Google My Business Has Been Busy
Google My Business (GMB) is the place where Google pulls data about a business to use for local search. Local search emerged from the use of mobile devices when people on the move sought information on businesses around them. Google responded to this emerging behavior pattern by creating GMB. If you have yet to sign up, or have not reviewed your data lately, go to www.google.com/business. In fact, it might help to have your Google My Business area pulled up as you read this article.
Google and human behavior are intertwined. When humanity as a collective changes how they interact with the internet, Google adapts to meet that new search pattern. After Google changes, people engage with the new adaptations and create new interactions with the software. And around the circle we go,People adapt, then Google adapts, then people, and so forth.
Because of the massive impact of COVID-19, how we use the internet has changed. Therefore, it is no surprise that Google has been busy reacting and modifying the Google My Business area. What has happened that you might have missed that applies to the veterinary sector?
- Free Promoted Pins on Google Maps—Through September 2020, Google is offering free ads on Google Maps. These particular free ad spaces are called “promoted pins.” To take advantage of these free ads, a business needs to be part of the “smart campaign” function of Google. To read more, go to https://www. searchenginejournal.com/google-is-offering-businessesfree- promotion-in-google-maps/372678/#close
- Online Care—Google knows that telehealth appointments are happening more often. For consumers, Google now lets people know that a business offers “online care.” You can see examples of how it will appear at https://localu.org/new-online-appointments-careestimate- attributes-in-gmb/.
- Flexible Hours—Due to the nature of life these days, businesses have different hours depending on the service that is being offered. For example, a hospital might have surgeries in the morning and wellness visits in the afternoon. GMB now offers a section to list different hours by service. You can see examples and step-by-step instructions at https://searchengineland.com/ google-my-business-offers-more-flexibility-with-businesshours- 335549.
- COVID-19 Special Notice Area—Back at the beginning of May, Google added a section for businesses to give notice about their COVID changes. Typically, a post on GMB lasts for 7 days and then expires. COVID-19 posts last for 14 days. This means that you need to update this post every 14 days and not forget! For more information, go to https://localu.org/google-my-business-covid-19-post-type/
- Online Reviews & Q&A—In March, Google shut down reviews being posted as well as the Question and Answers section. After Google employees resettled in a home work environment, Google turned reviews and questions back “on.” Reviews after March 1st mean more to consumers than reviews before March 1st, 2020. Make sure to be monitoring reviews and responding to them in a genuine fashion.
"Remember, people may only see your GMB area and never go to your website—especially when searching on a mobile device. Make sure every piece of data that a potential client needs to book an appointment with your hospital is accurate."
Besides these latest adaptations to the Google My Business area, make sure that your GMB listing follows the best practices for search. Remember, people may only see your GMB area and never go to your website—especially when searching on a mobile device. Make sure every piece of data that a potential client needs to book an appointment with your hospital is accurate. Hours are an especially fluid environment right now. Keep on top of them and update your GMB. Some other sections of Google My Business to keep accurate are:
- ▪ Services being offered right now.
- Products being sold onsite or online.
- Attributes such as woman-owned business activated.
- Description current with the latest business information.
- Monthly new photos of happy pets. Minimize pictures of real estate of the building.
- Respond to reviews within 24 hours as well as questions that are posted.
- A post every week, as they expire within 7 days.
The world is changing rapidly. In response, I have a daily Facebook Live show at noon Central for 15 minutes. We already have over 75 shows which you can view at https:// www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcunNemJYBMzW3PJEjmOvJkB3K8ueaJc. Featured, are hospitals, industry experts, and Beyond Indigo team members. The focus is content that applies to hospitals at the moment to help them adapt to the changes occurring. To see the current week's schedule, go to https://www.beyondindigopets.com/ and look halfway down.
Beyond Indigo is here to help you and your business through these unique times. Our full-service marketing packages make it easy for you to maintain a relationship with your current clients and reach out to new clients so you can grow. They adjust as your goals shift, which allows you to see results and not to-do lists. We are here to help whether you are open, reopening, or adjusting to the new normal. Call 877.244.9322, ext. 100, or go to https://www.beyondindigopets.com/contact/.Also check out:
Educational Blog at BeyondIndigoPets.com/Blog
Facebook at Facebook.com/BeyondIndigoPets
YouTube at YouTube.com/BeyondIndigoPets
Instagram at Instagram.com/BeyondIndigoPets
Kelly Baltzell, M.A. is President and CEO of the Beyond Indigo family of companies which she founded in 1997. Beyond Indigo is a full-service marketing company focusing on Search Engine Optimization, is a Google Adwords Partner, Social Media Marketing, Online Reviews and websites. She has been a monthly columnist for MWI Animal Health since 2011. She has also has presented and been published in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.