Make Sure You Get All Of The Google My Business Email Alerts and Messages You’re Looking For
In this episode, Bob and Jesse are encouraged by a recent client interaction to share the incredibly useful free Google My Business alerts that you may not be taking advantage of! These Google My Business notifications offer email notifications and alerts which can inform you of numerous potential client interactions that can be transformed into actionable metrics for your company!
Also, we want to invite you to participate as a student in the beta version of our online courses! You benefit with free access to our courses and the ability to help shape and improve these courses for future users.
Check this episode out today for great tips and more!
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What you’ll learn
- How to turn your alerts on for your Google My Business page.
- What sort of information you can access in your GMB alerts.
- The advantages of using Google’s personalized insights.
- The value of experimenting with these free reports to find data that’s right for you!
Here is the Transcript for Episode 81
Caleb Baumgartner: Thank you for checking out this episode of Local SEO Tactics, where we bring tips and tricks to get found online. In this episode, we’re exploring an often overlooked feature of Google My Business. Bob and Jesse will walk you through Google’s free GMB reports and explain the advantages of using these reports to create actionable metrics for your business. Also, once again, we are asking for your participation and our digital courses. We are looking for students to engage the beta version of our online courses completely free. Help us to test our courses and improve their functionality. You’ll be given free access to these courses, designed to up your SEO savvy and help you improve your web presence. And now, to Bob and Jesse, enjoy the show.
Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan here today with Bob Brennan.
Bob Brennan: Howdy.
Jesse Dolan: And Bob, you’ve got another ski map back there versus last episode. What’s what’s the second one there?
Bob Brennan: That is Breckinridge.
Jesse Dolan: Nice.
Bob Brennan: So we’ve got that up there. I got my skis. I’m done skiing for the year, so I won’t be skiing till next year.
Jesse Dolan: It’s only like halfway through the season though, man.
Bob Brennan: Yeah, I tore my ACL, so I got to get that repaired. I’m going to get it done in April. So no more skiing for me the rest of the season or hockey or golf or anything.
Jesse Dolan: Just tubing. Just a tuber now.
Bob Brennan: Yeah, exactly. That’s about all I can do.
Jesse Dolan: I’m I’m a pretty mean tuber myself. So don’t feel don’t feel bad. Don’t let anybody make funny.
Bob Brennan: Great. Or jello wrestling. My jello wrestling career is effectively over.
Jesse Dolan: Very underrated sport, by the way.
Bob Brennan: It is.
Jesse Dolan: I’m happy to hear that. So, one thing I wanted to make sure I mentioned everybody before we dig into the episode here, Bob, is we’ve been talking about these digital courses that we’re planning on launching. We’re making a lot of good progress. We’ve got a number of courses, kind of rough outlined some in more detail than others. But as we said in the last few episodes really here now with everybody listening, we’re looking for feedback from you really on two levels because these courses are for you.
As we’ve been talking with Sue and some episodes and, and without Sue, Bob in some of our regular episodes, we have this show, which is basically like a do it yourself version of SEO. We put out information here guided by our audience for what to talk about, where to help. And on the other end of the spectrum, we’re for hire. Everything we talk about here we do as a business, which is why we’re talking about it and having some knowledge. In between, is these digital courses to kind of take it further than the podcast does, right? To teach you some things a self-paced course, and we’re doing it a plus in my opinion. It’s going to look good and it’s going to have the right material. It’s going to have the right spot for you to jump in based on your talent and your skill set and be very, very impactful.
That’s enough patting on the back there. I guess my question I’m trying to get to with everybody is we want to know courses you want, right? What topics? What things? What is it that you want to learn? What is it that you want to know to dig into yourself, to make an impact? Go to localSEOtactics.com/courses and we’ve got a one question survey we’re looking for your feedback on. Just pick from the list of what would be interesting for you, what you would pay money for, you know, whether that’s $7 or $700. Not so much caring about that at this point, but just what would you invest in for your time and your money and to learn. Go out to localSEOtactics.com/courses. Let us know your feedback on that.
