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So What? Setting up and using Google Business

So What? Marketing Analytics and Insights Live

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In this week’s episode of So What? We focus on Setting up and using Google Business. We walk through how to set up your Google Business account, which monitoring tools you should be using for reviews and how to use generative AI to help with analysis. Catch the replay here:

So What? Setting up and using Google Business


In this episode you’ll learn: 

  • How to set up your Google Business account
  • Which monitoring tools you should be using for reviews
  • How to use generative AI to help with analysis

Upcoming Episodes:

  • TBD


Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here:

AI-Generated Transcript:

Katie Robbert 0:38
Well, hey, Howdy everyone. Happy Thursday. Welcome to the web marketing analytics and insights live show. I am Katie joined by Chris and John. How’s it going guys?

John Wall 0:47
Good you doing well.

Katie Robbert 0:49
All right, love the enthusiasm. Today we’re talking about setting up and using Google business, formerly Google My Business. And we could probably go on a rant about of all the things that Google has rebranded, that was probably not one that needed to be rebranded, they’ve had some other issues. Ah, anyway, so how to set up your Google business account which monitoring tools you should be using for reviews, how to use generative AI to help with analysis. And so this came up because we’re looking at, especially for clients, we’re looking at what are the other foundational tools, you know, generative AI is cool, it’s shiny object, but there’s still some foundational pieces that we need to be thinking about, especially when you’re trying to do local search if you’re a B2C, even if you’re a B2B. And so we wanted to make sure that we were covering tools like Google business. So Chris, I’m gonna pass it off to you.

Christopher Penn 1:46
Yeah. Okay, so let’s talk about Google business. First of all, if you are, who can get a Google business page, you can get a Google business page if you have a physical business. So meaning there’s a there’s a physical location, some locus, where, where you are, so I’m going to bring this up, because I think that’s kind of funny. This is the Google Business Manager page in my Google account. And you’ll notice there’s three businesses here. There’s Boston Martial Arts Center, this Trust Insights and there’s marketing over coffee marketing over coffees pages has been suspended. The reason why is because we haven’t recorded at that dunkin donuts on in Natick in yours. And Google business from time to time does audit and see is, is this really there, and we’re not really there. So one of the things that would be on our to do list for for that would be to fix it, and basically adjust it to John’s house, because that’s where it, it was. So you need to have a physical locus of business. And when you go into add a business, in Google business, it will have you go through all the steps, one of which will be valid in the business is actually there. And part of that processes, they will actually send you a physical postcard to that, that place with a colon on the EtherType. And so that’s the other thing is that Google business requires you to to do that validation, and thus it’s not instant. So if you wanted to set up your your stuff today, like, okay, we’re launching our business well, you need to give yourself at least three weeks in case the postcard gets lost in the mail, and so on and so forth. We ran into this problem with, oh, gosh, oh, it was a it was a chain of hardware stores that we were doing some client work with. And then they had to get postcards to each of their stores. And each store manager had to find the mail, and then hand it off to us so that we could then help them validate it, which was a lot of fun.

Katie Robbert 3:48
Is there what’s the rationale between using the postcard versus like, you know, what we do a two factor authentication, which is like I don’t know, a text message. Is it to ensure that you’re setting up an actual real physical address that can receive mail because they don’t want Pio boxes in Google My Business?

Christopher Penn 4:09
That would be my guess. Yes.

Katie Robbert 4:12
All right. Well, John, we’re gonna we’re gonna fix this to be or at least the coffee shop closest to your host, John, so that we’re not giving away your actual address. Oh, yeah.

John Wall 4:21
No, the business has an address that I can use that’s set up for that the thing that is funny, though, that just got clicked about a month ago. Uh, you know, I just got it’s been like, over 10 years of out of there, but yeah, it finally we finally did get caught up on that, which was kind of funny.

Christopher Penn 4:38
So that’s, that’s the basics. So let’s go into into Google business. There’s, there’s a few things you can do just in the interface. There’s obviously the businesses you own. There the reviews that each business gets, there are your Linked Accounts, and this is ad accounts. That’s the nice way of putting it. And then your settings. There’s not a ton to talk about in the settings. It’s mostly about what do you Want to get notified for and generally speaking, except for things like Google ads for your business, you can just leave stuff mostly checked on because it’s a good idea to have notifications turned on, when someone leaves your new review, you probably want to know about it, particularly if it’s not a great review. This speaks a little bit to the governance of this. If you are doing this for your business, you probably want to make sure that someone is checking those notifications on on a relatively regular basis, especially if you’re a retail business, where one and two star reviews would be bad. Someone had better be watching the shop.

