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Google My Business – The Ultimate Guide

by | Oct 8, 2020 | Blog, Digital Marketing, Local SEO, SEO | 0 comments

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Google My Business is one of the most common ways that customers will look for businesses or services close to them, and often they will pick one of the businesses that appear in the top ‘Maps Pack’ to visit or buy from.

The trick, then, is being found in those results that customers will see first. The best way to do this is to ensure you have a fully fleshed out Google My Business listing and make sure it does some work for you with a comprehensive Local SEO strategy. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to Google My Business to help you start seeing success online.

  • Set Up Your Google My Business

This may seem like a step that can be left unsaid, but there’s more to setting up your Google Business Listing than simply creating the listing (though this is, of course, very important). Once the listing is created, you have to make sure to verify it, or Google won’t show it to anyone. This is the part of the process that can take the longest – if you have to verify via postcard, it can take up to six weeks to be delivered to you through the mail. You just have to stick it out!

 

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That said, while you’re waiting for your listing to be verified. At this point, you should not change any of the crucial information such as the business name, phone number or address, otherwise the details won’t match when you verify and you’ll have to start again. What you can do is start to add information to the info tab like your business hours, website, and business description, add services and products in their respective tabs (and we recommend filling out both, because Google will show different things depending what a customer has typed in). You should also add some photos as well to show your team, your business premises, and your products or services. 
  • Manage Your Google Business Listing

Once your business listing is set up, you can delve deeper into managing it. This includes things like adding additional hours, such as holiday hours (closed on Christmas Eve, that sort of thing). Part of your management strategy should also be a posting. Adding content to the listing regularly will show Google that you’re an active business, but also allows you opportunities to post about your business. For example, the more you post about ‘blocked drains Gold Coast’, the more likely your listing will be shown for this search term. 

You can also download the Google My Business app for your phone (both iOS and Android) to enable extra features such as adding photos in real time (which is great for geo-tagging and telling Google what areas you work in) and enabling the messaging system.

  • Getting And Managing Reviews

Another important aspect of your Google Business Listing is your reviews strategy. Your reviews strategy should be to get reviews on the listing, and reply to them in a timely manner. Reviews serve some of the same purpose as posts do, but also add a sense of authority to your business – if several people have left reviews, other customers are more likely to trust that your business will do a good job or offer a great product.

To get reviews, we generally recommend using a site like pleper.com to generate a shortlink that will take customers directly to the reviews box. You can then add that shortlink into your email signature, invoices, follow up communications, automated text messages – whatever you like. Customers need to have a Google account to be able to leave a Google review, but the more you send it out and the more people see it, means the more likely you’ll start getting reviews.

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  • Ranking On Google Maps

Google Maps uses a slightly different ranking system to simply ranking locally in the Google results. Where the search results rely a little more on the content of your posts and how much you use your service keywords, ranking in maps is done more with location signals. This means things like geo-tagging images and including relevant service areas in the info tab of your listing. The more that you can show Google that you spend real time in these locations, the more likely you are to be shown on a Maps search.

  • What Else Can You Do To Boost Your Google Business Listing To Work For You?

After you’ve set up your Google Business Listing and have your strategies in place, there are still a few other things you can do to help boost your presence online. The first one would be to download the Google My Business app on your phone. This allows you to make posts and upload pictures from wherever you are. This has an added bonus of geo-tagging your images, which reinforces to Google that you definitely operate in the areas that you say you do. To put it another way, if your service areas include Burleigh, and you upload a picture of a job you’ve done with the caption ‘Fixed this blocked drain today in Burleigh’ and the geodata of that picture has coordinates in Burleigh, this proves to Google for sure that you work in that area. This makes Google more likely to recommend you to someone searching in that area over a listing that simply lists Burleigh as a service area.

With the Google Business App, you can also turn on the messaging feature, which customers can use to send you messages through the listing and ask questions about your business, locations, service areas, and more. This allows customers to get in touch with you and your business, and get answers in real time.

The importance of a Google Business Listing really can’t be overstated. It’s often one of the first ways that customers will interact with your business. Some customers won’t even go any further, taking the information listed on your listing at face value. Keeping this up to date will maintain the integrity of your listing and help it to rank better in the local listings to be shown in the Google search results.

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At Digital Surfer, we offer both done-for-you Local SEO Services Gold Coast, or you can take advantage of our Accelerate Local Leads DIY course to help you fix any errors that might be present on your listing and website and help get you found online. For more information or a chat about what best suits you and your business, contact us today.

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