Achieving online visibility and having an online presence that can generate solid sales leads are a crucial part of the marketing strategy of every modern business. In this post we take a look at one of the most important tools that Google has put at your fingertips in order to help your business grow and we reveal the top tips to get this tool working for you.
The importance of Google My Business
As a business owner, you are familiar with the importance of optimising your website so that customers can easily find you. More than 1.2 billion people use Google every month to find products and services, so being visible on Google is a fantastic growth opportunity for businesses of all sizes. Of course, to do that it is vital that you know what tools are at your disposal and how you can make the most out of them.
A few months ago, Google replaced its flagship business listing service (Google Places) with Google My Business. The replacement was brought about by two important changes in consumer search behaviour. First, at least 45% of all Google searches in the UK now include a locational element, which means that nearly half of Google searches are performed by people who need to find a specific business in a specific location. Second, 50% of all online searches are now performed using mobile devices.
Google My Business has been created to suit these trends, as its objective is making crucial information about local businesses more easily available to potential clients. My Business is currently available on Android and will soon be released in other mobile platforms, complementing your main website and bringing higher traffic volume to your business. Because of its interaction with other key online marketing tools (like Google+ or Google Maps), My Business acts as a one-stop-shop for business owners. Moreover, this feature offers you the chance to communicate more directly with your customers and to create an information-rich environment that will attract them to your company and help you build your brand.
Top tips to get your My Business page ranking high
Now, if you had a Google Places page, you will notice that it has been automatically replaced with a My Business page. Don’t assume that all crucial information has been simply transferred. Follow these tips to maximise the impact of you My Business page.
Create a comprehensive and informative profile
Use your Google account to make sure that all your up-to-date local data is in your My Business page. In terms of ranking, the most important fields are company name, address, and phone number (53%), website (10%), and e-mail, description, opening hours, photos, and payment methods (5% each). Next, go through the verification process in order to get your page 100% complete.
Encourage satisfied customers to leave a review online and use My Business to reply to those reviews. This will help increase your My Business star-rating and act as a confidence booster for potential clients.
Citations are the online equivalent of networking. Get your business listed on directories like Yelp, Yahoo Local UK, Qype, Yell, Thomsonlocal, Foursquare, or Tipped. One word of caution: ensure that your listing (name, address, phone number, and e-mail) are consistently spelt and match those on your My Business page.
If you have a business blog (and you should have one), you can publish your posts on your My Business page. This sends a positive message to customers: that your business is “on the ball” and that you place high importance on communicating. Moreover, search engines love fresh content!
Include video content
Video content is the 6th most popular digital marketing strategy, and chances are that its value will keep increasing. High-quality video will make your business stand out from the rest, so link your YouTube channel to My Business or let the specialists create engaging video content for you.
No time to do all this?
Of course, if your schedule is already packed full with other commitments, you can always outsource this essential function. Hopscotch Studios have a great deal of experience optimising Google My Business pages and would be very happy to give you a free consultation on how you can achieve much greater visibility in the search engines.
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