Katie Robbert 5:39
Yeah, no, I agree with that. And so if you go back up to the businesses themselves, then this is where you could edit the actual business like that all the profile and everything that’s captured in there. And this is, you know, to your point about governance, setting up a Google business profile, you should also have some governance, or may even maybe some business requirements, and maybe go through the five P’s. So, you know, it’s interesting, because Trust Insights has a Google business profile. But we’ve never gone through the exercise to say, why do we have one other than we probably should go in and just have one? And so you know, I look at that, because every once in a while, I’ll get an email from Google saying, you know, are you open on this, you know, recognized holiday, do you want to update your hours, I’m like, we’re not a brick and mortar kind of doesn’t matter. And so we should have a more clear purpose as to why we Trust Insights, have a Google business profile.

Christopher Penn 6:44
And the reason for having a Google business profile is because it changes your search results, particularly on mobile devices. If someone is in, say, your area, your region, and they do a generic search, like consulting firm, or even better consulting firm near me, their Google already splits his results into desktop versus non desktop. And then if you’re on the mobile device, it changes the results even more to say, Okay, well, let’s prefer local things, because they’re understanding that the intent of this device is different. So this device is used for active activation, right? If I’m, if I search for McDonald’s on my desktop computer, I might be looking for information by search for McDonald’s on my phone, I’m probably looking to go to McDonald’s. And therefore, the logical intent in Google search results is to say, Okay, well, you’re here, you just typed in McDonald’s, we’re going to infer that your intent is you actually want to eat at McDonald’s. So let’s show you local results, as opposed to the Wikipedia entry on it.

Katie Robbert 7:54
So to be clear, if you have, you know, a consumer business, it makes sense. But if you have a Google business profile, then that’s what powers Google Maps, for instance. Yeah. Because what you’re describing to me sounds like I’m on my phone, I put in McDonald’s near me. And I’m going to get a bunch of map listings based on my location.

Christopher Penn 8:20
Yes, that that is correct. So Google Maps and Google business do draw from the same data sources. However, they’re not exactly the same system. So this is tricky. This is where you also want to make sure that your Google business account and the metadata on your website are in agreement with each other. So if you have a phone number, and it’s marked up your telephone and the HTML on your website, and it’s different than what’s in your Google business account, Google is going to be like so which one is it? Which one, which phone and we are going to be showing. And as of like the last few years, they have preferred Google business. So if you’ve got an old phone number on your website, you’ve got more up to date one in Google business, at least in search results, like the one box along the side. And in Google Maps, they will tend to prefer what’s in Google business.

Katie Robbert 9:18
Okay, so where do I edit all of that stuff in my Trust Insights account, for example.

Christopher Penn 9:24
Okay. So assuming that you’re that you have access to the Google bus profile. And again, that’s something you want to work out with with the governance because one real important thing is if your agency sets up Google business, and then you part ways with your agency, they might not have access to your list.

Katie Robbert 9:40
Yeah. Thankfully, I’m pretty sure we set it up. So we have access

Christopher Penn 9:46
to it. Yes, this is this is my personal Google account, which is a governance issue unto itself. So this is actually I wasn’t

Katie Robbert 9:52
going to even go there. But yes, you’re right. That’s for a different show.

Christopher Penn 9:57
That’s a different day. Okay, so let’s go into the profile inst. And take a look at what’s available. So in here, this is stuff that is that occurs at setup. So you’ll get asked these questions, but then you can obviously go through and refine this. Over time you start, this is just really one long scroll. And you can start to edit what your business is about. So what’s your business name, the category of businesses, so in the categories, you can add multiple categories, depending on what’s available. And Google has a whole bunch of them, you edit your, your contact information, your phone number, your website, real important, be sure to use UTM tracking codes in your Google business account. Because otherwise, it comes in conflated with regular Google search. And you can’t tell which is Google business, or organic traffic, or which is regular Google organic traffic.

Katie Robbert 10:51
And trusting, which makes sense that you would want to know, because I assume we’re talking about like, if you’re on a desktop, and you click, you know, business consulting near me, you would get not only the list of searches, but also the off to the right, those, you know, blocks of text on the side, what we’re talking about those blocks of text on the right side of a search result. And that’s what we’re controlling.

Christopher Penn 11:18
Exactly. And so let’s actually bring that up, and bring that up. So here in incognito mode, I put in Trust Insights. This one box comes from Google business.

Katie Robbert 11:34
Got it? Okay, so and that’s what would want to know if people are clicking on that versus just going through a regular search.

Christopher Penn 11:41
Exactly, exactly, would you if you click on this link, you can see down to the very bottom of the screen and the little black type there is the UTM tracking code that we have in our Google business profile.

Katie Robbert 11:54
Make sense?

