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What you need to know about Google My Business & Google Maps

What you need to know about Google My Business & Google Maps

Posted in Concise Webinars, SEO by on August 20, 2020
What you need to know about Google My Business & Google Maps

Google My Business (or GMB) is the important listing for your business in Google’s search results and Google Maps. If you want to get found in Google, then make sure your GMB is as good as it can be. This Concise Webinar runs through the key points you need to know, and is presented by Gareth Lane & Richard Keeves. We cover:

  • Why Google My Business helps with SEO
  • How to improve your Google Maps info to get more business
  • How to manage and reply to Google Reviews
  • A super easy way to get more Reviews
  • How to post your News & Events to Google
  • What Maps Pack is, and how to rank higher in Maps
  • And more

Google My Business Webinar Replay

Two resources we discuss in the webinar are


Google My Business Webinar Transcript

Richard: Hello and good morning everybody. My name is Richard Keeves. Welcome to this Concise Webinar. The topic for today is what you need to know about Google My Business and Google Maps. Google My Business as we’re going to be going, is the listing you have for your business in Google and the same information can show up on Google Maps.

How Google sees you and more importantly how your customers and prospective customers sees you is managed largely through Google My Business and Google Maps. That’s why this webinar is actually really important. Good morning everybody and good morning to my co-presenter Gareth Lane. Come on down Gareth.

Gareth: Good morning everyone. Glad to be here for a Concise Webinar.

Richard: I hope everyone’s doing well. Taking care, being careful, doing business and carrying on with life as best we can. This is a Concise Webinar. We try to keep this short, relatively straightforward, simple to the point, but not too simple though and we also try to keep them focused on business. 100% educational with information and stuff you can use after the session.

These sessions are also recorded and we’re happy to take questions on the way through. You can type those questions into the chat box and we also hopefully we’ll have time or we’ll make time at the end for live Q and A. If you want to ask questions at the end then you can but if you want to ask questions as we go through please feel free. With that I’m going to hand over to Gareth who’s going to be running most of this session today.

Gareth: All right and what was it I was engaged to talk about today. I think it was Google My Business. I’m just going to share my screen. I am kidding. I have done some rehearsing. Google My Business is the I guess management interface if you like for your Google Map listing so I often refer to it as Google Maps. There is a very sort of slight difference but on my screen at the moment I have opened, if you Google your own business you should see this sort of area on the left-hand side sorry, on the right-hand side. I’m not very good with my left and rights. This is what is managed through a Google My Business listing so your photos, the name, website, reviews, phone number, opening hours, some more information, profiles and some bits and pieces.

Google is putting a lot of priority on this and they have announced that they will start charging or sorry offering a premium sort of validated version for Google My Business. It was always designed to make money in some way so they spent a lot of time getting everybody onto it and making sure you’ve got one and putting priority on reviews and so on. Surprise, surprise there’s going to be a premium upgrade where you can spend some money getting a better one.

Richard: Let’s just, just adding to that it’s something that they’re trialling in some part of the world and the number is about $50 per year I think. Something like that but it is it’s something that, Google makes most of its money through advertising and so it’s sort of weighing this up at the moment but stay tuned.

Gareth: But I guess the important thing for this webinar is just to make sure you know all the little tricks and tips that you can update on your Google My Business and so I’ll show you a few little things of that now. To get to the login you simply Google Google My Business. Then you should be prompted. You probably if you don’t already know that you’ve got one you’ll probably be able to find it just by logging in with your email address. If you don’t have one then it’s fairly straightforward to set up but the main point is that you really need to get in there and start adding information.

This is an overview screen of the Google My Business login and some little things that you might not be aware that you can do that are sort of good to do and you can do things called posts. A post is almost like a blog or like a Facebook post or a social media or some sort of piece of information and recently they’ve put a lot of priority on these Covid updates so if you are going to be closed or open particularly if you’re a restaurant or something like that or a retail store then you can update your status and that will automatically show in Google My Business.

You can put an offer so if your business is running a discount or a coupon or something like that this is a really good one to use. I’ve rarely seen people use it which is crazy because it’s a really easy way to get your sales and discount offers and so on to appear in Google for free. You don’t have to pay for any of this. There’s no advertising here. You can add a time condition so you can say 20% off XYZ product and that is available from Thursday to Thursday. There’s options for more details about coupon codes particularly if you’re running an e-commerce store or something like that you can punch in a coupon code here. Really handy little thing to use that’s completely free and that coupon will automatically show in the Google results.

