Google My Business leadsDoes Your Business Use The Google My Business Tools?

If your business marketing strategy includes being found locally by qualified consumers, then a CRUCIAL tool is going to be Google My Business; particularly its local map & search listing tools.

It’s important to note that Google My Business can never replace a website for its depth of specific information, its presentation of a unique brand or it’s broader than local potential geographic visibility; however, it will certainly detail your most fundamentally important information in parallel, as well as compliment, your website with a public (by means of reviews) local identity. Oh, and by the way, it’s FREE.

Google Produces The Majority Of Searching

After all, the majority (maybe 90 percent?) of organic searches come from Google. Google’s Knowledge Graph uses verified Google My Business information to support its database of businesses, hopefully including yours for locally targeted searches. Let’s face it- when someone Googles “Security Installations Company Elizabeth NJ” and you happen to own a security installations business in Elizabeth NJ … you certainly want to be up at the top of those search results. 

And folks, this is not something to set up and forget. To be the leads driver it can be for your business, Google My Business needs to be tended to! So let’s look at how Google My Business will help your business capture local leads.


Google My Business (GMB) Listings… And More

Typical search results include a stack of information including advertisements up top, a local Map Pack of GMB listings and then the organic search results. With GMB you are shooting to be in that local Map Pack of listings, just beneath the ads. Pay attention to these details in order to maximize GMB for better visibility in those highly qualified local search results!

1. Listings

If you haven’t used this tool, the chances are your business is already listed … but you still need to claim your listing! To control a listing on Google My Business a business owner or authorized representative must be able to verify that it either has a physical location that customers can visit, OR show that it will travel to where customers are located. Be sure that it offers a) accurate business name, b) location address (or visit area radius), c) phone number and/or website address, d) business hours, e) the best business categories possible (by choice only) and a f) detailed description. Once a new listing is created & verified, a Google Maps location listing is also generated that synchronizes with traditional Google Search for local visibility.

2. Posts

Like with a social network account, a Google My Business listing offers posting. It’s for sharing announcements, offers & sales, new products, and events via posts that come standard with the listing. It includes the ability to add pictures & graphics. To ignore posts is a LOST opportunity! It’s not only timely information about the business, but it can also provide a backlink to website pages and posts where a greater depth of information can be found. It is also a chance to reinforce the keywords your business targets in searches. Recommendation: post to your Google listing every week, the potential is enormous!

3. Reviews

While no one can control who gives them a review, the public review profile that listings offer compliment a web presence. A listing with reviews & consistent (to website) information offers a public and, thereby, trusted local identity. Be sure to ask customers that you know are happy to write reviews so that a history can form. Furthermore, respond to people who have taken the time to post a review to demonstrate that you are paying attention. If someone ever leaves a bad review – do NOT react, but take the time to answer in a way that demonstrates professionalism and genuine concern to the public. 

4. Photos 

GMB offers the addition of photos. Some potential clients wish to see you, your work and even your place of work. Listings with more photos attract more attention!

5. Insights

GMB knows that you cannot grow what you do not measure. It provides data & analysis in order to show what these tools, as well as the effort involved, are bringing. They may also shed light on what the listing is not bringing and why. Knowing more about how to get a leg up with folks that were looking for what your business offers can only help to capture them going forward.

Local Visibility Drives Leads & New Business

What it boils down to is local information matters to consumers AND what people want locally matters to Google, so it had better matter to you! These details affect your business visibility when it comes to hyper-local search results and the map pack area consisting solely of Google My Business listings. So get verified, plug in your data, post, and pay attention to your GMB account. If you can’t do it, get someone in the know on Local SEO involved. We’d love to help you!

dealing with negative reviewGood reviews are some of the best organic advertising; however, web-based reviews and even a negative review are NOT in a business owner’s control! Reviews posted to random search or directory listing websites is a modern-day reality. It is content that consumers seek out when they wish to know how other people’s experience has been.

And yes the chance of a negative review scares and frustrates business owners, but there is also a BIG opportunity here! A simple plan for reputation management that not only pursues good reviews but also protects against and deals with negative reviews MUST become standard operating business practice (tips below).

Serious marketers NEED a proactive approach to identify, contact and follow through with happy customers for a review. Be thorough: show them (step by step) how to give that review! If so, those annoying listings & citations will become a HUGE competitive advantage even when that negative review occurs!

 


In fact it is crucial to get proactive about asking happy clients & customers for reviews. Here’s just a few of the reasons why:

1) a good review is some of the best advertising a business can ever have
2) 9 of 10 people won’t get around to giving one unless they are asked
3) and finally, lots of good reviews will serve as the back-up a business needs if that bad review ever comes!

