How to properly use Google My Business to take up space

The business listings offered by Google are an excellent choice in light of the growing demand for local businesses and services.

According to a Google study unveiled in the United States in 2018, “mobile devices request” “near me” (“near me”, editor’s note), clearly expressing a purchase intent (“can I buy “, “buy” or other variants) have increased by more than 500% in the past two years”. This usage brings mobile users back to the store who arrive with a specific idea in mind, and not just to browse. To inform the customer, the Google My Business seller base is a window of choice, as it is highly functional and provides visibility on the local pack, on Google Maps, in organic search and of course in the knowledge graph.

From left to right, a Google My Business listing in the local pack, in Google Maps, in the knowledge graph, and in organic search. Click to zoom. © JDN

Google My Business, a free tool, is updated very regularly and new features appear as it evolves. It is therefore essential to properly optimize your Googe My Business file, which requires more perseverance and creativity than technical knowledge.

1. Become the owner of your file

Google likes to be complete and doesn’t wait for sellers to create their Google My Business listing to display one if they’ve noticed the presence of an establishment. There are two ways to take ownership of a file: have ownership validated if it already exists, by phone or mail, or create a new one. Therefore, in order to prevent two competing magazines from sowing doubts in the minds of users, it is advisable to check on Google Maps whether the country is free before creating a new one.

“You should re-read all the information in each file regularly to make sure it hasn’t changed”

Once the card has been validated, the owner will be able to access the dashboard from which to publish information, send news and analyze the increasingly detailed performance data provided by Google (since the beginning of July 2018, the requests typed by visitors to fill in the form). are accessible in the metrics). From the “Info” category, the account manager can change the contact details and opening hours of his branch(ies). All fields are important and must be completed correctly. The “category” of trading is a reference criterion that allows users to receive personalized results based on their search intent (online tools allow to find existing categories). It is better to be as specific as possible to distinguish yourself from the competition, for example by choosing “dance and dance clothing store” instead of “clothing store”.

As a regular customer in collaborative practices, Google has opened up the opportunity for all collaborators to “propose changes” to any Google My Business listing. Very often, however, this leads to an effective change of the information in the file… without notice to the owner. Incorrect user answers to “quick questions” and conflicting information Google finds on other media can have the same effect. To avoid losing customers due to incorrect information, Mickaël Le Du, SEO consultant at Resoneo, recommends that every file manager make a habit of regularly re-reading all the information on each file to make sure they haven’t lost them in the meantime. are changed.

Since the beginning of 2018, all companies can add a list of products or services with their prices, an option inspired by restaurant menus. Another novelty is the company’s 750-character description, of which only 250 are visible at the bottom of the knowledge graph on computers. On the mobile, you have to go to the “about” tab to read it.

2. Power Google My Business

Like a website, a Google My Business listing isn’t meant to remain static. In addition, Google regularly sends notifications to encourage owners to add new content. The images, provided they are exclusive, provide a showcase to showcase the buildings, the products and the team, and tell in photos the daily life of the establishment to feed the brand’s story. Since January, videos of up to 30 seconds can complete the company presentation.

Description of the company at the bottom of the knowledge graph. © JDN

Messages are the most interesting opportunity to talk in some detail. The latest message appears in the knowledge graph. You have to click on it to scroll through all publications. For each post it is possible to integrate a category (events, offers, news…), an image, a text, a button. The latter, whose text must be chosen from a list, can refer directly to a page of the site where the transaction can be completed. From the SERP to the purchase page, it’s just a click away. The posts, which went live at the end of 2017, are not yet part of the practices of professionals or users, but Mickaël Le Du considers them a way to improve the conversion rate that should not be overlooked.

Although they have a limited lifespan, these publications work a bit like blog articles, but without having all the features. For example, they do not include links in the body of the text and the impact of keywords on SEO is nil.

3. Manage the interaction

Google My Business listings are increasingly working as an interactive interface. Many businesses now use this option and add a link to their listing that points to a page on their site or a partner site, such as for restaurants, to make an appointment. This is an extra possibility to make direct contact in a few clicks.

Brief presentation of the post on the knowledge graph on desktop. Click to zoom. © JDN

Reviews are the oldest and best-known interaction between companies and their users. Their influence on SEO is undoubtedly in the SEO community. The number of which their weight begins to weigh in the balance depends on the intensity of the competition. A restaurant in a tourist center should have more than an electronics store on the same street. “If an owner gets a notification on his listing, both positive and negative, you always have to respond in a specific way. This is important for SEO, Google regularly reminds us that this is a criterion. is a good practice that instills confidence in users when they consult the reviews and see that the professional cares about their customers,” explains Mickaël Le Du. For now, experts agree that the quantity of reviews is more important than their quality, but Over the past few months, we’ve seen Google testing ways to increase the quality of these reviews and rate their content.

“To instill trust in Google, the Google My Business listing doesn’t work alone”

Presented to web and mobile users as a channel for customer interaction, questions and answers begin to open up to professional owners of the files. From now on they can also respond, which ensures that no false information is circulated. The owner will be notified when a question is asked. Please note that web users with the Local Guide status, attributed to those who regularly contribute to giving their opinion on Google Maps and who have already posted a review on this page, will also receive a notification. Answers from other customers can instill more confidence, so you don’t always have to be the fastest to answer. However, it is advisable to read all answers carefully.

Finally, a messaging system allows users to ask the owner their questions directly. With regard to this conversion lever, Aurélien Delefosse, traffic acquisition manager at E-influence, encourages its customers to direct conversations to the site’s contact page or store locator instead, in order to maintain control over the direct interactions their Google My Business listing will be generated. †

4. Think Complementarity

The Google My Business listing is a conversion tool that is essential due to its growing power. But building trust in Google doesn’t work alone, Resoneo’s SEO consultant recalls. It is accompanied by a site and detailed listings on local sites and directories. The exact match between the data on the file and what the search engine can find on these other media serves as the basis for the robots to know if a file is trustworthy. If Google finds discrepancies, it may initially spontaneously change the information in the listing and then lower the establishment’s authority score, limiting the number of searches it has a chance of showing up.

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