Hey, everybody. This is your monthly marketing message. Peter Brissette here.  Just wanted to share with you some ideas around your Google Maps page, probably a few things you haven’t thought about or didn’t realize.  I’m going to share my screen here with you, so that we can look at a couple of these important items.

When it comes to online reviews, the number one site that you want to get reviews on is going to be Google. How you know how many reviews you should have really is a matter of how many your closest competition has. Check out your competition and see what they have, and try to get more reviews than that.

There are quite a few (listings) with a number of different sites, we call them citations. They’re directory listings, or any place where there’s a website similar to Google, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, Apple Maps, that has your business name, address, phone number, and usually your website as well. All of those need to be claimed and updated, but the most important is Google. There are a few things going on with the Google Maps page that I wanted to bring you up to speed on, and up to date on, as to what’s going on with that right now. So here on my screen you go to … on Google.com/business or business.google.com, and go to the dashboard for your page. You’ll have to be signed into your Gmail account associated with your Google Maps account.

One of the first things is the pictures and virtual tour. People really look at the pictures that are tied to your Google Maps account, so if you’re not adding pictures on a regular basis, that’s definitely something that you should be doing. You can also add the 360 degree virtual tours as well. That’s something that we’ve started doing for our clients. If you have some interest in that, please let me know. We’d be happy to help you out with that.

One thing people don’t realize, is that outside of Google Analytics, which is the normal Google Analytics for your website, there’s specific insights for your Google Maps page. The information that you have here is really tied around people that have searched through your page, and then people that have taken action.  Have they visited your website? Have they requested directions? Have they tried to call you? That’s all interacting with your Google Maps page. It also shows photo views. It shows how many times your pictures were viewed, and then if there are similar businesses like yours, they kind of give you a comparison.  And photo quality. I mean, I think all that’s kind of new there. They keep adding new stuff to this. Really good information. Direct customers that found your listing, searching for your business name, or discovered they were searching for your business category, and your page came up. Again, it’s reminding you here to post photos.  The other thing that is new, is that you can actually post on the page now, and make a post. It’s fairly limited. You can add a picture, it’s 100 to 300 words. You can add a button so that it links to it, and you can put in the link here, so, “To learn more,” or, “Buy now,” or whatever it is that you’ve got, and you can post this to your page.  It’s really kind of a new feature. Not a lot of people know about this, but definitely it’s another way to get more information out there about your business, so that people can find you when they’re searching for businesses in your category.

Another thing that I wanted to remind you about, is there is something called Google Contributor.  I’m a Google Contributor, meaning I leave reviews for businesses, and I also recommend changes to their Google Maps page. If I see information that’s not correct, or Google will actually ask me questions about a business. Is this business kid friendly? Is this business got good parking? Is it expensive? What’s the price range?  Google is always asking me these questions, and getting my feedback. There’s who knows how many people like me out there, that are doing that. You’re going to get requests to your Facebook business page … not Facebook … your Google Maps page from people asking you either questions, or recommending changes to your page, based on information that they believe is accurate. It’s another reason really to be checking this on a regular basis, and knowing what’s going on with your maps page, because there could be recommended changes that people are making to your page that you’re not aware of, and you should be.

The other thing that they’ve added here is this messaging functionality. Right now on your Google Maps page, when you pull up your Google Maps page, people can go to your website, they can get directions, or they can call you right from the Google Maps page. If they’re on the mobile device, they just hit the number, and the phone will dial.  The other option that you can add, is the ability to let customers message you, basically meaning a chat app. So whatever chat app that they access and use, they’ll be able to chat with you. This is all done through SMS messaging through your mobile phone. If you want to be able to get messages from your Google Maps page directly to your phone, with questions and so forth from your customers, then this is a good way to do that.

You can check your reviews here as well, (which is something) you want to do, and you can also reply to the reviews. You can make sure your website link is up to date.  (That’s a little feature that I’ve kind of looked into a little bit, where they want to basically offer you a way to build a separate website. I’d rather not have my website that connected to Google in that sense) Then of course, you want to make sure all your info is updated, current, accurate. Your hours, the location, business description, and all that. Then your pictures.  If your pictures haven’t been updated, you don’t have a logo, other information, and you can really break these up. Interior, exterior, people working, people on your team, your basic identity. So your logo, that type of information, you want to make sure is all set up and good to go there.

That’s just a little bit I wanted to share here this month with your Google Maps page. If there’s something that you would need help with on that, again, we can help you with getting the 360 degree virtual tour set up for your business. If you’re a business location, we can do that for you. If you just need some help with getting your Google Maps page verified, or getting the information updated, be happy to help you with that as well.

That is your monthly marketing message. I hope you enjoyed it. Please let us know if you have questions, if we can support you in any way. Thank you, and have a great month.

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