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Optimization for Google My Business on The Gold coast (Best Practices for 2019)
Today we are talking about your Google My Business listing.
Google says all search is local.
What I want you to do to know if Google My Business is right for you is to walk out into your parking lot. Don’t worry. You don’t have to do it right. You can do it on your way home, and I want you to look around and think about the cities and towns and businesses and things like that around you in about a hundred mile radius. If there is a business or lots of businesses within a hundred mile radius of you that you would like to have as customers, then Google My Business is for you.
That means if you are in a city like Gold coast Brisbane or anywhere near places like that, particularly big cities, or even if you are like us, 45 minutes away from Sydney, there are probably literally thousands and thousands of companies that you would like to get business from within a hundred mile radius of you. Click here to learn more to get more customers.
In fact, we have a client out in Byron bay in a fairly small town that has tons of clients within a hundred mile radius of him that he would love to do business with. My bet is you do too.
Google My Business is specifically designed to help you compete with large multinational or large corporate conglomerates as a small to mid-sized business. You want to pay attention to this whether you’re a marketing manager or a sales manager or a CEO watching this today because this is one of the easiest strategies that I know for you to get quick search results.
Let’s talk a little bit about what’s happening with Google My Business because I want to remind you what we talked about at the end of last year in, I don’t know, they’ll tell you in the show notes which episode about SEO.
We are experiencing a fundamental shift in the way search functions this year. We need to understand that. If you see that your mobile organic traffic for local or even for national is dropping, it’s not necessarily a sign that your SEO campaign is failing, or your clients aren’t getting the visibility that they use to.
It’s that more and more the interactions with your business are happening through knowledge panels, those rich snippets, or NAPs results, that’s your Google My Business listing, or clicks to call on a mobile device, which happens from your Google My Business listing.
All of those kinds of things are just as valuable, sometimes even more valuable than being on your website itself because those things are optimized for conversions very, very well by the kings and queens at Google. Don’t assume that because your organic traffic might be dropping particularly on mobile devices that your search engine work isn’t working first of all.
If it is dropping, and it isn’t working, you’re not experiencing more phone calls, optimizing your Google My Business profile is the quickest, easiest, fastest, cheapest way to fix that. How do you do it? Well, there’s a few key points.
First of all, I want to reemphasize that this is not just for small local companies like restaurants and landscapers. If you are distributor who has customers within a hundred mile radius and that’s most of our customers or if you are a multi-location larger company, say you have locations in lots of different specific cities or towns that you want companies in those areas to go to that specific location, Google My Business is for you.
me is Frazer Goodman, and I help businesses like yours get found easier online. The picture you see here is a picture of your Google My Business listing. As you can see, your listing is what we call“unclaimed”.
- Claiming and optimizing your listing allow you to manage the information that Google users see when they search for your business, or the products and services that you offer. When you verify your information with Google My Business, you are *twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers (source: Google). Also, when people find your business on Google Maps and Google Search, you can make sure they see the right information including hours of operation, website, and the street address.
- Note: If you are a home-based business, or serve customers at their location, users will just see a concentric circle encompassing your service area.
- Claiming the Google My Business listing will allow you to read and reply to reviews from your customers, and post photos related to your business such as the logo, business owner, office building, ad graphics, products, etc.
- NOTE: *Businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t. (Source: Google)
- You will also be able to see detailed insights on how visitors have searched and for your business, and where those customers searched from. You will see information including how many people have called your business from the phone number listed on local search results in Search results and Google Maps.
- Many people use the Google Maps App for driving directions. Ensuring that your address is correct will allow them to easily navigate to your location from their mobile device
- Making sure the phone number is available and valid will also allow customers to call your business directly from the Google Search results page. If they are searching from a mobile device, they can tap directly on the phone number and call.
- The Google business listing is considered a ‘primary’ data source by many data aggregators and directory listing services such as Moz.com and Yext. Ensuring your listing is accurate and up to date will help improve and validate your other directory listings.
It’s critical that you handle this right because your Google My Business listing is fairly unforgiving. It relies on a very specific algorithm to determine who comes up at the top, and you want to win that. The number one way to do that is making sure that you have the correct data. It’s really simple to do this. If you don’t own your Google My Business profile, the first thing you’re going to need to do is go claim it and set it up.
If you need help doing that, after the show you can go over here and we have a great little video for you over there to show you how to set up and claim your Google My Business listing. Once you have it, you want to make sure that that data is correct. That relies on something called a NAPs profiles, name, address, phone number.
Those things need to be 100% consistent across all local listings, and that just doesn’t mean on your Google My Business. It means on Yelp, on your website, on Facebook, on your LinkedIn profile, on listing services for businesses like Manta or Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau.
Your listing needs to be exactly the same, same phone number, same address, same name structured in the same way. Making sure that data is correct is really critical.
