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Claiming and Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile

 

I want to talk to you today about Google My Business. It is a crucial online, digital tool service from Google that is available to local businesses, true brick and mortar businesses, or service area businesses. You have to have a business in a location to claim a profile for that location, but when you do, it does unlock some powerful tools.

This is something that is available for free to any business like those I mentioned above. If you do work out of your home and you don’t want to put your address in there, you can actually claim a service area of where you go out and serve your clients, but it does have to be in your community. You can’t be in Chicago and say, “Well, I’ve got customers in Dallas. I’d like to actually claim that.” You have to have it in the city where you have your actual business.

I want to talk a little bit to those of you that have not claimed your profile, have not created it, or haven’t implemented this idea at all. So, what I want you to do is type into Google the name of your business, not your website, just the name of your business and maybe the city where your business is located. Generally speaking, there is a really good chance that you actually have a Google My Business profile that has been created in your business’s name because Google is constantly looking for information, addresses, phone numbers, things out there to present information when people are searching. So, don’t be surprised if you find one.

Now, also, don’t be surprised if you had nothing to do with setting it up or you set it up five years ago in one of the various ways that Google allowed us to do these things called Google Places and Google Plus. Google Local, I think, was actually the original version. So, don’t be surprised if it’s out there. But under Google My Business, you really now want to make sure that you claim that thing and enhance it. I’m going to talk a little bit about how to do that and the first step really is to then verify that it is your listing. Now, if you’ve got that listing and you are familiar with this process, stay tuned because I’m going to talk about how to enhance it in ways that I don’t necessarily see everybody doing. But let’s go back to how you do this process.

Claim your business

Frankly, if you just want to start from the very beginning, business.google.com is where you’ll go to find a Google My Business profile or to set up a Google My Business profile, but once you find it, if you’ve already claimed it, you should be able to log into business.google.com and do all the editing we’re going to talk about. But if you find that it’s not been verified, you’re going to have to go through a couple of steps and sometimes these are easier than others.

The first step is if you find your profile and it says, “Is this your business,” that’s a really good sign that it has not been claimed. Click on yes, this is my business, and you will have a number of processes you might have to go through. They may have to mail you a postcard. You may be able to do it with an email or with a text. It depends on the state of your profile and how sure Google is about the information in that. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly which one will be the one for you.

Remove duplicates

Now, here’s another issue that we come across all the time. Don’t be surprised if you actually find duplicate listings. This again, I think, goes back to the days when this data was coming from Google Places and from Google Local and then Google Plus and sometimes, people just set up three or four Google Plus accounts because somebody left the organization and they decided they needed one and so they set another one up. So, don’t be surprised if you find duplicate listings and a lot of times, it might be a variation of the name or a different phone number or maybe you moved your business and so it has a different address.

So, what you want to do is you want to find the one that is incorrect or that is certainly not right (maybe it doesn’t have the full information and so it’s the one you want to get rid of). So, what you want to do is you will typically find a tab that says “suggest and edit.” You want to click on that and you want to mark that location as permanently closed. I’m finding that Google wants to clean up that information and so if they can verify that that is accurate, they will close it within a week.

If it was set up by somebody who no longer works for you or you don’t even really know who set it up, it’s going to take a little longer because they’re going to actually try to reach out to the email address that they have on file for that and if they don’t get a response, they will go ahead and make that change. So, cleaning up that duplicate may be your first step. So, claim or create, verify that it’s your listing, and then see if you can clean up duplicates. Unfortunately, that’s the first step.

Add your name, address, and phone number

Google My Business Listing

Now, let’s go through the profile itself. The most important information is the name of your business, address, and phone number. Don’t get cute with this. I mean, in some cases, people will try to put keywords at the end of their name and all kinds of goofy things that somebody told them to get so they’d benefit from it. Don’t do it. Make the business the name of your business as you want your customers to see it, the address, make it consistent with what you have on your website, and the phone number, make it consistent with what you have on your website as well. Make sure that those things are accurate. This might be a good time to look at your website as well. Have you got that wrong on your website? Don’t laugh. I find it all the time. So, let’s make sure that those are right and the same as your website.

