Since June 2014 Google has given businesses serving their local community a way of reaching customers that doesn’t involve competing with the entire country. It’s become more sophisticated over time and it’s still evolving now but ‘Google My Business’ is now big business and specific Google My Business SEO strategies have been developed to take advantage of this. We’ve talk about Google maps and how to get seen from an SEO perspective but what about CRO?
Even once you’re being found you still need to convert those visitors into customers. Until recently that been (mostly) about the landing page you send them to but Google have been trying to keep everything within their own ecosystem. So, they’ve been busy coming up with ways to do that.
Today I want to talk about 2 of the most recent Google My Business Updates. The first is Direct Messaging. As well ask asking questions which the business owner can reply to if they wish, This direct messaging opportunity allows a much more personal (and immediate) response and is set to make a huge difference to CRO.
Matt Southern (SearchEngineJournal) writes:
Google has rolled out its business messaging capabilities to Google Maps.
Messaging was first rolled out to Google My Business last year, which lets users initiate text conversations with businesses through their GMB profiles.
When a text conversation is started messages are sent and received through SMS.
Users now have the option to send messages through the Google Maps app instead if they prefer.
Messages will appear in the side menu of the Google Maps app and can be initiated by tapping the ‘Message’ button on business profiles.
Google says this should assist users with keeping personal messages separate from their conversations with businesses.
This change will also open up the GMB messaging feature to more countries. Initially, it was only rolled out to select countries.
For businesses, this could potentially result in more messages being received, which is important to be aware of.
Messaging is an optional feature and is turned off by default. So businesses who aren’t interested in receiving messages can simply not turn the feature on.
Those who wish to enable messaging can do so from the Google My Business dashboard.
Businesses who actively engage in messaging with customers will be able to see stats over time, such as the number of clicks on the message button, number of conversations, and the number of total messages.
If your business has another team member managing your GMB profile, such as social media manager, they must be designated as a manager of the GMB listing in order to send messages.
If you’re more of a visual learner then here’s a great Youtube video showing just how to set up messaging for your business.
But wait – There’s More!
In an effort to win over more adopters of GMB (Google My Business), Google have just given their ‘Offers’ view more visibility by showing offers direct on the result. This is a great way to increase CTR and CRO if you use it to your advantage. Struggling to see what I’m talking about or yet to see it in action?
Here’s Brightlocal’s explanation (and full credit goes to them for the information below)…
It’s all go for Google Posts at the moment. Hot on the heels of content from Google posts appearing in local finder results, Google have just announced a new view for Google My Business profiles that brings ‘offer’-type Google Posts to the fore.
The ‘Offer’ post type has been around since the very start of Google Posts, but only now has one type of Post been given a preferential position in the crammed real estate of Google My Business profiles.
According to Google’s announcement, when viewed on a mobile device, any offer posts will appear right below the key business info, above even reviews (if the below image from the announcement blog is to be believed). This position doesn’t seem to be replicated on desktop, though the Offers view is present.
How Can Local Businesses Use Offers in Google Posts?
Any opportunity to take more control over what appears in the top part of Google My Business profiles really should be grabbed by the horns, and this is no exception. No matter the business type, even if there aren’t any offers currently running, I’d recommend being a bit creative and devising an offer that shows the brand in a positive light and provides a great first impression.
One idea particularly suited to presenting a great first impression is offering a small discount for first-time customers. The images in Google Posts really catch the eye and bring GMB profiles to life so choose a good-quality photo authentic to your business (no stock photos, ideally) or a well-designed graphic that you think will appeal to your audience.
How to Post an Offer on Google My Business
It’s really easy to post an offer to Google My Business. While the new announcement post suggests using the Google My Business app to post offers, you can do exactly the same on desktop devices.
- Log in to Google My Business
- Click ‘Posts’ in the left-hand column
- Click the ‘Offer’ tab in the popup
- Upload your image
- In ‘Offer details’ write some brief information about your offer, though try to do so in a way that makes the business personality memorable. (Remember that this could be the first thing a potential customer sees that’s actually written by the business!)
- In ‘Offer title’ write an immediately eye-catching title for your offer
- Add a Start Date and End Date for the offer (you can even add times of day if you want to get really specific)
- Add a Coupon Code (if applicable)
- Add a URL the customer will need to use to redeem the offer (if applicable)
- Add text of any terms and conditions applicable to the offer
You can then preview your offer, publish it to the Google My Business profile, and use Google Post Insights to monitor post performance.
Since it’s birth in 2014 Google My business has had a number of updates like this and as yet (despite it’s growing popularity) it’s still far easier to get in front of your target audience than with traditional SEO methods.
If you haven’t taken advantage of your GMB listing then I strongly advise you to do so right now. Spending just a little time each week and keeping up to date with your GMB SEO could provide a massive ROI for your business.
Don’t the time, knowledge or inclination to do this? We can take care of it for you at WDM. You’ll get a hands-off (done for you) service allowing you to focus on you customers. Just give us a call on 01284 277276.