There’s another option here for any updates or what’s new. If you’re running a, say you’ve launched a new brand or a new product or you have a new service offering then you can write a post in here. You can put pictures and videos and hiding behind the little menu is also an event. This is something that we at Concise used quite extensively when we’re running physical workshops rather than webinars. The events in here you can run digital marketing workshop type thing and then you could link it to Eventbrite or wherever that event was. Again completely free advertising. All you’ve got to do is log into your Google My Business and post it there. It’s just under that little tab that says create post.

A few other things that you can do that you might not be aware of under your info tab on the left, I think that’s the left, make sure that you’ve got all of your information is correct. Your company name’s correct, everything that you do, a lot of you or sorry a lot of people you might find have only listed one item. Add a few more things. Make sure your address is correct. Make sure your opening hours are correct. Make sure your phone number’s correct, websites.

If you have an appointment or calendar system list all your services, make sure your sort of about content is right so that you’ve got an accurate description about your business and remember Google is using this information to help rank your website as well. If you’re doing SEO or ads or any of those sorts of things then it’s looking to make sure that all of this validates and all of this is consistent. You want to make sure it’s kept up to date.

A few other things you can do is reviews. Don’t underestimate the importance of reviews and it’s critically important that you reply to them. Google are now even giving you a lovely little tab that says you haven’t replied and it lists a whole heap of reviews that you haven’t replied to. You really should make sure that you are on top of replying to your reviews. You can write simple little things you know.

This is our particular set of reviews here and we can just say thanks, great pleasure working within your website or thanks Kathy. Google is looking for acknowledgement of your compliment if you like so really important to keep on top of those. You can also flag reviews as inappropriate so if you get a review that is not one that you want to read and this is by no means a way of you removing these reviews but it helps the bot understand that it might not be accurate so always flag them as inappropriate.

Messaging is not something you probably would use a lot of at the moment but this is very similar to the Facebook messenger, like the messenger chat. If you want to sort of like engage with people directly in Google My Business or Google Maps inside an app you can turn on the messaging feature. Photos, this one is not something Concise because we’re not a particularly photogenic business but if you are a photogenic business and you’ve got lots of really high quality photos that you can use this is a really good way of getting your website indexed in Google Images and also makes it look a bit nicer. You can put pictures of your interior, your storefront, your exterior.

If you have a really nice looking building or you have a really nicely laid out shop then you can put those sorts of things in there. You’ve got options for team branding. If you’re at work and you know you’re trying to take pictures of your team there’s lots of options and it’s all fairly well laid out that Google have put a lot of effort into this in the last couple of months or year. Just make sure you go and have a look at all the little bits and pieces that you can do.

Service is also one of those things that you really want to make sure you’ve got all your things that you do for people. For Concise for example we do quite a few different types of things like school websites and mining oil and gas websites so we’ve listed those specifically. If you’re a business that has lots of different types of services you really should be making sure that you have listed those as services. It pretty point and shoot. You click the button and you add one so make sure that’s up to date.

You’ll see one here labelled website which in my opinion is really quite misleading and what Google My Business are trying to do is to get you to buy a domain name and build your website inside Google. Don’t use this. This is not a good way of doing of building a website. It’s even tried to make one for us automatically and you can see how awful it looks based on what we’ve done there. I would just say ignore that. It’s got nothing to do with your actual website. Your actual website is set up in the info tab and you want to link it down here so just keep that in mind.

There’s an option to add different users so if for example you need to get someone like us to do this for you then that’s how you do it in there. You’re going to get prompted a lot to create an ad and I’ll show you very quickly in a second where those ads appear. Just be very careful with those because google is a capitalist American company that has shareholders and they’re interested in getting as much money off you as they possibly can so be very careful when they start prompting you for creating ads but I’ll show you very quickly how they appear.

That’s a Google My Business interface. I’ve shown you so there’s lots of things you can do but I’ve shown you the most important things. Any quick questions on that before we jump in where the ads have shown?

Richard: Don’t think so.

