If you’re not managing your Google My Business (GMB) information correctly, you could be missing out on thousands of fresh leads for your cleaning business. GMB is the free listing Google offers to all businesses in order to provide helpful results for search engine users.
GMB drives traffic because of its integration with all aspects of Google, which handles 63.5% of all search queries. These local searches cause 50% of mobile users to contact a business within 1 day.
The goal of fully utilizing your GMB page is to show up in the Google map results and ultimately in one of the top 3 positions commonly known as the Google 3-pack. Let’s look at how to make that happen.
Claiming Your Google My Business Page
Google is holding a spot for you, but are you ignoring it? It’s staggering to see that 56% of local retailers still haven’t staked a claim to their GMB listing. Can you imagine what that number might be for all types of local businesses? What a missed opportunity!
So the first step to managing your GMB info is officially claiming your listing through the GMB page and entering your info as completely as possible. You’ll go through a verification process that ensures you actually do business at that address and that nobody can impersonate your business.
If you don’t have time to launch into all this yourself, a reputable digital marketing company can handle it for you. They handle GMB pages all day long and understand the best practices that keep Google happy.
Being a Nitpicker when it comes to your Google My Business listing
This is a time when it pays to be picky about details. Your GMB profile should have perfect spelling and grammar. It must have consistent NAP information (name, address, phone) that is exactly like your website.
Why? Because Google is crawling through your site to see if there are any mistakes or discrepancies between it, your GMB info and other directory listings across the Internet. NAP discrepancies can result in a ding on your ranking.
If you’re not sure whether your NAP info is consistent, use the free Business Listings Scan from Marketing Systems by Design. It will reveal what needs to be fixed.
Vying for the First Page of Map Results on Google
We hate to break it to you, but most users click within the first 10 results of a Google search, and you’ll want to be listed in the top 3 listings on a Google Map to reliably drive leads for your business. Unfortunately, that is not an easy task for cities with a lot of competition, which is why we want to give you tips on optimizing your listing to its fullest potential.
Most important factors that drive the Google Map rankings:
- Consistent NAP (name, address, phone)
- Helpful information beyond the basics, like a thorough description of your business and a list of services
- Answering customer questions quickly
- Integrating photos and videos
- Customer reviews
Google My Business assists you with everything on the list above. When you’re addressing these things consistently, you’re far more likely to land on the coveted first page of map search results.
Managing Your Reputation
One of the most powerful aspects of GMB is that it helps you actively manage your online reputation, through both responses to online reviews, and answering the Q&A feature now available.
GMB helps you achieve maximum responsiveness through its own review system called Google Reviews. It also adds the “Reviews from the Web” section to list feedback from outside sites like Yelp and Home Advisor. You can see these instantly and take a moment to respond.
Let’s say someone just posted a review that says, “This company sucks. They never called me back.” Your GMB dashboard will help you see this comment and quickly post a professional response like, “We’re so sorry to hear about that, Ashley! We’re calling right now to connect with you.” A helpful response can often turn around an unsatisfied customer’s opinion and encourage them to give you another shot.
You can also explore using a Reputation Management and Review Service. It can help you gather testimonials and reviews that boost your Google ranking and make it even more likely that you’ll be the cleaning service of choice on map results.
One common mistake in using Google My Business is letting all of Google’s valuable updates languish without being addressed. When your GMB dashboard is showing new information or a pressing issue, act fast before leads are lost.
To continue the example above, where Ashley didn’t receive a response, the company could take her feedback as a nudge to look into the bigger picture of its status on social media and review sites across the web. The company can examine how fast it’s typically responding to questions/complaints.
Then the next step is aiming to beat the average response times, which helps you stay ahead of the competition. Here are some stats to know:
- For Google Questions/Reviews, Google encourages a response within 1 day. If you can respond within 15 minutes, you’ll be a rock star in their rankings.
- On Facebook, the average company responds within 1 day, 3 hours, and 7 minutes. But you’ll get Facebook’s “Very responsive” badge by responding within 15 minutes 90% of the time.
- On Twitter, the average response time is 1 day, 7 hours, and 12 minutes, which is too slow for Twitter users, who say they prefer responses within minutes.
- On Yelp, response time is measured over a period of 30 days. If you don’t respond within that time, Yelp will wonder whether your business is closed and probably message your company for a response.
Using the Right Photos on your GMB Page
Photo listings get 35% more clicks and boost your reputation in the minds of customers. But Google users are looking for specific types of photos, and there are certain kinds that will actually hurt your Google My Business listings rather than help them.
Here are some photo-related things to keep in mind:
- Your profile and cover photo are most important in terms of filling out your GMB profile. Every searcher will see them.
- People love behind-the-scenes photos of your business, warehouse, and production process. These photos make you seem open and trustworthy. So if you’re a cleaning service, share before and after shots and photos of your employees getting things spic and span.
- People hate posed and stock photos. They make you seem fake and will likely hurt your Google ranking.
- Videos are as important as photos for rounding out your listings and boosting search engagement.
- Geo-tag photos and videos with the location and city of your business, so that these images further strengthen your position on Google Maps.
Keeping Your GMB Page Fresh
After your Google My Business profile is up and running, the biggest mistake is to let it become stale. The internet changes every moment, and you should be changing along with it.
Update your listings constantly with fresh info that adds to users’ understanding of your business. These updates are like little advertisements for your business, tempting people to learn more.
Use these best practices for adding updates to your Google My Business info:
- Go to the GMB dashboard and find the Posts prompt along the left.
- Post things that are similar to what you’d put on social media – breaking news, fun facts, conversation starters and special offers.
- Phrase everything professionally, without abbreviations or emojis.
- If you win an award, add it to your GMB text, like “Winner of the July 2018 Chamber of Commerce award.”
- If there’s a trending story about you, add a hyperlink to it.
- Share timely updates about holidays, seasonal highlights, and local events.
- Include a photo for maximum visibility.
When your Google My Business game is on point, you’ll score big points with Google and its users. That bodes well for your business, both online and back in the real world.
Struggling to manage your GMB profile and keep it fresh? Marketing Systems by Design can optimize your GMB info and ensure you’re capturing leads at every possible opportunity. Explore our Local SEO Starter Package to see what you’re missing.