Guide to Optimizing Google My Business

Guide to Optimizing Google My Business

Expert Tips For Guide to Optimizing Google My Business

If you have a business website, why do you need to Google My Business?

Google My Business isn’t a replacement for your website. It’s a summary of your most relevant information so people can find out about you quickly and easily.

Your GMB information includes:

  • Operating hours 
  • Physical Address 
  • Contact Information 
  • Customer Reviews 
  • Who you are

As a business, you also gain crucial information from GMB – like reviews, messages, customer photos, and insights into how customers interact with your business.

Getting Started with a Google My Business Listing 

Do you have GMB? Quickly find out by Googling your business name. If no listing pops up or a listing pops up that isn’t claimed, then it’s time you set one up.

Over 56% of businesses never claimed their GMB account! Don’t miss out on potential customers, and claim your business today!

5 Tips for Optimizing Google My Business 

If you already have a listing, log into your account and start Google My Business optimization using these five steps. 

  1. Fill Out All Your Business Information Using SEO

GMB optimization begins with filling out your basic information on your Google business page. Carefully add as much information as possible – making sure it’s accurate and up to date. Compare the information with your website as inconsistencies negatively affect your search appearance.

Beyond your basic information, your Google My Business listing includes attributes, a description, and a business category. Fill out these portions according to how you want to be ranked in Google and what search terms you want your business to relate to.

Does your location have free Wifi? Is there onsite parking? Is your location wheelchair accessible? These attributes help your business show up when people search phrases like “Wheelchair-accessible restaurants near me” or “hair salon with wifi.”

Use SEO and keywords to get your Google listings ranked in the most relevant customer searches. Your keywords should include where you are, what you offer, and what makes you unique (your marketable quality). 

  1. Keep your information Updated.

Your business listing isn’t a one-time deal. You should continually update it with the most accurate information.

New phone number? Update GMB. 

New address? Update GMB. 

New product? Update GMB. 

Changed holiday hours? Update GMB. 

You get the idea. Customers should know your Google local listing is reliable, or else it could negatively affect your business. 

  1. Use Pictures

People like pictures. Use them! Over 60% of customers are MORE likely to visit your business if you have an image. Images show you are a real business with live people. This knowledge builds trust in customers and makes them more willing to do business with you.

There are several types of images you should choose carefully and have added to any GMB. 

  • Logo: This image is your face and will show up the most in search results – choose it wisely! 
  • Cover Photo: Summarize WHO you are using one photo to grab people’s attention. 
  • Business Photos: Have fun with the pictures connected to your account. Show friendly interactions, quality products, and relevant images that boost your brand. 
  1. Use GMB to Interact with Customers

In a world filled with robots and automated messaging, finding a human to interact within a business is rare. Build a personal relationship with your customers by giving them that human touch.

GMB offers several ways to interact with customers. First is their messaging app. You have contact forms, email, and phone numbers for customers to use. Also, allow people to directly message you through Google to show you are serious about hearing from them.

Don’t just offer that option, but also respond – even if that means adding in an immediate automated response. Then, have customer service answer personally later. That small gesture lets customers know you are listening.

Reviews are another way to reach out to customers. Over 93% of customers will look up reviews online before deciding on a product. What people say about your business matters!

Show you also care what people are saying by responding to each review using your GMB account. Thank the people who are giving you positive reviews using genuine language. If you can add personal details in your response to prove you’re human and not a robot, add them!

You will sometimes get negative reviews. If you don’t get any negative reviews, customers might start to wonder if you’re a legitimate business. Consider negative reviews as an opportunity to showcase another aspect of your business – customer satisfaction.

Apologize to the person who wasn’t happy, and make a public declaration of your desire to right the wrong. Even if that one customer never returns, other customers know that if they aren’t happy, you’re willing to work with them. 

  1. Post events, products, and discounts

Use your business as your storefront window. Display highlights from your product lineup, discounts, and upcoming events.

The products and services listed on your page should represent the very best of your stock. Use catchy images and titles. Even if people aren’t interested in your highlighted products, the images can encourage customers to click on your website to see more.

Everyone likes freebies! Coupons and promotions are another way to encourage people to shop. When you walk into a store, how likely are you to walk straight to the bright red sign exclaiming “SALE!”? When people pull up your business, draw them in with sales and promotions.

Display your calendar of events for customers to see right there on Google. Plus, your event will add another element to rank in Google. If someone Googles “free events near me this weekend,” your event could rank and attract new customers. 

Make the Most of Your GMB Page

Optimizing your Google My Business listing isn’t an easy task. That’s why you can hire marketing experts to help with your SEO and rankings.

