Have you noticed how more and more customers are able to request quotes or even schedule towing services without actually speaking to a business? Platforms like Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp allow customers the ability to connect directly with towing companies online.
In the specific case of Google My Business. The “My Business” app has become essential for any responsible tow company to receive immediate notifications and have the ability to reply to questions, reviews or direct messages. With the app, Google enables business owners the following:
- Manage how your towing company appears on Google Search and Maps.
- Edit your business information (e.g. address, phone number, and hours).
- Respond to reviews, questions, and messages from customers.
- Share new photos and post updates on special offers and events.
- See how customers find and interact with your business on Google.
Managing how your business appears in Google Search and Maps is vital to your company’s online presence. It is extremely important to make sure your business’s logo and cover photo are up to date as well as your business information. Google states, “Regular updates help ensure we can share the most accurate information with your potential customers.”
A company’s responsiveness to users is becoming increasingly important as well. Responses on Google My Business can be broken down into Reviews, Questions, and Direct Messages; and business owners are encouraged to engage with their audience through the “My Business” app. So much so, that “Response Times” are now displayed to users that visit your Google listing. Responsiveness factors leads to trust, and consumer confidence in your brand – when someone needs a tow, they can’t wait!
With this in mind, to keep our clients competitive, OMG Tow Marketing has decided to adopt the Google My Business app into our rank methodology. We encourage our customers to download the app, and keep the notifications on for optimal response times.
Reviews are one of the most important items towing companies need to keep in mind. Customer service is essential for any business to be competitive and the fact is that consumers now look for reviews before choosing a service provider. Google understands that. Google actually encourages businesses to request reviews from patrons, and they’ve made it very clear that it’s part of their local ranking algorithm.
As mentioned in their support documents, “Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’ local ranking”. Google also recommends businesses to respond to all reviews for both positive and negative, as best practice.
In the past, calls from Google My Business were tracked through metrics called “Insights” directly on the GMB platform. Until recently, business owners were limited to seeing an aggregate of how many calls were directed to their business line on any given week, month, or quarter, without detailed call data.
To solve for this, Google is rolling out their “Preview call history (beta)” program to a select few GMB listings. Once enabled, every call from the Google My Business call button will be accompanied by a short message stating it’s a “Call from Google”, before connecting to the prospect.
Furthermore, the “Call History” is logged on the GMB app. This log captures details like the date, time, length of the call, and the phone number of the user that made the call. Businesses can now use this information to call back prospects they might have missed, or to cross-reference with their books to see just how much business is closing from GMB.
Google My Business also offers a messaging feature only available through the app. When enabled, a prompt appears letting the business owner know that all new messages should receive a response within 24 hours or the feature may become disabled.
As if that weren’t indication enough of the importance of messaging responsiveness (as previously mentioned), Google has made the “Average response time” metric visible to potential customers. Users can now see a business’ messaging response time right on the Maps listing. Below a screenshot of how it displays for a business that answers messages quickly:
Questions and Answers:
Questions on Google listings are increasing. Consumers are looking for answers before making a decision, and being able to provide clear and factual information is important. This is another feature that the GMB app will help control. Ensuring the notifications for the app are on is paramount for optimal results.
As mentioned above, Google wants to display businesses as close to how they are in the real world as possible. To do this, Google encourages businesses to upload photos of their location, their staff, their services/products, menu items, and other images that display authenticity. According to Google, “Businesses with photos are more likely to receive requests for driving directions to their location, as well as clicks through to their websites, than businesses that don’t have photos”.
Google’s main goal is to deliver accurate and relevant results to their users. Google Local search looks to solve the needs of users by giving them results relevant to their search, within a reasonable distance from their location, and they want to ensure that they display the most prominent businesses to their end users.
We now see that responsiveness is also impacting how a listing displays, and, in some cases, how many jobs booked around the area. These indicators are direct signals for Google to discern between highly responsive and engaged businesses, and those that are not.
Whom do you think they’ll favor?