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Local Marketing With Google My Business

local-business-love-seo-organic

Display Your Brand Online With A Google My Business Account

Business can create and list their information free on Google maps, helping customers find them online and in the real world. With consumers using mobile search more and more, your business must adapt to the shifting trends in search. Many businesses are NOT listed on Google Maps and have no idea that it even exists.

To compete in the local markets you need to have your maps listings setup. There is a continuing change in the way the local search results are displayed by Google and this comes from the habits of user search.

Near Me Search Trends

Have you heard the term “Near Me”?

This is how your customers are searching for things now.

Consumer A: Uses mobile to search google for “cafe near me” Google presents a list of businesses that fit the search term and directs consumer A to maps to get directions.

Structuring your website for these kind of search terms, and optimising your Google My Business listing can help you capture your share if that market.

I Want To Go, Micro Moments

micro-moments-near-me

I want to know moments near me and micro-moments.

To effectively use your Google My Business listing, you need to think of it as your local search anchor. This anchor point is your centre of gravity for all business listings and your pin point map location. Display your business like it was the first employee a new customer would see when coming into your business for the first time. No untucked shirts and scruffy jeans for your listing, dress it up as your own digital billboard welcoming all new comers to your business. business

You have the opportunity to provide customers with relevant information, and information that will help them make a choice on the fly or a planned choice. The planned choices tend to convert into sales within the fortnight after the consumer has done some research into you and your competitors. Incorporating a form of sales tracking and identifying where they came across your business and why they ultimately choose your business can help you understand what it is you need to focus on.

The competition for local search will increase and not particularly by other organic search results but by Google and their push for an increase of real estate given to Paid advertised listings. The search results are becoming more focused on squeezing paid listings, and its evident that Google will be minimising these numbers of organic results again.

Think about all this and also think about the current state of your website. If you want to talk to us about helping you capture some more sales leads our Web Design Page is here.

Google My Business Marketing Platform

Creating your Google My Business account is the step in the right direction. Now warning the dashboard for Google My Business can be confusing. Take it slow and try to have all the information about your business ready before you try to set it up. There are a lot of buttons and sections to be filled out, If you would like someone to assist in the set up of your account visit our discovery form on the header above this page.

The best thing about using Google My Business for us is getting to use Gmail and Google Drive. If you have not tried Google Drive and all the super handy free functions to sum it up think of Microsofts “office” paid subscription but Google made it and its free, more functional and more integration allowed than any Microsoft product that we have ever used.

Access will be included for Youtube, Blogger, Maps, Google Plus and more. Try Google Drive Free Today! To sign up for this awesome account with Google Follow this link

 

Google My Business Help Setup With Listings

You can set up a profile quite easily but managing the associated properties can be cumbersome. One important thing to do is create your account and become verified this is where Google requires verification that you do actually own the business and are located at the physical address listed on your profile. This would usually entail confirming your ownership by phone call, phone SMS, email (in some cases) and more commonly by having a post card sent by mail to your business address. You would when you have the post card use the verification code contained within the card to verify your account. This is a slow method but it does weed out any spammers and those using the platform for shady practises.

During the sign up process you might find that someone else has claimed your listing. This happens and can be worked out by following the processes listed in this problem solving video.

Problem Solving Google My Business Claimed Listings

Follow the steps outlined in the video to reclaim your business listing.

 

How Do I Get Verified On Google My Business?

You can get verified on Google my business by answering a call inputting the code you receive, getting a mail out code either of these work well and can get you verified as soon as you submit the code. You will need to prove to Google that you are a legitimate business and have ownership of the business. There is a different category classification for exactly what businesses get the call verification and email verification options, the standard process is post card verification.

You can verify the listing once you have proven your ownership to Google. The customer support is very hit and miss, but they are the biggest search engine company on the planet and I would imagine the questions that would be on the support desk to deal with. For this reason I forgive them for a not so great customer support experience.

Can I Verify A Business With Multiple Locations?

Yes, you certainly can get verified for multiple listings. You will have a slightly more frigid knowledge base if you get stuck, there are many more hoops to jump through but Google has created something called a Bulk Dashboard basically it’s a special dashboard for businesses with 10 or more locations.

I’ve worked on several accounts where clients had listings but had moved to a new location and not made the required changes this is where it gets real messy in terms of keeping your business listings organised. If this is you make contact I have a pretty solid system for cleaning up duplicate listings and closing down old profiles.

The Bulk dashboard was designed for Franchises and multiple location businesses, that tend to have stores or franchises numbering in the thousands. We strongly urge any business that has 10+ business locations to hire a specialist for the Google My Business management of these locations. The bulk dashboard is some piece of work and not so easy to find support for questions.

Will Google My Business Work For Teams?

Yes, Google my Business can be managed by multiple levels of employee or team members. You just need to set up the access for your personal. Below we have an instructional video that demonstrates the way you can share access with your employees and team members.

 How To Share Access To Your Google My Business Listing


There is a lot of activity on Google plus and you will see some activity on your Google maps listing, just setting these up

Is not enough you need to optimise them to see the full effects. I’ve seen a huge boost in organic traffic when we combined posts on Google + with website links and or media they have a massive list of very active communities. Interacting and display presentation can get you only so far. Optimise your website and optimise your local search listing.

Harnessing any property owned by google is a smart idea. Google created a FREE marketing platform especially targeted at helping their organic search users to find businesses and services in their area. This alone makes it a smart choice to use the platform for your business.

Taking ownership of your business brand online should be key in any marketing strategy to enforce ownership of your business identity. I like to think of it like this, the biggest search engine in the world is giving you a platform that is tailor made for their search engine to show your business in the search results. The search and find landlord is giving you a free penthouse rental, you would be crazy not to use a tool crafted by Google for Google.

 

Predictions for the future 2017 and beyond

What do I see taking shape as trends and popular behaviours for the back end of 2017 and beyond.

  1. Voice search is increase in popularity
  2. Virtual Reality will make a more mainstream move
  3. Businesses Adapting to Cryptocurrency
  4. Topical Theming
  5. Augmented Reality will become part of Businesses marketing strategy. Think Snapchat filters etc

These are the 5 biggest shifts in how marketing online will adapt and change to cater towards. Learning about how to incorporate these methods  into your digital marketing strategy will put you miles ahead of your competition.

 

Step By Step Google My Business Checklist

For anyone still thinking that this process of using Google my business seems like a chore, this step by step roadmap below can help guide you through the sign up process.

The key is to organise your information before starting the signup process. Info-graph courtesy of our friends at Simply Business.

Follow Along Guide To Setup Google My Business


Click image to open interactive version (via Simply Business).

 

Conclusion

It is essential to have a Google My Business listing if you want to compete in your local market. The future sees maps and organic listings becoming harder to claim and showing a smaller number of results as Google shifts towards paid displays.

This free platform Google has provided for businesses to advertise is very powerful and when optimised can have a huge impact on local search results. Yes this is an essential web property that should be used for advertising your business online. You can find out more beneficial and to read about some beneficial reasons why you need this here are 10 reasons.
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