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by OppGenetix

As the COVID–19 shelter-in-place orders begin to lift, more and more businesses are going to start opening up their doors to the public. But not every business will right away, and the types of businesses that are allowed to open up vary from state to state.

This has resulted in confusion for both business owners and consumers, but it doesn’t have to. One of the best things you can do for your business and customers right now is ensure the information on your Google My Business listing is up to date. COVID–19 or no COVID–19, it’s important to keep Google My Business information updated. Here’s why.

 

An updated Google My Business listing keeps consumers informed

Informed consumers are typically good consumers, and hopefully, they’ll become the best customers you can find. But if your Google My Business listing fails to keep consumers up to date on what’s happening, you’re missing out on those customers. 

Some common pieces of Google My Business information that can affect the number of customers coming through your doors include:

 

Business hours

There are few things more frustrating than going to an establishment that says they are open during certain hours, only to find out that they are closed when you arrive. It’s a waste of your time and it doesn’t exactly make you feel fond about that business.

Not every business runs on a 9 to 5 schedule, and your Google My Business listing should have the hours your business is up and running for each day of the week. This is especially beneficial for businesses that operate during odd hours or run on unusual weekly schedules and for consumers on a tight schedule. This gives consumers an idea of what to expect and when they can make the time to make an appointment or reservation or shop at your business.

Don’t forget to update seasonal hours if your business extends how long it’s open during certain times of the year. This doesn’t just have to apply to holiday seasons, either. For example, some locally owned ice cream parlors or shaved ice stands are open in the summer and are closed during the colder months.

 

Locations

You’ve probably heard the adage “Location is everything” at some point or another. It’s a little cliché, but it’s also true. In fact, it’s more true than ever, since people can find a business’s location based on their physical location, thanks to their smartphones.

And that’s why it’s so important to ensure your Google My Business listing’s address is correct, regardless of whether or not your business has moved locations or has opened up another location or two.

 

Contact information

Management can change, location can change, and phone numbers can change. Make sure that customers are able to easily reach your business via phone, email, or social media accounts.

In the case of a location change, be sure to update your business’s main landline number. If there are different people managing different locations, make sure the email contact information is addressed to the right person at the right location. Having a centralized email address for all of your business’s locations can be an easy solution, but just because it’s the easy solution doesn’t necessarily make it the best solution.

 

Posts

You can update more than just your business’s hours, locations, and contact information on Google My Business — you can post status updates as well. This could be information about an upcoming sale, an event, new products or services, and so on. A Google My Business post can include images, video, text, offers, and a button. Posting shows consumers that you’re an active business, and that activity can help bump you up higher in local search results.

 

Customer review responses

While responding to customer reviews does not necessarily relate to updating your business’s Google My Business information, it does show that you care about your customers and are actively trying to improve their experiences.

When responding to reviews, don’t have a copied and pasted message with blank spaces for customer names ready to go. Your responses to customer reviews should never be exactly the same. A cut-and-paste apology isn’t a good apology, so why would a cut-and-paste response to an upset customer be a good response? Simply put: it’s not.

You don’t have to respond to negative reviews alone; in fact, responding to most, if not all, reviews is ideal. It shows consumers that you care about your customers and their experiences, which makes them more likely to convert from a consumer to one of your customers.

 

Updated information increases visibility in local search results

One of the best things about having a Google My Business listing is that it makes your business easy for consumers in the area to find. If you have a Google My Business listing, you’re going to show up on Google Maps searches when consumers are searching for products and services your business offers.

Keep in mind that Google searches take consumers’ physical locations into account, so when they search for certain products or services, you want to make sure your business shows up on the map for those local search results. If you have the wrong location or haven’t added your newest location, consumers will think your business no longer exists or they won’t know that it exists in more than one place. 

 

Keeping your Google My Business listing updated can put you on top of your competition

Google is not going to penalize your business for updating its Google My Business listing’s information. In fact, it’s more accurate to say that there are technically self-inflicted penalties for failing to keep your listing up to date. Incorrect or outdated information on a listing hurts your business far more than it helps.

It’s easy to forget to update your listing, and there’s a good chance that other businesses forget to do so as well. Get ahead of these other businesses by posting updates on a regular basis. This can generate more traffic to your business’s website and physical location. Include photos and videos in your posts when you can. Be authentic to your business and customers. Communicate with reviewers, both the positive and the negative. Take their suggestions and complaints seriously.

 

For more information

If you want some ideas or feedback for your current Google My Business listing, fill out our free digital audit. We’ll review your listing and your overall digital presence and discuss areas that need improvement and how you can improve them.

OppGenetix Team
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Benefits of Keeping Google My Business Up to Date