Choose the right category

The next really important element is something they call “category” and particularly, if you have not claimed your Google My Business profile, Google will take a guess at what they think it is based on your name, based on a description, based on things they find out there on the web. Don’t take their advice necessarily. They may or may not have that right. Your primary category should be the primary category that you want to rank for when somebody goes out there searching. So, if you are, for example, a remodeling contractor, then you don’t want your primary one to be “construction company” and there’s a really good chance it is. So, they actually have categories for “remodeling contractor.” I think they even have a category for kitchen remodeling. So, you want to make sure that you get as specific as possible with that primary category.

The good news is you will also get to choose some secondary categories and so I definitely recommend that you do that as well and again, don’t get cute here. Make sure they really are categories related to your business.

Adding images

Some of the other information like hours and things are pretty straightforward. There is an opportunity for you to upload images and this is something that Google tracks in their insights and so I do think it’s a ranking factor. Also, particularly on a mobile device, it’s a good trust building and content element. So, upload 8 or 10 photos of your products, of your business, of your people. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but make sure that you have some pretty good representative images that you upload. So, that’s the setting up of the profile and again, after you claim it and after you do some things to enhance it, there’s really not a whole lot more to that.

Understand Google My Business attributes

Another thing that they just added is that you can actually, if you’re logged into your Google account, and you do a search for your business, they have now started showing an editable version of your Google My Business profile. Nobody else can see that, but you’ll be able to see it and what’s really nice about that is that you can actually respond to reviews right in there. You can make changes. You can see what statistical data they’re now sharing, and I’m going to talk a little more about that, but that’s another way to actually access your Google My Business profile that is fairly new.

GMB editing

I want to go over a couple of the attributes of your Google My Business profile that when you sign in to business.google, you’ll have these options available and some of them are becoming pretty potent. I think it’s indicative of the fact that Google is really investing in Google My Business and adding some very interesting new features. I think it’s really a sign that this is a key component for them, which to me marks the reason for actually really getting involved in understanding your Google My Business profile and viewing it frequently rather than just set it and forget it.

Posts

When you log in, you will notice “Posts” along the left side panel and this is a new feature I think you should play with. There is some indication that this is actually helping people rank. So, maybe you have a special coming up or maybe you have a new product or a workshop that you’re holding, it just allows you to put that information in there and you can set when it expires. People are finding that they are getting traffic from these posts because you can also put a link to your workshop sign up or something like that. So, I think that it is worth spending a little bit of time to go in and enhance that and add those posts on a routine basis.

Insights

Another tool is called Insights and this will give you a little bit of information on how many times your profile is showing up in search or in maps and what people are doing. Are they calling you? Are they clicking on it? Are they looking for driving directions? All the things that people can do and do frequently, particularly on mobile devices. It’s not like in analytics where you can compare one quarter to the next quarter or something unless you take that data and put it in a spreadsheet. But it is useful to look at.

Reviews

This is also a place where you can see not only your reviews but reply to your reviews and frankly, replying to every one of your reviews. Getting reviews, of course, is extremely, extremely important. Replying to reviews I think can be very important as well and this is for both good reviews and bad reviews. Bad reviews, of course, because it gives you an opportunity to tell your side of the story, if you will, or maybe state the facts as only you can, but I think when you respond to five-star reviews as well, I think it does a couple of things.

First off, that person that gave you the review is going to get a notice and, quite frankly, probably appreciate that you saw that and replied. But it’s also another opportunity for you to show a personal side of your business. I work with an assisted living facility and they will frequently get glowing reviews of how well they have cared for somebody’s mother or father. To have the owner go in there and make a comment or a personal anecdote about that person and something that he remembered I think is tremendous content and over time is really great social proof.

