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How to Take Advantage of Google My Business Improvements

October 26, 2017

Google My Business is the foundation for local search engine optimisation (SEO) – it lets you control what information Google search and Google Maps queries produce about your company. Once seen by business owners as the reserve of digital marketers, recent updates mean you can now do more to make your company stand out.

What’s new with Google My Business?

Google My Business (GMB) is a vital local SEO tool that will help complement your online presence and digital marketing. Recent GMB improvements allow business owners to do more than list locations and opening hours. You can now keep your GMB listings fresh and engaging to help lead more traffic to your site and improve conversion rates.

Google Posts now allows you to showcase timely content in your GMB listing, quickly and easily. Special offers, sales, new arrivals and events can all be used to entice customers to click through to your website. Combine great images, concise copy, actionable headlines and calls-to-action to get the best results.

Questions & Answers is a new addition to GMB that lets you include answers to FAQs you get about your business – things like ‘do you take credit cards?’ Or ‘do you have off-street parking?’ Potential customers can also ask their own questions to help them decide about a purchase or a store visit. You’ll receive a notification and can answer the question yourself.

The Questions & Answers section appears beneath your standard GMB listing information, and is a great way to grow a freely accessed pool of knowledge about your business, in turn showing engagement with and dedication to your customers. It’s only available for android devices right now, but looks set to roll out to all platforms in the near future.

Google’s interest in updating and developing GMB has become apparent with AdWords ads now beginning to display in local packs (the GMB search results). Previously getting listings in the local/map pack was based on factors like proximity to location, listing relevance, review frequency and recency and NAP (name, address, phone) consistency across the Internet. These were all organic factors, but we’re now seeing AdWords ads featuring in GMB listings – a clear sign that Google are taking steps to more tightly link AdWords and GMB.

  An example of an AdWords ad appearing above organic results in a local pack.

How to make the most of Google My Business

Smart business owners will use these latest improvements to proactively improve their GMB listing now, ahead of their competition. This is because as with most advances from Google, early adopters are much more likely to achieve easy gains before everyone jumps on the bandwagon.

We encourage business owners to approach GMB as a tool for ongoing local marketing. You can keep your GMB listing fresh and attractive to prospective customers by updating them regularly. Encourage a bustling reviews section by replying to all reviews, good and bad. Add vibrant new photos to showcase products and use Google Posts to make your latest news and promotions more visible.

Constantly looking for the edge

Google My Business is one of the many tools Apex use when providing clients with digital marketing services. We’re constantly on the lookout for GMB advances like those mentioned above. When they appear our goal is to fully understand and implement them as quickly as possible so our clients can reap the benefits of improved engagement and conversion rates. If you’d like more guidance about using GMB to promote your business locally, we’re always keen to chat.

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Filed under Digital Marketing

Written by

Mark is the Manager of Digital Marketing at Apex and has worked in the digital marketing industry since 2004. Prior to joining Apex he worked in a variety of traditional marketing roles in both the corporate and SME environment in NZ and abroad, but these days much prefers the tangible measurability and transparency of digital marketing.

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