Marketing Corner: Google My Business

A year ago, I attended the Destination Marketing Associations of the West (DMA West) Tech Summit in Albuquerque, New Mexico to learn about new tactics, technologies, and insights to increase Destination Marketing Organizations’ (DMO) abilities to enhance their marketing programs.

As a new marketer, the Tech Summit proved to be instrumental in enhancing my understanding of my new profession and gave me tools to take back to the workplace and implement immediately. I think of that work trip as the pivotal point when I stopped doubting myself and finally felt like I was finally capable of doing the job I was hired to do.

I was looking forward attending the summit again this year–to learn more and become better at my job–but, just like everything else in this country right now, the summit was cancelled due to COVID-19. Perhaps now is the best time to reflect on some of the lessons.


The most valuable session I attended was about Google My Business (GMB) and how all businesses should be optimizing their listing to reach visitors.

Today, Google is the most popular and dominant search engine, curating and presenting information about a destination in a way that is attractive to visitors, including: rich snippets, general business information, reviews, photos, questions and answers, and related searches. This listing is called a Google My Business and if used right can improve the visitor experience, increase traffic to your website, and tell and distribute stories in the most relevant way. 

When visitors can get all the basic but important business information–website, location, hours, and phone number–they are more likely to visit a location. When business owners claim and verify their business locations, they can manage those listings and have control over the narrative about their business. Yet, in an audit of participating DMOs in a Google DMO Partnership study, 33% of the partner business were missing critical business information, and 25% were unclaimed.

GMB-cover-1-new-867x434

Every business that has their GMB listing claimed, verified, and updated helps share quality information with visitors and would-be visitors to your business and larger destination. All businesses are part of a larger city or destination that is trying to persuade people to come visit and spend their money by telling the story of where to visit and why. When businesses in that location offer relevant and up-to-date information about their location, the destination can exponentially increase the positive picture of their offerings to visitors.

Here are four steps that YOU can do to start managing your business listing:

  1. Claim your Google My Business listing
    • Requires a Google account, and having a verification code mailed to the business address
    • Unlock access to analytics and more
  2. Check your location on Google and flag problematic content
    • “Problematic” can be: poor quality, not of the location, offensive, etc.
    • Have others flag the content as well; will speed up the process of removing it
  3. Start curating the visual story of your business
    • Upload high-quality images to your locations
      • By uploading 1-2 photos a month, you can increase your exposure by 10-30% because Google’s algorithms promote up-to-date listings
    • The images should be: informative to visitors, attractive, and a general representation of the location
  4. Engage with the Questions & Answers section for your business listing
    • If you have a FAQ, post your own Questions and Answers
    • Make sure you have notifications on and check the Q&A section frequently–if you don’t provide the answer you want, someone else might provide an answer you don’t want

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