Google My Business - Why you need to be there
In case you missed it, the online business world is now all about Google My Business (GMB). If you haven’t got your business profile page sorted by now then you could be missing out on business so just do it!
GMB is a free social media platform which replaced the old Google+ profile page in 2016. However, its value and popularity has only really been growing with NZ businesses over the past 2yrs. The vast majority of businesses here are still unaware of this awesome tool and opportunity for their business.
What Is It?
Your GMB profile page is the one that appears as a listing on maps when people search for your business or businesses like yours using a keyword search eg. “Chartered Accountants Near Me”.
It is also the first page that appears at the top of the listing and as a full profile page to the left of the search listing when people search specifically for your business name eg. Click here for Lit Marketing.
You probably already have a GMB profile page if you ever created a Google account, YouTube account or Google+ page for you business once-upon-a-time, years ago. Many people are surprised to discover that they already have a GMB page but it’s simply because Google transferred the entire platform and all content on it when they upgraded to GMB. See below for how to create one.
Your GMB page provides quick links to your website, phone, address as well as directions to your business (these 2nd two can be hidden if you don’t want to share your physical address – as detailed in the “How To” section below). It also allows you to create and upload a huge amount of content which helps boost your rankings (that’s for Search Engine Optimisation!) by ensuring you use YOUR keyword rich content for:
- Business Description
- Business Services
- Posts – this is the most important SEO tool and social media activity available!
You can also request reviews to help improve your ranking, upload photos, videos, messaging and more!
Like any social media platform, it is being improved and upgraded constantly so the best way you can maximise your presence is just to use it regularly. Most recently GMB launched a mobile app which means you can create posts and manage your page easily from any mobile device now too which is brilliant for sharing & posting photos or videos – FYI video ALWAYS beats photos in the SEO world!
How Do I Use It?
If you haven’t got a page or are unsure if you have one then simply search for “Google My Business” or just follow this link and sign in or ‘Start Now’ to create your page - https://www.google.com/intl/en_nz/business/
If your page hasn’t been used in years or is new then you may be asked to Verify your account in which case you will need to request a Verification Code by SNAIL MAIL! Yes, that is right, by post. It’s tedious and you may have to request it a couple of times (even if you don’t want to share your physical address!) but it’s worth the effort.
Create & upload as much of the content areas as you can as detailed below then make sure you edit any of these areas from time-to-time as well as posting… more on that shortly.
- INFO - Once your account is Verified then you can start using it (don’t use it until it’s verified tho!) so click on the ‘Info’ tab and complete as much info as you can here – be detailed and use lots of your search keywords where possible in the Description box.
- PHOTOS - Next click on the Photos tab to add your logo, a cover photo (your hero banner or team photo or business photo), photos of your team, videos and just as much image content as you can find. NB. Make sure your photos & videos are all labelled with your business name & location before you name them to help with SEO as well.
- PRODUCTS - If relevant to your business then this is where you add photos and content about the products you sell. If you’ve got too many to list individually then simply upload them as general categories.
- SERVICES - If relevant to your business then definitely use this section as well (again for SEO!).Add your service categories, descriptions and pricing if you want but this is optional.
Google My Business Posts
Now you’ve got your page all sorted and rich with lots of great keywords in your content and image names, it’s time to get onto setting up a programme to post regularly to your page.
At minimum you need to post every week because posts disappear from view at the customer end after 7 days – Google’s way to ensure you stay active and engaged on their platform which they have created to help beat rankings of other social media platforms. And so the Google games commence!
So if you want your business to show at the top of the map listings then use your GMB page and post regularly to improve your ranking. Yes, Google Adwords CAN help and will be shown first but, if you’re like me, then that doesn’t make any difference because I use Adblocka apps so Adwords don’t actually show when I’m searching online.
- Video ALWAYS beats photos! So try to take videos rather than photos for sharing on your social pages.
- Try to use keywords in your post content to help improve your ranking on those words & terms.
- ALWAYS include a link back to your website to help with SEO and driving traffic to your website – this is a sales funnel after all!
- Make sure you post at least 1x/wk – more is better so book it in your calendar as a task and just do it!
Google My Business Reviews
Once you are active with your GMB page you will be offered a link to “Get Your First Review”. This is another fantastic and FREE! way to beat your competitors and improve your visibility online.
Copy the link and share it on your:
- Website – Hyperlink it to the G icon with an invitation to Review Us here.
- Email Footer – List it with a hyperlink in your contact details.
- eNews – Add it as a content link.
- Other Social Pages – Share it as a post from itme-to-time.
You will be notified of any new Reviews you receive (unless you turn off Notifications under the Settings tab of your GMB page) so make sure you do acknowledge these to help encourage more reviews too!