1) Ensure information accuracy and consistency

There’s a lot that goes into a Google business listing, to name just a few: Business Name, Category, Location, Map, Hours of Operation, Phone Number, Website, Menu Link, Opening Date. On countless occasions, I’ve seen businesses that have a typo in their business name, or it doesn’t match the one on the door. The most common one that I see is an incorrect website or a menu link that redirects to a non-existent location or was last updated in 2007.

Hours of operation are arguably the most important part of your listing. As a person who typically works late nights and early mornings, I always check the online posted hours before I make the trek to a restaurant or cafe – but many times I’ve been greeted with a locked door since the online posted hours weren’t the actual hours. This will lead to poor customer experience.

Google supports adding specific hours for holidays where you can let everyone know that you’re closed on the 4th of July without updating your hours for every Tuesday accidently. This is a feature that is extremely easy to use and that your customers will greatly appreciate.

2) Poor Reviews

You can’t make everyone happy, I get it. Bad reviews are going to happen, but that does not mean that it’s the end of your business great reputation as you know it. Bad reviews are the sign of a displeased customer, potentially a customer that won’t be interacting with your business again. The fact that they left you a poor review, could actually be a good thing for you by giving the chance to respond, win them back, and show your customers that you care about their opinions.

“Took hours for food to be delivered and the food was cold when we got it.”

The best way to respond to this review would be something along the lines of

My sincerest apologies, Ryan. We were having some issues with one of our ovens the past Thursday night which have since been repaired. This is not an experience that we wish any of customers to have, especially our first-timers. I’d like to invite you and your family back here for dinner on me to show you a real XXXX Restraunt experience.

In the above response to the review, you addressed the customers concern with enough sympathy to come off as sincere but not condescending and you attempted to rectify the original issue by inviting the customer back in for another meal, comped by the restaurant.

3) Upload Pictures

Don’t rely on your customers to upload pictures to your listing – not everyone’s a professional photographer which can make their posted pictures not be the best reflection of your business. By posting pictures directly to your own Google listing, your pictures will be the primary displayed one which will allow you to control the aesthetics of your business. Do you really want some grainy picture of your storefront in the dark night, or would you rather have it be a warm sunny morning, with some blooming flowers out front and your welcoming staff standing in front?

BONUS) Claim your listing

If you haven’t already, be sure to claim your free Google business listing by visiting https://www.google.com/business/ – this will ensure that your edits to your listing are published faster, many times instantly.