If you are looking to run a small business, such as a pet store, today, then you need to make sure that you have a strong online presence. One of the essential tools is called Google My Business (GMB). GMB optimization is critical for all industries, including pet stores. Like Google Search and Google Maps, the internet is often the first point of contact that potential customers have with a business. Therefore, you need to make this impression count. Usually, your GMB profile is going to be the first thing that a potential customer might see. What should be included in this profile?
Update Your GMB Profile Information
In general, the profiles of most small businesses are about 75 percent complete. The majority of businesses post their hours, and almost all of them have a phone number. Even though most GMB profiles have a website, very few of them have a business description. Furthermore, almost none of the profiles feature a navigational menu.
This is where pet stores can separate themselves from the competition. By adding a thorough business description that is going to pique the interests of potential customers, pet stores might be able to generate more traffic. To make this traffic count, it is critical to prioritize the consumer experience and add a menu button that makes it easier to navigate.
Furthermore, keep in mind that photos are going to make a better impression than text. Attractive photos of your team or the pet store will translate into more visibility and better engagement among consumers. Updating the photos regularly is also great for SEO purposes.
GMB Reviews and Response Rate
One of the most important categories for the user experience and SEO purposes is the reviews listed on the GMB page. The average profile on GMB has over 70 reviews, and the average star rating on GMB is above 4.0.
Did you know that less than 20 percent of business owners take the time to respond to reviews? This is where pet store owners can separate themselves from the competition. By soliciting reviews from customers, pet store owners can increase their star rating on GMB, which is going to improve their visibility. By taking the time to respond to reviews quickly, customers will feel like they are being heard. This will make a difference in customers’ experience, helping to drive more traffic to that page.
Google Posts are business controlled posts that display within the knowledge panel section of Google search results and Google Maps pages. A typical post includes a title, an image, a description, a call to action, and a limited lifespan of one week. These posts can be used to provide updates, promote an event, or make an announcement, such as a sale or special offer. Lastly, up to 10 posts can be live simultaneously and will be shown in a carousel-style display.
Google Posts can be segmented into one of 4 categories.
- Product Updates
Google Posts are important for local pet businesses because they allow them to control more real estate on the search results page, display important updates about their business for their customers, and drive more clicks to their website.
Google Q&A Section
One of the most visible features of GMB is Questions & Answers. In a nutshell, Q&A enables any Google user to ask, and any Google user to answer, any question about any business in the world. These crowdsourced questions and answers appear prominently on the Business Profile anytime your business is searched.
It is crucial for you as a pet store owner to respond to the questions and stay on top of the game. Here are some Google Q&A Tips:
- If your response is not the only one, go ahead and upvote it. Google always shows the answer with the most up-votes at the top of the responses — regardless of who provided it.
- Be sure to flag any inappropriate, harmful, or incorrect questions or responses.
Invest in a GMB Profile
In the end, there are a few quick ways that pet stores can separate themselves from the competition. These include:
- Add a business description
- Take the time to add updated photos regularly
- Make sure there are relevant menu options
- Solicit reviews and respond to them quickly
- Google Posts regularly
- Ask and answer Google Q&A (e.g., put up FAQs)
This is an easy way for pet stores to separate themselves from the pack. If you would like help managing your GMB profile, NextPaw is here to help. Our marketing specialists will assess your Google presence and provide recommendations to help you get found and stand out in search results. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!