How do you choose the right software for your coworking business? Make sure it has key elements to grow your business and give members a good...
Create a strong Google My Business coworking space profile
What do you want? Full desks and offices!
When do you want it? Yesterday!
How will you do it? We’ll show you.
That’s the dream: a space bustling with energy, members coming and going, and a hum of happy activity in each conversation nook. So you market, you promote, and you optimize. It’s a lot of work, so we wanted to explore one particularly important part of that puzzle: a Google My Business coworking space profile (GMB).
For every coworking space, Google My Business is not just a nice-to-have — it’s a must-have. And it only costs you time and energy, with significant return on investment.
Why does a Google My Business coworking space profile even matter?
Referrals are the best source of new business, but online visibility is key to attracting potential members. Most of your prospects will find you online, and Google is the biggest search engine. (Hey, Bing!)
GMB is an integral ingredient in the giant casserole that is local SEO and web optimization for small businesses, especially coworking spaces. It allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google's various platforms, notably Search and Maps, offering them the opportunity to appear in local search results.
By creating a GMB listing, you can provide crucial details about your services, locations, and hours of operation. And even better, it allows your members to leave reviews, fostering an active member-operator relationship. This not only boosts visibility but also builds trust among potential members and visitors, contributing significantly to your coworking business online reputation.
Being listed on GMB puts you directly in front of potential day pass visitors, meeting room renters, and members. It provides you with a powerful platform to manage your online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. And it’s all about being there at the right time and the right place. As SEO expert Jake Bollinger told us previously, 88% of people who search for a local business or use ‘near me’ in their search will visit that business within a week.
That’s what’s called High Intent. And you don’t want to miss out on that moment when intention is at its highest.
Set and verify your Google My Business profile
Configuring your Google my business coworking space profile is simple and straightforward. Head over to the GMB website, click on "Manage Now," then follow the prompts to fill in your coworking space details. The trick is to fill in as much detail as possible – hours of operation, facilities, services, images, etc.
After setup, you'll need to verify your coworking space is where you say it is. Google will send you an actual postcard with a code to your physical address. Once verified, your location becomes officially recognized. You can now post updates, respond to reviews, and view insights on your engagement.
What if you offer virtual offices? Can your customers use your address for Google My Business?
The answer is yes and then no. Google updated its terms on this back in 2021 to speak directly to coworking spaces that housed multiple businesses — any one of which could need a Google My business profile at the same address.
They added specific guidelines companies must follow to list their business. According to Google, “Businesses can’t list an office at a co-working space unless that office maintains clear signage, receives customers at the location during business hours, and is staffed during business hours by your business staff.”
Leverage your Google My Business profile
Now that your profile is up and running, how do you use it to maximize your visibility and attract members? Here are some tips:
1. Regularly update your listing
Make sure your listing is always up to date. Have you extended your opening hours? Added a new meeting room or networking event? Get it on your GMB profile as soon as it’s ready. Regularly updating your profile shows Google that your business is active and refreshing it can lead to better rankings.
2. Use high-quality images
As mobile phone cameras are sometimes more powerful than most DSLRs, there is little excuse for low-light, blurry photos of your space. High-quality images of your coworking space can give potential members a sneak peek into your space's ambiance and facilities. Of course, the same is true for the meeting room and space listings on your coworking space software.
Hire a photographer with real estate or architectural experience, so they know how to capture the look and feel of your space. Take pictures with and without people in the space. Include a variety of them in your profile — let prospects see what the space looks like, but also share what it can feel like when they join your community.
That photographer can probably also do video and virtual tours. A virtual/video tour could even be a way to attract prospects to consider your space over your competitors. Google has specific requirements for the types of video you can add to your profile, so the first step is to ensure that your video meets these specs:
- Duration: Up to 30 seconds long
- File size: Up to 75 MB
- Resolution: 1280x720 minimum
In addition to tours of your space, you can add videos such as:
- About us - an introduction to the founders, staff, community managers of your coworking space
- Member spotlights - a quick profile or self-intro of one of your coworking space members, talking about their own business
- Video testimonials - of course, we’ll get into why reviews are powerful and how to ask for them, but video testimonials are fantastic ways to quickly show your space, introduce your members, and have social proof.
- Footage of events - show off how busy your networking nights are, or capture the fun of a game night!
And just like photography, you don’t need a high end video camera to get good quality video for yourself to add to your profile. Instead, use your iPhone, but take some additional steps to ensure it doesn’t look completely amateurish and is actually pleasant to watch.
Use a tripod. Shaky, handheld video is great for horror movies, but terrible for Google My business videos of coworking spaces.