Christopher Penn 11:56
Okay. We have a website, if you have online products, you can use Google Merchant Center to configure that. So if you have like an E commerce storefront, that would be a way to do that you have your short name, you have your location, and the the areas you have service for so I have no location because I don’t want people showing up in my house.

Katie Robbert 12:19
That makes sense. But I would imagine a lot of virtual businesses are the same. Yes, exact, but could we put something like Boston, Massachusetts and just have it be that generic? Or does it want like an actual address,

Christopher Penn 12:31
it was an actual address. So if I flick this toggle on show business address to customers, I will be asked for the city street zip code, all that stuff? Gotcha. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 12:40
we definitely in our case,

Christopher Penn 12:41
we don’t want that. Now, if you were like a local restaurant, you absolutely want that.

Katie Robbert 12:46
Absolutely. Yeah.

John Wall 12:47
Right. So that’s why we get the world map when you do that basic search, because there’s no point on that map. But yeah, you can see how all the location stuff is driven by that point.

Christopher Penn 12:56
Exactly. You set your business hours, any kind of special hours, like holidays, things that whether you observe them and so on, so forth. And then you can add also the different features, what kinds of happy you have happy hour, do you have pickup? Do you have senior hours? Again, these are not things that we have to typically worry about. But they are certainly things were? If you were a retail business, like a brick and mortar store, you absolutely want to do this?

John Wall 13:25
Well, yeah, that is all food service all the time. That’s basically that’s the the Yelp killer that they’re going with.

Christopher Penn 13:30
Exactly. Exactly. You have more from the business you can add in. You know, for example, I do identify as a women owned business. One real important thing about these toggles. They cannot be undone. The moment you tap one of these, you must stick with a choice, either yes or no.

Katie Robbert 13:52
Why is that?

Christopher Penn 13:54
I don’t know why Google does.

Katie Robbert 13:57
So let’s say let’s say I was the sole owner, but then you know, so we click Yes to women owned. But then all of a sudden, I add on Chris, and he becomes the majority owner. So technically, I guess it is still women owned. But I couldn’t click no. If I want you to

Christopher Penn 14:19
know, but you can’t click no choice. Right?

Katie Robbert 14:23
I see. So once you’ve done it, you have to just commit to it. Exact now it’s going to show up.

Christopher Penn 14:31
Exactly. So I can hit Save now and this will this will work. But I can’t there’s no way to uncheck it. So it’s left blank.

Katie Robbert 14:38
Got it. So this goes back to making sure that you’re going through your requirements process to make sure look at all of the settings first and decide what you want before committing to them because looks like Google is not going to be forgiving if you decide to change your mind.

Christopher Penn 14:56
Yep, here’s the one that’s gonna make a lot of people irritated You can’t choose no choice on LGBTQ friendly Once you tap one. So if you have to have, you have to sit down and think, do I want my business identified as this? And that’s the only it’s personal preference. We can’t speak for other businesses. But if you tap that by accident, you can’t undo it. And then you either show up as yes or no.

Katie Robbert 15:18
So your option is to ignore it altogether. Or to choose something exact. Now luckily, in our case, Chris, so we didn’t talk about it. But I don’t have a problem with showing that. But, you know, to your point, if I had, if, well, I am just finding out now on this call that that was that that is listed. But if I had had a problem with it, now my only choice is to either say yes or no, versus not to even talk about it at all. Yep. And, you know, when they say no, that’s a bigger problem.

John Wall 15:53
Yeah, that’s literally the lose half your customers button right there. If you’re in some kind of, you know, if you’re the local bakery, off of Main Street, there’s no, there’s no way to win on that question.

Katie Robbert 16:05
Yeah. Oh, yeah. That’s, I mean, yeah, that’s those are, those are considerations that people are definitely not aware of, because I’m not seeing anywhere on here, that little like tooltip that says, Once you click this, this action cannot be undone.

Christopher Penn 16:20
Exactly. Are you a COVID? Testing Center? No, we’re not.

Katie Robbert 16:24
But like, what if like someone’s scrolling and accidentally click something like you’re kind of after that point?

Christopher Penn 16:31
Yep. Here’s things like, you know, do you need the kinds of things do you have for this required? So this, there’s still a lot of pandemic level stuff, that’s, that’s still left over in here that you you can choose? Right. And again, once you click something, you can’t unclick it. So like, we offer online appointments. We don’t offer any of these languages stuff. So, right. So that’s all the stuff that you put into your profile. So that’s your basic listing.

Katie Robbert 17:03
So one of the things that I noticed on the listing was that it had social buttons at the bottom. So one was LinkedIn and one was Facebook, and Facebook is not an account that we use. Where does that where do you change that information? For example, or let’s say we added Instagram or let’s say we added, you know, Snapchat or Tik Tok? Like, where do you fix that information?