And then secondly, after you take that, we’re going to ask you if you want to be a beta student, somebody who can jump into these courses, take it for free, take them for free even, but then also give us the feedback, help us tailor it to help us make sure you know anything from typos and grammar to “Hey, that video sucked,” or “This didn’t really explain it.” Whatever it is. Beta students, should be self-explanatory for kind of what you’re getting in store for. Looking for some feedback, looking for some trade off, but you’re going to get everything for free. So check it out. LocalSEOtactics.com/courses. Let me get your feedback. Love to get you a signed up to see if you can be a beta student and help us produce this for you.
So that’s, that’s. What we’re going to talk about here today is something that came up kind of organically this week within our company. One of our clients had received an email through Google My Business, which is going to be the topic here. Google My Business, it’s something we haven’t touched on in a few episodes here that we need to again, and this is the perfect spot to do it. Client received an email about the Google My Business, which is a bunch of stats, which I’m going to share my screen here in a little bit and show everybody that’s watching on video here. But the question was, “Hey, how do I enable this? How did this show up even?” Just some wondering by the client and we’ve got to talk and say, “I don’t think everybody knows how to get in and turn on and off these alerts within your Google My Business.”
Google My Business, like we said before, it’s free, right? If you’re doing local SEO, you got to have your Google My Business set up. Turn on the reports for your Google My Business. They’re going to share stats. They’re going to share insights and all kinds of great stuff with you.
So what we’re going to do is real quick, I’m just going to kind of talk through and walk through what it is you can turn on and your Google My Business and what each of these areas is real quick, and then show you a sample of their insights report, which is just something that’s pretty cool. So let me share my screen here.
And Bob, as we go through this, if you have any questions about anything you feel like I should expand on everybody for, and just kind of being that voice, go ahead and chime in and holler about that. I’ll try not to dive too deep in each one of these, but yet talk about it enough to give it credit. Slide that over, get a good full screen. If you’re listening to us on the podcast, if you want to check out this, I’ll try to talk through it. This is going to be kind of visual, so you might want to jump over to the YouTube version. Go to localSEOtactics.com. Each episode, if you go to our episode pages or just click on the podcast link, you’ll see all of our recent episodes. Each page is going to have the YouTube version embedded on there too. So if you need to find that, just go to localSEOtactics.com and you can follow along here.
So to access this and to discover what you can toggle on and off, you’re going to log into your Google My Business, business.google.com, and you should use whatever login that you used to set up your Google My Business the first time. I guess fair disclaimer here, you have to have Google My Business set up to do this. If you haven’t set up Google My Business yet, check out some of our first episodes. Again, on our website, you can get access to those. We tell you how to set it up, how to optimize it and do some of that. So this is kind of assuming that you’ve done all that. Now, you want to be tuned into their reports.
So over on the left-hand side, you can see there’s going to be a button that says settings. Click on that. And then you’re going to see something very similar to what I have in my screen here, a bunch of check boxes. Some of them are going to be checked by default, like this important updates at the top, Google’s going to send you important updates, period, right? You’re not going to opt out of that. They don’t allow you to. But pretty much everything else on this list is going to be up to you if you want to get it via email or not.
Customer messages, that’s going to be a pretty important one. Like it says here, alert when customers send a message to your business. You’re going to want to be aware of that, right? Bob we’ve talked before about whether it be a phone call or an email, even a Facebook message. If your customers and your clients are contacting you, you want to be alerted to that as a business owner, as a marketing manager, what have you. Turn that one on.
Customer reviews, updates about reviews for your business profile. You’re going to want that one on. If somebody leaves a review on your Google My Business, which again, I’m not even going to bring it up because I know, Bob, you’ll talk for a half hour just like I would about how important this is. Getting reviews on your Google My Business, super important. Check out some of our previous episodes on that. Check this box. Now that’s going to tell you when you get a review. If you’re not responding to reviews and replying to your reviews within Google My Business, this’ll be a good trigger for you to do that. As soon as you get the alert from Google, click on over, get into your GMB and reply to that client and customer and tell them happy you are, that they shared their review. But then also of course, sometimes you’re going to get a bad review, right? Whether that was accidental, we’ve seen that, Bob, in our businesses. Somebody leaves you a three-star or a one-star and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. That that meant to be five.” Right?
Bob Brennan: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I’ve had people sing praises. If you look at the comments, they’re like, “Oh, these guys are great.” And they leave like a two star review and you’re like, “Wait, what happened?”
