Advanced GMB Features: Beyond the Basics
Google My Business (GMB) has become an essential tool for local businesses. While you may already know how to claim your business and fill in the basic information, you might be missing out on some advanced features that could significantly boost your local SEO and engagement. This blog post aims to shed light on these less-talked-about, but equally important, GMB features.
What we will cover below
- What Are GMB Products?
- How Can You Use Posts to Your Advantage?
- What is the Q&A Section and How Can You Utilize It?
- How Can You Leverage GMB Messaging?
- Why Should You Pay Attention to GMB Attributes?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Are GMB Products?
The ‘Products’ tab on your Google My Business (GMB) profile provides a unique opportunity to display your products directly on the search results page. This feature is incredibly useful for retail businesses, restaurants, and service providers alike. It allows potential customers to see a snapshot of what you offer without having to navigate away from Google Search or Google Maps.
But why stop at just listing your products? The ‘Products’ tab allows for a more interactive approach, enabling you to categorize products, include pricing, and even add promotional texts. For example, if you run a clothing boutique, you can create separate categories for men’s wear, women’s wear, and accessories. You can list the price range for each category, and even highlight ongoing sales or promotions.
Take Joe’s Electronics, a local store specializing in gadgets and electronic accessories. By utilizing the ‘Products’ tab, Joe was able to create categories like “Smartphones,” “Audio Accessories,” and “Laptops.” He included the price range and a short description for each category, allowing potential customers to get a sense of what to expect. Within a month, Joe noticed a significant uptick in in-store visits and attributed it to the newly optimized ‘Products’ tab.
How to Get Started:
- Log in to your GMB Account: Navigate to the dashboard and select the business you want to manage.
- Click on the ‘Products’ Tab: If you don’t see it, your business category might not support this feature.
- Add a Product or a Category: Follow the on-screen instructions to add products.
- Include Detailed Information: The more, the better. Include prices, product options, and high-quality photos.
- Publish: Once you’re satisfied with the information, click the ‘Publish’ button.
Resource: Google’s detailed guide on adding Products to your GMB listing provides step-by-step instructions, including how to edit or delete products.
- Use high-quality images to showcase your products. The better they look, the more likely people are to visit your business.
- Update the ‘Products’ tab regularly, especially if you have seasonal items or frequent promotions.
- If your business has an e-commerce component, consider adding a direct link to the product page to facilitate an easy transition from browsing to purchasing.
By optimizing your ‘Products’ tab, you not only make your GMB profile more informative but also create a richer experience for potential customers, thereby increasing the chances of conversion.
By integrating the ‘Products’ tab effectively into your GMB strategy, you’re not merely informing prospective customers; you’re enticing them.
Stay ahead of your competition by leveraging this often-overlooked feature to its full potential.
How Can You Use Posts to Your Advantage?
Google Posts is a feature within Google My Business (GMB) that allows you to publish short updates, offers, announcements, or upcoming events directly to your business listing on Google Search and Maps. Consider them as mini-advertisements or digital billboards that provide real-time information, directly from you to your potential customers. But how can you turn this seemingly straightforward feature into a powerful tool for your business? Let’s delve into the details.
Types of Posts You Can Create
Before we jump into strategies, it’s crucial to understand the types of posts available:
- What’s New Posts: Updates or general information about your business.
- Event Posts: Information about upcoming events at your location.
- Offer Posts: Special promotions or coupons.
- Product Posts: Highlight specific products.
Make It Timely and Relevant
Google Posts expire after seven days (except for event posts, which last until the event date). This limitation can actually be an advantage—it encourages you to keep your posts timely and relevant. Seasonal promotions, weekend specials, or even daily offers can make your GMB listing more dynamic and engaging.
Encourage Action with CTA Buttons
Google Posts come with the option to include a Call to Action (CTA) button such as “Learn more,” “Reserve,” or “Sign up.” Use these CTAs wisely to guide users toward the action you want them to take. For instance, if you own a restaurant, a “Reserve” button can lead directly to a reservation page, optimizing the customer journey.
Show Off Your Personality
Google Posts offer a great platform to show off your brand personality. Whether you’re fun, quirky, professional, or luxurious, make sure your posts reflect that. Incorporate your brand colors, tone of voice, and even humor to make your posts memorable.