In fact, you should be checking that at least once every couple of weeks. If not, weekly because Google My Business relies partially on user generated content. That’s people who have visited Google Maps and left information about that business on Google Maps.
Somebody else who has a high authority rating with Google as a Google guide or something like that could leave a change of address, or a change of phone number on your Google My Business and Google accept that if they are a trusted source.
Yes, that includes your competitors. It is one of the unfortunately most damaging black hat SEO techniques that we see happening right now, and you must monitor your listings to guard against that kind of thing.
Once you have the correct data, the next thing you’re going to do is make sure that your profile is complete. That means if you have not checked your Google My Business profile in, I don’t know, since you set up your website or in several years, you’re going to want to go and check it right away.
I would do it by the end of this show today because Google My Business at the end of last year rolled out a whole suite of new tools for you including real time posts like you would do on Facebook, messaging where people can actually message you directly, lots of new insights, way bigger expansion of photos and what you can submit there.
Oh, and an app was just rolled out in the last several weeks for you to manage that Google My Business profile. There’s a huge amount of intentionality around providing tools that you can use to help your company show up in a search result without ever having to get them on your website.
Now that can sound pretty scary for marketers because we rely on generating content for websites and stuff like that. It’s really important to us, right, but this is a great thing for you as a business because it can help you get quick wins while you’re building up the bigger national search terms or while you’re building up the content to convert leads.
This can help you to get those quick wins on purchase generated searches and things like that that you need while you’re going through your content building efforts. Particularly the posts feature where you can add specials or events that you have coming up or trade shows that you will be at, that will push your Google My Business profile higher.
The great thing about this right now is because it’s a new feature, not lots of companies are using it yet, which means you have the early adopter advantage if you use this feature now. I highly recommend that you get in there and get that profile optimized right away. Now the next thing that you want to make sure you’re doing with that profile is collecting reviews. We’ve talked a few times on the show about reviews in the past, and I want to emphasize here the importance of collecting reviews the right way. If you have in business for a while, you probably were engaged in a website 10 years ago, 8 years ago, and you may have participated in some
SEO techniques where you bought links, or you had content written in the Philippines or something like that that came back to bite you later. The same thing is true with reviews, and we are expecting as SEOs to go through a major overhaul of the way Google handles reviews in the next 12 to 24 months because marketers ruin everything. You’ve heard me say that on the show before.
You’ve heard lots of people say that, right?
When you go out and get tons of reviews from your friends, your family, buy fake reviews, make up fake profiles, that causes the value of the review system to go down and all platforms need to guard against that. Facebook and Yelp have really great systems in place to guard against this. Google hasn’t quite gotten around to that yet, but they are in process. I want to caution you. Reviews are very important to making your search results come up higher.
Your Google My Business profile show up number one for your local searches. If you do this wrong, it will bite you in the butt. Make sure that your reviews are real. They come from real colleagues, real connections, real customers, not generated by people who have the same last name as the name of your business, and things of that nature. It’s very important that we don’t game this system, and there are tools in place to make sure that some of the most common things don’t happen. For instance, if you go out to like … Sometimes you go to a digital marketing class or something like that offered in your area, and they’ll have everybody leave each other reviews in the class. That’s a really bad thing for your Google My Business listing because Google understands that all of those reviews coming in at the same time from the same place is not natural. It will cause your listing to be pushed down.
Think about it this way as we’ve talked about before. If what you’re doing isn’t the best thing for the end user, and it’s not 100% honest, you probably shouldn’t do it. It really is that simple. People first, not search bots. Once you’ve started collecting reviews, make sure that your messaging is set up. The easiest way to do this now is to download the Google My Business app. It’s free on the App Store. You can get it in Google Play or on Apple. It’s a really easy simple to use tool that allow you to update your posts all the time and allow you to receive messages from customers directly to your phone where you can interact with them in real time. It’s way simpler than any other tool I’ve seen to do this on your website or on your search results. Take advantage of it. Set it up now. That way when you come up in a search for someone, literally all they have to do is hit message on that Google My Business listing, and they’ll send you what for them feels like a text message, what for you feels like a text message, and you can respond in real time.
That’s really valuable customer interaction that cost you nothing and gets you greater exposure. Once you’ve set up your messaging, there is one more step that I want you to do that is … It does take a little bit more work, but only a tiny little bit more work, and that is making sure that you’re managing your photos. Your Google My Business profile will walk you through the basic photos that they want. They want photos of the outside of your building and the inside of your building, and the street view if you’re a location that customers can visit. Now if your location is not one that customers can visit, and it just serves the area, you don’t have to worry about those types of photos. Regardless, you should have pictures of your employees and pictures of product and pictures of things that you are involved with on your Google My Business profile the same way you do on a Facebook page, or a LinkedIn profile.
