Google has decided to completely replace Yellow Pages with its Google My Business service.
Yes, we did summarize and surmise that using this service would be most beneficial for your business, especially knowing what time your competitors are busy to attract their clients to you and how to beat the big boys by being ranked higher on local search results.
Now we would like to get our point across on two main features:
- GMB notifications
- GMB chat
GMB notifications are quite straightforward: you receive notifications when users post photos of your business (so make sure you are tidy), when they post comments and reviews on your business (so be alert), reminders to keep your listing up to date (should be done every couple of months if there are frequent changes and to keep the fire burning) and naturally product updates from Google.
As a marketer or the business owner oneself, you must make sure that everything is up to date and to code. The last thing you would want as a restaurateur is a bad review by a customer that you haven’t dealt with accordingly or some customer who just didn’t like your store return policy.
As in everything SEO at ZEFO, bad reviews aren’t as bad as no reviews, but for certain they don’t help in overall reputation management.
You might be ranking high at first, but soon you would end up at the bottom of the heap.
As a competitor, you can use this kind of public information to your advantage, to reevaluate your business in comparison to your competitors, what you could do to improve your status and ranking and by being quick about it, might even outrank your archenemy.
The second feature that Google is playing with and would slowly rollout is GMB chat, that is currently piloted among “a select few”.
This chat could help you address issues “live”, in comparison to a retroactive conversation with a customer after the damage has already been done.
This is natural move, as listings should be as dynamic as possible, where customers may come and enquire about the change in menu or why you have stopped selling MHL cables at your electronics store.
This move though isn’t only for business owners based on the “good nature” of Google. This is strictly a move where Google wants to claim the live chat for itself, while kicking Facebook’s Messenger to the curb.
Yes, we have said it out loud – it’s a way for Google to combat Facebook where it excels – on search engine results; something that Facebook hasn’t achieved yet.
As marketers, we could use the data obtained from average response time to learn how to decrease the waiting time for the customer, especially in a world where the person who answers quickest – would win the worm.
We believe that Google My Business is increasingly becoming a main service by Google for business owners, and we believe that this perfect competition between Google and Facebook would benefit us as marketers greatly in the next few years.