Google My Business Best Practices Toolkit
Best Practices for Health & Wellness Businesses
- Claiming your listing is imperative. It allows you to keep your listing current and capitalize on key features. It also makes it harder for a competitor to hijack your listing.
- You need a real website to get maximize conversion. Tight budget? Check out the simple, free site included in Google My Business. Facebook business pages are notoriously poor at attracting prospects and converting them to customers.
- You must periodically review and update your listing. Google My Business is not a "set and forget it" platform. You need to monitor new features and unexpected feature changes and continually update and improve your listing. Google rewards businesses that actively manage their listings
- List your business hours and holiday hours. Assign a monthly or quarterly to-do to a team member to verify and update business hours. Follow up to make sure they do it consistently.
- Choose the most specific business category available for your business.
- Choose secondary categories only to the extent they're needed to fully capture your most important services. Extra or redundant categories will hurt your results.
- Health & safety attributes get prominent billing in your listing. Don't leave them blank. These factors consistently attract more prospects.
- Choose any other relevant attributes that Google makes available in your listing. This will improve your conversion rate.
- Aim for a mix of photos in all categories. In our experience, hiring a photographer for half a day or a day to get a set of foundational professional photos is absolutely worth the investment.
- No free or purchased stock photos from sites like iStock or Pixabay, ever. Google will suspend your listing.
- Supplement your initial photos with good cellphone pix on an ongoing basis.
- Keep your photos fresh and mix the subjects up. If you've got several class photos, add pictures of private yoga lessons, casual photos from an outdoor class, and a great photo of your entrance.
- Specifically ask customers to review your business on Google. It's important that you're continuing to get new reviews.
- Respond to all reviews, especially negative ones.
- Don't cut-and-paste generic language. Invest the time to write an individualized response.
- Report reviews which violate Google's terms of service.
- Configure both predefined and custom Services including service descriptions, target customer, competitive differentiators and pricing indicators.
- You must have a well-written business description. Leaving it blank is a common and major mistake. Prospects look for this description, so it needs to be a home run.
- Use Google Posts for event marketing, promotional marketing and important announcements.
- Google often shows post excerpts in search results. Optimize both the post and the image. Aim to post at least monthly.
- Activate the Google My Business messaging/chat feature.
- Respond to messages ASAP, ideally within two hours. Peoople who chat you are actively considering a purchase. Note that Google often deactivates chat if businesses don't respond promptly.
- When someone posts a new question to the Q&A section in your listing, answer it immediately. Prospects love a fast, official answer directly from the business. Plus, if you don't respond, a customer may attempt to answer and those responses are often wrong, confused, misinformed or out of date. Worst of all, you won't be able to remove an answer just because it's sub-optimal. Only the rare response which violates Google's Terms of Service can be removed.
Online Bookings & Purchase
- Every business that requires appointments, bookings, enrollment or registration should enable online booking.
- It's a major competitive advantage that also streamlines your operations.
Listing Data Insight Features
- Most businesses ignore their Google My Business Insights. Big mistake! The Insights features are where Google analyzes and reports all the data about your listing for you. You can use this data to inform decisions about operational details like staffing for certain times of day so you don't miss phone calls.
- Trended data also helps you spot problems early and assess whether you're gaining ground or falling behind competitors.
- A surprising number of customers who actually love your business struggle to figure out how to actually post a review on Google. Your Short Name makes it much easier for them to review you, so it's definitely worth optimizing it.
- Advanced tracking code turbo-charges your Google Analytics data so you can dig into prospect and customer behavior.