Whether you just launched a new business or you’re ready to step up your marketing game, every company needs to pay attention to its local SEO and online reputation management.
At Big Leap, we’re passionate about helping businesses like yours establish prominence online, so we’ve created this guide to nudge you in the right direction. Learn how to harness the power of Google My Business attributes and how to improve your online reputation below.
What Is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free, user-friendly tool that can help you easily manage your company’s online presence—and yes, that includes Google Search and Maps. Your (GMB) listing is what your potential customers will see on a search engine results page (SERP).
Listing your business is free, so no excuses: Let’s get started! You can begin by entering the standard fields, like your:
- Phone number
- Business hours
It will display your star rating as well once you start getting Google Reviews.
Chip Cookies’ Google My Business listing.
What’s the Big Deal about Google My Business?
Taking advantage of your free profile on GMB is just that: a huge advantage.
Your GMB listing matters to your customers—and potential customers—because it allows them to see:
- When you’re open
- Where you’re located
- Your contact information, like your phone number and website
- Your reviews
Making it easy for people to find these details means a solid boost to your SEO and local search rankings—just by filling out the Google form.
What Are GMB Attributes? And How Can They Help Set Your Business Apart?
Now that you understand what a profile on Google My Business is and why you need it let’s look at Google My Business Attributes (GMB Attributes). What are they?
Google My Business attributes are unique characteristics about your business that you list on your Google business profile to help attract new customers. You could mention that your business is kid-friendly, for instance, or that you offer free WiFi, or have the best wine selection in town—Mention anything that might help you stand out from your competition. GMB attributes are your opportunity to shine.
Just make sure you stick to the facts, since Google pays attention to customer reviews.
GMB attributes can help set you apart from the competition, because many businesses leave this part of their profile incomplete. By taking the time to provide as many details as possible, you’re arming your potential customers with the information they need to choose you over a competitor.
You’re also helping increase the odds that your business will show up in search results for more (and more specific) search terms. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you might want to appear in SERPs for “restaurants with outdoor seating” or “happy hour near me.”
GMB attributes can help you do this.
Some examples of attributes you can manually add include:
- Free Parking
- Wheelchair Accessible Seating
Cafe Zupas’ Google attributes list
Why You Should Care About GMB Attributes
If you’re looking to boost your local business’s online presence, GMB is often the best place to start. Google provides you with a free profile because they want to serve the most accurate information to search results.
By using its platform, you don’t have to wonder if it is formatted and optimized for Google: they’re letting you know exactly what the engine’s looking for.
Google My Business helps your potential customers find you by:
- Enhancing your presence on Search and Maps
- Highlighting specific features for every location of your business independently (if you have multiple locations)
- Making it easy for visitors to compare your unique features to your competition to find the right fit
- Serving listings with the most specific and accurate details with a higher visibility
Have 10 or more locations? Google allows you to create a bulk upload spreadsheet so you can optimize your GMB listings for multiple storefronts at once. If you own a hotel chain, you’ll need to use Google’s Application Programming Interface (API).
How to Use Google My Business Attributes and Your Google Business Profile to Improve Your Online Reputation
Managing your online reputation can be a challenge for business owners. It’s not a piece of cake for search engines either.
But now that you know why Google My Business Attributes are important, let’s look at specific actions you can take to use GMB to improve your reputation online.
1. Encourage Reviews
Being thorough when filling out your Google My Business attributes offers huge returns. But reviews matter, too, as a source Google draws on when adding the subjective GMB attributes.
Reviews can make the difference in whether a new prospect decides to play it safe with a competitor that has positive reviews. Reviews also tend to encourage more positive social interaction.
Make it a habit to encourage every customer who visits your business or uses your services to leave a review. Descriptive, positive reviews help to:
- Increase your business’ search visibility
- Incentivize other users to visit your business
- Increase the likelihood of your customers choosing your products and services over your competition
While it’s great to ask your customers for a review, let it happen organically. You don’t want to get in trouble regarding guidelines for endorsements, nor do you want to cloud anyone’s trust regarding legitimate reviews.