This is new. It’s not like brand spanking new, but it’s pretty new Google My Business timeline photos in a social way. Take advantage of it and do it now because profiles with more than 25 photos get 80% more views than profiles with less than 25 photos. If you’ve taken a perusal through some of your competitors, you might see that almost none of them have photos at all. This is an easy place to be at an advantage. You don’t need professional photos for this.
In fact, Google prefers life shots. Not professional photos for this particular use case. Take your iPhone or your Android phone out into your warehouse, out to your employee’s desk and drive a few people crazy snapping some candid photos. It’ll really help that Google My Business listing. Now I want to give you in closing a couple of words of caution on managing your Google My Business profile. The first one is the thing that we encounter as an agency all the time, which is somebody set up this profile that no longer works at your company, and nobody knows what email address is attached to it, and we can’t get access to it. That requires us to go through a lengthily process with Google that includes submitting your articles of incorporation to prove that you are the owner of the business. It takes forever. It’s painful. Nobody wants to do it.
Let’s avoid that for the future and we can do that in one simple way. Set up your Google My Business listing with a primary email address. For instance, info@Spinstak.com instead of ReniaCarsillo@Spinstak.com, and then add users as appropriate, so that as those users come and go, the business still owns the listing in a normal business address that always exist for the business and you just add and remove users. Another word of note here, your agency, your marketing agency, your SEO agency should not own your Google My Business listing. I won’t go too far down the rabbit hole, but your agency should not own your Google Analytics, your Tag Manager, your ads account, any of those things, but especially not your Google My Business listing. This is critical to your business. You should own it. You would not buy a building and give the keys to someone else until you could not get in when you wanted to get in. Do not let your agency own your Google My Business listing. Add your agency representative whether it’s us or someone else as a user so that if you part ways, you can remove them.
Second thing is manage your locations all under one master listing. It will confuse Google if you have multiple Google My Business instances under the same brand name. They don’t want it that way. They want you to manage all of your listings under one brand name. Say you have five or six locations. You should have a top level brand that has all of those individual locations with their individual Google My Business profiles under the same parent brand.
By the way, the same thing is true for Facebook. Make sure that that is set up properly or you will be artificially pushed down in the search because you’re confusing Google. Our number one prerogative is to be clear so that the search bots can understand how we are actually structured as a company. Then check this weekly. We said it once before and I just want to say it again because this listing is somewhat directed by user generated content, it can change constantly. Sometimes you will get an email from Google asking you to verify the suggestion for the change that was made, but if it comes from a trusted user who is a high level Google Local Guide or something like that, the change will happen without them even telling you that it happened. That can mean that your phone number can be wrong, your address can be wrong, you can have poor reviews that you don’t know about. All these things can happen so it’s really, really important that you manage that listing. Set yourself a calendar reminder either weekly or at least monthly to go and check that listing and make sure it’s accurate, make sure it’s up to date and update your posts.
Google My Business Insights
If you do it that way, and I know we went through a lot here, but if you manage your photos, use the messaging, make sure your data is correct, manage your users properly, you can rank number one within a hundred mile radius of your business really, really easily, much easier than you can with your website on its own. Walk outside your door this afternoon and think about how many businesses there are within about a hundred miles of your location that you would like to work with. If there are more than a few, and I bet for most of you there, take 20 minutes to set up this Google My Business profile today. It really will have an almost immediate impact on your business. In fact, you’ll be able to see that impact because in your Google My Business Insights, it will show you exactly how many people called, visited, looked at photos or messaged you through that Google My Business listing. The analytics on it are really awesome and easy to understand.
In my view, there’s almost no reason not to do it unless you sell exclusively online. Like I said, we’d love it if you would leave a comment below with your Google My Business listing and we’ll give you some feedback on some things that you might be able to do to improve it. If you haven’t claimed yours and haven’t done anything with it yet and a lot of the things we’re saying are confusing, you can visit our YouTube video after the show on our YouTube channel. We’ll put the link in the show notes. We have a little walk through video to show you how to set up your Google My Business profile. Yes, I’m going to take a small marketer moment and say if you really want to knock this out of the park, you can give us a call or send us a message and we can help you optimize your other local listings besides just Google My Business, which will help that rank even further.
It’s such a simple thing to do. It’s my favorite tactic right now. I don’t know why any of you wouldn’t go out and check it out right now. Matt will be back next week to talk about some sales strategies, but I hope this relatively quick episode, we came in under 30 minutes, will help you guys to do something that’ll give you actionable results by next week’s show. If you do this today, if you go optimize your profile today, I guarantee you that you’ll be seeing results by next week’s show. There’s not many things in internet marketing that I can tell you have that kind of impact. Go try it and tell us how it works for you. Have a great day everyday. Hey, everybody. Thanks for joining us. If you’re just getting started with us on Grow Live, be sure to check out some of our favorite episodes in the show notes.
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