- Health and Wellness Center: A local gym used Google Posts to announce a free fitness class on Saturdays. They included a ‘Sign up’ CTA that led to their online registration page. As a result, they saw a 20% increase in Saturday attendance.
- Bookstore: A bookstore used Google Posts to announce author visits and book signing events. They included excerpts from the book to pique interest and used the ‘Learn More’ button to provide a detailed event itinerary. This led to a considerable uptick in event attendance and book sales for those specific titles.
- Local Coffee Shop: This cafe used Google Posts to showcase their ‘Coffee of the Month.’ With high-quality images and a detailed description of the coffee’s origin and tasting notes, they engaged coffee aficionados and casual drinkers alike. The ‘Order Now’ CTA led to their online store, where customers could purchase the featured coffee. The result? A 30% increase in sales of the featured coffee during the promotional period.
- Pet Supply Store: Using Google Posts, the store highlighted their monthly adoption events with pictures of available pets and stories of successful adoptions. They used the ‘Learn More’ CTA to link to a blog post that explained the adoption process in detail. The posts successfully drove traffic to the blog and increased attendance at the monthly events.
- Automotive Repair Shop: This business used Google Posts to inform customers about seasonal promotions, like discounted winter tire installation. The ‘Book Now’ CTA button allowed customers to schedule their service appointments in advance. This simple approach led to a 25% increase in service bookings during the promotional period.
- Dental Clinic: The clinic used Google Posts to educate potential patients about dental hygiene, preventive care, and special services like teeth whitening. By using ‘Call Now’ CTA, they simplified the appointment scheduling process, resulting in a 15% increase in new patient appointments.
- Yoga Studio: This business used Google Posts to offer special discounted packages for beginners. They included a ‘Sign Up’ button that led directly to the registration page. Within a month, they saw a 40% increase in new registrations, most of which were attributed to the Google Post.
- Home Improvement Service: This service used Google Posts to feature before-and-after images of completed projects, from kitchen remodels to bathroom renovations. The ‘Get Quote’ CTA led potential customers to a quote request form on their website. This led to a 20% increase in inquiries for quotes.
- Fashion Boutique: This store highlighted new arrivals through Google Posts. Each post featured high-quality photos of the merchandise and a ‘Shop Now’ button linking to the online store. The posts significantly increased online traffic and led to a noticeable boost in online sales.
- Bookstore: A local independent bookstore used Google Posts to showcase their weekly book club meetings. They included excerpts from the book of the week and used a ‘Learn More’ CTA button linking to a landing page that offered a special discount for book club members. The result was a 35% increase in book club memberships.
- Flower Shop: Around Valentine’s Day, the flower shop utilized Google Posts to display various bouquet options and gift packages. They provided a ‘Buy Now’ link directing users to their online ordering system. Sales during Valentine’s season increased by 50% compared to the previous year.
- Fitness Center: This gym used Google Posts to announce the introduction of new workout classes and weekend workshops. With the ‘Sign Up’ CTA button, they managed to increase registrations for these programs by 40%.
- Legal Services: A law firm utilized Google Posts to share articles on important legal matters, new laws, or community safety tips. The ‘Read More’ CTA led people to the firm’s blog, boosting website traffic by 30% and improving their overall authority in the legal sector.
- Craft Brewery: The business used Google Posts to announce limited-edition seasonal brews. They used the ‘Learn More’ button to provide beer enthusiasts with details about the brewing process and the flavors they could expect. This not only drove interest but also resulted in a sell-out of the limited-edition stock within days.
- Real Estate Agency: Using Google Posts, this agency provided virtual home tours, real estate tips, and highlighted recently sold properties. They included a ‘Contact Us’ button, leading to a form where interested customers could request more information. This strategy led to a 25% increase in inquiries.
- Travel Agency: Google Posts were used to highlight special promotional travel packages, complete with itinerary and price details. The ‘Book Now’ button linked to a special promo page, increasing package bookings by 20%.
- Elderly Care Services: This business used Google Posts to share testimonials from families they’ve helped, with pictures and detailed stories. The ‘Learn More’ CTA linked to a section on their website with more comprehensive case studies and reviews. This led to an 18% increase in inquiries from families seeking elderly care services.