Get an inexpensive wireless microphone. Nobody notices good sound on videos until it has terrible sound, full of echoes and background noise. And now new AI tools can even help with that audio, cleaning it up like it’s your own podcast studio!
Try a ring light or use natural lighting. Everybody has ring lights these days. And you probably have one for your members to use. Don’t forget to light up everybody’s eyes!
Use the rear camera lens. Yes of course, it’s easier to see the set up with the self facing camera, but the angle is not flattering. Set up your shot, mark your spot on the floor, and go!
3. Gather reviews — and respond to them
Reviews can make or break your online reputation. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. Negative reviews? Respond professionally and address the concern. This not only shows you value customer feedback but also tells Google that you're engaged with your clients.
Adopt a unique, personal and engaging approach to encourage members of your coworking business to leave reviews on Google My Business. Here's a list of creative ways to make the request:
- Wall of gratitude: Start a physical "Wall of Gratitude" in a communal space. Ask members to write a quick note about something they enjoy about the coworking space, then invite them to share it on Google My Business as well.
- Review for a cause: For every review left, donate a small amount to a local charity. This not only encourages reviews but also showcases your commitment to the community.
- Appreciation happy hour: Organize a monthly happy hour where you appreciate members and subtly encourage them to review your business online.
- Personalized notes: Send personalized thank-you notes with a gentle reminder about leaving a review. This adds a personal touch to your request.
- Exclusive masterclasses: Arrange exclusive mini-workshops or masterclasses for members who have left a review. This creates an incentive and adds value to their membership.
- Member spotlight: Every week, feature a member and their business on your social media or newsletter. Then, ask them politely if they'd be willing to leave a review.
- Rewards program: Start a rewards program where members earn points for different actions, including writing reviews. The points could be redeemable for perks like free coffee or desk upgrades.
- Co-creation session: Organize a co-creation session where you collectively brainstorm ideas to improve the coworking space. At the end, encourage participants to share their experiences and suggestions in a review.
- Shared success stories: Celebrate the achievements of your members by sharing their success stories and testimonials on your website or social media. In return, ask them if they'd consider writing a Google review.
- A friendly email or text: Send a friendly email or text thanking them for their membership and asking for a review. Make sure the email reflects your brand's personality, and include a direct link to make it easy for them.
Remember, the key is to make the process of leaving a review as effortless as possible while ensuring members feel appreciated and heard. Be genuine in your approach and always thank them for their time and input.
But don’t just let reviews be posted and go unanswered. GMB lets you respond to reviews, thanking the person for sharing their thoughts in this public forum.
4. Make some Google posts
Think of Google Posts as mini ads or updates about your coworking space. Are you hosting an event? Do you have a special offer? Use Google Posts to share updates and attract more attention to your GMB listing.
A GBM post can include text up to 1,500 characters, images, videos, limited time offers, links to forms to rent spaces, and more. These posts show up alongside all your other profile information and reviews in search results on Google Search and Maps.
If you do have videos in your profile, highlight them for short periods of time in a Google Post, and get some more visibility on them.
5. Optimize for local keywords
Include relevant keywords in your business description and posts. For example, if your coworking space is in New York and caters to tech startups, include keywords like "New York coworking space for tech startups" in your description. This can help you show up in relevant search results.
But also use iterations of your area, such as the neighborhood (Chelsea) or a local moniker (“The Triangle”), and even names of local landmarks. Especially important could be transportation resources nearby.
The power of local SEO for coworking spaces
What makes Google My Business even more of a power play for coworking spaces is its intrinsic link with local SEO. If your GMB profile is well-optimized, it increases your chances of appearing in the local pack — the section of Google's search results that showcases local businesses related to the search query.
Some best practices to optimize for local SEO:
- NAP consistency: Ensure your business Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) are consistent across all online platforms.
- Local keywords: Incorporate local keywords in your GMB profile and website content.
- Local link building: Establish partnerships with local businesses for cross-promotion or guest blogging. This can enhance your local authority and boost your SEO.
With a Google My Business profile for your coworking space, you’re not only claiming your online presence but also maximizing your chances of being found by potential members and people who would rent your space.
Regular updates, engagement with clients through reviews, and the smart use of keywords can help boost your visibility. With the added power of local SEO, Google My Business can be an invaluable tool in your digital marketing toolkit.
Remember, Google My Business is not a set-it-and-forget-it platform. Just like your coworking community, it requires care and attention. The time and effort you invest in optimizing your GMB profile and engaging with your community will pay dividends in the form of increased visibility, a full funnel of prospects, and ultimately, a bustling coworking space.