A significant first step in any local SEO strategy would be to claim and confirm your local company's Google My Business (GMB) listing. Getting on Google My Business can increase your chances of showing up in Google's Nearby Package, Nearby Finder, Google Maps, and natural rankings. Qualifying local companies can claim this free list on Google and include basic information regarding their company, such as their address, phone number, business hours. etc.
If you have not maintained and verified your Google My Business Listing, that's the first step. To begin, visit https://www.google.com/business
Many businesses just claim their GMB listing and forget about it. What most companies don't understand is that you will find a variety of other features you can use to maximize your Google My Business listing and many reasons why you should frequently check your company's listing to make sure that its accuracy stays intact. Want to find out more?
Complete all of the info Google asks for.
There are a variety of questions that you are able to answer to finish your Google My Business profile. When done, your listing will have valuable information that can make it much easier for potential customers to locate your business. And if you do not fill that information in, someone else could. Many small business owners don't understand that everyone can suggest an alteration to your business listing — and that includes competitors.
When a searcher clicks on your GMB list they could see a “Suggest an edit” option:
When someone clicks on this choice they can literally edit your Google My Business listing (and make some fairly dramatic changes, too):
This is only 1 reason why it is very important that you login to a Google My Business dash regularly to ensure that no one has tried to create any unwanted changes to your listing. You'll see a notification that changes are pending if a person has made suggested changes that require your approval.
Also, it's very important to realize that Google encourages people that are familiar with your company to answer inquiries, so Google can find out more information about your company. To do so they could merely click the “Know this place?
They will then be prompted to answer a few questions about your company:
If they know the reply to the questions, they could reply. If not, they could diminish.
But, Google's philosophy is that this type of “user-generated content” helps to construct a community, even more fully completes a business' profile, and enables Google to experiment using different search strategies.
Once you get your Google My Business listing confirmed, continue to check your listing often to be on the secure side.
Google My Business Posts
Google Posts have been “mini-ads” that Appear in Google search on your Google My Business list (in the Knowledge Panel and on Google Maps.)
You can have fun with your Articles by incorporating an image, a Call to Action (CTA), as well as including a hyperlink to another page or website. If you are using Yext, then you can create GMB Posts straight from the Yext dashboard.
Listed below are just a few Post ideas:
- If you are with an event (such as a webinar) you may set an event Post using a date and time and put in a link to the enrollment page.
- Can you have a sale going on through a particular
- Can your latest blog post stone? Add a brief description of your site post and link to this article on your site.
- New merchandise that you need to feature? Show a picture of this cool gadget and connect to where people may make the buy.
- Want to spread holiday joy? Give potential customers a vacation message Article.
The possibilities with Posts are endless! Posts remain “live” for seven days or “go dark” after the date of this occasion.
TIP: To catch a searcher's attention, you want to include a picture in your Article, however on Google Maps the Post image can get cut off. You might need to test a couple of Post image sizes to make sure it's sized appropriately for Maps and the Knowledge Panel on mobile and desktop devices.
To Begin with Posts, login to your GMB dash and you'll see the Posts option on the left-hand side:
Do Google My Business Posts help with search rankings? Joy Hawkins and Steady Demand tested whether Articles had a direct impact on positions, and they found that making Google My Business Posts can improve rankings.
Booking Button Feature
Google's new Booking button feature can really help your business stick out from the audience. If you have any type of company that relies on clients making appointments and you are using integrated scheduling software, people may now reserve an appointment with your business directly from your Google My Business listing. This can make it easier to get new customers!
Did you know you could enable potential customers to send you text messages?
If you don't need text messages sent to your private phone number, you can download Google's Allo app. When you install your Allo account, use the exact same telephone number connected to your Google My Business account. When someone messages you, then Allo will send you a notification rather than the message appearing on your personal text messages.
To Begin with multitasking, login to your GMB dashboard and click “Messaging”:
At the moment, messaging is only available to mobile web users and is not available to mobile app or desktop users. People also won't see the Messaging alternative from the Knowledge Panel or on Google Maps.
The ONLY way someone can message your company is if they perform a cell web research on Chrome. (I expect that Google will expand the Messaging feature once they work the kinks out.)
Q & A
Questions & Answers is a rather new feature to Google search. It's very cool! Much like it seems, Q&A allows people to ask questions regarding your business and you may answer these questions.
Here are a few things to Remember about Questions & Answers:
- The Q&A feature is not visible on the cellular GMB app.
- You want to login into the GMB dash to find out if you have any new questions that need answering.
- You can't monitor the Questions on a mobile device if you don't have an Android cellphone.
(To do so, download the Google Maps program, sign in using the email address that you use on your GMB listing, and you'll get push notifications if a person asks your business a query)
TIP: It is important to be aware that simply like “Suggest an Edit” on GMB, anyone can answer questions asked of your small business. Therefore, you want to keep an eye out and make sure that you answer questions fast and make sure that if somebody else answers a query, that the answer is true. If you realize that someone is abusing your GMB list's Q&A attribute, hit out into the Google My Business support forums.
Google My Business online testimonials
Unlike Yelp, that vehemently discourages company owners to ask their customers for testimonials, Google encourages business owners to ask their customers or customers for online reviews. Reviews can help your business stand out among a sea of search results.
Additionally, online reviews are known to impact search results positions, consumer confidence, and click-through prices. Based on BrightLocal's 2017 Consumer Overview Survey:
- 97 percent of customers read online testimonials for neighborhood companies in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online Daily
- 85 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Favorable reviews make 73 percent of customers trust a neighborhood business more
- 49 percent of consumers need at least a four-star evaluation before they choose to use a business
- 68 percent of customers left a local company review when requested — with 74% having been asked for their opinions
- 79 percent of consumers have read a fake review in the past year
If you follow Google’s guidelines for Google My Business reviews, you can ask your customers for reviews. (However, should you violate any of these policies, then your testimonials could be removed)
Not only does it show that client which you appreciate their feedback, in addition, it shows prospective clients that you care.
To begin with, don't freak out. Everyone has a bad day and most people realize that. Also, in case you have a troll that gave you a one-star review and left a nasty comment, many people with common sense recognize that review for exactly what it is. It is generally not worth stressing over.
To find out more about getting more online reviews, get in touch with us here: http://www.elevatedconversions.com/start/