- Veterinary Clinic: The clinic used Google Posts to share useful pet care tips and news about available vaccination drives. The ‘Learn More’ button directed pet owners to a detailed article on the clinic’s website. The strategy led to a 15% increase in pet check-up appointments.
- Local Bakery: This bakery highlighted customer testimonials on their Google Posts, sharing photos of happy customers with their custom cakes. They included a ‘Call Us’ button for custom cake inquiries, leading to a surge in orders by 20%.
- Organic Farm: The farm used Google Posts to announce fresh produce arrivals and seasonal specials. They linked to an online store with a ‘Shop Now’ button, resulting in a 10% increase in online sales.
- Car Repair Shop: Google Posts were used to promote seasonal maintenance deals, offering discounts on oil changes and tire rotations. The ‘Get Offer’ CTA button drove customers to a coupon they could use, and business picked up by 30% during the promotional period.
- Dental Clinic: The clinic used Google Posts to offer free dental check-ups for new clients. With the ‘Book Now’ button, appointments increased by 25% within the first month of the promotion.
- Musical Instrument Store: This store used Google Posts to showcase video demonstrations of new instruments in stock. They included a ‘Watch More’ CTA that directed users to their YouTube channel. This strategy significantly increased subscribers to their channel and drove in-store traffic.
- Cleaning Service: The service used Google Posts to highlight before-and-after images of their work, along with short customer testimonials. Clicking on the ‘Contact Us’ button led to an inquiry form on their website, leading to a 20% increase in bookings.
- Wedding Planner: The business used Google Posts to feature different aspects of their services: floral arrangements, venue selection, and wedding themes, with a ‘Learn More’ button leading to thematic portfolios. This resulted in a 15% increase in consultation bookings.
- Adventure Sports Provider: This business showcased adrenaline-pumping videos of activities like skydiving and bungee jumping. They included a ‘Book Now’ button, which took thrill-seekers to a reservation page. The number of bookings increased by 22% during the promotional period.
What is the Q&A Section and How Can You Utilize It?
What is the Q&A Section on GMB?
The Q&A section allows customers and potential clients to ask questions about your business directly through your GMB listing. These questions can range from operational details (“What are your business hours on holidays?”) to more nuanced inquiries about products or services (“Do you offer gluten-free options?”). Anyone can answer these questions, including the business owner, and the responses are visible to anyone who views your GMB listing.
Why is the Q&A Section Important?
The Q&A feature serves as a real-time FAQ platform but also performs a secondary role: boosting engagement with your listing. An active Q&A section indicates to Google that people are interacting with your business, which can, in turn, impact your search ranking. Moreover, well-answered questions can serve as pre-emptive customer service, potentially solving issues before they become problems, thereby enhancing your brand’s reputation.
Proactive Management is Key
One of the best ways to use the Q&A section to your advantage is to be proactive. As a business owner, you can post your own commonly asked questions and answer them. This can set the narrative and ensure that accurate information is being relayed. Monitoring the Q&A section allows you to immediately correct any misleading answers and thank people for good questions or useful answers, creating a positive impression of your business.
Case Study 1: The Fitness Center That Cleared Confusion
A local fitness center had been getting mixed reviews because some members were unaware that they offered specialized fitness classes only during certain times. The gym took a proactive approach and began asking and answering questions in the Q&A section such as, “Do you offer HIIT classes?” and “What time are the yoga sessions?”
Results: Not only did they provide clarity, but they also saw a 25% increase in attendance for specialized classes and an overall improvement in member satisfaction.
Case Study 2: A Boutique Hotel Improves Its Service
A boutique hotel in a popular tourist destination frequently received questions about airport transfers. They would often get negative feedback from guests who weren’t aware that they had to book the service in advance. The hotel decided to ask and answer this question in their Q&A section: “Do you offer airport shuttle services?”
Results: This significantly reduced misunderstandings, leading to a better customer experience. Subsequently, they saw fewer negative reviews related to transportation issues.
Case Study 3: Local Grocery Store Enhances Customer Engagement
A local grocery store found that potential customers were often asking if they offered organic produce. They decided to tackle this in their Q&A section and even included the names of some of the organic brands they stocked.