Agency Partner Interactive offers digital marketing services – including Google My Business optimization – through their team of experts that deliver value, accelerate revenue, and increase profits. Talk to a team member today and start getting the most out of your GMB listing. 

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Why Your Google My Business Page Might Be Suspended

Why Your Google My Business Page Might Be Suspended

Expert Tips For Google My Business Pages

 
Having a Google My Business (GMB) page is a must for local SEO, local optimization, and to help you rank locally on Google. These free profiles are now ubiquitous. All your competitors have them, and the most relevant profiles display at the top of Google search results when Google users are searching for your type of business in their specific area.
Because Google My Business is so important to local SEO and helping your rank locally on Google, it makes getting your GMB suspended all the more frustrating because GMB suspensions instantly decrease your business’s online visibility.
If you try to log onto Google My Business and see that your profile is suspended, you are likely wondering, “Why is my GMB suspended?” The first step to answering this question, and to getting your GMB reinstated, is to find out if you have a soft suspension or a hard suspension.
Why Is My GMB Suspended with a Soft Suspension?
While no business owner wants their Google My Business page suspended, if it’s going to happen, you want it to be a soft suspension. This is because with soft suspensions:

  • You still show up on Google search results, so you can still rank locally on Google.
  • Mobile searchers can still call your business by tapping your phone number.
  • You won’t suffer from the visibility issues associated with hard suspensions.

The most likely reasons for soft suspensions are quality issues. Examples of quality issues may be an incorrect address (which can happen if you abbreviate your street name type from “Road” to “Rd.” or use “Ste” instead of “Suite” to note your suite number), or if you have accidentally created duplicate pages for the same address.
Soft suspensions are generally easy to correct.
Why Is My GMB Suspended with a Hard Suspension?
When it comes to having your business rank locally on Google, hard GMB suspensions are much more serious. That’s because, with a hard suspension, your Google My Business page won’t display at all. And while you can rectify issues that caused hard suspensions and get your page reinstated by appealing to Google, after a hard suspension you’ll lose all photos and ratings that your customers have previously posted.
There are several reasons why you may receive a hard suspension. These include:

  • Having Account Issues

When you have a Google My Business page, you get to assign users who can access and edit your page. At a very minimum, your users should include you or your internal marketing person, and your digital marketing agency.
Sometimes, however, certain users can cause your page to be flagged and receive a hard suspension. This is especially true if a user who has permission to modify your page has a recent activity that Google considers spammy.
If you recently added a user to your page and your account was quickly hard suspended, immediately remove that user and file an appeal to Google. If you’re the only user on your page, go to https://www.localguidesconnect.com/. If you see that your account is no longer a part of the “Local Guides” program on Google, then your account is the reason for the hard suspension.

  • Using a Rented Mailbox as Your Business Address

If your Google My Business page is going to list a business address, it has to be an actual address of a business. Rented mailboxes, such as post office boxes, FedEx mailboxes, and UPS boxes aren’t eligible addresses for Google My Business. If you attempt to list one of these types of rented mailboxes as your business address, you can expect a hard suspension

  • Listing Service Areas if You Have a Physical Address or Vice Versa

Google recognizes that some businesses have physical addresses, while others don’t but instead are service area businesses. Google wants to help both types of businesses rank locally on Google. That’s why you have the option to either display your physical address or your service area. Listing both, however, looks spammy to Google and is a surefire way to get a hard suspension.

  • Google Algorithm Updates That Don’t Work in Your Favor

Unfortunately, sometimes Google algorithm changes affect your ability to rank locally on Google and cause hard suspensions. In this case, you need to contact your digital marketing agency, make sure your Google My Business page meets all appropriate criteria, and submit an appeal to Google.
How to Appeal a Soft or Hard GMB Suspension
Whether you’ve received a soft or hard Google My Business suspension, you can appeal the decision in attempts to improve local optimization and rank locally on Google once again. To do so, first, rectify any issue that you’ve identified that may be causing the issue. If you work with a digital marketing agency, reach out to them for help with this. Digital marketing agencies frequently manage Google My Business pages for their clients and are well-versed in how to fix issues that result in suspensions.
Once your profile is updated and accurate, go to the “learn more” button that appears in the red suspension box on your profile to submit your appeal.
Rank Locally on Google By Getting Our Professional Help with Your Google My Business Page
As a leading digital marketing agency that specializes in local SEO and local optimization, we help several of our customers rank locally on Google by managing and optimizing their Google My Business pages. Many of our clients turn to us for GMB help because they don’t have the internal resources to manage digital marketing, they’ve tried optimizing their Google My Business pages on their own but still don’t rank locally on Google, or they simply want to be working with the best of the best in order to have the highest Google rankings possible.
We can help you with your Google My Business page all year long and are ready to go into crisis mode if you receive a soft or hard suspension. To learn more about how we help you rank locally on Google and manage your local SEO efforts, reach out to us today. You can call us at (214) 295-5845 or fill out our online contact form.
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What Addresses Can You Use on Google My Business Pages?

