How to Set Up, Optimise + Manage your Google My Business Profile
Published on October 10, 2021
One digital marketing opportunity that all tourism businesses must optimise is your Google My Business Listing.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to set up and promote a Profile for your business, which helps extend the reach of your business in Google Search Engine Result Pages and Google Maps. With your Google My Business account, you can see and connect with your customers (through reviews), post updates to share specific articles or deals on your Profile and see how customers are interacting with your business on Google.
What are the benefits of a Google My Business Profile?
The major benefit is simple.
The FREE platform allows you to increase your digital footprint, and helps your business to show up in Google where your Ideal Customers are looking for travel inspiration and planning their holidays.
Also, did you know that most visitors to your destination don't actually decide what they are doing until the day, and that 50% of people who undertake local searches (for experiences like yours, whilst they are in your destination) will actually visit that business within a day, and from there, they have a 18% conversion rate?
The biggest opportunity for tourism businesses in optimising your Google My Business Profile will support your business to Increase the leads direct to your business while your Ideal Customers are in your destination looking for things to do.
How to Optimise your Google My Business Listing
- To manage a Google My Business listing, you need to have a Google Account (which you can signup for here).
- From there, you need to visit google.com/business where you can signup to for the first time, or sign in to (if you already have a Google account).
- Once you get there, search for your business name, as Google may have already created a listing for you. If your business name appears, check your major contact details, and then follow the prompts.
- It will then take you to a page where it will ask you to verify your business (to make sure you are the owner) by sending you a code via a postcard in the mail, or deliver it via a phone call.
Once you've completed the verification process, the next step is to optimise your Profile.
Consider your Profile as a mini version of your website, so make sure you optimise all of the available attributes.
Important not to touch the Website Tab (as this will take you through the steps to create a new website for your business).
If you have multiple properties for your business (like an accommodation property), then you can set up Business Group and manage multiple locations from your single Google My Business Profile. Take a look at Google My Business Help Centre on instructions on how to do this >
Encourage Reviews from your Customers
Google is a highly trusted source of information for your Ideal Customers as they are planning their holidays.
Therefore, building up a healthy base of reviews on your Google My Business Profile is very beneficial because of the following reasons:
People trust what other people say
We know that word of mouth marketing, and online reviews are the most trusted form of marketing, so it makes sense to build up your Google My Business reviews.
Higher reviews, higher rank
Google rewards businesses that have frequent and positive reviews. They are a definite local SEO ranking factor, as confirmed by Google itself.
Helps you to refine your experience
Customers are literally telling you what they love or don’t love about your business when they review your experience. So use this intel to refine your experience for your Ideal Customers, so that you can deliver increased value, and create more brand advocates.
Responding to Reviews
- It's essential that you respond to all of your customer's reviews, which you can do in the 'Reviews' tab in the left hand menu in the Profile Dashboard.
- This helps you to build your relationship with your Customers, and address any issues publicly too.
- If you haven't been doing this, go back about 3 months and write responses, and then make sure you have your notifications setting set up so you receive a notification when someone does review you.
Responding to Customer's Q & A
Did you know that anyone with a Google Account can post a 'Question' on your Profile?
It’s important that you respond to questions in this section because an unanswered question can impact
The challenge with this feature is that there are currently no notifications in the Google My Business dashboard for questions, so it’s important that you are continually checking on your listing to make sure you have responded to everything.
Publish ‘Posts’ to extend reach for your Article Content or Promote Events
The 'Posts' feature provides a great opportunity for you to highlight specific Articles or Events on your Google My Business Profile, to give them extra exposure in search engine results.
- To create a post, you can go into your Google My Business dashboard, and click on the 'Posts' tab in the left hand column.
- From there, click on the blue icon down the bottom right hand corner of the page, and it will automatically expand for you to add content
There are a few different Post Categories you can choose from, including New News, an Event, or a Product. There are several variables that you can share, but the post that is most beneficial is one that allows you to share a call to action URL (so you can direct people back to your website for more information).
Once you publish, it will take a short amount of time for Google to process the Post and publish it to your profile. Once this is done it will appear in your Profile in Google Search Engine Results.
Need Help with your Business Listing?
It really is a fairly simple process of claiming and optimising, and the prompts that are given through the whole process are very helpful. Remember, if you run into any dramas, Google has a great Help Centre just for Google My Business.
NOTE: This article was originally published in 2019, and has been updated in October 2021. As with all things digital marketing, functionality for these types of platforms can change quickly, so always refer to Google My Business Help Centre for the most up to date information.