Christopher Penn 17:27
So, that’s kind of

Katie Robbert 17:31
because I looked at it, you know, and to be fair, like, I did do my own due diligence, I looked at the Google business profile, and I couldn’t figure it out. I did not see any options to change some of the information that does actually show up.

Christopher Penn 17:44
Yeah, that’s a very good question that I don’t actually know the answer to off the top of my head because one of the weird things is that it also provides you a second control panel within the Google search interface itself in addition to Google business, if you own that business, which is really confusing. huh uh huh. Yeah, it’s it’s, it’s it’s odd.

Katie Robbert 18:11
So and understandable why if you’re a small business whose focus is not your digital footprint, this is going to be an afterthought and very confusing. Mm

hmm And so it looks like we can add pictures which you know, the pictures we would add would be I guess if a speaking I don’t know like yeah, so

Christopher Penn 18:39
you can you can do a bunch of different stuff actually. I’m just curious you know, I don’t know now I actually want to see how do we can we to manage our contact information somewhere we can’t in this website? Phone number which is us. There’s there’s something that’s been deprecated which is not helpful.

John Wall 19:03
Well, the photos that’d be classic again, restaurants stuff, it would be the front of the store and one of the menu, right? I mean, yeah. The ease Yeah.

Christopher Penn 19:11
Yep. So the things you can do, you can create, you can add photos to your listing, obviously, and then you can also do posts so you can you can share content on there like an update. So for example, if you want to book now or online, buy it sign up out call now. If you were like a, say a local restaurant, you might say like, our special tonight is cheese sandwiches grilled cheese sandwiches made with authentic mayonnaise, and you have a photo of it. You have put the description you say your book, book your appointment now. You know schedule, schedule your reservation now, so those posts, they function kind of like little little tiny blog posts, and they’re really helpful for businesses where you You may not have a website that’s easy to update, but you can just go onto onto Google business right from your phone and do it there. So there is a Google Business mobile app for business owners. So you can take, if you were, say, a mom and pop retail shop, and a new crate of pop Funko Pops just came in, you take a picture with your phone, you write a short update, and boom, you pushed straight to your Google business profile.

Katie Robbert 20:25
Got it? Now, is this another one of those? So the pictures I get, but like if you add a button like order online or sign up, isn’t one of those once you’ve done it, you can’t undo it, you always have to have some kind of a button.

Christopher Penn 20:44
You do need Oh says buttons are optional on this. Okay, you just have an informational post. Okay, but it seems like

Katie Robbert 20:53
I was curious because Google doesn’t seem to be consistent.

Christopher Penn 20:58
Okay. That said, it seems like kind of a waste to not use call to action.

John Wall 21:06
If you’re gonna post, but so does that show up in the search results in the right tower? Or do you have to click through to the Google business page to see all that stuff?

Christopher Penn 21:17
That’s a good question. I

Katie Robbert 21:18
don’t know the answer to that. Often, like we’re just doing all the hard hitting stuff today, Chris really are. It’s like, what

Christopher Penn 21:22
does this button do? Well, to our point, we don’t use this a ton, because we’re not the kind of business that relies on local search heavily. If we were a business that was very heavily local search focused on we want to be pushing out information to our our audience. Locally, if we had maybe a chain of franchises, like imagine if you were the owner of McDonald’s, and you had all 10,000 locations, stored at Google business, because you can upload your your business locations files and have hundreds of 1000s of locations. It would be a mammoth task to get a post pushed out to all 100,000 McDonald’s locations, especially if you had things like oh, MC rib is only available at these, you know, 280 outlets this week. Anyways, like the moving the grip, so you could you could you would want to have some orchestration behind that.

Katie Robbert 22:23
Yeah, again, I kind of keep going back to, you know, the five P’s to make sure that you have really good governance, because doing this on a whim randomly. I mean, it’s true of most things, but especially a system like this that is very unforgiving. Yeah.

Christopher Penn 22:43
So that’s more or less what you’re capable of doing within the Google Business interface. And again, if you are a business owner, you can start to see some of the bits and pieces. What’s really interesting is that, and kind of weird. Things like your analytics are not available in the actual you have to go to the Google business interaction panel in regular Google to make those changes.

Katie Robbert 23:19
Now, because this is part of the Google product family, can you pull your Google business data into Looker studio with your other data sources like Google Analytics, like, you know, whatever other Google native Google ads, for example?

Christopher Penn 23:38
Um, I don’t believe so. I believe I don’t believe that Google business. In fact, let’s look at the answer is no, Google business is not available as a Google connection within Google Looker studio.

John Wall 23:51
Yeah, well, even Are there any stats of any kind in there? I don’t know if there’s anything at all.

Christopher Penn 23:58
It turns out Google businesses available from third party vendors in Looker studio,

Katie Robbert 24:04
way to be consistent Google.

