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Do You Need a Google My Business Page?
One question that I am often asked by many business owners is “Do I need to bother setting up a Google My Business page?” I’ve always felt this is somewhat of a no-brainer since it is completely free and it ties in both with Google search results and Google maps.
With 90% of the worldwide search traffic going through Google, without a Google my business page, you’re missing out big time!
As I explained in an earlier article about keyword phrase selection, your website needs to cater to different stages of your customer’s focus and where they are with their buying decisions. If your potential customers are searching on Google for a local business, then they are likely to be looking to buy!
With a good listing and ranking you’re in prime position!
Google simply requires a business name, location and category to set up a Google profile for business and then this can be accessed to ask/answer questions, leave reviews and add photographs. However, many business owners do not realise that creating a Google profile for business (Google business listing) is only the starting point in gaining more visibility on Google.
Creating Your Google My Business Page
You need to create a free Google My Business page to be able to manage your business Google profile for business which you can do by going here.
Creating a Google My Business page enables you to access, manage, customise and enhance your Google profile for business totally for free. So one way to think of your Google My Business page is as a tool through which you can enhance your Google Business Profile. This allows you to make it more effective thus increasing its visibility.
This is particularly important if you want to rank well for local searches.
A Google My Business page enables you to include other information not possible through your Google profile for business including:-
To create a Google My Business page that will stand out and bring you enquiries and sales, make sure you:-
How to Get Good Results From Your Google My Business Page
Here are some tips which will help you to make the most of your Google My Business page.
1. Business Name
Make sure your business name is consistent with what people see on your business cards and shopfront etc. Do not insert keywords with the aim of enhancing your ranking.
This goes against Google’s guidelines and is considered as spam. Don’t risk getting banned from Google.
2) Business Category
The business category selected is extremely important. This isn’t always straightforward with many to choose from and it’s easy to make an error.
For example ‘Air conditioning repair service’ and ‘Air conditioning system supplier’ are both quite distinct. However something like ‘closet installations’ does not appear so what do you choose?
One way is to do a search for the category in Google and see what those ranking well have chosen. Or alternatively take a look at the categories your competitors have chosen to help guide you.
You can also add a secondary category so for example a dentist could include ‘teeth whitening service’.
3) Address and Areas Serviced
Be extremely careful when entering your address to ensure that it is consistent across the internet. ReachLocal talk about the importance of consistent citations in this article.
I suggest adding any additional information such as a suite number on a new line. You can do this by clicking on Add Line.
If you are a mobile type service business such as a plumber or food delivery business servicing customers in their homes, then instead of including an address, specify the area(s) you service.
You can include up to 20 options such as cities, suburbs, states/territories and even countries.
4) Add Keyword Rich Products/Services
When adding products or services to your listing, ensure the categories are keyword rich. Make them close to what people might be typing into Google for their search.
So for example I might include services for ‘Carlton Closet Installation’ and ‘Carlton Closet Design’. For each one you add a Service Description that also includes the same keyphrase within it and gives benefits/reasons why your customer would want to hire you.
e.g. We’re the top Carlton closet installation specialists, with more than 30 years in the industry. We’re proud to offer transparent pricing, customised design services and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Ensure that each Service Description is unique and do not copy and paste them.
5) Make Your Description Count
Add a detailed description which helps your visitors find out what your business is all about. Think of this as your Google My Business page equivalent of an About Us page.
You are limited to 750 characters and cannot include hyperlinks. Try and incorporate multiple keyword phrases but without it coming across as spam or keyword stuffed. Something like the following would work well and is within the character limit.
‘Welcome to Carlton Sparkling Closet Limited, Melbourne’s choice for gorgeously designed, customer closets. Whether you need design, installation, or just organisation services, we serve the entire Melbourne metropolitan area and beyond.’
6) Include Relevant, High Quality Photographs
Include as many relevant, high quality photos as possible and avoid the use of stock imagery under any circumstances. This could get your listing penalised or banned in a worst case scenario.
For bricks and mortar businesses, a 360 degree tour can be highly effective, providing your target customers the opportunity to view your premises etc. so they know whether it is right for them.
Don’t treat your photographs as a dump and forget opportunity. Ensure you refresh them regularly. Google shows photos in their mobile results and one of your photos may result in direct customer clickthroughs from your Google My Business page.
7) Encourage and Respond to Customer Reviews
According to the Brightlocal, ‘Local Consumer Review Survey’, 82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 52% of people aged 18-34).
The easiest way to get more reviews is to ask your customers! The easiest way to do this is via email. Ask for feedback in the form of a review. You can easily invite them via a link from your Google My Business page to review you.
It is important to respond to all reviews received whether they are positive or negative. According to ReviewTrackers, 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews.
8) Regularly Add Posts to Your Google My Business Page
These will help your post stand out from other listings and are particularly prominent on mobile searches. Including videos and photos will help them stand out even further.
9) Activate the Free Messaging Option
You can also make it incredibly simple for visitors to make enquiries directly from your Google My Business page. Some of your visitors will prefer this to visiting your website or needing to send an email and wait for a response.
You will need to ensure you respond as quickly as possible (Google warns that a response time longer than 24 hours may result in the feature being deactivated). To use this feature requires an Android or Apple app to be installed on your mobile device.
10) Build a Following
The concept of followers is not unique to social media. Your Google My Business page also includes this feature and you can include a special offer such as a discount to encourage new followers.
I hope I’ve wet your appetite and this article has motivated you to get started with your Google My Business page. Do you currently have a Google business profile or Google My Business page and have you seen good results from it? Please let me know in the comments.
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