Jesse Dolan: So you can be alerted to that and then you can reach out to that client and have them change that. And also, if something’s something negative has happened, or I should say, erroneous has happened with negative reviews. If there’s somebody out there, that’s got a bunch of their buddies that just want to wreak havoc on you, and they all leave a bunch of one star reviews, five of them, you’re going to get review alerts on all those and be aware of that sooner than later, right? And not discover it four months down the line.
So click on your customer reviews, it’s one of the most important alerts for you to be having in here. Another one that’s pretty important as the question and answers. Again, we’ve talked about that topic in a separate podcast, but basically, anybody can go out there and ask a question on your Google My Business listing and anybody can answer a question. Now, historically, when you turn this alert on, it’s kind of historically known that it’s a little buggy. Google, doesn’t always send you everyone. That’s getting better. Every month that we go forward, they seem to be doing a better job, but just asterisk there, but this is going to alert you for questions and answers. And the reason, again, I stress this answers part is because anybody can leave an answer. You want to know if Bob asks a question on my business and you know, whatever Susie answers it not how I would have as a business owner. I want to see that. So I can jump in there. And I provide my answer as a business owner. Very, very important.
Bookings, if you’re using the Bookings feature within Google My Business or the Quotes, you’re going to want to turn those on. So you get communications that somebody’s scheduled something or is looking for a quote on something. If you’re not using those features within your Google My Business, then, then don’t worry about it. When in doubt, go ahead and turn them on.
Bob Brennan: Yeah. I just want to throw this out too. You know, I’m in my fifties. Jess, you’re not. But the world is, I think one of my kids was telling me 25% of the population the US population is under the age of 18.
Jesse Dolan: Okay.
Bob Brennan: So in some ways, obviously our population is aging, but the point is, you know, if the younger generation is going to potentially utilize your bookings and your quotes, you may think you don’t really want to use it or shouldn’t use it. I would give it a go and just use it for a couple of months, but pay attention. You know, the fact that you have it on, and see what happens. Because you may be surprised that again, you’re talking about the younger generation that would much rather text than call you or talk to you or confront you or whatever the case is. So, just kind of my two cents on that.
Jesse Dolan: Yeah. I think that’s a great thing to elaborate on. You know, not only, you know, let’s say for bookings, you know, that’s something you have to leverage and use within your Google My Business. And if you decide to, which to your point, why would you not?
Bob Brennan: Right.
Jesse Dolan: Then make sure you turn this on so you’re alerted to when that happens. Right? So kind of a two-part deal here. The screen that we’re looking at, for everybody that’s following along, these are for the alerts. This is going to trigger, you’re enabling these emails to come to you. If you’re allowing bookings and allowing quotes, like Bob said, just to reach more people out there, even if you’re just testing it, make sure you come back in here and you’re turning these alerts on so you can get the notifications.
Next one down here, is photos. Like it says, tips and updates about photos on your business profile. That’s a good one to have on too. Just for the visibility. If it’s a user-generated photo, if people are liking the photos of you and things like that. Business health profile, this is an important one to have turned on. As it says here in the description, alerts and suggestions to help you keep your info accurate on Google My Business profile or on your business profile. Sometimes Google will send you a question, “Hey, are you open on New Year’s?” “Hey, are you still in business?” If you haven’t touched your Google My Business for a while, they may reach out to you. Basically, just understanding that the category here, business profile health, alerts and suggestions to help keep your info accurate on your business profile. That sounds a little, maybe vague or broad.
If Google’s contacting you about is your listing accurate or not, that’s something you want awareness on, right? A lot of the Google My Business functions are automated with bots and algorithms. If they suspect your listing is not accurate or your clothes or whatever, make sure you’re checking this so they can send you that notification. So you can say, “No, I’m still here. I’m still alive.” Or, “Yes, I am closed that day.” Or whatever. The more accurate your information can be the more trust Google’s going to have in it and then the more likely you are to be ranking higher and getting the exposure. If they don’t trust your business, if it’s not accurate and things like that, you’re going to get buried in the rankings. So turn that on. You’re going to get some good stuff coming through there. Very critical communications.
The next one, right under that is one I’m going to take a detour here in a second and show you a screenshot of an example. This is one of the most impactful ones, and this is the one that’s triggering this episode. It’s the insights, personalized insights and tips about your business profile. Google is going to send you a summary basically, is a good way to put it, for what’s happening with your Google My Business profile. This one we see here, this was something that was delivered. It’s about a month worth of data. I’ve redacted some information just to protect the business here and some of the stats, but if you’re looking on the video here, you can kind of see where this is just a quick executive summary type report.