Christopher Penn 24:06
And there are stats. So if I tap in on this performance, I can see okay, what kind of I got eight website clicks, no bookings, no messages, no calls, so well. But

Katie Robbert 24:19
for our business, that’s fine. But to your point, if you’re a brick and mortar, if you’re a retail, if you’re a restaurant, you’re going to have bigger metrics, you’re going to want to see that there is a correlation between people clicking on your Google business profile, and foot traffic. Or if you put up you know, our special today is the burger. You want to see that you’ve sold more burgers. Exactly. So the fact that you can’t easily get that data directly from Google, even though it’s part of the Google family is bonkers. I just I feel like we just keep uncovering things that should or just unintuitive

Christopher Penn 25:00
Exactly. So yeah, it definitely could could use some work here.

Katie Robbert 25:08
Well, Brian, saying our medical center uses Google Business lot some great tips in here. So thank you. So Brian, I’m glad that even though there’s some things that we haven’t been able to figure out that we’ve been helping you figure it out. But a medical center, it makes a lot of sense, because those are all brick and mortars. People want to know, you know, emergency services near me, or outpatient, or whatever the thing is, it’s so important for those businesses to keep up to date on their Google business profiles. And a lot of them may not know that that’s something they didn’t even need to consider. They may feel like, well, I have a website, what else do I need? I remember when we worked at the agency, the question that came up a lot, especially when it came to search results was, how do I get that box on the right side to show up? And the answer was, well, what is what’s in your Google business profile? And they’d say, we don’t have one.

Christopher Penn 25:59
Yep, exactly. This is for that other business, I help manage the Boston Martial Arts Center. And we can see there’s a lot more in here now. So from here, we can see how people are making calls to the business from the business profile. This is obviously very useful information. How, you know, how many calls do we miss? What time of day? Are we getting messages, we’re not getting a ton of messages on there. There’s no booking setup, driving directions, however, we have 411 Driving Directions requests, because if the school is located in Austin, which is is one of those things you’d want to know. And then you can see the website clicks. So for a local business, and that’s really what this is very well tuned for. For local businesses, this works really well. If you’ve got it set up and someone’s minding the shop. Even here, I can see like there’s new message is not gonna open up because it contains personally identifying information. But I can I can just see from this little control panel. Oh, there’s, there’s, there’s something for my teacher to do for his school.

Katie Robbert 27:00
Yeah, I’m still stuck on the fact that you can’t just pull it into Looker studio easily, especially, you know, to your point, if you’re managing a few dozen or hundreds of local businesses. Wouldn’t it be amazing if they could all be brought into one dashboard, so you could see what was going on. But it sounds like that’s just not an option at this time.

Christopher Penn 27:20
That’s right now, at least not within the interface itself. What you can do is there are there is third party software that can integrate, particularly Agorapulse. So Agorapulse, which we talked talked about in the social media monitoring show, can you can add your Google business profile to this. And then you can use the social inbox, at least for notifications, like, Hey, someone reached out. And again, for the Trust Insights side. There’s nothing for us to do here. But your reviews will come in here. And your messages can come in here. So people leaving New reviews and people leaving messages like, Hey, are you open on this day?

Katie Robbert 27:58
What about so obviously, Google reviews is one place where people leave reviews and ask questions, but what about services like Yelp or TripAdvisor? Do those reviews also come into Agorapulse? Or are there other third party tools that we could be using to capture that information? Because if you have a local business, and if you have a Google business account, the likelihood of you wanting to know what people are doing in reviews is light is pretty high.

Christopher Penn 28:28
Yep. It depends on what services so there’s a whole bunch of different companies out there that can do this. So Agorapulse has Google business. If you’re familiar with the brand 24 software, this is from a Polish company called brand 24. They support TripAdvisor, Yelp, booking and in their software, along with LinkedIn, and then it sort of the the granddaddy of them all is a company called Yext and Yext can talk to really much every system that exists and allows you to sort of centralize all that information. We actually use it for one of our clients, we obviously can’t show it because it’s client data. But it is the probably the most comprehensive system for managing the locations and posting content to locations and handling the reviews. I had a chance to talk with them Yext Chief Data Officer at the MAE con conference, and he said one of the things that’s coming or you might already be in the product is a generative AI review handling where generative AI goes through and drafts, responses to reviews. You give it your parameter, the kind of tone I want, this is how I want this handled. And then they’ll give you a whole bunch of pre written reviews for you that to then go and approve or decline like, you know, someone saying, Oh, your your classes was running too late that night. Oh, I’m very sorry to hear that and so on and so forth.

