If you're looking for the fastest and easiest ways to get in Google Local Business results without having to pay per click or hire a social media marketer, then this article could be worth it's weight in gold!
As you know, Google owns the Internet. That means that they own your success on the internet too! Right or wrong, if you don't play by Google's rules, you're going to find yourself buried at the bottom of the pile. Hoping. Wishing. Pleading for more traffic.
But, if you get it right, you'll be in the top results and the traffic will come to you on autopilot.
By the end of this article, you'll know:
- The fastest and easiest way to get a Google My Business Listing
- The top 3 things you can do to make your listing amazing
- What you need to do on your website to get Google love and great rankings
- How to fast-forward to great results even if you don't have 15-minutes to spare
Start With Google "My Business" As One Of The Easiest Ways To Get in Google Local Business Results
Google My Business: An Overview
Google Search, Google Maps, Google+ and one unified interface to bind them all. The launch of Google My Business, appears as a seamless solution to the chronic problem of managing your Google presence across various platforms.
The tech giant says it will help small businesses connect with their customers by assembling all their business information from Search, Maps and Google+, and managing them right at one place. To keep it short and simple, the new tool lets your customers find you across Google.
The 5 Basic Elements You'll Need To Complete For Your Google My Business Listing
Businesses can post content, track analytics, revert back to customers and launch Google Hangouts all at one dashboard. Let’s have a look at the different sections of the My Business Dashboard separately:
Business Info Editor: The Business Info Editor contains instructions on 100% completion of your profile. You can update your business information for search, maps and Google+ directly from here. The “View Your Business on Google” option allows you to see how your listing looks across different platforms on Google. Apart from this, you get options for deleting listings, reporting problems and Get Help right at the bottom of the page.
Insights: The Insights section gives information on- Visibility, Engagement and Audience. You can see the engagement on your posts depending on the content type like, text, links, photos and videos. Information on audience is again broken down into categories like gender, country etc. Some of the data is available only if you have more than 200 followers.
Reviews: This section shows you the reviews of your business on Google and around the web. You can respond back to these reviews right in the dashboard. Analytics for these reviews are also available in the Reviews section.
YouTube: Get the engagement information on your videos in the dashboard. You can also go directly to your channel from the dashboard.
Getting Started: Google says 99% of the Google Places / +Local users have already been shifted to Google My Business. Google took a significant feat of rolling out the new tool globally on the same day to 235 regions with 65 different languages.
How Google My Business Works for the Small Businesses?
1. Stay Updated: Businesses can update their information like address, contact numbers, opening hours and more on Search, Maps and Google+ at one place, so that customers can easily connect with them.
2. Tell Customers How Your Business is Unique: You can add beautiful photos and virtual tours of your business to show customers how your business is unique.
Connect With Customers: Share news, events and other updates from your Google+ page to better connect with your customers. It has become easier to make social updates from within the dashboard.
Respond to Reviews: Read and respond to reviews and stay on top of reviews from across the web. Google My Business gives a streamlined monitoring of reviews from Google and around the web + review analytics.
3. Know How People Interact With Your Business: Use custom insights and integration with AdWords Express to understand how people interact with your business. The Insights are available with more demographic information and data on views and clicks. You can get improved user insights for your business, including visibility, engagement, and audience insights.
4. Mobile Optimized: Manage all your business information on-the-go with the android app for the new tool. Google will soon be launching an app for iOS devices as well.
How to Manage Your Google My Business Page:
- In order to make the most use of Google My Business and to connect with your existing and prospective customers, it is necessary to have a powerful social content strategy. Use the Reviews tool to monitor your business reviews and track the ratings for your business over time. This is also where you can respond to reviews as the owner of the business.
- Monitor your Insights and use this to improve the visibility and engagement of your brand. Insights tell you how customers find your business and how they interact with your content by showing you data on different types of views and clicks, driving direction requests and website visits.
- Make the most use of all creative tools and features offered by Google My Business. You can host Hangouts to chat live with your customers, or create photo albums centered on your products, services, customers and staff.
What Google Has Changed and What Haven't They Changed?
Google My Business is now the default dashboard for the users of Places for Business and Google+. This means if you log in to Google Places for Business, you will be directed to Google My Business. However, not much has changed:
Google My Business is just a business listing management dashboard update. No changes have been made to the front end of Google+ Local and Google Maps.
The update has nothing to do with any algorithmic changes. So, it will not change how you do local SEO.
This will bring no changes to the Google Places Quality Guidelines as well.
There will be no changes to bulk uploads. For businesses which have more than 10 business locations and use Google Places Bulk Upload to manage listings, you will find this has been automatically upgraded, when you log in the next time.
Apart from this, what has not changed is the management and ownership of listings, speed of updates and the verification process. However, Google says you should stay tuned in for more updates like faster updates, social features and visibility of live data.
What's Important About The Process and Google My Business?
Enter Complete Data
Your target customers want the most relevant results for each search. This means that your business needs a complete and accurate listing to be sure Google matches you up correctly. And, the more times this happens, the more confident Google is to keep showing your business to visitors. So, get this right and you'll start seeing a flood of highly-relevant shoppers at your door. If you want to know how to do this step-by-step, check out Google's tutorial.
Verify Your Location
You already know that a strong bottom line is built on location, location, location! But, did you realize that Google actually sends stuff in the mail to verify that your address is right?! That's right, the king of the digital world sends snail mail too! And, getting verified is one of the easiest ways to get in Google Local Business results.
Keep Your Hours Accurate
Nobody likes to show up ready to shop to only realize that the doors are locked. And, if users are complaining to Google, then you're local business listing is going to go to the bottom of the pile. So, you'll want to enter and update your opening hours, including special hours for holidays and special events.
Manage And Respond To Reviews
Google realizes that real people run real businesses and that real people use those businesses. And, Google is in the "business" of matching up eager customers with reputable businesses. This means that you'll want to manage and respond to all reviews. And, while you're at it, show the same courtesy that you express to patrons in the store to those online. After all, everyone's going to be reading reviews to figure out if they want to buy from you!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then pictures of your store, the products you sell, the services you provide and the experiences your customer have is worth a thousand libraries! When you give your customers pictures of what to expect, it gives them confidence to know that they can find what they are looking for when they get there.
How Do I Make My Google My Business Listing Even Better?
This is what Google is looking for...
Relevance - All that stuff in the section above really means relevance. Relevance is just Google's fancy term that says that they want to deliver meaningful search results to your customers. And, just like you, your customers want to find what they're looking for fast. So, as you develop your Google My Business listing, you'll want to make it as specific and relevant as possible so that you get the best customers for your product or service.
Distance - Everyone's on mobile these days! And, our computers are smart enough to be able to tell Google what neighborhood we're in - even if we're using a desktop computer. So, the closest listings to your customer's location when they're searching is really important. That's one of the reasons a verified location is so important. So, be specific and get to know your neighbors!
Prominence - let's put this in layman's terms. This key trait is all about your reputation! So, if you've got an online presence, some social media, and you're connected with other websites around the world, you're going to be prominent. Even better? If you're well connected and you've got a great reputation, you're a Google superstar! So, get started today and keep up with all the great customer service you provide. The more you're involved, the better your listing!