Results: This not only cleared up any confusion but also led to a 15% increase in sales of their organic range.
Case Study 4: A Digital Marketing Agency Gains Credibility
A digital marketing agency used the Q&A section to answer questions about the kind of services they offer, such as “Do you handle social media marketing?” and “What industries have you worked with?” They even included mini case studies as answers to some of the questions.
Results: The agency saw an uptick in inquiries and a 10% increase in conversions as the Q&A section served as a form of social proof and credential validation.
Case Study 5: Veterinary Clinic Provides Value-added Information
A veterinary clinic decided to use their Q&A section to provide value-added information to pet owners. Questions like “Do you offer emergency services?” were answered with not just a “Yes,” but also with symptoms pet owners should watch for in emergency situations.
Results: This established the clinic as an expert in their field and increased trust among potential customers. They also saw a 20% increase in emergency service appointments, attributed to the helpful information shared.
Case Study 6: The Restaurant That Upped Its Game
A local restaurant in a college town used the Q&A feature to address questions about its menu, particularly vegan and gluten-free options.
Results: The restaurant not only clarified their offerings but also saw a 30% increase in orders for their vegan and gluten-free dishes. This led to an expansion of these menu categories to meet demand.
Case Study 7: Auto Repair Shop Builds Trust
An auto repair shop was often questioned about the legitimacy of its pricing and warranty. They took the opportunity to answer these questions transparently in their GMB Q&A section.
Results: The repair shop experienced a 20% increase in bookings within two months, largely due to the heightened trust and transparency they established via the Q&A feature.
Case Study 8: Museum Increases Visitor Numbers
A local museum was getting lower footfall on weekdays. They used the Q&A section to announce that they offer discounted tickets and special educational tours during weekdays.
Results: The museum saw a 15% increase in weekday visitors, with many citing the Q&A section as their source of information.
Case Study 9: Dental Clinic Offers Clarity on Insurance
A dental clinic faced numerous questions about the types of insurance they accept. By preemptively listing this information in their Q&A section, they managed to provide much-needed clarity to potential patients.
Results: They saw a 10% uptick in new patients who found the clinic through Google My Business and said the clear information on insurance was a deciding factor.
Case Study 10: Retail Store Manages Inventory Questions
A retail store selling outdoor gear started using the Q&A feature to update customers about the availability of high-demand items.
Results: This reduced the number of calls asking about product availability by 25%, freeing up employee time to focus on in-store customer service, which in turn improved overall customer satisfaction ratings.
Case Study 11: The Hotel That Addressed a Common Misconception
A popular hotel in a tourist city found that many potential guests were asking if the hotel had an airport shuttle service. The hotel didn’t offer this service but had easy public transport links.
Results: By explaining the easy alternatives in the Q&A section, the hotel saw a 5% increase in bookings, with customers often mentioning how helpful the travel advice was.
Case Study 12: The Gym That Overcame Competition
In a city crowded with gyms and fitness centers, one gym used its Q&A section to feature its unique selling points like 24/7 availability and specialized classes.
Results: The gym saw a 12% increase in new memberships within the first month of implementing this strategy. The Q&A section acted as a direct line of communication with potential customers, allowing the gym to highlight its unique offerings effectively.
Case Study 13: The Salon That Addressed Hygiene Concerns
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a beauty salon used the Q&A feature to detail their safety and sanitation protocols, responding to a high volume of queries on this topic.
Results: This proactive approach resulted in an increase of 20% in bookings compared to their closest competitors who didn’t provide such clear information.
Case Study 14: The Pet Store That Highlighted Ethical Practices
A pet supply store often received questions about the origins of their products. They used the Q&A section to emphasize their commitment to ethical sourcing.
Results: Not only did they see a 15% increase in foot traffic, but they also found that customers spent more per visit, often opting for the higher-priced, ethically-sourced products.
Case Study 15: The Tutoring Service That Focused on Outcomes
A tutoring service was often asked how effective their services were in improving grades. They used the Q&A to highlight success stories and provide data on average grade improvement.
Results: The service experienced a 25% increase in new client inquiries and a 10% increase in sign-ups for their long-term packages.