Katie Robbert 29:50
Interesting. What does that mean for you know, there’s a lot of people who are going to be resistant to that piece saying like, that’s not human enough. that’ll be an interesting. I think we covered that a couple of weeks ago on a different show. But that’ll really be interesting to see. It’s it sounds a lot like the way that you train a chatbot, where you say these are the acceptable responses. These are the ones that we don’t want you to use. So it sounds like it’s very much along those lines.

Christopher Penn 30:19
Very much. So yes. And again, it does it does drafts, it does not do it for you, a human still has to push the button to say, Yes, this review response is approved, it’s the machines are not going to go to start responding to reviews on your behalf. So because that could just enter real badly.

Katie Robbert 30:35
Yeah, we’ve seen what happens when unsupervised machines just kind of start talking and talking. It’s just it’s not a good idea.

Christopher Penn 30:42
Yes. At least

John Wall 30:44
not. How about on the ad side of that? Is that the normal AdWords accounts? Or is that different? Are you actually able to do sponsored business page and jump the queue? Is that how that works?

Christopher Penn 30:54
The ads are regular Google ads.

John Wall 30:58
Okay, so that’s good. So you don’t have a second thing to worry about there.

Christopher Penn 31:02
Exactly. Yeah. In fact, you link right into your Google Ads account.

Katie Robbert 31:09
All right. So we talked Okay, so if I were to link up to Agorapulse or brand 24, I could monitor the activity, the reviews, the questions, those kinds of things. Where do we factor in something like generative AI

Christopher Penn 31:25
it depends on what you want to use it for. The thing that we’ve seen some interesting success for a couple of things one is using generative AI to process I think Chad hit the wrong button.

Katie Robbert 31:41
Technical difficulties Exactly.

Christopher Penn 31:45
So here’s an example

John Wall 31:47
the audio for you on that one though. So

Christopher Penn 31:50
here’s an example I took a a series of reviews that I generated so I used gender of AI to to create a bunch of reviews to analyze because I would like to be able to do this for conference Oxford for good reason you cannot should not show personally identifying information. So we just came up with a bunch of synthetic views and pasted that file of all those views into this case Anthropy Claude and Holtzclaw said hey, your restaurant marketing expert you know restaurants and so on, so forth, the restaurants name was Arendelle cafe restaurant serves primarily Norwegian breakfast foods. And in their reviews, I provided the star rating, the text of the review, and the date of the review. It’s telling me what’s happening with our reviews, if you are a business that gets a lot of reviews, this is the only sane way to handle you know, understanding that at a macro level because the for example one of our clients gets 1000s of reviews every month and it is it was impossible for us to process those reviews in a timely fashion. Now with the help of generative AI we can go through and process each of the departments reviews for that month and hand them back and analysis like hey, here’s three here’s the things that your this company does well you know authentic cuisine staff has committed for dedication Scheffel sees many complex family friendly atmosphere weaknesses inconsistency food service long wait times noisy levels, vegan options are limited. And then some it comes up with some recommendations. So this is an example using generative AI to process review data.

Katie Robbert 33:30
But first, you would have to be able to extract all of that review data and so using a system like an Agorapulse or brand 24 to centralize all of your reviews first, then extract it into a CSV file, then bring it into generative AI to summarize, Could you hand it the file and just say summarize this all of this data? Like you probably get what you asked for you probably get like a summary. Okay.

Christopher Penn 33:56
Exactly. And then the second thing is and this applies to reviews any kind including stuff on like Amazon and things you can get a copy of the data, which is a totally different topic. You can ask it what anomalies to see in the data or that particular standard extremes are worth analyzing further right and it comes through and says hey, you know this this person left multiple five star one star reviews on the same day seems unusual the same guests have extremely different experiences in such a short time span. Hiroshi has also left a few duplicate reviews under different last names always rating five stars. This could indicate someone artificially inflating rates now we know this is a synthetic file. So yes, there’s gonna be a lot of duplication, but you can get a sense of as it says, This points to some amount of real manipulation or fabrication. If you are wondering about your own reviews, on your on your profile, this is a handy test to do. If you are wondering about the reviews, any competitor, this is a really handy test to do to see if that competitor is doing a little astroturfing on the side

Katie Robbert 34:59
I So my first thought was definitely, you know, can you break use this for your competitors to see if they are, you know, I don’t even know what the term would be. But basically, they’re just like faking their reviews to make themselves look better.

Christopher Penn 35:16
Mm hmm. Yep. And that’s super straightforward. If you were to go to any business’s Google reviews, you type in the business name and click on Google reviews. And Google will bring up for obvious reasons, the reviews for that site. And then after, there’s, there’s nothing super sophisticated here, select all copy, paste into a text file, and then do exactly that. Will it be nicely formatted into CSV? No. But would it be good enough to be able to feed to and Claude or ChatGPT? Absolutely.

