Now that you know how to set your Google My Business page up lets jump into an in depth look at optimizing your listing and how it can help you dominate local SEO.
Local search is by no means a new concept, what is new is the way that consumers are performing these searches and how business owners can reach them.
Spending some time to optimize your Google My Business page can reap great rewards for your organisation and contributes to building a good SEO foundation for success.
Local on the go!
The fact is that 97% of consumers use internet when they’re researching products and services in their local area. They are using search engines to access local information at home, at work, during their commute and even in store across multiple devices. So making sure that your business comes up in these searches is a high priority. We know that consumers are moving towards predominantly using smartphones and tablets, so the fact that 86% of smartphone searches are for local business is great – unless you have neglected your local listing!
You’re so vain, I bet you think this URL is about you
Well, you’re right – but not until you claim your vanity name URL. It is really important that you update this with your company name so you are more easily found and your links are cleaner. Avoid the temptation to stuff this with keywords, it will not look professional and will hold very little SEO value.
How to: Go to your page head into the about section then scroll down, you will see a links box – Click links. Here you will see your existing page URL, once you click on the link it will ask you if you want to convert to a new custom URL. This is where you enter your new URL details.
A picture’s worth 1000 words (or clicks!)
Your cover photo and profile photo can be your customer’s first impression of your business (or their last), it’s really important that it accurately reflects what you want to portray.
You want your photos to be the correct size, speak to your clientele, and be the best brand ambassador it can be. Ask yourself, what message do you want to convey, who do you want to reach out to and what separates your brand from everyone else?
Use this opportunity as a way to get creative; animated gifs have made a popular comeback and they’re just one way to add something engaging to your page. Just remember animated gifs may not be for every business but they are pretty cool if it works for you.
Embrace your inner narcissist
This is your chance to tell the searching world about your business, do not make the mistake of utilizing a half competed profile. Take advantage of all the types of information you can include in your page, making it easier for your customers to find you. Just be sure to follow the Google My Business quality guidelines.
- Ensure your description, tag and about section is fully completed
- In your description hyperlink to important pages within your website
- Link to your website, email, YouTube and other social accounts
- Connect to Webmaster Tools & Google Analytics
You get what you give
No one likes a selfish friend. You can’t expect to build a following without following others and engaging with them. Seek to join relevant communities, not only limited to your industry but also those communities with local relevance.
By giving love to others with +1s and helpful or relevant comments, you can build your following audience into a real asset for your online presence by encouraging natural organic followers which are notoriously the most loyal and the most likely to convert into actual customers.
Where’d you go, I miss you so
Don’t fall into the trap of setting your page up then thinking you are done, this is when the real fun begins.
You must be sure to post updates regularly. What’s the magic number? Well that depends on many factors including your subject and customer base.
Three to five times a week seems to be the healthy balance for many businesses but if you really want to engage and increase your followers – consider posting twice a day if applicable.
You can always save posts to empty circles for your future reference, you are free to create one or more circles that you can share post as an easy way to bookmark them, some examples can be photos, drafts and tips. This will help you to have backup posts for when your imagination is lacking.
- Post relevant things – this is not a one way forum to sell yourself
- Engage with your audience, create a dialogue
- Be useful, provide your audience with facts, statistics and DIY tips
- Tag other people, pages and events in your posts
Review, Reviews and did we mention reviews?
Reviews are what make the Google+ world go round. You have got customers out there and you need to ask them to review – don’t be shy. Embrace this opportunity to let all the hard work you put into your business and customer service work for you again!
The unfortunate reality is that human beings have a better recall of negative memories compared to positive memories, this phenomenon is known as negativity bias. This means that the loudest ones are always going to be the unhappy ones, it is human nature to want to tell the world about a bad experience but not bother when it is good.
Take action and give your customers an incentive if they take the time to leave a review and remember to follow up and thank them. That last part is absolutely crucial.
Do not! I repeat DO NOT ever delete the bad reviews. Not only does it show that your company’s profile is genuine but it gives you an incredible opportunity to turn the situation around and show other customers you care and maybe even save that one.
Stay tuned for part 3 of this 4 part series where our experts will give you trouble shooting tips to help your listing shine and your business to dominate local search.