Gareth: Okay no problem. This is a search term I’ve just punched in called plastic pallets Perth on a desktop. These three ads at the top are not Google My Business ads. These are normal Google search ads managed through the Google ad interface. They have nothing to do with Google Maps okay or Google My Business. Sorry, the ads on the right hand side over here these are Google Shopping ads. They’re different. Again this is your Google My Business map listing otherwise known as a map pack so you may have seen that that term referenced map pack. All that means is the three listings that are shown here with the map and then under here you’ve then got what you would call your organic listings which is you know your SEO type listings down here.

I’ll then show you on a mobile. I’ve done the same search plastic pallets Perth on a mobile device. We’ve got these three ads here one, two, three. These are nothing to do with google my business ads. These are normal google search ads but then I’ve then got my Google My Business listing and then you can probably just about see there is a little note that says ad. That ad is managed through the Google My Business ad manager and that’s what we’re talking about with ads.

If you find that you are have a Google My Business account and you are not ranking then you by default then you can pay for an ad to appear there so that you do get this and this is particularly important if you’re a local business or a business that has a location specific. Concise does not have a location specific business. We’re very happy to work with anyone Australia-wide whereas you might find a restaurant will only attract customers from within their local market. That would be critically important to make sure that they had a listing in Google My Business and if they couldn’t get one then they should be running an ad so keep that in mind.

The other thing you can do as well is the full map browser here where you’ve got all of the map listings and how you get to here is you click the little maps tab on the top under here and this will give you the full list of all of the businesses that are listed in Google My Business. There are 20 for this particular search term and that surprise surprise the ads rank at the top. Even though the best ranked one without advertising is this one here and this is because they’ve got the most five star reviews and they’ve probably got the best profile. You can outrank those people by using an ad. It’s not a bad way of getting some traction in Google My Business.

Any questions about ads? I haven’t seen any come in.

Richard: Not yet. Feel free to ask any questions through the chat anybody.

Gareth: One thing I did want to mention was that in your search, sorry in your Google My Business, Google will automatically look at your website and look for content so see how the one that has the ad isn’t saying their website mentions plastic pallets website and they’re not ranking in the normal list so they’re getting an ad. This particular example here JP Pallets they should be making sure that their website mirrors the type of content and the type of keywords that their customers should be looking for like plastic pallets because these other three are getting the listings because they’ve got the Google bot is seeing them as being relevant. It’s back to that age-old relevancy concept Google’s trying to put businesses that it thinks are legitimate and relevant to the search.

Another thing to look at is to be very mindful of reviews and the quality of those reviews. This I think is a particularly good example of that. Anyone who has been to WA would probably be aware of the suburb Fremantle. One of the sort of top things to do is go to the markets if you like and so a typical user might have heard to go to the markets in Fremantle. I would have typed in markets Fremantle as I have done. What shows above anything else is the Google My Business map pack, this this listing here and without knowing anything about any of these businesses you would instantly, I would say as a user gravitate towards the one mentioned here which is Fremantle markets because they have the 4.4 and nearly 9000 reviews versus the E Shed Markets which still has 1200 reviews but they’ve only got a 3.7.

If I was a tourist and I was coming to town and I was interested in going to the markets and I only could choose one I’m far more likely to go to the Fremantle markets than the E Shed Markets because of the that little number. I would argue that your standard user doesn’t really go much further than that and look at the website or read all of those reviews. They might but I think you’ll find that the decision would be made straight away based on that little star rating straight up. It’s critically important that you get as many good reviews as you possibly can and if you haven’t got any you need to get them quickly. Not to pitch our services or anything but we made a little handy little link for some clients to be able to do this quickly because it’s hard to remember links and it is a little b9t bit difficult to say to your customers google me and then find me and then leave a review.

What we’ve done and you’re more than welcome to get one of these if you’d like one is if I go to a new tab and I type in something like the business name.mapreview.com.au for example. That’s pretty easy to remember and then I hit enter it will automatically pop up with the review screen and then I can type in five stars. Love this business. They do a great job. Whatever whatever. If you would like one of those feel free to get in contact with us and we’ll make one for you but it’s just a really good way of having something that you can list on your email signatures or you can remember and tell clients as you see them how to do it.

Richard: In the absence of that, the link that you can get people to use is actually quite complicated like it’s a very long URL. The easy way to do that is with this map review facility that we’ve set up.