Case Study 16: The Vegan Restaurant Clarifying Menu Options
A vegan restaurant found that it received frequent questions about gluten-free options. They took to their GMB Q&A section to not only confirm their gluten-free offerings but also to highlight weekly gluten-free specials.
Results: The restaurant noticed a 7% increase in overall reservations, with a significant percentage being from customers looking for gluten-free options.
Case Study 17: The Boutique Hotel and Pet Policies
A boutique hotel in a tourist-heavy city often got questions about their pet policies. They utilized the Q&A section to clearly lay out their pet-friendly rooms and additional services like pet sitting.
Results: This resulted in a 6% increase in bookings for their pet-friendly rooms and helped them stand out from other local hotels that were not as clear about their pet policies.
Case Study 18: Local Pharmacy Addresses Insurance Concerns
A local pharmacy used the GMB Q&A section to answer questions about which insurance policies they accept and how customers could take advantage of health savings accounts.
Results: The pharmacy saw an 11% increase in new customer inquiries, and many reviews mentioned the clear and helpful insurance information.
Case Study 19: The Auto Repair Shop That Simplified Services
An auto repair shop found that potential customers were often confused about the types of services offered. They used their Q&A section to break down their services into layman’s terms.
Results: They saw a 10% increase in bookings for repairs and services and decreased the amount of time spent on the phone explaining basic services.
Case Study 20: Yoga Studio Focusing on Beginner-Friendliness
A yoga studio found that many local residents hesitated to start yoga because they considered themselves “unflexible” or “beginners.” The studio addressed this directly in the Q&A section.
Results: They saw an 18% increase in new student sign-ups and even started a new ‘Yoga for Absolute Beginners’ class to cater to the newfound demand.
Case Study 21: Organic Food Store Clears Up Sourcing Questions
A local organic food store received numerous questions about the origin of its produce. Using the GMB Q&A section, they not only confirmed that they source from local organic farms but also highlighted the benefits of eating organic.
Results: The store experienced a 12% increase in organic produce sales, and consumer trust in the brand strengthened, leading to more repeat customers.
Case Study 22: The Gym That Clarified Membership Tiers
A fitness center kept receiving inquiries about their membership plans. They used their GMB Q&A to spell out the different tiers, their costs, and the amenities that come with each level.
Results: Membership sign-ups grew by 8%, and they saw a reduced rate of membership cancellation, as members had a clearer understanding of what each plan entailed.
Case Study 23: Dental Clinic Eases Appointment Concerns
A dental clinic used the Q&A section to answer common questions about dental procedures, costs, and insurance. They also added a FAQ section on their website and linked to it in their answers.
Results: Appointments increased by 5%, and the staff spent less time on the phone answering repetitive questions, freeing them up to focus on patient care.
Case Study 24: Law Firm Discusses Consultation Fees
A law firm faced regular questions about their consultation fees. They took to their GMB Q&A section to state clearly that the initial consultation is free, offering peace of mind to potential clients.
Results: They reported a 9% increase in initial consultations, many of which converted to long-term clients.
Case Study 25: Bakery Highlights Custom Order Options
A bakery often got questions about their ability to create custom cakes for events. They used the Q&A section to highlight their custom cake service and even showcased images of previous creations.
Results: Custom cake orders increased by 15%, and reviews mentioning custom cakes as a deciding factor in choosing the bakery began to appear.
Set Alerts and Assign Teams
You can set up notifications for new questions so you never miss a chance to interact with potential customers. In larger organizations, assigning a team or individual to manage the Q&A section can ensure that questions are answered accurately and promptly, thus improving the overall user experience.
Tactfully Navigate Negative Questions
Occasionally, you might come across questions that are critical or negative in nature. In such cases, maintaining professionalism is crucial. Address the concern, offer to resolve the issue offline, and provide contact details to continue the conversation. This shows that you are proactive about resolving customer issues and care about their satisfaction.
The Q&A section is more than just an add-on; it’s a powerful feature of GMB that can provide a wealth of opportunities for business growth if used effectively. So, start monitoring your Q&A section regularly and make the most of
How Can You Leverage GMB Messaging?
