You can be seen on Google if you optimize your Google My Business Free Listing.
Today, for most of us, Google has become a conditioned reflex. The moment you want to know something, that’s where most of us turn, especially if the search involves a local business competing in the local market.
Knowing that, as a local business, you need to ask yourself the obvious question. Why are you on Google in the first place? The answer of course is, to get noticed. The trick then is how to get on that first page of the Google listing. That’s why we are about to share a few tips with you so you can get the most out of your Google listing efforts without losing your mind. It is as simple as getting your Google My Business Free listing.
Sign Up for Your Google My Business Free Listing
Okay, first things first. So if you haven’t already, go to Google Business and sign yourself up. Once you do, the chances of showing up in one of Google’s Local Packs, Local Finder and Google Maps increases tremendously. But besides this benefit, signing up can make your organic rankings go up exponentially. Don’t forget to list info about your business, hours, address, phone numbers and payment options. Google allows you to list all of this information for free. Believe it, this is an amazingly simple and cost-free marketing method that works. People are looking for something and that something is what you’re offering. All you have to do is tell Google you offer the service in your location.
Check It Frequently
Once you get it, don’t forget it.
Work it, work it, work it and it will work for you. You need to constantly monitor your listing to be sure everything is as you wish it to be. Check to make sure nothing shows up that can negatively affect you, your business and your listing. So stay on top of your listing and monitor its results. Google allows you the option to constantly review, monitor, re-edit and respond to your listing. So do it!
Fill Out Everything
Give Google everything you will need to succeed. Carefully fill out your “Google My Business” profile. Basic data makes it easier for searchers to find you. The good news here is that most businesses give up at this step and don’t fill out the profile correctly. More importantly, did you know that an incomplete listing from you can be completed by someone else? A big No No. You don’t want anyone else filling out your business data and GETTING IT WRONG.
You may not know this but ANYONE, a competitor, an angry customer or just some prankster with too much time on their hands can suggest an edit, or change to your listing. No. No. No. No. No!!!!!! You can see the “suggest an edit” button and how easy it is to do. Posts have long shelf-lives. Don’t let that happen to you. And even worse, if you’re not watching carefully it can appear without your even knowing that it did.
How to Keep Up
Happily, that is easy to do. Log in Google My Business and pull up the “classics,” dashboard.
Click on ‘Google Updates,” to see if you have one. If you have one, that means changes have been made because of the Google algorithm. The changes can be, new hours, new address, etc. but if you didn’t make the update yourself, you probably don’t want it.
A click on “Google Updates” can take you to “Review Updates.” That is where you can make any changes you need to and remove the incorrect or negative info. Google does alert you via email but don’t depend on them. It’s your business, not theirs. Remember there’s a big difference between selling “Killer Soup, and soup that can kill you.
If Attacked, Counter-attack
Use your listing to respond with what happened and what the truth is. Done right, negatives can become positives and you can also post in GMB forums. You can also ask Google Top Contributors to weigh in,
Further down on your listing you will see “Know this place?” with questions and answers. This section can cause havoc with a competitor that wants to throw a bomb. Google says all user-generated comments help. Our take is, depending on what they say. So stay on top to stay on top.
Are You Optimizing?
This is your chance to shine and climb in rankings. Google posts show up in your listing so treat them like small ads.
Log into your Dashboard and locate Post options of the left side of your listing
This is a good place to add images and link announcements, sales, events. If you use Yext, posts can be placed directly there. Good uses include:
- You’re having a sale.
- An event
- A new product
- New menu
- Holiday greeting
- Any new news.
Also and this is very important, be sure to scale your listing for mobile devices. That’s where all the action is today.
Get your Emoji, Mojo On.
Emojis are fun, attention-grabbing, and believe it or not, many people search via emoji. A sizzling slice of pizza may be more motivational than any word. Your device has a selection of Emoji’s that are easy to access and post. When the Emoji and near me button is clicked not only you but your competition comes up, so serve up a winning listing to get selected. It’s a great way to test, evaluate and change when necessary. Also note that event posts expire when the event is over and old news is worse than no news, so stay on it. New news ups your ranking, so keep it coming.
The Booking Button
This can be your best friend. Make it easy to make an appointment without them leaving your listing. Make it easy and they’ll make an appointment.
Get Your Message Out
You can be texted directly by customers via the GMB dashboard when messaging is hit. You can even set up a pre-programmed response. To keep business separate from your personal life, download the Allo app. One note: Only available to mobile device users not desktops.
Questions about Q&A
With this feature, questions can be asked directly to you. Applications are available for both Androids and iPhones. But note that only 25% of questions get answered, try to get as close to 100% as you can. Most important remember if you don’t answer the questions someone else might.
Online Reviews. Remember
- 97% read online reviews
- 85% trust them
- 73% say reviews build trust
- 49% use top reviews to select
- 30% say it is key in their decision process
- 68% share local reviews
- 79% have seen fake reviews
Making It Work for You
Google constantly improves things. Current or former employees cannot post reviews and no compensation for reviews is allowed.
An Image Is Worth 1,000 Words
Amazingly 85% of all FB videos are viewed, sound off. That is the power of pictures. Got a smartphone? Then become Steven Spielberg and make a video. Make your business human by showing humans enjoying what you offer. There is even a tool called local Pics that tells your customers to change images, that have gotten old. You’ll find it on your GMB dashboard under “add video.” You can upload or drag a video. They appear usually in minutes but can take up to 24 hours. Follow these rules:
- 30 seconds long
- File up to 100 MB’s
- 720p or higher resolution
You can now add a business description of up to 750 characters but front load it because only the first 250 characters show up. On your mobile it will be in the About Tab, on a desktop in the Knowledge panel.
At Your Service
If your business is a service, you can list them here. Once again, login and click on info then scroll down to services and add, change or edit. You can also list prices here.
There Are even More Features for The Tech Savvy
If you are, experiment away, but if you’re a mere mortal and need help, you can also get the benefits of the Google my Business Free Listing by seeking out services like Sure Fire Web Services. This way you can improve your business and ranking without losing your mind.