Gareth: All of that up there. I think um that pretty much covers my 20 minutes I think. I think I have covered most things. Back to you.

Richard: Okay, all righty. Cheers. That was Gareth with a quick whip through there.

Gareth: Anything that I need to cover?

Richard: No, that was good. What we were looking at there were a whole bunch of benefits and we do have a couple of other slides but Gareth you might want to just cover off on these as well.

Gareth: Okay, sure. I probably got a little bit carried away my on-screen work just then but the point that I think you want to always remember is know your customer and what they look for. having a Google My Business is very, very good so a lot of people are likely to type it in. If you need to know your keywords and you need to do your own checking to make sure that your Google My Business is actually ranking so keep that in mind.

Richard: The diamond rule reply to feedback as Gareth mentioned. When people leave a review it’s really, really important to respond to it. It’s not only important for Google and for the person who left the review. It’s also important so that other people can see how you treat customers and how you behave because people make decisions based on how they see you responding to other people. That’s in our experience and so it’s actually really important as well as a courtesy.

One of the things Gareth talked about was maps pack and it’s a bit of jargon but just to explain really and here’s a bit of an information about this in a more specific way. It is the set of the three highlighted Google Maps based results that show the three most highly ranked local businesses. This used to be seven okay. Google used to by default show seven so now it’s tightened up to three. If you’re not in the top three then then you may never get even seen. If you are in the top three then what do you do or how do you get there?

It’s a bit of jargon. Maps pack is also sometimes known as the local pack or the three pack but as Gareth mentioned earlier you can advertise here and so and if you advertise and you’re in the three then if there can be five businesses. Let’s say there’s two ads and plus the three there might be five listings here of which you might have two of them which gives you two out of five chances of being the business that gets clicked. It’s a way of increasing the probability and making you look better.

Somebody, Stephen has actually just asked is maps pack more economical than Google Ads. Gareth?

Gareth: Oh good question. There’s a couple of conditions to running a Google Map Pack Ad. One is that you have to have a Google My Business listing in the first place which does require an address. If you’re a home based business or an online business then you will need an address somewhere. You can’t get one without an address but there are plenty of options for getting addresses like service offices and even if you have to use it your warehouse or something like that so you do need that in the first instance.

They are pretty low cost at the moment because a lot of people are not aware of them and so that the normal Google search ads are somewhat saturated for a lot of key terms because that’s kind of the default place that people think.

Richard: The other thing is they’re also very, a lot more targeted. Google Map Pack ads are typically more targeted around the local area. You focus more on local than the general Google Ads.

Gareth: Yes and if the search bot doesn’t think that you are looking for a specific location then it won’t show you the Google My Business section any other the map pack anyway so it’s an important thing to be aware of that, it all depends on your keywords in a way. My advice is you should do both. Split your budget between them and pick your keywords for the map pack and then pick your keywords for the other ads. The point is if someone’s googling you should be there.

Richard: It’s not just about spending money on advertising. We only ever say that you should advertise when it’s cost effective to advertise. Sometimes you’ve got to run some ads to figure out whether it’s cost effective or not but there’s no point in spending more spending a lot of money running ads if you’re not getting the clicks and the conversions and the sales as a result of that but if you can show that you can spend a dollar and make ten dollars every time you spend a dollar then it’s probably worthwhile spending that dollar.

It’s about being cost effective and so local map pack ads are more economical if you’re working to people who are or trying to attract customers to in the local area. Also the other thing about map pack ads is that they appear for people on mobile searches far more readily because mobile devices generally are out and about. There are more and more people using mobile than using desktop these days.

There’s another question come through. What is your suggest, thanks Christian. What is your suggestion with disgruntled employee one star reviews? Respond nicely.

Gareth: Yes. It’s a tricky one. I mean there’s lots and lots to that. I’ve had a number of clients who have been held to ransom over reviews where someone has gone in there and written basically a lie. It got so far as you know involving the police and lawyers and so on. They’re very difficult to remove once they’ve been done so the best thing you can try and do is to plead with that person to have it removed for whatever reason. I’m not a lawyer so I’m not going to provide any legal advice. I’m sure there are probably some grounds for defamation if certain things are said but given it is in writing, it is public.

