If your list of “things to learn” to market your business has SEO (search engine optimization) on it, you are at the right place. I’m going to give you the most current SEO bites that you need to have a clear idea of how you can grow your business using this fascinating tool named SEO.
A decade ago, SEO was about keywords and content. For example, if you are a doctor and want to get more patients, all you needed was a website with a couple of pages that claimed your location. Your SEO expert would edit your pages URL to do something called “site structure” so your website pages would look like:
In theory, if your URL has the keywords that most people use to find the services that you provide, then Google would find your website and get you traffic. Like I said, SEO was done this way, a decade ago.
Google My Business Listing Has Changed The Game Plan
Getting a local business listed on Google My Business (GMB) and other online directories is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get a local business to start showing up for local search results on Google. Google My Business connects businesses directly with their customers — whether they’re searching on Google Search or Maps.
Most SEOs who work with local clients consider claiming their GMB listing the first step in their SEO strategy. Surprisingly, 56% of local businesses haven’t claimed their Google My Business listing, according to Local Business Institute.
I know you want to optimize your website and landing pages with SEO, but you might just need to focus on GMB first.
How To Get Started With Google My Business? Is This Free?
Yes, it’s a free service, which is the irony of this amazing tool. It costs nothing for you to list your business. Now, to be transparent with you, the listing alone won’t just do magic and take your business to rank on the first page of Google maps or the Google search. It will take work, just as traditional SEO. We will work with content and distribution, but the good news is… the results come much faster.
If you haven’t claimed and verified your Google My Business Listing yet, that’s the first step. To get started, visit https://www.google.com/business.
Google will ask you several questions about your business just to make sure that you are legit. Please note, if you want to market nationally, I recommend to start your SEO plan here at GMB (Google My Business). You will be surprised by the results, I promise!
Updating Your Information Is A Key
Also, it’s important to realize that Google encourages people who are familiar with your business to answer questions, so that Google can learn more information about your company. To do this they simply click on the “Know this place? Answer quick questions” link.
Once you get your listing verified, your next step is to work is to optimize it. This is where most business owners miss their chance to claim their spot!
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
I can’t mention enough how important it is to log in to your Google My Business listing account frequently since Google might require you to answer some questions that they need, to complete your listing. How cool is that!
Here is a list of actionable items that will help you advance in your optimization process:
- Review all the options from the menu. Your listing gives you options to add information, such as “call to action”, “hours of operations”, “services”. Make sure to complete all of them.
- Micro-site feature. This feature is ignored most of the times. Instead of using your website, Goole gives you the option to use a template so you can add your basic information. I recommend using it, since the speed and size will help you in accelerating the optimization process. This is what our micro -site looks like.
- Add high-quality images to your text.
Google My Business Updates or Google Posts
If you have used LinkedIn articles, then this feature will be familiar. If you haven’t used LinkedIn articles, then you might want to visit this link. LinkedIn articles are just as effective as blog posts, but they get you in front of your network much faster. Google updates / Google posts have a huge advantage:
Google Posts show up in Google search in your Google My Business listing (in the Knowledge Panel and on Google Maps). This is huge!!!!!
You can have fun with your Google My Business Posts by adding an image, a call-to-action (CTA), and even including a link to another page or website.
Not sure what type of Post you should make? Here are just a few Post ideas:
- Memorial Day sale is a good reason to post an update.
- Hiring new staff.
- Announcing a promotion.
- Hosting an event.
- New service.
- Featuring a new product.
- Post a contest.
- Sharing your latest blog post!
- And many other ideas (here is how my help comes handy!)
Did you know that your customers — and potential customers — can send you text messages? This is a great way to connect directly with people interested in what you have to offer, and a great way to engage with people looking at your GMB listing (and you know that Google is always watching engagement.)
To get started with Messaging, log in to your GMB dashboard and click on “Messaging”:
You can then set up the message people will receive after they send you a message and your mobile phone number.
If you don’t want text messages sent to your personal phone number, you can download Google’s Allo app. When you set up your Allo account, use the same phone number connected to your Google My Business account. Now when someone messages you, the message will be sent to the Allo app instead of appearing alongside your personal text messages.
Transparency is the new currency. In other words, your reviews are money! I know that most business owners hire Yelp for reviews. However, they miss out Google which is detrimental to their SEO. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with Yelp. However, I recommend Google My Business listing more than Yelp, in my opinion.
Since we are covering this topic, by the way, reviews matter so much that you might want to take some time to strategize around this topic. Your marketing team should get you solutions to get reviews on Facebook, Google, and other local platforms.
Alignable is a great platform to build your network. It’s also connected with your Google My Business listing. If you don’t have an account, let’s get you here!
I’m assuming that you want to increase your business. Visibility is what you need and that’s my specialty.
I have a recipe called Forensic Marketing that works deliciously for business owners who have been hiring freelancers for all kinds of digital marketing services and nothing seems to make sense. My ask is that, if you feel that something is off with your marketing, I can take a look and give you a complimentary assessment. Our budget isn’t like agencies. We have budgets for all kinds of sizes.
If this makes sense to you, my offer is on the table! Book a complimentary Forensic Marketing assessment here.
To your success, greatness, and beyond we go!