Optimising your local knowledge panel
When we search for a business via Google, the very first thing we see is not the website, nor is it information about their services, but their knowledge panel. The knowledge panel is the square on the right hand side of Google’s search results, which displays general information about the address of a company, their phone number, reviews, and their trading hours. It is also one of the most import parts of your cues to draw people to your website. Incredibly, many neglect theirs.
The space that Google provides for the knowledge panels is invaluable for the savvy marketer. A knowledge panel, brimming with colour, details, and information about the business, can be a great way to get your brand further out there. On mobile devices, where these knowledge sections take up more real estate on the screen, they can be hugely effective, dominating the interest of the person viewing them.
How, then, do you create that perfect knowledge panel, one that will provide vital information to potential customers, whilst also grabbing their attention. In this article, we’ll be going through a few key points to look at when enhancing your business’ knowledge panel, all of which are guaranteed to deliver you noticeable results on their own.
Google’s knowledge profile donates a lot of its space to images, in conjunction with its well known Maps arm. Whilst they may not seem like such a big deal initially, the numbers of people that are willing to check out these images are simply staggering. Take for instance this email that we at ITCC received recently.
This photo was put onto our knowledge panel only late last year. This is three-thousand potential clients and customers that are actively looking at just one photo from our knowledge panel out of keen interest. The potential is there, and it’s your job to make sure that you adequately cover every angle of your business with rich and engaging pictures.
360° Business View is a relatively new introduction into Google Maps. It is essentially a walk through tour of a business’ interior, and for such businesses, where their showroom is their main selling point, it can offer visitors a fantastic opportunity to “try before you buy”. 360° Business View has taken off in a big way since its introduction only recently, and has been widely adopted by a variety of different commercial sectors and industries.
The great thing about them is that it is effectively an invitation for people to explore your business, and acts as a fantastic visual cue to lure potential customers. It is also possible to “tag” products that can be found throughout the walkthrough, offering product specifications and details, as well as prices and how much of the product is left in stock. 360° view has been hugely adopted by the hospitality industry, too, with fantastic results for hotels and restaurants.
Ultimately, the knowledge panel is serviced well by two things; the amount of detail included, and the accuracy of the detail included. Not only should you be making sure that all of the most critical information of your business is present within the panel, but that it is also verifiable and accurate. This includes the right trading hours, correct address, and updated imagery, if you have changed your branding recently.
For other reasons other than common sense, keeping your details updated and accurate helps Google link all of your content together under the one banner. It also enhances the online user friendliness of your brand, as accurate details will allow them to find you much more easily than if the information, such as incorrect trading hours, was wrong.
This sounds great, but how do I do all of this?
This is where Google Plus comes into play. Having a well maintained account on the social media service directly links the details you input to the knowledge panel itself. This is the same for photos, too, and all images that you place into your “business photos” folder will be visible inside your local knowledge panel.
Ultimately, this valuable section of the SERPs wields incredible power for you to draw people towards your business, and should be treated as important as any other facet of your online presence. With a little fine tuning, as well as an integration of all of your branding material and relevant imagery, this section of your online marketing can become your strongest selling point.