Where is the nearest continental restaurant? Where can I buy sports shoes near me?
It’s so easy to flick open your cell phone and get answers to all these questions today. But only a decade ago, one would have to go through newspaper ads and ask the locals for the same.
Things are different now, and the game-changer is Google’s own directory- Google My business- with features that can help any business, be it a car wash service or a restaurant, attract more prospects.
Put simply, GMB is a must-have for businesses today as it allows your customers to find your business, get to know about your products and services, and reach out to you as well.
If you haven’t yet claimed or registered your Google local listing, you simply cannot keep with local SEO and can lag behind your competitors. To better position your business for new clients or improve the discoverability of your business, GMB is the first place you should start.
Getting started with Google My Business
Google keeps adding updates to its algorithm every now and then all with the intention to provide a better experience for its users.
The same happens for Google My Business that sees improvements once in a while with features getting added or optimized- all of which gives plenty of opportunities for businesses to use it to their advantage, best optimize their local SEO, and overall, their revenues.
But some GMB features provide crucial touchpoints for your local business over others that you can start optimizing for your business and improve your local SEO
1. To share what’s fresh- Posts
Google posts are features that help you share messages about your business and can be created using the Google My Business dashboard. There are various things you can share, depending on your business type- upcoming events, newly launched product or service, special offers, promotions, and more.
Much like Twitter, Posts can be around 300 words in length and can include photos, videos, date range (for events) along with a clickable CTA button.
Posts provide unique opportunities for your business to gain a competitive advantage over your competitors. You can share what’s different about your business.
Google allows you to keep a post active for a week before you update it again. Posts are such a unique way to entice and engage your viewers with your brand and so an important GMB feature you should pay attention to.
2. For good brand appeal- Reviews
A survey conducted by Moz on local search ranking factors revealed Reviews to be a significant feature affecting 10% of how search engines determine ranks on Google. And why not? Reviews directly impact the buying behavior of your potential customers.
Reviews improve the appeal of your business online and influence the way people perceive your business. Good reviews have shown significant results in improving the rankings and overall performance of local businesses.
As per a local survey, 88% of customers trust and take decisions based on online reviews and recommendations. Stats also show that 91% of people read reviews online which gives you a scope to regularly maintain good ratings online and improve Review Management for your business.
Tip: Responding to reviews is a great way to influence customers’ perception of your brand. Research has shown that responding to negative reviews resulted in customers altering their ratings and even deleting negative reviews post interaction with the business online.
3. For business queries- Q&A
Another crucial Google My Business feature that affects the decision-making process is the Q&A feature. It’s where your potential customers’ queries regarding your business are answered by your other GMB visitors, creating what might seem like an FAQs section for your business.
Google My Business makes it convenient for your potential customers to resolve their queries in real-time by using the Message feature. You can directly chat with them, answer questions, and increase your revenues.
Tip: Not every ‘local guide’ who answers customer’s questions on your GMB listing would be correct or create an unambiguous impression about your local business. As a business owner, why not create your own FAQs by asking and answering common questions? That way you manage your brand’s impression online and also monitor the key questions that come into your target audience’s mind, thereby assisting you to better understand and engage with them.
4. Track where you’re headed- GMB Insight
Another crucial feature of GMB that can help you improve your business traffic and increase revenues is Google Insights. Though it does not provide a complete insight into the performance of your GMB listing, it provides enough metrics for you to track crucial activities and monitor your presence online.
For instance, different metrics of GMB insights can show how viewers are reaching out to you or finding your business online- is it through another Google feature or app? What steps are they taking when they see your listing? Are they clicking on your website, leaving a query, or calling you? Tracking and monitoring these metrics can help you understand how your business gets viewed and where it’s headed.
Start Google My Business today
It’s no surprise that Google My Business is absolutely a must-have for any local business in UAE today- be it for improving your business in your surrounding area or understanding the buyer behavior in your locality.
These 4 most important but basics of Google My Business if leveraged optimally can increase the chances of your customers to click on our business page over your competitors.
While it’s true that backlinking, On-site SEO, citation building, etc. help you improve your rank and performance on Google, but if your local SEO, which is getting more sophisticated by the day- isn’t up to the mark- you stand to lose your customers to your competitors.
With people getting more aware of technology and smarter about their purchasing decisions, they are more likely to choose a business that best answers their queries and gives off a reliable impression when they google you. So it's all the more important to know how to optimize Google business for an impressive online presence.
While verifying Google My Business listing can be done in a few steps, ranking your listing isn’t a piece of cake. That’s why it’s crucial you work with a team of experts who can help you best utilize Google My Business features that work in sync with your other SEO strategies. That way you ensure a strong foothold of your local SEO in Dubai.
So if you haven’t already listed your local on GMB, it's time to get started!