potential.
Getting listed on Google My Business is only half the battle, if you want to get more out of it, you have to keep optimising it. You have to collect more customer reviews, get more people to answer questions, keep adding new attributes, update your listings in case there are any changes, and keep an eye out for newly released Google My Business features.