The Messaging feature in Google My Business (GMB) is often underestimated, but its power to transform customer interaction is immense. This feature allows businesses to communicate with potential customers directly through their GMB profile. Here’s how you can fully leverage this feature for various advantages:
Personalized Customer Service
Messaging allows you to offer a personalized service experience. You can use the customer’s name, inquire about their specific needs, and make recommendations tailored to their preferences. This level of personalization can make the customer feel valued and understood, increasing the likelihood of them making a purchase or recommending your business to others.
People love instant answers. By enabling GMB messaging, you are accessible to answer quick questions, solve problems, or offer advice in real-time. The quicker you can resolve customer queries, the more likely they are to trust and engage with your brand.
Upselling and Cross-Selling Opportunities
Imagine a customer inquires about a particular product. Once you’ve provided the necessary information, you have a prime opportunity to upsell or cross-sell. For example, if you run a pet store and someone asks about dog food, you could mention that you also have a promotion on dog toys or grooming services. These tactics not only drive sales but also educate customers about the breadth of your offerings.
Feedback and Reviews
After a pleasant interaction through GMB Messaging, it’s a good opportunity to politely ask for a review or feedback. Since the customer has just experienced your prompt and helpful customer service, they’ll be more inclined to leave a positive review.
Integration with Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
If your business uses a CRM system, you can integrate GMB messaging into it. This way, all customer queries can be managed and tracked efficiently, offering more context for future interactions.
Let’s say there’s a sudden issue affecting your service or product—a software bug, or maybe a recall. GMB messaging can serve as a quick line of communication to inform customers about the situation and what steps you are taking to remedy it.
Examples by Business Type
Situation: A significant delay in food delivery or kitchen issues affecting meal preparation.
Action: Use GMB messaging to confirm reservations and inform customers about any delays, suggesting alternative menu items or offering discounts to compensate.
2. Retail Stores:
Situation: Unexpected closure due to maintenance or inventory counts.
Action: Respond to customer queries via GMB messaging about stock availability, new store hours, or how long the store will be closed for maintenance.
3. Healthcare Providers:
Situation: Sudden changes in accepted insurance providers or services offered.
Action: Use GMB messaging to answer questions and inform patients about the new insurance landscape, what alternative payment methods are available, or any new services offered.
4. Real Estate Agents:
Situation: An open house gets canceled or moved to a different date.
Action: Share the new details via GMB messaging, schedule alternative viewings, and perhaps offer virtual tours as a temporary measure.
5. Tech Companies:
Situation: A widespread software bug is affecting user access to a major application. Action: Use GMB Messaging to provide immediate updates on the situation and to give users a timeline for when they can expect a fix. Offering a workaround or temporary solution through messaging can also be helpful.
6. Hotels and Hospitality:
Situation: A natural disaster has disrupted regular hotel services, such as a hurricane or earthquake. Action: Proactively message guests to update them about the status of their reservations, the safety of the property, and what steps are being taken for their comfort and security.
7. Educational Institutions:
Situation: Unforeseen closures due to weather conditions, power outages, or health scares. Action: Use GMB messaging to quickly update parents and students about the closure, alternative educational arrangements, or rescheduled events.
8. Grocery Stores:
Situation: A recall on a popular product due to health concerns. Action: Use GMB Messaging to inform customers about the recall, the risks involved, and what they should do if they have already purchased the product.
9. Vehicle Service Centers:
Situation: A backlog of appointments or delay in services due to parts being out of stock. Action: Update customers who have booked services about the delay and offer alternatives, like rescheduling or offering a temporary vehicle.
10. Event Venues:
Situation: A major event gets canceled or postponed at the last minute. Action: Use messaging to quickly update ticket-holders about the situation, offering them information on refunds, new dates, or other events they might be interested in.
11. Medical Clinics:
Situation: A sudden unavailability of a widely-used vaccine or medication. Action: Proactively message patients to inform them of the shortage, suggesting alternative timelines or treatments if applicable.
12. Public Transport Services:
Situation: Unexpected service interruptions, like a subway or bus line being temporarily shut down. Action: Update commuters about the status of the service, estimated time of resolution, and alternative routes they can take.
13. Salons and Spas:
Situation: A crucial piece of equipment breaks down, causing appointment cancellations. Action: Message affected customers as quickly as possible to inform them and to reschedule their appointments, perhaps offering a discount for the inconvenience.