Messaging

Another element I want to talk about is messaging. What they’ll ask you to do is connect that to a phone that can receive text. So, it has to be a mobile device that not only can receive text, but does, and that you can respond with. If you’re in the right kind of business, this could be a great leg up because a lot of times when people are searching out there on Google, they are trying to solve something.

They want to hire somebody right now to do something and instead of sending an email or even picking up the phone, because a lot of people don’t like to do that, if they can text right from their browser window and they can get a response from you immediately, you might win the deal.

Appointment booking

If you’re the kind of business that books appointments, they’re now actually making that an option right off of your Google My Business page. Again, you have to integrate it with one of the booking kind of services that they work with. There’s about a dozen that are on there currently, so that might be an option if you’re a hair salon or a massage facility or something of that nature.

Google websites

I’m not recommending this for everyone, but they are actually now adding a platform where you can build a Google website. Essentially, it’ll just be a very simple landing page but they’ve got a couple of tools on there to make it pretty and add photos and drag and drop some things. So, if you’ve been living on your Facebook page and you don’t have a full website, which is certainly what we recommend, it could be an option for you as well.

So, that’s really all I wanted to cover today on Google My Business, but this is really a key ranking factor for local businesses and it’s probably the primary building block these days for a local business. For example, when you see those businesses that show up in the maps listing when somebody searches hair salon near me, you can’t show up in that unless you have a profile that you have claimed, that you’ve optimized and obviously, getting things like reviews, and frequently adding posts, and making sure that the information is accurate is how you’re going to show up. That’s one of the pieces of the puzzle. There are of course many others, but that’s the one I wanted to cover today.

How to Outperform Sites Ranking Above You on Search Engines

That newest post took time to grow.

It is enlightening and inspirational and enlightening and entertaining.

Easily, one of the best yet.

However, you come to look at your visitors information only to discover that you are standing 70th from the SERPs.

To put it differently, you just aren’t  getting any organic visitors anytime soon.

Unless a mad person is really clicking seven pages profound on Google. And most people who aren’t SEO’s  are not.

All your hard work, meticulous study, and 7 iterations later basically gives you a negative return considering your time investment. Sucks don’t it.

Why in the hell does this happen? What’s the point of trying if it’s gonna be like this.

This is Google’s response: Your article is new, therefore it is likely to take a while.

Oh you don’t say. Believing your freshly published article will gain hundreds of quality backlinks on its own is absurd. I know because I’ve been there.

Outperforming your opponents on search engines is not an easy, one-time undertaking. But that does not mean it is hopeless.

In reality, if you use some of thense SEO strategies, it is very likely that with patience, time, and consistency you will be able to move up.

Why? Since your opponents are complacent,  they believe the SERP positions will never change.

Here is how it is possible to outperform websites ranking above you on internet search engines.

The Best Two Position Factors

By Way of Example, Backlinko recently examined one million search engine results pages and discovered the top-ranking content had a considerably larger number of hyperlinks.

The disparity between the #1 place along with the #10 place is enormous in terms of the amount of backlinks.

You just can not rate high without them.

And according to Google, it is among the best two ranking elements. So ignoring it isn’t feasible.

What about content length?

It is the exact same thing. It is all about the numbers. The more the content, the greater chance it must rank.

However, not in the manner that you believe. Word count for the interest of word count is not likely to get you higher positions.

That strategy died with keyword stuffing and won’t ever return.

Long-form content wins search engines since it is intended to fix the whole user issue in one swoop

Meaning that the articles were made to answer all questions, and show the conwumer step by step how to repair it.

If your articles accomplishes this, site visitors will not bounce straight back into Google to click the next outcome.

To sum this up, links and content quality would be the best two SEO ranking elements.

If you would like to outperform websites above you, then concentrate on both of these variables over any other thing.

Now you understand how important links are for ranking positions, you now must start acquiring them.

However, you cannot just go out and get any ole backlinks. Directory links will not get it done. Paying for non-spammy links to some random dude who cold emailed you is a guaranteed recipe for failure. Spammy links will get you hammered these days.

