How to level up from a Google My Business apprentice to a GMB master
How often should you review and update your Google My Business (GMB) page? GMB pages can require a lot of time and effort to monitor – just like your brick-and-mortar storefront, website, Facebook page and any other place where people interact with your business online and offline. And with Google the first place most customers now see any information about your business, you should review and update your GMB page frequently.
4 reasons you need to update your GMB page
To everyday users, a GMB page is a destination for learning more about a business, finding directions, posting opinions about the business and contributing content such as photos of an establishment. For the business itself, the GMB page is a dynamic asset. In recent days, we’ve been reminded of this reality. For example, as reported in Search Engine Land, Google has made it possible for hotels to add services and amenities to their GMB pages, which people can view from Google search and Google Maps.
Like any asset, though, your GMB page requires close attention and care. Businesses that monitor and update their GMB pages have a distinct advantage over those that do not. Here are some reasons why.
You want to be found on your GMB page
We’ve said it before, but the data bears repeating: your GMB page is the single-most important factor influencing how findable a location is when people do searches, according to Moz. Being found, though, does not happen by accident. To be found, businesses need to ensure that their content is optimized for search, that their location data is accurate, and that they post strong visual content, among other actions.
You want to be evaluated on your GMB page
Your GMB page is an increasingly influential source for customer ratings/reviews, as a recent Social Media Today article reports. Customer ratings/reviews affect your reputation as well as your search rankings. It’s important that businesses monitor reviews and respond to them. Unfortunately, spammy, off-topic, and fake reviews occur on GMB pages, which is all the more reason why anyone with a GMB page must be vigilant about monitoring their pages to address that kind of unwelcome content.
You need to stay up to date on your GMB page
The new feature for hotels that I cited above is only one example of how Google often updates GMB. Google constantly tweaks GMB in other ways, too. For instance, businesses that use the GMB messaging feature can now get analytics such as your average response time to messages, thus giving you a way to do a quality control check on yourself. In addition, businesses that use messenger also get access to a more visible and potentially useful call-to-action button on their pages. These features, of course, benefit only the locations that pay attention to them and capitalize on them (such as activating messenger). Also, major updates affect not only your GMB page but every digital location on Google where people find you, including Google Maps.
You need to convert customers on your GMB page
As I discussed in January, businesses need to capitalize on the ability to update their GMB listings with dynamic content such as sales and special events. Your GMB page acts (or at least it should act) as a billboard announcing new sales and offers designed to attract customers. Want to boost traffic for your Labor Day sale? Make sure you let your customers know on your GMB page.
So how often should you review and update your page, then?
Here’s how often you should update your GMB page
Ideally, you should keep on top of your page daily. To help you stay on top of things, I suggest you keep a checklist of essential assets to review. The checklist should cover essential, basic data and content such as:
- Your basic location information (even this data changes, such as when you keep special holiday hours).
- Attributes, which is information that may set you apart from competitors, such as whether your location caters to children or whether your employees speak multiple languages. Are they up to date?
- Ratings and reviews. Are you responding to them and addressing spammy reviews?
- Q&A. Are you providing quality owner verified answers before users respond with less than ideal ones?
- Visual content. Has your location rolled out new merchandise or a new menu item you want to highlight, for instance?
- Offers. As noted, are you updating your content to announce sales and special events?
The above list is just scratching the surface of course.
And here is a rough guide for how often you should keep your GMB page up to date.
|Daily||Google Master. You’re sensing and responding to changes in your GMB and staying ahead of the competition with fresh, timely content.|
|Weekly||Google Journeyman. You’re keeping your page competitive by updating content, responding to customers, and protecting your reputation.|
|Monthly||Google Apprentice. You’re off to a good start. You’re keeping your page running. By investing more time, though, you’ll begin to learn more about how to extract more value from your page.|
To be clear: you will not grow your business on GMB by being a Google apprentice. Only by being a Google master will you capitalize on the value of GMB to be found and chosen by customers.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
About The Author
Adam Dorfman is a technology and digital marketing professional with more than 20 years of experience. His expertise spans all aspects of product development as well as scaling product and engineering teams. He has been in the SEO and Local SEO space since 1999. In 2006, Adam co-founded SIM Partners and helped create a business that made it possible for companies to automate the process of attracting and growing customer relationships across multiple locations. Adam is currently director of product at Reputation where he and his teams are integrating location-based marketing with reputation management and customer experience. Adam contributes regularly to publications such as Search Engine Land, participates in Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors survey, and regularly speaks at search marketing events such as Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West and State of Search as well as industry-specific events such as HIMSS. Follow him on Twitter @phixed.