What Addresses Can You Use on Google My Business Pages?

Expert Tips For Google My Business Pages

 
Google My Business is a free Google listing  – with no paid upgrades – that Google encourages all businesses to use to its fullest to help them rank locally on Google. The goal of this free listing is to provide Google searchers with the best, most relevant local information when they are searching for businesses in a specific area, especially when they’re on mobile devices and using search terms such as “gas station near me.”
One of the most important aspects of having a Google My Business (GMB) page, aside from helping you rank locally on Google, is to make it easy for Google users to find you. This means that in order to show up in search results, you need to make sure your business address is entered accurately so customers can find you, and you can enhance your local SEO. And of course, this means you must understand address use for GMB.
But what address works for GMB? Continue reading to learn tips from Google itself on how to make sure web searchers can find you and so that you rank locally on Google.
Address Use for GMB When You Have a Physical Storefront
If you serve customers at a physical location, that’s great! You need to make sure that you accurately enter in all the details of your postal address, including your:

  • Street number
  • Street name
  • Street type (like Avenue, Drive, Road, etc.)
  • City name
  • State name
  • Zip Code
  • Suite, unit, or floor number

Entering all this information accurately on your Google My Business page both helps with local optimization and also allows Google to place a map marker on Google Maps at your exact location. This makes it easier for Google searchers, especially those who are on the go and searching on a mobile device, to find you and go to your business.
Examples of What Address Works for GMB
If your address is:
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA, 94043
You want to enter that exactly on your Google My Business page. Even doing something that may seem harmless like abbreviating “Parkway” to “Pkwy” may make it harder for Google to accurately pinpoint your physical location and mark it on Google Maps. And you definitely don’t want to do that!
Address Use for GMB if You Are in a New Development or Rural Location
Sometimes, certain addresses are hard for Google Maps to find.  In these instances, Google Maps won’t accurately pinpoint your location, which could affect your ability for you to rank locally on Google or for customers to use Google Maps on their mobile devices to get directions to your storefront. This is especially true if your business is part of a brand new development that hasn’t yet been added to Google Maps, or if you are in a rural area.
If entering in your address as per the instructions listed above doesn’t accurately pinpoint your location on Google Maps, then you should include directional information like cross streets or nearby landmarks that Google Maps is able to accurately pinpoint. Doing so will help your location appear more clearly on Google Maps.
Address Use for GMB if You Have Multiple Locations
If your business has multiple locations, you should have Google My Business pages for each location to improve local SEO, enhance local optimization, and rank locally on Google for each of your business locations. You can manage your multiple locations by simply signing into your Google My Business Account.
Address Use for GMB if You Don’t Physically Serve Customers at a Location
Some businesses don’t serve customers at physical locations. Examples of these types of businesses include eCommerce sites, grocery delivery service providers, tutors who meet with students at community locations like local libraries, mobile notary publics, and more. This list really goes on and on.
Even if you don’t serve customers at a physical location, Google My Business still wants to list your business so that you can enhance local SEO and rank locally on Google. After all, Google is all about helping web searchers find the relevant information they want.
If you don’t serve customers at a physical location, then when you create your Google My Business page make sure to leave your business address blank and fill out the “Service Areas” field instead. Be thorough, and list all cities, towns, suburbs, etc. that you realistically service in order to best rank locally on Google and improve your local SEO and local optimization.
What Else Should You Include on Your Google My Business Page to Make it Easier for Customers to Find You?
Google My Business pages allow all businesses to add photos to their free profiles. You should definitely take advantage of this feature to, at the very minimum, add photos of the front of your business so that those who are searching for you on the go can easily spot your location from the street. Make sure to keep these storefront photos current. If you paint your building, add window awnings or other architectural elements that change the appearance of your storefront, you want to update your business location photos so that customers don’t get confused by outdated images.
Get Help Ranking Locally on Google by Optimizing Your Google My Business Page
Because Google My Business pages are free profiles, they’re ubiquitous. Virtually all your competitors have one, and they’re using their best efforts to enhance local SEO and local optimization so they rank locally on Google. This means that having an updated, optimized Google My Business page is extremely important so that your GMB ranks higher than your competitors’ profiles.
As a digital marketing agency that specializes in local SEO, we help several customers every year optimize their Google My Business pages. If you’ve tried everything for local optimization but find you still don’t rank locally on Google, we can help. By using our SEO expertise and specialized SEO tools, we can find the best search terms to include on your Google My Business page to help you rank locally on Google.
For help with GMB, contact us today. You can reach us by calling (214) 295-5845 or filling out our online contact form.
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A Complete Guide to Local SEO for Small Businesses