It would show your business name and it’s going to say here in this case, 4,789 people found you on Google. Here are the top search queries used to find you. Okay, now we’re talking about some pretty sweet information from Google, right? How much exposure did my GMB listing get? How many people found you? And then what are the top search queries that were used to find you? These are hopefully some of the top queries that you’re trying to be found for. If you’re doing your SEO properly and optimizing your Google My Business, which again, we’ve got some episodes on that and we’re here to help if you need that hand to hire out for that. This is going to tell you the top three keywords and like it says, used by 259 people, used by 78 people, used by 55 people. Going to give you the top three keywords and basically rank those. That’s pretty good information. That’s great feedback for you to get.
And then, here is a little bit more tangible stats for an impact on your business. It’s going to tell you how many people ask for directions. In this case, it was slightly down from December. So not only does it tell you in this case, 17, but grades you against the previous month, are you moving up? Are you moving down? How many people called you in this case? 11, which is 38% up from December. So that’s kind of interesting, right? Just to dig into the details. The directions were down by calls were up. Okay. Interesting. And then over here, 90 people visited your website. This one, in this case, 34% up from December.
And then, at the bottom, they’re going to give you a snippet of a review. Sometimes, they’ll mix in some other features here. Like those core analytics are the same each time, but then they’re going to give you a review. It’s usually something that’s either more recent, depends on how many you get. Either more recent or a review that had a lot more visibility that people saw. In each of these two, you can see again if you’re following along in the video, there’ll be links within that email where you can just jump, in this case, it’s saying, “Stand out to customers with a post about your business. Create a post.” Click, boom. Go create a post. Click, read your reviews, respond to reviews, things like that.
So this report right here, on a monthly basis, you as a business owner or manager for your Google My Business, this is just a great way for Google to just kind of give you a quick tickle, quick reminder on what’s happening with your listing. What kind of performance and what kind of stats should you pay attention to.
Okay, so that’s the insights. Back to the Google My Business settings here. Other ones real quick, product updates, posts. I shouldn’t put them together. I was going to rattle through them quick, but we should give them a little bit more diligence here. Product updates, occasional updates about new features and offers to improve your business profile. That one’s a little more marketing ish, right? Sometimes for what they put out there, but it can also say, “Hey, just so you know, the bookings feature is now available in your GMB.” You might want to be aware of that, so you can turn it on.
Posts, it’ll give you the updates and suggestions about your posts on your business profile. Are you doing a good job or not? What kind of trends are they seeing? That’s always a good one to get as well for some insights. Reminders, alerts that remind you to respond to messages, missed calls and booking requests. Like we’re saying up here, you’re getting alerts from bookings, also turn on reminders because if you didn’t respond to that booking, you want a follow-up reminder on that, right?
And then feedback, that one, again, gets a little bit more marketing-ish for Google My Business. This is where they’re going to ask for surveys for feedback and things like that. So I’ll turn that one on and off as you like. So, that’s the kind of quick nickel tour. Again, we find a lot of clients when we start working with them on their Google My Business listings, we’re in here, we’re looking at the profile, we’re optimizing everything. And then we’re going into set these alerts for ourselves. Always take a pause and ask them if they’re doing this as well for their logins. This is a log in by log in situation. This is not a profile situation, right?
So Bob, if you and I both had access to this, Google My Business, we’d be managing this separately for each of our own logins. Am I going to get this alert? Are you going to get that alert? It’s not account-wide, it’s user by user when you log in.
Bob Brennan: Okay.
Jesse Dolan: So just be aware of that. And if I had a recommendation just to kind of close it out, I’d say, when in doubt, turn them all on. Just because you’re turning these on doesn’t mean you’re going to get an email every week or every month on each of these areas. Turn them on, get the communications from Google. If you find it’s kind of spammy or it’s not relevant to you, you can go back in and turn it off, but I’d rather have you see everything than to miss some of these things, right? Not being aware of it. So…
Bob Brennan: A quick question or comment, because we’re talking to a broad general audience here and we don’t know, we could be talking to business owners, agencies, companies with a hundred employees company with thousands of employees and so forth. What are your thoughts on a ratio or amount of time that you’re spending in this GMB versus SEO efforts for let’s say, 100,000 lower, 500,000, those are broad descriptors, but you know what I mean? Do you have any thoughts on how you would allocate resources as it relates to working on GMB versus SEO and whatever?