Katie Robbert 35:46
Can you export your reviews directly from the Google Business Profile Manager? No. Oh, my God.

So is this like the Forgotten product by Google? Like it’s it seems like a really important tool, but yet it doesn’t do anything useful.

John Wall 36:08
The castle walls are Hi.

Katie Robbert 36:11
Started with this broadcast? Oh, my God.

Christopher Penn 36:15
I don’t know why. I don’t know why it’s this way. I don’t know why Google does this this particular way and makes it so difficult. It’s that just seems to be it almost seems like it was one of those things that started out in Google Labs and got released, and there was never a plan for it. But like, hey, this helps compete with Yelp, and takes away traffic and keeps people in Google. So let’s, let’s put in production. And it’s still it’s still basically the beta architecture that was just putting production.

Katie Robbert 36:45
Alright, let me ask you a question that you should know the answer to. But given our track record for today, who knows? Obviously, you know, people want to use Google business for really important things like low local SEO. So what are if you’re in if you’re setting up a Google business profile, and you’re editing the profile, what are some of the fields that are the most important to factor in for better results for local SEO,

Christopher Penn 37:15
the services fields, the products and services fields within your Google Business Listing are going to strongly dictate how your listing performance because you want to be, you want to have the services available that are reflective of what you offer, obviously, but also what people search for. Right? So kids martial arts, clothes, kids classes, stuff like that, there’s a whole bunch of,

Katie Robbert 37:40
we can’t see your screen, Chris. Oh, oops.

Christopher Penn 37:44
So there’s a whole bunch of keywords and categories and services that you’d want to configure in your Google business location that reflects what you want to be found for. And a lot of the time is not just your specific product, but it’s also your vertical. So you can see here, in, in my teachers, martial arts school listing, we practice Bujinkan Budo, Taijutsu, by like five people on the planet centers that search for that. So we have all bunch of other martial art names and practices in the listing to attract people who are looking for, in some cases, they’re just looking for a martial arts class, they’re looking for self defense classes, they’re just looking for a fitness class of some kind. And so having a bunch of these different terms in the listing will pop up when someone’s doing a local business search. So you above and beyond the the obvious basics, you want to make sure that your you have your your profile completely filled out the products and services where you will attract your audience based on all those near me queries. Because automatically if there’s a service listed in the services, someone who types in service near me in Google is it’s going to potentially trigger your listing to be part of it.

Katie Robbert 38:59
So it sounds like when teams are putting together their SEO strategies, they should also be factoring in their local SEO, their Google business profile. I mean, it occurs to me that what we would probably do is first look in Google Search Console, to see how people are finding Trust Insights. And then include the relevant keywords into the services of our Google profile, Google business profile, with the hope that when they’re searching for those things, they’re finding our Google business profile, easier clicking, calling John Wall, John Wall saying hey, let’s make a deal. And then we’re gonna go away rich and happy. Exactly at the basic process.

Christopher Penn 39:41
There is 100%, the basic process you’re looking to try to look at volume in, in the SEO tool of your choice, right? Take your existing keyword list, take your top terms, particularly, here’s the thing about local SEO that’s really cool. A term that broadly, you would have no chance of ranking for you can potentially rank for easier in local search because of the way Google business works. So if you want to say like AI consulting firm, there’s a lot of them, right? If it was a Google Analytics consulting firm, there’s a lot of them, you’re probably not going to rank and desktop search for Google Analytics consulting firm, right? It’s probably not going to happen. You put Google Analytics in your local thing, and someone who is on their phone, which is now the dominant form of of internet usage, and does a search for Google Analytics consulting. Because there’s a local listing, you will get some more advantage than just having a website and no Google business profile.

Katie Robbert 40:45
Got it? And so is there a limit to how many, so it’s interesting because you want to make sure that you’re actually including services and not just keywords. So a lot of times, we’ll do variations of keywords, longtail keywords, but things that also aren’t grammatically correct. So I would imagine that we want to make sure that we are including things that we are okay with user seeing, so no jumble of words that are sort of just keywords, but actual services that they would be able to see. And can we order these once they’re, once they’re in there, or they go in as they’ve been added? Like in terms of order, like, you can’t reorder them? They are just as you add them in?

Christopher Penn 41:28
Just as you add them. They’re just all in there.

Katie Robbert 41:32
Yeah, Google, you’re killing me here.

Christopher Penn 41:35
And you can specify with those services, like, you know, what’s your pricing and things like that? If you wanted to list that?

Katie Robbert 41:41
By having a service description, does that continue to help with the search? Can? Yes, okay. I’m making a mental to do list for myself.