A Complete Guide to Local SEO for Small Businesses

Expert Tips on Local SEO For Small Business

 
Local search is extremely important for small businesses. In fact, 80% of consumers utilize local search to find local businesses. This means if your business if your website isn’t optimized for local search, you could be missing out on 4 out of 5 of your potential customers.
Luckily, optimizing your business for local search is a straightforward process. Taking the necessary steps to ensure that your website is found for corresponding local searches will make sure that your business flourishes.
After all, 88% of all local searches result in the web user calling or visiting the business within 24 hours. If you want to learn more about how you want to build a strong foundation for your business, read this guide to achieve more online visibility from local searches. 

Create a Google My Business Listing

It’s surprisingly shocking that only 44% of small businesses have claimed their Google My Business (GMB) listing. Considering that an average consumer will check local map listings to find a business near them, it would seem foolish to ignore setting up a listing.
That is how things currently are, but it doesn’t mean you have to neglect this very important process.
 
As you can see, the listing on the right of the image has all of the information that’s valuable to a potential customer. People can use these listings to visit a website, receive directions, look at online reviews, and make a phone call. 
Creating a GMB listing is simple. Follow these steps to get the job done properly.

  1. Create a Google account or log in.
  2. Click here to visit Google My Business. 
  3. Fill out the required fields, such as your phone number, address, etc.
  4. Verify the information.
  5. Claim your listing and submit.

This is the most basic step in optimizing your business for local search. Your GMB listing is the gateway where unrefined prospects become loyal customers.

Leverage Effective Internal Linking Strategies

Backlinks are the crux of every internet marketing strategy. Though, internal links are just as important to boost your SEO ranking. Generally speaking, internal links are essential for the following reasons:

  • They support efficient website navigation
  • Streamlines website hierarchy and information architecture
  • Reinforces ranking power and page authority throughout your website

If you ever want to see a prime example of an effective internal linking strategy, visit a Wikipedia page. It’s not a coincidence that Wikipedia pages often rank highly in search engines.
They are highly-resourceful and have countless internal links to aid your comprehension and navigate to other useful pages. This increases the time you spent on Wikipedia, which lets search engines know that the site is valuable.
To the same effect, you should utilize sound internal link strategies to help your site rank sufficiently for local searches. 

Optimize all Metadata

Metadata is information that describes other data. This includes URLs, title tags, meta descriptions, and all the like. 
metadata
You see metadata every time you conduct any type of search. Just take a look at this standard search.
dentist
Do you see the headers indicating what each web page is about? 
This is metadata. 
Do you also see the descriptions below the headers? 
This is also metadata. 
It’s important to optimize the metadata of your entire website architecture to show up for local searches. The best way to do this is by adding high-volume keywords in the URL, title, header, meta description, and body. 
This will make sure that your website is found by consumers using the same high-volume keywords you’re including in your site’s metadata.

Add Location Pages to Your Website

If your business operates in multiple locations, you should reflect this on your website. The only way is to create separate location pages for each city or region you do business in. 
For example, if you run a restaurant in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, you need to create different pages for both. Keep in mind that you can’t replicate the same city pages and change the city names.
This is frankly lazy and Google won’t rank them. Instead, put forth the time and effort to create custom location pages that provide information unique to the city the page is mentioning.

Develop Stellar Local Content

If you want to attract local leads, then you’ll need to develop a consistent local content strategy. Ranking your local content isn’t as difficult due to the low amount of competition compared to worldwide search results.
Therefore, all you need is a great content writer and marketing team on your side to craft stellar local content. For example, if you run a law firm, you can write a post about how readers can select the best firm in your city.
Finally, you can add tons of local keywords. This will help your content rank high for local searches and provide a lot of value to your audience – that’s effectively killing two birds with one stone.

Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly

More than half of all online searches happen on a mobile device. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, then you could be running potential customers off before they can even convert.
A website doesn’t appear the same way on a computer as it does on a tablet. Therefore, you will have to ensure that your website has a fast and convenient mobile version.
The important thing to realize here is that your desktop version should still provide the same features as your mobile version. It can be frustrating to be forced to use a computer just because the mobile version of a website stripped certain essential features.