Important: Google Map or Search Listings are where reviews are the most visible, so be certain there is a fully verified and optimized set of Google My Business listings in place! Sure ‘Home Advisor’ runs television advertising and maybe someone somewhere mentioned they use ‘Judy’s Book’, but given a choice for where one review will be the most visible… there simply is no comparison to Google listings.

The Correct Steps For How To Deal With A Bad Review

1. Go Direct!:

Respond privately to the individual before responding publicly, if possible. Apologize and acknowledge a mistake or a misunderstanding. Maybe, there’s an opportunity to make up for it in exchange for taking the negative review down or, better yet, for an updated good review. Online reviews are not set in stone, they can always be updated by the reviewer.

2. Present a Positive Position: 

  • Never react, never make excuses in a public response
  • Prepare a response to amicably resolve the situation, but always have others review it before going live
  • Identify yourself as the business owner, explain customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance and that given a chance to speak directly you are certain you can resolve the situation
  • Restate the issue because that person is likely annoyed, they want to know they were heard
  • Do not motivate or engage in a back and forth battle online for the entire world to see. Arguments or trying to explain how events didn’t occur in the fashion reviewed is not going to help! CONSUMERS reading it will lean toward other consumers when they see this. We must understand WE are speaking to the public and the prospective consumer too!
  • Acknowledge a mistake — even if you’re not sure you have made one — apologize and again offer to proactively fix the situation.
  • If an agreement can be reached the person will often take the review down, but if not you have still demonstrated goodwill and the way you conduct business for everyone to see!

3. Manage Consumer Expectations:

Let’s do our very best NEVER to be caught off guard! How? We need to be thorough communicators from the very start. This obvious tip is prevention: a company should carefully manage expectations about what is and what is not being sold. Leave nothing to chance! Some might call it making sure buyers are not set up for confusion or the disappointment that can motivate a bad review in the first place. And folks, drop the ego – we all want support when we buy services and those prospective buyers are no different – so be sure to give them the best you’ve got!

4. Look For Directory Review Policies:

Getting a review removed depends on the listing companies documented policies and whether or not you can prove they were violated, but it’s worth a careful look. Yelp, for instance, doesn’t support reviews from a competitor. No directory will support false user accounts, so be sure the individual is legitimate or you may be able to have it taken down. And there is usually a way to FLAG a false review in your account dashboard calling the directory out to review it with your reasons for why it should be taken down. 

 

Reputation Management is Key

 

The negative side of this coin is you CANNOT control all the listings out there with your company’s information, nor the chance anyone will post a review. If the possibility of getting a negative review makes you hesitant, remember that sooner or later almost every business will get one. There are those rare individuals out there who may NOT be fair. Maybe it’s a less than honest reputation management firm using nefarious tactics to scare up new business for its client at the expense of competition. No matter, it’s why all business owners must have a proactive plan ready. Getting reviews MUST be seen as standard business practice!

And by the way, having nothing but glowing comments can make some readers wonder about whether or not your reviews are even legitimate. Your plan for managing that bad review will speak volumes with potential customers (including the unhappy customer) and can have a far greater effect than the bad review itself.

About Kinetic Knowledge | NJ Local SEO

Based in Monmouth County, NJ, Kinetic Knowledge is a full service digital marketing agency offering custom website designSEOsocial media management, and more.

 

RELATED POSTS ON REVIEWS:

  1. WHY GATHERING REVIEWS MUST BE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE
  2. CUSTOMER REVIEWS MATTER, BUT FAKING REVIEWS CAN GET YOU IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW

What is a Google Crawl? 

Understanding The Google CrawlFor starters, let’s define what a Google crawl is and why that is so important to the business owner. To gather information hosted all over the world wide web for organized search results a search engine like Google must deploy software often referred to as a spider (or a crawler or a bot). By using these spiders to find and review web pages, search engines are able to crawl, index and serve information. 

“Crawling” = Google crawls to discover your website pages
“Indexing” = Google learns what your pages are about, including at minimum your page title
“Serving” = Google responds to a Google.com search with results including your website page, ranking position determined by many other signals

Spiders consume pages and keywords into indexes where it is all compared and ranked for the most accurate SERP (i.e. search engine result page) possible. Notice that we did not mention websites so much as we have web “pages” here. Google wants to index & compare all web pages. Google applies rank to web pages, NOT just to a website or a website’s home page and that’s important for a business to understand. Also notice we mentioned “indexes” and not index. It’s because there are different indexes for different contexts. For instance, the location of a local service search will bring an index of results relevant to that geography. 

It’s why we MUST prioritize pages, posts and our content creation, including an emphasis for the keywords a prospective lead would search. For the business wishing to be visible when people are actually looking for its very products or services, the effort has to begin with content. Content that a search engine can easily identify, consume and organize into its SERPs!

Rebuilding The Google Index – The Business Opportunity!