2. Respond to Your Reviews
Take advantage of every opportunity to connect with your customers. Their reviews are valuable even when they’re lukewarm: or even negative.
Show your customers you care about their feedback by responding civilly and humbly to reviews.
Everything a person can see in a Google search result is an indicator that helps the user decide whether they’re going to choose you over your competition.
When users see you respond to reviews with gratitude, that’s powerful authority. And, if there’s a not-so-great review in the mix, responding with compassion and demonstrating a desire to improve in that area shows you’re dedicated to making things right.
People tend to be forgiving—and even eager—to support businesses that keep things real and communicate openly.
Approach every review as an opportunity to win someone over by displaying patience.
And since it costs five to ten times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep an existing one, it’s in your best interest to address each customer’s concern with care.
3. Use GMG Insights and Google Local Services Ads to Improve Customer Service
You can learn a lot from your GMB listing.
GMB Insights provides a ton of data on your customers, such as their search queries and information on how they are finding you (through a direct search of your business name or a search related to a product or service you provide, etc.).
Using Google Local Services Ads, you can analyze where user searches are coming from, how many people called you as a result of your listing, and more. This is possible by tracking your performance with a smart campaign.
Why do you need all of this information? This data can help you serve your current—and potential—customers better because you can use it to make helpful changes to your profile, website, or business operation in general.
Here are a couple of examples.
Let’s say you see those photos you’ve added to your profile are receiving a lot of clicks, but you only have one or two. By adding more, you’re providing a better user experience for your customer.
Similarly, let’s say the data shows you’re receiving a high call volume but very few visits to your website. If you haven’t examined your phone sales funnel in a while, this might be a good time to revisit it. Are you doing everything you can to ensure you capture each phone lead and convert them into a customer?
4. Be Specific with Your Attributes
Make sure you pay attention when setting up your Google My Business attributes. Be accurate with every option. And be aware that businesses can’t add all of these attributes. Google adds some based on data they pull from reviews, so making sure your customers have a positive experience can increase the attributes Google adds.
Attributes are organized into sections that make it easier for users to scan your listing to pinpoint whether your location will meet their needs. These sections may include things like:
- Highlights (fast service, friendly employees, great views)
- Popular for (good for groups, brunch, large drink menu)
- Accessibility (wheelchair-accessible restrooms, elevators)
- Offerings (gluten-free options, vegetarian menu, kids’ menu, balcony seating)
- Crowd (family-friendly, solo dining, bar crowd)
- Atmosphere (casual, upscale, noisy)
Google offers sub-category details that are unique from one business to the next. Those details can give you great exposure if you make use of them.
Google takes all of your selections and builds them into a short sentence that lets people know what to expect from your company.
The blurb Google generated for Slapfish based on its attributes is “Slapfish is a modern seafood shack that serves the quality of fine dining at the cost and convenience of fast “er” food.”
Update Image and new quote:
5. Add Photos and Videos
Businesses often spend a lot of time and resources uploading photos and videos to Facebook and other social media platforms and often overlook GMB.
It’s important to upload photos and videos of your business if you can—even if you think it’s unnecessary for your particular industry.
According to Google, when you add photos to your Business Profile, you stand out—you get 42% more requests from Google Maps and 35% more clicks to your website than your image-less competitors.
Imagery and video contribute to your brand’s overall trustworthiness. They also provide a way for busy customers to learn a lot about your business (a picture is worth 1,000 words, after all) without having to click through to your website.
What’s the Next Step for SEO?
If you’re aiming to gain new customers, manage your online reputation, and beat out the competition, get started with your GMB. Pay careful attention to every attribute. And, if you’re looking to dominate your local SEO with robust keyword optimization, content that converts, and fast-loading web pages, we’d love to talk.
It’s Time to Chat!
Get in touch with a Big Leap SEO expert to learn how you can streamline your digital marketing and more easily reach your target customers.