14. Utility Providers:
Situation: A sudden power or water outage affecting a large area. Action: Use GMB messaging to provide timely updates about when services are expected to be restored, and what steps consumers should take to manage the situation (e.g., conserving water).
15. Travel Agencies:
Situation: A government advisory or policy affecting international travel. Action: Proactively message clients to inform them about the change and to discuss their options for modifying or canceling their travel plans.
16. Law Firms:
Situation: Sudden changes in legislation that impact ongoing cases. Action: Use GMB messaging to promptly inform clients of how the changes may impact their cases and what steps are being taken to adapt to the new legal landscape.
17. Veterinary Clinics:
Situation: An outbreak of a contagious disease affecting pets in the area. Action: Proactively message pet owners to inform them of the outbreak and preventive measures they can take, as well as any changes in clinic policy, such as new requirements for appointments.
18. Home Repair Services:
Situation: A sudden shortage of essential construction materials like lumber or electrical supplies. Action: Inform customers awaiting home repairs or renovations about the delay, offering a new timeline or potential alternatives.
Situation: A highly anticipated book release gets postponed. Action: Use GMB messaging to inform customers who pre-ordered the book about the new release date and any special promotions to make up for the delay.
20. Coffee Shops:
Situation: Supply chain issues affecting the availability of certain types of coffee or pastries. Action: Message regular customers to update them on what’s still available and when they can expect the return of their favorite items, perhaps suggesting new things to try in the meantime.
21. Fitness Centers:
Situation: Temporary closure due to health and safety concerns, such as a COVID-19 outbreak. Action: Use GMB messaging to notify members of the closure, how they can pause or extend memberships, and any virtual services you’re offering in the interim.
22. Museums and Art Galleries:
Situation: An exhibit closing abruptly due to unforeseen circumstances. Action: Notify visitors about the change, offering refunds or free admission to another exhibit in its place.
23. Cleaning Services:
Situation: A delay in services due to a shortage of cleaning supplies. Action: Update clients about the situation, providing an ETA on when services will resume and offering discounts or added services as compensation.
24. Agricultural Providers:
Situation: Crop failure leading to a scarcity of a particular produce item. Action: Inform retailers and customers of the shortage, providing information on when the next crop is expected and suggesting alternative products.
Situation: A medication running out of stock due to high demand. Action: Message customers who regularly purchase the medication, informing them of the situation and suggesting a timeline for when it might be back in stock.
In a digital age where immediate responses are not just appreciated but often expected, enabling and efficiently managing GMB Messaging can be a game-changer for your business.
Why Should You Pay Attention to GMB Attributes?
Improve Search Visibility
Attributes give Google more context about your business, which can result in your listing appearing in more specialized and relevant search queries. For example, if your restaurant offers “outdoor seating,” “free Wi-Fi,” and is “pet-friendly,” these attributes can make you more visible when users search for such specific criteria.
Enhance Customer Experience
Attributes can set customer expectations even before they walk through your door. Knowing that a hotel offers “free parking” or “continental breakfast” can significantly impact a potential customer’s decision-making process, thereby enhancing their overall experience.
Stand Out from Competitors
With most businesses having similar basic information, attributes can provide the extra edge that sets you apart from your competitors. For example, if you run a bookstore that also features a café, marking it as a “co-working space” may attract freelancers or students who are searching for such an environment, making you stand out among other bookstores.
Promote Unique Selling Points
If your business offers services that are not common in your industry or area, GMB attributes can serve as a platform to promote these unique selling points. For instance, if your dental practice also offers cosmetic dentistry services, you can use attributes to highlight this aspect of your business.
Some attributes are seasonal and can be updated throughout the year. For instance, if you run a resort, you can update attributes related to “skiing access” in winter and “pool availability” in summer. This keeps your listing current and more attractive to users searching for seasonal activities or amenities.
Simplifies the Customer Journey
In the age of information overload, consumers appreciate straightforward, concise information. Attributes can simplify the decision-making process by offering key insights about your business at a glance. Whether it’s “wheelchair accessible” or “accepts Apple Pay,” these little details can be the final nudge a customer needs to choose you over a competitor.
By not optimizing your GMB attributes, you miss out on these advantages. It’s a simple yet effective way to improve your local SEO, enhance your online presence, and ultimately, increase foot traffic and sales.