Jesse Dolan: Yeah. Well obviously they definitely both go hand in hand. I mean, so it’s something you should always be looking at. There’s direct work you should be doing within your Google My Business listing every week. Creating posts, uploading photos, moderating. I shouldn’t say moderating. Replying to reviews. Things like that.
The amount of time would depend on the scale of the interactions, right? If you’re getting 10 reviews per day versus one per week, you might be in there for a half hour, each day versus a half hour each week. Your posts, do you have some kind of marketing calendar that you already have content that you’re sharing on social media or a blog that you just copy and paste that into a Google post or are you sitting down only in Google trying to come up with a post? Again, that can mean five or 10 minutes a week, doing it once a week. That could mean an hour depending on what you’re doing there.
So it’d be hard to necessarily kind of put bookends on up time duration. But I would say for sure, if you have a Google My Business listing, you should be doing something in there once a week bare minimum. Creating posts, responding, reviews, those basic kinds of information. Aside from that, there’s what services are you listing? Your business description. These other areas to optimize. Things like that.
Additionally, if you’re getting in there once a week, Google doesn’t every week, roll out some new feature, but they’re always improving Google My Business, adding a new feature, adding new attributes. With COVID in 2020, they added a lot of new attributes. Like people wear masks, temperatures are checked online services, curbside pickup. So jumping in there weekly, you’re exposed to that to take advantage. If you can take advantage two weeks before your competitors did, you’re just, you’re just going to get a little bit more business if nothing else for those two weeks I mean, which is definitely a return on your investment. So-
Bob Brennan: I mean, if you’re a million dollar business, you should be probably, you or somebody on your team, should be spending an hour a month on your GMB, you think, or?
Jesse Dolan: Yeah, maybe even closer to an hour a week-
Bob Brennan: Oh, hour a week. Okay.
Jesse Dolan: Just because again, you should be getting a fair number of reviews if you’re that level of business, unless you’re selling a 100,000 dollar widgets, right? You know what I’m saying?
Bob Brennan: Right. Right.
Jesse Dolan: If I’m selling, private jets then no, but for a typical local business, yeah. If you’re in that million dollar mark, I mean, for sure, an hour a week, maybe even more than that really, depending on some of those frequencies. So…
Bob Brennan: Yeah. I mean, if you’re a restaurant, you’re going to be putting more time. So-
Jesse Dolan: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Bob Brennan: Great stuff, Jess.
Jesse Dolan: Thank you, sir. Thank you. All right. Let’s get into our review. I’ve got a great five-star review here from Gresha. I hope I’m saying that, right? Thank you. It was left on iTunes or Apple podcasts. I should say. I’m kind of dating myself there. I guess calling it iTunes, but it says, “Awesome podcasts have subscribed to. Kudos. Looking forward to your next episodes.” We’ve got those coming for you and reishi ramping up the frequency. If you’ve been still listening here, Gresha, we’ve got Sue Ginsburg now, we’re pushing out two episodes per week.
Bob and I were just talking earlier today, we will be getting more and more going out. Trying to get out to a goal of daily as we scale it up. So lots more episodes coming and appreciate the great five-star review. Everybody else, we’d love to get your feedback too. LocalSEOtactics.com. Go down to the bottom. Like all of our links are pretty much at the bottom, right? So if you’re looking for something, localSEOtactics.com, scroll to the bottom. In this case, click on the link for reviews and we’ve got a quick jump link for Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Google My Business, Facebook, wherever you want to leave us a review, we would really appreciate it. If it’s just a rating, great. If you had dropped some comments like Gresha did, even better. We really appreciate it and we’ll keep reading them on the show. Any closing thoughts, Bob?
Bob Brennan: No, no. It’s just GMB, to me, it’s a huge part of the equation and you’ve got to pay attention to it.
Jesse Dolan: Absolutely Pay attention and enable the alerts so Google can communicate with you, right?
Bob Brennan: Yep.
Jesse Dolan: Just to top it off. So, appreciate everybody for tuning in and checking us out and we’ll catch you next time.
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