Google My Business
Recently we have mentioned Google my Business a few times, but some people have asked us what that is about and why is it so important.
Google My Business explained
Google My Business is Googles way of verifying your business and its address, to help you manage your online presence across Googles 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 reviews very seriously and start building them up now by asking clients to give you a review and making it as easy as possible for them to do so. This is just like TripAdvisor for restaurants. 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 planners are working on the basis that if you get good reviews you must be good, but they do make people jump through a few hoops in order to register a review. 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.
Setting up Google My Business
Register for GMB here or at https://www.google.com/business/ and ensure you pick the right Category for your business.
By verifying and correcting your business details, you can both help customers find you and also tell them about your business.
Register your business at Google my Business HERE or by searching for your name when you are logged in to your Google account, which is a basic requirement. If you are not logged in or have no Google account yet, search your business name and see what comes up in the Knowledge Graph on the right – see image above for us.
Once you try to register HERE or at https://www.google.com/business/ or verify your business, Google will 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 can have them call your landline number and an automated voice will call out a verification code to use.
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.
1. Ensure that the listed telephone number on your Google My Business listing is the same as the one on your landing page.
2. Ensure that the Name and address and postcode are the same on your listing and 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. Add an accurate description that will get people clicking
5. Ensure that you are listed in the right Category
6. Encourage Reviews – this is critical
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.