Christopher Penn 41:51
Yep. Yeah. Then you kind of up to 300 characters for that. Okay. And then, of course, you have products as well. So if you have products that you offer, you could put that in here, like courses? Exactly. So what kind of category is its create new category? Of course, Google Analytics, 4 for marketers, our price is 499. And then meet our oops.

Katie Robbert 42:32
But yeah, that’s exactly the kind of thing I was thinking, as I’m, as I’m getting more educated on what’s possible, then having these calls to action, right within the search listing? makes intuitive sense. So why wouldn’t we have our courses listed right away, rather than having someone go to our website, find out that we have courses, like, if they’re looking for a course, they’re gonna find it right there. And then

Christopher Penn 42:57
Yep, there’s, again, with with all these things, there’s so many different things you can do within this system. So here is we’ve now got our, our products here. And so there it is, so we could go through and add in more and more and more of these things.

Katie Robbert 43:18
That’s fantastic. I love it. Finally, uh, when in the Google column, it only took 43 minutes.

Christopher Penn 43:27
But even something like the bookings tab, we could put John’s calendar appointment in here. If we wanted people to call John now we have the contact page here, which I think is perfectly fine for right now. But you could have bookings right in there. And again, for like my teachers martial arts school, if you want to have come in and try a free class, that’s the place to put it. If even events and things you know, you could put it stuff like that, you know, in as events. So if you have happy hour at a restaurant, you might want to have that available. Now there’s actually a special Happy Hour button in the in the primary listing itself, if you want to have some kind of special thing. If you want to do if you have used asking questions they can ask right from your your one box listing asked a question of this business.

Katie Robbert 44:17
Which makes sense. Yeah, I mean, the end, you know, so I feel like, again, going back to your governance and having some semblance of requirements, that’s Google business can be a really powerful tool, in addition to your website. And so making sure you’re going through the five p framework, even at a high level, to really understand why you should be using using Google business, what you want to do with it, how you’re going to maintain it, because once you set it up, it’s like anything else, it needs some maintenance. You know, I’ve lost track of how many times like you look for a restaurant and the information is just out of date. The hours are out of date. The events are out of date, and it’s a real turnoff for as a user experience because it’s that whole, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is a first impression tool. This is where you make that first impression. And if it’s not set up correctly and then not maintained, then you’re definitely losing on business that you didn’t know was possible.

Christopher Penn 45:15
Exactly, exactly. So yeah, it’s a very powerful and the local business rabbit holes a deep one, because now you have Apple Maps and Apple business listings, you have Yelp, you have TripAdvisor, you have all these places. So it again, that’s where it starts to make sense to look at Enterprise style tools, like Yext, because you really want to maintain, there are 74, different location based services that you can have listing for. That’s a lot to maintain. So you may want to have software assisting with that.

Katie Robbert 45:53
Or John Wall,

John Wall 45:55
did, you’ve got to have governance for this, though, as we’ve clearly seen here, you cannot count on the UI, to be something that’s going to show you the five things in order that you have to work on, you know, we can stumble through now. But three years from now, when the new GA four course comes out, who’s gonna remember that it needs to be updated back in local search, like, if you don’t have that on a list somewhere, it’s just gonna get lost. So yeah, get some help with this, or, you know, get your governance in your piece in order because otherwise, you’re just it’ll work great for a year, and then it’s going to be another dead end that a customer is going to stumble into in years two through seven.

Katie Robbert 46:35
And you know, Chris, to your point much earlier in the episode, if you’re having an agency, like Trust Insights, help you set these things up, make sure as part of that governance, you know, who’s owning the instance, because if you have an agency set it up, and then they walk away, or you part ways, that agency still owns the instance. And that could be incredibly dangerous for everybody.

Christopher Penn 46:58
Huh? Yeah. Just ask him how many Google Analytics accounts I still have access to? Over a decade later after? Stop working with those companies?

John Wall 47:08
Yeah, it’s not like we’ve had clients come to us and say, oh, there’s four different versions of GA and I can’t get into any of them, right.

Katie Robbert 47:16
I don’t know who set that up. That was before my time.

Christopher Penn 47:19
As a lot of that. Alright, any final parting words?

Katie Robbert 47:25
Get it together, Google make it native like the other apps in your collection? I don’t know. I have a lot of frustrations.

Christopher Penn 47:34
You’re not the only one

John Wall 47:35
another day going through the Google product stack.

Christopher Penn 47:39
Exactly. Alright, folks, that’s gonna do it for this week. We’ll talk to you next time. Thanks for watching today. Be sure to subscribe to our show wherever you’re watching it. For more resources. And to learn more, check out the Trust Insights podcast at trust AI podcast, and a weekly email newsletter at trust Got questions about what you saw on today’s episode. Join our free analytics for marketers slack group at trust for marketers, see you next time.

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