Google My Business
We have mentioned Google my Business a number of times, but some people have asked us what that is about? And why is it so important? So below we explain a bit about Google My Business and offer some tips, as a guide to using it well.
Google My Business explained
Google My Business is Google’s way of verifying your business and its physical address, to ensure that you do operate where you say that you operate. Also to help you manage your online presence across Google’s various tools, including Search and Maps and Reviews which are becoming more and more important. These entries also populate Maps and Knowledge Graph and Local Search. *Take your Google reviews very seriously and start building them up now by asking clients to give you a positive review and making it as easy as possible for them to do so. This is just like TripAdvisor for restaurants.
Think of it as a FREE website in Google for your business, where you can decide what it says and how it looks.
The chances are that there is already an entry which has some information on it, but possibly not what you want to see. Google planners or lead developers are working on the basis that if you get good independent reviews in your Google My Business entry, you must be good at what you do. But they do make people jump through a few hoops in order to register a review of any sort on your entry. It becomes self regulating, the Community ranking their own verified members. The logic is good enough, people have to show that they go through some inconvenient steps and want to go to the trouble of doing a review because it matters enough to them, positive or negative. It also stops spammers or manipulators of Google rankings using black hat techniques. What is not to like about this policy? For better or worse someone who wants to log a review has to have their own verified Google account, which identifies them. This is a great way to keep us all honest and help prevent abuse of the system. Check your Google My Business entry regularly and keep it up to date, answer any questions and respond to any reviews.
Setting up Google My Business
Firstly, do a search in Google for your business, to see if it is already listed. It will appear in the ‘Knowledge Graph’ on the right hand side of the results – see image above for us. By all means try a few variations of your trading name to double check if there is an entry. If it is appearing, then click on the ‘Claim this Business’ to take control of the entry and populate it with your correct information.
If it does not appear, register for your own Google My Business entry at https://www.google.com/business/ and ensure you pick the right Category for your business. Note: You must be logged in to your Google account to edit details.
By verifying and correcting your business details, you can both help customers and potential customers find you and also tell them about your business, the services you offer, where to find you and what existing customers think of your service.
Once you try to register HERE or at https://www.google.com/business/ or verify your business, Google will call you or send you a physical postcard with a verification number to use to confirm that you have received it at a physical address. Include your exact Eircode – find it HERE. Or you may be called at your landline number and an automated voice will call out a verification code to use. This will take a few days and maybe a few weeks. If you do not receive it, try again until you get it.
Google My Business Reviews
Then you can ask people to give you a good review and yes, you do risk getting bad reviews too. To be honest, you might be better to get a few poorer reviews too as all 5* would look to Google like you orchestrated them, by asking friends to give you a good review. Again, Google has an algorithm to avoid this scenario. You should indeed ask happy clients to do just that for you.
Tips for using Google My Business
1. Ensure that the listed telephone number on your Google My Business listing is the same as the one on your website or landing page. Ideally use a landline number that is attached to your address
2. Ensure that the NAP Name and address and postcode are the same on your listing and on your website
3. Add good images of your premises, 3 inside and 3 outside – you can even get a Google certified photographer to do it.
4. Optimise the photos by giving them good names that explain about your business products or services. Give all photos relevant names with keywords such as website designers for us or web design office
5. Add an accurate description of your business that will get people clicking,explain what you do and again use relevant keywords
6. Make sure the name of the business description is good, like website designers Donegal
7. Ensure that you are listed in the right Category, we are ‘website designers’
8. Encourage Reviews – this is critical. And ask people to mention relevant keywords about the service you delivered, such as SEO services or website design. Get as many well worded 5* reviews as you can on an ongoing basis. People will choose a business with more 5* reviews than others. This ‘Social Validation is powerful’.
9. Say Thank You – when someone gives you a review, always respond positively.
10. Ask and answer questions in Google My Business
11. Add the option for people to make an appointment through Google My Business if it suits you.
12. For the more technical or the developers among you, you can also add Mark Up schema to help Google understand what you offer.
Warnings and Updates from Google
Google indicated in July 2016 that businesses who do not log into their “Google My Business” account frequently can risk losing their verification and this would affect businesses adversely. Keep your entry up to date, but do not change it too often as each change affects your standing, even if just temporarily. Google likes to see stability, history and like everybody, hates or distrusts change. For more advice on GMB see Googles own information page HERE.
Note: Google+ has now become less important or more of a Brand page for you to connect with your followers, to publish news or share useful interesting content. Google announced that they have phased out Google+
You can help us now by reviewing us in GoogleMyBusiness THANK YOU.
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