Improve Your Local SEO Today!

Local SEO is vital for the online presence of any small business. Since people mainly conduct business online, building a strong foundation on the internet isn’t an optional task.
If you need help in jumpstarting the local SEO strategy of your business, give us a call at (214) 295-5845 to learn more about how we can help you today.
Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “A Complete Guide to Local SEO for Small Businessesinstead.
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How To Optimize Your Website for Voice Search

How To Optimize Your Website for Voice Search

Tips From Search Engine Optimization Experts

Voice Search is one of the most growing trends of the past few years. If you don’t believe that, here are a few core voice search statistics you should be made aware of.

  • Smart speaker sales have grown tremendously across the globe and will reportedly surpass $30 by the year 2024, according to Global Market Insights
  • 55% percent of households are expected to own a smart speaker by 2020, according to OC&C Strategy Consultants.
  • 71% of smart speaker owners predict they’ll continue conducting voice searches in the future, according to PwC

That’s not all. Here’s an interesting infographic from Dialogtech that displays how smart speaker owners will use their devices in the future. 

How Often You Will Use Voice Devices in the Future
Question: How Often You Will Use Voice Devices in the Future

As you can see, voice search is a massively growing trend. With that said, here’s how you can optimize your website for voice search.

Perform Long-Tail Keyword Research

If you’re using current technology, chances are that you’ve performed numerous voice searches. For example, if you’re on your way to a new job, you’ve likely asked Google to say, “Google, where are the nearest coffee shops near me?”
If you haven’t, then you’ve probably asked Siri, “what’s the weather looking like outside?” Regardless of the questions you’ve asked using a voice search, there is one thing in common with all of the search terms you’re using.
Almost all of the search terms you’ll use in voice search are long-tail keywords. Integrating long-tail keywords into your SEO Srategy can work wonders if you’re trying to generate qualified leads via a smart speaker.
It’s as simple as using your keyword research tools to find popular long-tail keywords and generating vivid variations of each one you find. 

Use Local Keywords

Like Long-tail Keywords, utilizing local keywords is also important for Optimizing your Website for voice search. People commonly use smart speakers to find local businesses. Therefore, don’t count on Local SEO to go out of style now.
You’ll still need to perform a lot of research on local keywords in your industry and invent creative ways of integrating these search terms in your site. For example, you can produce a FAQ page (we’ll get to this later) to post all of your local keywords and begin accumulating SEO real estate. 

Provide Immediate Results

When people use smart speakers, they expect immediate results. So, what does this mean? If you are trying to find a nearby donut shop on a smart speaker, would you really feel comfortable visiting a shop if your speaker didn’t give you any information on star reviews or even a phone number?
With that said, make sure your Google My Business (GMB) profile is up-to-date and carries all of your business info. Your smart speaker will typically derive all of its information from your GMB profile.
Still, this isn’t all. You’ll also need to make sure you have a fast website that’s extremely informative.

Optimize for the Buyer’s Journey

Regardless of the apparatus people use to conduct a search, optimizing your website for the buyer’s journey is a critical aspect of the sales and marketing process. For example, let’s say that you want to purchase a smart speaker. 
This is what a typical buyer’s journey will look like and what you can expect a potential query to look like for each specific phase.

  • Awareness: “What’s the best smart speaker available?”
  • Interest: “Can you set an appointment with Google Home?”
  • Evaluation:Is Google more intelligent than Siri?
  • Purchase:How much does Google Home cost?”
  • Customer Support: “Why isn’t my Google Home not working?”
  • Loyalty: “What are some products that work with Google Home?”

Predicting which questions your customers are asking via smart speaker will help you to create a roadmap and design content that will guide them through each phase.

Add FAQs

Adding FAQs to your website is a great way to improve your SEO Ranking for popular questions surrounding your products or services. Google is already displaying popular questions in their organic search results.
If you take these questions and provide in-depth and helpful answers, there’s a good chance that Google or another search engine will feature your answer as a rich snippet. Since smart speakers almost always rely on rich snippets for the answers of questions, this can serve as an amazing boost to your website.

Is Your Website Ready?

It takes a lot of effort to make sure that your website is ready for voice search. If you want to receive professional assistance, give us a call at (214) 295-5845 or visit our website at Agency Partner Interactive for more information.

Not big on reading? That’s okay. Watch “How To Optimize Your Website for Voice Searchinstead.

Using the power of Artificial Intelligence, we turned this blog into a video for you. Check it out below!