Managing a Google My Business listing may seem simple at first, but when it comes to doing it for an entire network of outlets, it becomes more complex. You have to think about all the factors that need to be optimised and above all you have to do it in practice.
Furthermore, this requires expertise, organisation, time and resources,…many factors that are often lacking.
Therefore we have prepared a checklist with 12 mistakes you should not make on your Google My Business listings! To make your life easier, we have classified them into 4 thematic categories: Location data, local campaigns, images and customer reviews.
Common mistake 1 – Locations data are not up to date
Think about your experience as a customer; what could be worse than coming across incorrect information. Outdated opening hours, holidays not indicated, products or services not up to date,… it can create dissatisfaction. Moreover, it can prevent people from visiting your location.
From a technical perspective, it is particularly important that your data is updated on all media. This will ensure that you will be well ranked in Google and that your points of sale appear in the top results when a potential customer searches for your services or products.
We can distinguish 3 categories of essential information:
- General information:
Your local page should reflect all the necessary information for a customer to find your shop. These include the shop name, address, business category, website, phone number and more. It is important that all your information is up to date for your local strategy inorder to be successful.
- Opening hours:
What are the opening hours of your shop on Christmas Day?
Your customers should be able to find this information with ease when they look for your shop online.
Google offers the functionality to set your usual opening hours, which can remain unchanged when they need to be adjusted temporarily. If your opening hours change from time to time, for example due to holidays, special events or other exceptional circumstances, Google also gives you the option of setting special opening hours.
- Products and services:
The experience of a client starts at the moment they look for your business on Google. To give your customers the best possible experience, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to find the products and/or services you offer in your shop. Highlighting your products and/or services will make a true difference!
Common mistake 2 – Under-utilised local campaigns
Organic campaigns and paid campaigns allow your listings to gain visibility. Here are some points to pay attention to in order to perform well:
- Publication frequency:
The frequency with which you publish articles or campaigns is essential for good search engine rankings. It’s not about publishing once or twice a year or publishing 10 posts a day. We recommend publishing a campaign at least once a month for each shop (you can use national content and publish it locally, or even content you publish on other networks like Facebook).
- Focus on local news:
Your customers and potential customers need to know what is happening in your shops. Any information that might affect them, such as temporary shop closures or promotions, should be published on your local pages.
- Paid campaigns, a boost not to be underestimated:
Just because you have published an organic campaign this week, does not mean that you can’t publish a local ad. Combining organic posts with local ads will improve your local SEO. Additionally, they will make your campaigns much more effective.
Common mistake 3 – Outdated images
Your local listings are the digital shop window of your points of sale. They are crucial for users to form or reinforce their opinion of your business. Be aware of the most common mistakes when publishing images:
- The frequency and quantity of photos to be published:
As with posting, the frequency with which you post images is also very important. Many store networks have the tendency to publish all the images of their locations in one go. However, this is a practice you should avoid.
We recommend that you publish at least one image per month, so that you can publish 12 images per year. This shows Google that the listing is frequently updated and that the information is accurate and correct.
- The quality of the photos, a point not to be underestimated:
The quality of your images will determine your potential customers’ opinion of your products, your location and your brand. It is better to wait for good photos than to upload poor quality, badly framed or blurred photos.
We recommend that you take your time to collect the best images or contact a professional who can showcase your business premises and your products and/or services.
- Proprietary photos, the best way to control your image:
Thinking that because Google displays users’ images first, you don’t have to doubt about uploading your own images. The more images you publish, the more of them will appear at the top.
Please note that users’ images cannot be deleted easily. If these images do not enhance your shop, we recommend that you start uploading images more frequently so that these are the ones to appear first.
Common mistake 4 – A neglected online reputation
- Negative reviews should not be ignored:
Responding to negative reviews (1 or 2 stars) is more complex than responding to positive reviews. Furthermore, it is a big mistake to think that replying to these kinds of reviews is useless.
Reacting to these reviews will offer you the opportunity to improve the experience of the customers who wrote them. It may even make them think twice and give you another chance. Who knows, it might even make them change their review!
- The importance of customer reviews in the purchasing process:
Reviews are key to your potential customers forming a positive or negative opinion of your business before they act, so it’s vital that you respond to all your reviews, even with generic answers. By doing so, you will offer them useful information to help in the evaluation of their purchase.
- Don’t forget to reply to reviews without comments:
Another common mistake in review management is to think that you don’t need to respond to reviews without comments. On the contrary, it shows that you care about your customers’ satisfaction.
We recommend responding to ratings without comments by using generic responses, this way those customers will receive a notification and you will improve your brand image.
Now you know the most common mistakes and what you need to do to improve your local digital strategy on Google My Business. We recommend that you keep these 12 points in mind and experiment until you find the strategy that suits your network and your goals best.
If you are interested in this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us.