How Google My business fits into the other Google properties
We know we should optimise our Google My Business page to help with Google rankings but how does it fit with the other Google products? Google created Google My Business to streamline all of its previous local marketing products i.e. Google Local and Google Places (your account will also be linked to your YouTube account too). It means that you know have one dashboard to manage your Google information which then feeds into:
- * Google Plus
- * Google Maps
- * Google Search
Here is a great video from Google giving a simple but full over view of the product https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9wQpkxA8ds
Google My Business optimisation guide
You probably already have a listing in Google but probably don’t get as much out of it as you should, this guide will give you 10 tips for optimizing your Google My Business Account.
1) Confirm your address is correct and consistent.
As boring as this sounds, this is probably the most critical part of getting the most out of GMB, consistency is the key, it even comes down to making sure every letter is the same, so if you use abbreviations like St. this has got to be the same across all Google products and all other mentions of your company i.e. website and other directories.
2) Make sure you’ve got the right category listed for your business.
Pick the best category for your business, again this sounds simple but isn’t always as straight forward. Review all the categories before making your selection
3) Add your business hours.
Opening times remain pretty static most of the time but sometimes they may be changed and updating your business listings is often over looked.
Add at least 3-5 photographs. You may think being a service company you don’t have much to add but consider adding:
- * A photograph of yourself or staff
- * Got an office dog? Include him
- * Photos of the interior, meeting rooms or reception area
- * photos of customers being helped
- * Photos of any awards you have received.
Photos make a huge difference they are indexed too so make sure all the meta data is set up correctly. Google My Business will also give you stats on how often your images are viewed compared to other similar companies. See our blog post on visual content for more ideas.
5) Add a virtual tour of your business.
As you know in Google maps, there is a feature called “street view”, which lets you see a location or street through a 360-degree photograph. A business view or virtual tour is just the same but inside your premises. At present to add a business view you need to hire a Google-approved photographer and having them come to your business and take some photos. It isn’t that expensive and can be really fun. Just be sure you have a tidy up before the photographer comes.
6) Write a complete “Introduction”.
This is where you describe your business. You can include links in your Introduction and make sure you use a few carefully chosen keywords too.
Write as if you are writing copy for your website. Use sub-headers and bullet points wherever possible. Keep paragraphs short and the language simple.
7) Include the types of payment you accept.
This may not seem important but being thorough and completing as much information as possible is also key to GMB.
8) Ask for reviews.
Unlike Yelp, where you can be penalized for asking for reviews, Google lets you ask customers for reviews. Why not add a line into any final correspondence with a customer asking for review as a matter of course. Reviews help you with the search engines because they can improve your rankings. Also new prospective clients will read them when they are checking you out. The more reviews you have and the more positive they are, the more people will feel comfortable doing business with you.
9) Respond to the reviews you already have.
Say thank you for the nice reviews. But pay particular attention to the negative ones. Negative reviews can if handled properly, actually have positive business effects. They’re a chance to improve your business and show that you care
10) Post to your Google+ page.
Your Google My Business page is connected to your Google+ page. Because of that, it’s a good idea to post to it at least once a week. If you are already actively posting to other social media channels such as twitter, investing in a management platform like Hootsuite, so you can post to more channels without increasing effort.
While Google + probably won’t deliver the results that Facebook or LinkedIn will, having a presence there sends another positive signal to Google. It might give your website a boost in rankings.