Many people were caught up in getting high levels of backlinks and neglected to focus on building quality links, also.

Quantity links is not enough. Here’s why:

When a site (such as a directory) links over and above to tens of thousands of websites, Google begins to observe that those links are simply there to acquire links and are what is classified as a link farm.

So Google places less significance on them. Why? They are simple to get therefore carrying less weight for importance.

First off, quit buying links from online marketplaces, or anywhere for that fact. Here’s why. When you require many sites to connect to you personally, not only one spamming your connection repeatedly.

But that is not all. You want links from top DA websites.

So the Actual recipe is:

Overall quantity of hyperlinks + big number of varied websites + high DA = positions increase.

Now that you understand, how can you impliment this?

There are a number of proven tactics to secure more high quality links on your website.

One of the easiest ways is by producing round-up content. This is content which cites multiple popular influencers into your niche.

The point of writing these types of articles is just to get backlinks from those you mention.

Getting the feedback of reliable influencers and showcasing them on your blog post is just one of the quickest methods of getting a quality backlink.

Individuals are more inclined to share it once you mention and reveal them in an informative light.

Finding the highest-quality links is not enough.

Bear in mind that another high ranking element is content.

Frequency and quality play a massive part in content which gets high ranking  positions.

When you rank high on Google, you receive more visitors.

If sites are above you on search engines and you do not have sufficient links to overtake them you can try and post more frequently.

It is among the simplest methods to create more visitors to compensate for a lesser position.

As soon as you create content, you are able to campaign for hyperlinks to improve that pages content ranking.

You’re able to outperform sites with numerous approaches. It does not always needed to be outranking them to get the top SERP positions.

Create Content to Your User Experience

That is evident by running any Google search and seeing how fast they deliver search results.

Nonetheless, it tells us a few instant data on just how much they care for providing articles quickly and efficiently.

This has bigger implications than simply result delivery rate however.

When Google delivers outcomes, they still need users to be more fulfilled.

If a person searches for”seo” and does not click, but rather modifies their search for “seo manual,” Google takes note.

They know that SEO search results were not what they were trying to find.

In the same way, if a person finds your article on Google but exits quickly and clicks on another websites page, Google notes this and takes it into ranking considerations.

They notice your content is not solving consumer issues. And when it is not, you can kiss these highly coveted positions goodbye.

Therefore, what exactly does this mean to SEOs and optimizing articles?

This means you have to stop stressing about how search engines see your articles and start caring about the consumer experience and engagement.

That usually means placing actual emotion in your writing to activate a response.

Or telling a story that individuals can not resist reading.

Keywords are fantastic, but stuffing”seo guide finest 2017 articles” into your name makes you seem dumb.

Trust me I’ve been there.

Someone will take 1 look at that name and bounce

A fantastic way to maximize your articles to get a true consumer is by using Google’s free information mining.

It is simple.

What is the next blog article that you would like to write about?

By way of instance, let us say it is about content advertising.

You have got immediate, actual keywords people are looking for.

You might easily compile a number of them into one long-form bit of material that’s a one-stop-shop in regards to solving an issue.

By way of instance, compose a content promoting strategy manual and include illustrations and kinds of content advertising.

Now you’ve effectively reach three actual searches using one pole. That is relevancy.

If you would like to outrank the websites above you, you have gotta enhance your own content.

Rankings will follow should you concentrate on actual men and women.

Conclusion

Anything past the very first page is not likely to get you some noticeable traffic.

And you can not only expect a place to create links and traffic by itself.

You have gotta put at the job to find actual results.

If you would like to outrank your competitors, you will need better connections, real key phrases, and much better content.

You have to create better content to the end user than the person over you.

When you’ve completed that, effort for hyperlinks.

The more high quality connections you property, the better chance you have obtained at ranking greater.

Outperforming websites rank above you in the SERPs will induce more visitors to your website fast.