The Google My Business Listing is Critical for Businesses

If you do not already know, Google My Business is a free tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.

Cooks Woods Google My Business ListingClaiming or improving your Google My Business Listing is the singular, most important step you can take for your local business if you want to maximize results from Google Search.” I wrote that in this blog post on September 8. 2017. It is even more true today.

The Google My Business concept is not new. On July 29, 2008 (Yes, over ten years ago.) I wrote a post named Google – Get Local, Get Traffic Quickly about using Google Maps Local Business Center if you want to increase local traffic.

Since 2008, its name has changed several times and Google My Business is much more robust than it was back then. In 2008, there were roughly 173 million websites online. As I write this, there are over 1.9 Billion websites! Obviously, the competition for prominent display space in Google Search results has increased immensely.

Today’s Google My Business (GMB) Listing affords businesses several opportunities to enhance their presence in Google search results and Google Maps. Here is some information directly from Google:

Manage your information:

First it is imperative to “claim” your listing. If you have not, you may do so here: www.google.com/business If someone has claimed your Google My Business listing, go to
Request ownership of a business listing.

Be as complete and accurate as possible when entering your business information. Businesses offering the most detailed and accurate information will be easier for Google to serve your listing in searches.

It’s important to enter your business hours, but equally important to update them whenever they change. You may customize hours for holidays and other special events, and it is up to you to ensure they are accurate. Don’t make enemies because of incorrect hours.

As it does with website SEO, Google uses a variety of signals to serve search results, and including relevant keywords and search phrases to your business listing will help considerably, since your business website is listed directly within your GMB listing.

Interact with customers:
Interact with customers via Google My Business
Read and respond to reviews from your customers, and post photos that show off what you do. Businesses that add photos to their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.

Reviews are now a two-way conversation between you and your customers — be the first to know when you get a new review on your local Business Profile so you can respond right away (this is extremely important).

Photos:
You will likely be surprised how much adding even a couple photos will help the performance of your business listing. Just do it!

Q&A:
Save time by answering your customers’ questions before they ask. With Q&A, customers can easily ask a question right from your Business Profile on Google. To save time, you can pin frequently asked questions and highlight the top answers.

There is much more we could tell you about Google My Business, but the best thing I can do for you is to repeat this: “Claiming or improving your Google My Business Listing is the singular, most important step you can take for your local business if you want to maximize results from Google Search.”

Do it today! 

Have a Local Business? Claim or Update Your Google My Business Listing, Now!

Cooks Woods Google My Business ListingIf you have a business, you very likely have a Google My Business Listing. Your listing appears when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps.

Claiming or improving your Google My Business Listing is the singular, most important step you can take for your local business if you want to maximize results from Google Search.

“Why,” you ask? Google says, “Manage how your business information appears across Google, including Search and Maps, using Google My Business — for free.”

The keyword in the previous paragraph is “manage.” There is little a business can control when it comes to Google. When Google makes it easy to post correct information about your business for free, and that information is displayed in Google Search results and on Google Maps, you should take advantage of it.

With Google My Business, you can:

  • Increase your online visibility
  • Show business hours and if open/closed
  • Your contact details are prominently displayed
  • Display photos of your business
  • Publish Posts just like Facebook or Twitter posts
  • Encourage reviews and interact with reviewers
  • Answer customer questions — List FAQs, or answer live
  • Let customers message you

You also can see insights on how customers searched for your business, and their locations at the time of search. You can also see how many people called your business directly from the phone number displayed on local search results in Google Search and Google Maps.

Bottom line: Claim and/or update your Google My Business listing! It is unequivocally the best and least expensive online marketing you can do.

Do you really need a mobile-friendly website?

Do you really need a mobile-friendly website? Google’s answer is, “…having a mobile-friendly website has become a critical part of having an online presence.

It has been over a year since Google’s April 21, 2015 announcement that they would give preference to mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results. In the FAQ’s of the Webmaster Tools Blog, Google says, “pages designed for only large screens may see a significant decrease in rankings in mobile search results.”

Mobile-friendly websitesEleven months later on March 16, 2016, Google announced that they are, Continuing to make the web more mobile friendly. They are even more serious about it now. To help you understand how Google defines “mobile” and related terms here is a link to their Mobile Terms Glossary.

Another indication of how seriously Google is emphasizing the importance of having a mobile-friendly website is the rolling out of a new mobile-friendly testing tool on May 17, 2016. If you don’t know if your website is mobile-friendly, run the Google Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool.

Google also says, “If you haven’t made your website mobile-friendly, you should.” (The bold font was done by Google.) We urge you to take their words seriously. Do you really need a mobile-friendly website? If you want your website found by prospects and customers when searching with their phone or another mobile device, the answer is yes.

If your website does not pass Google’s Mobile Friendly Test, Call Us Now!
608-822-3750 or 800-281-9993

Portions of this page are reproduced from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.

PPC – Why You Should Bid On Your Business Name

Google AdWords Example AdThere are many excellent reasons to invest in a Google AdWords and/or a Bing Ads PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign. If you have read this blog or talked with us, you know we believe nearly every business should be taking advantage of PPC advertising. If you do nothing else, start a Google AdWords campaign and bid on your business name.

Here are a few good reasons why you should bid on your business name.

  1. Branding – Improve Brand awareness – Value without paying for clicks
  2. Double Exposure – Display in PPC Ad and Organic listings
  3. Improve your CTR using Google AdWords “Extensions”
  4. You control your ad content
  5. Often, competitors are bidding on your name
  6. Make it easier for returning customers and other visitors to get to you

Start doing cost effective branding today by bidding on your business name.

Call us about starting a Google AdWords campaign. 1-800-281-9993 or 608-822-3750