Richard: Here’s the other rule. You never win a battle that is online that turns into what in the online world is called a flame war. Things escalate out of hand and the business always gets seen or 99 point whatever percent of the time get seen as the bad guy. You’re never going to win in a in an argument online when somebody is having a go at you. The best thing you can do is de-escalate probably the same way in life in general. When faced with an argument you can either escalate the argument or de-escalate the argument and it’s always better, it’s absolutely always better in arguments online especially not to have them but secondly to whatever you do make it toned down, take it offline, take it away from public view and don’t have this kind of argument in front of a thousand other people who are going to see it for the next 20 years.

Gareth: I would agree and the other thing is try and get as many new reviews as you possibly can as quickly as you can.

Richard: That’s true to dominate over the top of some bad ones. Get other employees who are happy to say this is a great place to work and then that makes the person who is disgruntled look like they’re just some sour grapes person. People who read these reviews they’re wise. People understand that not every business always does great service for everybody. Businesses are human right? It’s run by humans so it’s more about getting the balance and if the balance is but is more bad than good then you look more bad than good. If the balance has got a few bad in there but overall generally good. People understand. That’s the reality of life.

Okay moving on from that one there is a great resource that we’re happy to recommend. We work with Moz, Moz.com and work with that for a number of our clients. There’s a great resource called A Beginner’s Guide to Ranking in Google Maps. It is naturally a bit American focused but the same thing applies to here. We’ll put the link in the Concise blog after. I mean you can find that through Moz. It’s a good resource. There are lots of resources online. I mean we do a lot of this work for our clients helping people rank but you can do a lot of it yourself and that’s what part of these webinars are all about.

Okay so we’ve got time now for a few more questions if anyone’s got any otherwise we’re going to wrap up. If you’ve got any questions now’s a great time to ask. Gareth, is there anything you want to add?

Gareth: Nothing’s springing to mind. I think just reinforce the fact that Google My Business you may have set up a long time ago, you may have one but I can almost guarantee that you haven’t filled in all the boxes there. They will quite often outrank your primary website. If you’re putting effort into your main website and you’re not putting effort into your google my business and I’d highly suggest looking and getting that up to scratch.

say google has put a lot of priority on it and it’s evolving not daily but every couple of weeks there’s a new feature or something new in there so if you haven’t been in there for a couple of weeks or a couple of years it’s highly recommended to go in there. I’ve even found ones that have wrong phone numbers and so on. It’s a simple little thing if you can imagine finding a Google My Business listing and you’ve got the wrong phone number or the website address doesn’t work or something like that you’d be pretty horrified. It’s worth having a good little look.

Richard: The thing to remember about the Google My Business listing is it’s free. Like we did talk about how Google is talking is thinking about charging a premium for premium listings. Okay that may happen or may not happen but it’s free so what google wants to do is own or in I would say dominate the world’s information and having information on every business in the world is an interesting kind of a concept. That’s what Google has set out to do have information on every business in the world and by giving every business the ability to have a free listing.

In return for you giving your information to Google, Google gives your information to other people and that’s the trade-off. The way we see it there’s no downside. There’s only a downside if the information you’ve got on your business or Google’s got on your business is wrong or it’s not visible and not found so that’s kind of where we’re coming from. Okay that’s probably it, guys. If you want to ask any more questions please do so now or afterwards.

The next webinar is in two weeks’ time and the focus for that one is on social media. We have been doing a lot of work in this space over the last few months. We have got some things we’d like to share with you about how to get better results. Maybe you’re doing wonderful results, getting wonderful results in social media at the moment but in two weeks’ time we’ve got the next webinar and that’s on that as well.

Thanks again. If you want to get in touch with us please feel free. We’ve got a whole lot of people as part of the team. I think I don’t know how many now. It’s about 50. We keep on taking on more people in the team because more people want to do more, want more. It’s interesting times at the moment especially for businesses like ours that help people do better online. If we can help you in any way please get in touch. Gareth, you want to wrap up?

Gareth: That’s it. Thanks everyone for attending. Feel free to email us if you’ve got any questions or would like any extra help.

Richard: Okay, terrific. Everyone have a great day and hope everything works out with all this stuff we’re going through at the moment. Thank you. Cheers everybody. Bye.

Gareth: Bye.



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