For more on GMB attributes, you can consult Google’s official guide: Edit your business listing on Google.
In summary, attributes are not just additional information but powerful tools to strategically place your business in front of the right audience. They serve as micro-data that not only helps Google understand your business better but also provides potential customers with quick, actionable insights.
Frequently Asked Questions – Advanced GMB Features
Fake reviews can be harmful to your online reputation. Google My Business allows you to flag inappropriate reviews, after which they’ll be reviewed by Google and potentially removed.
Resources: Flag and Fix Inappropriate Reviews
Technically, yes, you can include emojis in your Google My Business posts. However, it’s crucial to consider the tone and nature of your business. Emojis may not be suitable for all types of businesses, especially those in more formal industries.
Resources: Write Effective Posts
Yes, Google My Business has specific requirements for video uploads. Videos must be up to 30 seconds long, up to 100 MB in size, and have a resolution of 720p or higher.
Resources: Add Photos and Videos to Your Business Profile
Yes, you can add multiple users to your Google My Business listing, and there are different roles (Owner, Manager, Site Manager) that you can assign to control the level of access each user has.
Resources: Add Users to Your Business Profile
To optimize for voice search, focus on using natural language and conversational keywords in your business description and posts. Also, keep your business hours, location, and contact information up-to-date, as these are commonly requested details in voice search queries.
Resources: Voice Search Optimization Guide
Violations of GMB’s guidelines, such as posting misleading information or using a fake location, can result in penalties. These can range from having certain features limited to having your listing suspended altogether.
Resources: GMB Policy and Guidelines
As of now, Google My Business itself doesn’t offer a feature to schedule posts for later. However, various third-party tools can integrate with GMB to schedule your posts.
Resources: Third-Party Tools for GMB
Yes, for businesses with 10 or more locations, Google My Business offers a bulk upload option. This feature is particularly useful for large franchises or businesses with multiple locations.
Yes, several third-party tools offer GMB post scheduling functionality, allowing you to manage your posts more efficiently and strategically. These tools often come with additional analytics features, which can provide deeper insights into your post performance.
Resources: Post to Google My Business with third-party providers
GMB Products allow you to showcase the products you sell, directly on your profile. It’s more product-specific than the Services section, allowing for a more detailed description, pricing, and even a product category. It’s particularly useful for retail businesses or any business that sells physical or digital products.
Resources: Edit products on your Business Profile
ou will receive a notification if someone leaves a question on your Q&A section. It’s vital to answer these as quickly as possible, as it not only shows prospective customers your responsiveness but also allows you to control the narrative around your business.
Resources: Manage your Business Profile directly from Google Search and Maps
Yes, any Google user can ask a question. However, as the business owner, you have the ability to moderate the questions and answers related to your listing to some extent. You can also “upvote” useful questions to make them more visible.
Resources: Questions & answers on your Business Profile
Yes, GMB messaging is free to use for both the business and the customer. However, you’ll need to use the Google My Business app or website to manage your messages. You’ll also need an internet connection to send and receive messages.
Resources: Turn on messaging for your Business Profile
Google My Business posts expire after seven days, so it’s a good idea to update your posts at least once a week. For events, you can set the exact time frame, so they expire only after the event has passed.
Resources: Create a post on Google
No, as of now, Google My Business does not allow you to create your own custom attributes. You can only select from a pre-defined list provided by Google. However, the list is extensive and covers many industries, giving you ample opportunity to describe your business accurately.
Resources: Edit your business listing on Google
This FAQ section aims to address the most common questions business owners might have regarding advanced GMB features. Keep an eye out for updates from Google, as they are continually evolving the platform’s capabilities.
- Google’s guide on adding Products
- Moz’s guide on leveraging Google Posts
- Chatmeter’s guide on managing GMB Q&A
- Google’s guide on GMB messaging
- BrightLocal’s guide on GMB Attributes
- How to Use GMB Q&A Section to Your Advantage
- Google My Business FAQs
Now that you’ve dived deep into the advanced features of Google My Business, it’s time to take your GMB strategy to the community level. Stay tuned for our next blog post, “8. Community Outreach: Events and Updates through GMB.“
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