According to Google, their spiders crawl the web regularly in order to rebuild their index of pages and related keywords. NOTE: Google says it constantly rebuilds its’ index, meaning that it is always looking for the most timely information it can find! This is important because many business owners think they can set up a website and be done with it. Wrong!

why the google crawl is important to business

Search engines demand much more of the content they recommend in search engine result pages (SERPs). And because search engines are constantly rebuilding, the business owner must share the most current information and knowledge in order to remain relevant in these SERPs.

  • Is mobile- friendliness important? Yes!
  • Do inbound links matter? Some, when they are considered by Google to be relevant to the subject … and also trusted?!
  • Does social activity matter? Some, particularly when it drives traffic out from the network to a website page!
  • Is Google looking at how often a page is visited and how long users stay? Yes, reportedly more and more because it is incrementally better evidence for how valuable the page is to visitors.
  • Does Google lose interest in pages? To underestimate the enormous amount of competition is foolish, so we must consider what signals confirm that “this website page remains worthy of a high ranking position for its keywords”!

clicks from searches
In a competitive world for traffic and leads, search engine relevance is NO static exercise. Freshness matters and being timely with relevant content is certainly a competitive signal. Blogging about “what’s new”, for instance, can motivate a search engine to crawl one website more often than another that never adds new content. The more often a website is crawled, the more pages, posts, and keywords it will see consumed into the search engine indexes!

Deep Spider Crawls and Fresh Spider Crawls 

The search indexes are in constant motion (in fact, they are kinetic) and Google crawls the web at varying depths and on several different schedules. Some are believed to be deep crawls and other fresh crawls. It is believed that there are comprehensive crawls (the deep crawls), which occur on a per month basis, and then there are intermediate or random crawls (fresh crawls), which occur more often, but don’t go as deep or index as much.

Some folks refer to the constant motion of the indexes as “the Google Dance”, but the fact is new information is ALWAYS being indexed. Website owners can raise the chance of being crawled deeper and more often, by adding new content frequently. In other words, blog and update or add new useful content!

Google’s spider is capable of comparing previous per page crawls to the current visit at light speed. If it identifies new content often it will schedule more frequent visits. Think of it like a web presence is being judged on each visit. Why? Because it’s highly inefficient and expensive for Google to crawl a website and its pages over and over when nothing changes. NOTE: there is only so much crawl bandwidth and search engines only succeed when they satisfy their search traffic. In order to satisfy search, a business must provide the best user experience possible, which includes the most timely and accurate information possible. ALSO NOTE: due to the “Google Dance” and the constant re-evaluation of website pages, there is never a guarantee a page will remain indexed in the same position from one day to the next… it means, in terms of rank or position, that pages will move up and down!

Motivate Google To Help Your Business: Update Your Pages & Blog!

In all, website pages will be re-evaluated over and over. Like anything else in life worth having, rank and position are earned. So a website needs to be current, consistent and on- topic! And while certain things can help (i.e. page submissions into Google Search Console), focus the most on great new content that people will appreciate, use, link to and share! WHY?: Because Google is looking for the best new content. Help Google help you: write often and write well!

 

See Also:

Google Listing Post - Google My Business Tools Why Marketers Must Use Google Listing Posts


Having a Google listing post strategy is more important than ever! When business owners produce ‘Google My Business’ posts that are timely & relevant they often find consumers click through at a high rate. But why?

Remember that the mental availability of the viewer is much higher than, for instance, with advertisements which are generally an interruption to something a person is reading. In this case they see it because they are searching for the entity, the geography and/or related information.  The consumer is qualified by the search they pursue, which otherwise would not place the Google listing & related post there on that search results page.


Google Post Benefits Include:

 

  • They can improve Google’s entity knowledge of the business  relevance for
    • target keywords
    • business geography
    • specific products and
    • specific services
  • They are an opportunity to place valued offering content high on a SERP
  • They can inform Google about business relevance for images, video and/ or ideas
  • They drive qualified traffic to a listing, where a summarized presentation is made 
  • They can drive qualified traffic to the website, via clicks directly from a post or via the related listing detail 

 

Support With Google

 

Any confusion about the many names and options for managing your local Google presence is warranted. ‘Google Places’ used to be the tool for owners to manage their business profile, but it was retired in 2014. There is also Google’s social network ‘Google+’,  but while it could support the creation of groups its use has diminished to a degree it may not be a productive option for the business hoping to reach local consumers. Today ‘Google My Business’ is the place to manage how the business appears in a local Google Search, on Maps, etc. 

While Kinetic Knowledge tends to listing posts as a standard element of a Local SEO Plan – getting ‘Google My Business tools set up, optimized and verified can be a chore. Ask us about the ‘Google My Business’ tools today!