How to update Google My Business for visitor attractions.
A few years ago Google created Google My Business to populate all their company directory style listings across Google search and Google maps.
Today, the listings go beyond opening times, address, telephone and web details. They include marketing functionality that can help leisure businesses influence purchase decisions for visitors to zoos, theme parks, family entertainment centres or farm parks.
Why is it important?
With a desire from Google to keep people within the Google network, a lot of information can be found within your Google Listing, negating the need for them to visit your website.
The Google Listing listing will show reviews, opening times and even frequently asked questions (with answers given by the public).
In August 2018, Agility have analysed 10 of our client’s Google Listings (all visitor attractions) and there is one distinctive trend.
Just less than 50% will glean everything from this page and take no further online action (this includes just those who were searching for the attraction’s brand name, so you could assume they’d be fairly motivated at finding out about the attractions business).
For those that do take action (just over 50%), they either search for directions via Google Maps, visit the attractions website or a few will call the business.
Is your page information accurate? Could a post promote a new attraction or current event? What are the reviews saying?
What information should you populate on Google My Business
To help guide you through the relevant opportunities for attractions, we’ve provided a helpful ‘how to complete google my business’ checklist.
You first need to log into your Google listing at www.google.co.uk/business. If you don’t have an account, just follow Google’s instructions on how to claim your page.
The key information to update on Google My Business
Add a post
Posts like the below example, can be used to promote current events, new attractions or general news. Posts need to be refreshed regularly, but Google will tell you before it expires.
Ensure your Info tab is full populated.
The more tabs you populate the more your brand will show in the search results and be of useful for those visiting the Google listing.
Not all the tabs are totally relevant and below are the ones we think are relevant to attractions.
In the Google My Business portal, you’ll find the following options under the info tab.
Business Name: Add the name of your attraction
Category: You can choose the primary category and secondary categories (eg . Tourist Attraction, Farm, Visitor Centre or Indoor Playground). The category searches help you appear for non brand searches.
Address details and telephone number: Make sure you include your full address details and that these mirror what is on your website.
Opening hours: Don’t forget to update these when your general opening hours change. You can also confirm the hours for irregular openings (eg. Christmas Day and Boxing Day).
Website: You need to add your current website address.
Business description: This business description will appear on your Google My Business listing.
Highlights or Attributes: This section is currently being rolled out/updated by Google, so you may find you don’t have it or can’t update it. This section is where you can outline your additional services (eg. Cafe, children parties, wi-fi).
On Google, visitors can simply leave a star rating or leave a text review. We would recommend that have taken the effort to leave a text review are thanked or responded to.
On your Google My business portal it shows reviews in date order and you can filter those who haven’t left a review.
Whilst Google encourages you to upload different photso and videos, it won’t always show the photo you have requested to be shown.
The best option is to upload your preferred images in the relevant areas to maximise your chances of it appearing.
The photo’s you need to upload:
- Identity or Logo – the logo for your business that customer identify with.
- Profile photo – a photo to help customers identify you as your business
- Cover photo – this is your preferred photo.
- 360 images – snapshots created using Street View to help customers find your business.
- Interior photos – give customers an idea of your indoor attractions
- Exterior photos – give customers an idea of your outdoor attractions
- Team – images of your team at work, perhaps serving customers food or interacting with customers.
Google’s Photo Guidelines
- Format: JPG or PNG.
- Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB.
- Minimum resolution: 720 x 720 pixels. Landscape or square images work better than portrait.
- Quality: Google likes true representations. We’d recommend they have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters to be a true representation.
Google’s Video Guidelines
- Duration: Up to 30 seconds long
- File size: Up to 100
- Resolution: 720 pixels or higher
Frequently asked questions
These can be answered by anybody, so you need to keep an eye on them for accuracy or ensure any pricing questions are updated when seasonal pricing changes.
They can, however, be used to help promote certain aspects of your business. For example, if approaching a bank holiday, you can ask ‘Are you open on August bank holiday?’ Or if you have a special event ask ‘What do you have on this Summer?’. Or if you want to push online ticketing, ask ‘Do you offer discounts if you buy online? All relevant questions that you can ask and then answer.
Reviewing the Google My Business should be a regular task for any marketing department. If you found this article interesting, you should also read our article about how to answer visitor attraction reviews.