Consumers are searching online more than ever before. But local businesses may actually be seeing less web traffic. How is this possible? “Local search” often starts with Google and there are now numerous ways for consumers to find all the information they need right on Google’s first search results page. Google even allows consumers to interact with a local business – all without ever going to a website! This is all enabled by Google My Business listings that are becoming an increasingly vital component in creating online marketing success and attracting new customers. In fact, a new MOZ report found that 64% of local business marketers agree that Google is becoming the new “homepage” for local businesses. Search used to be all about getting a click to your website. Now, it’s also about getting a click to a Google My Business listing. Websites are still important, but keeping your Google My Business and Knowledge Panel up to date is no longer just nice, it’s absolutely necessary. If you don’t, you’re missing a huge opportunity to promote your business. What is the Knowledge Panel? When a consumer conducts a search for a particular business, Google provide the most relevant results as well a box on the right side of the page that is called the Knowledge Panel. The Knowledge Panel for that business includes directions, phone numbers, hours of operation, and more. Knowledge Panels show up in roughly 40% of searches and are especially crucial for providing consumers actionable results not requiring any additional clicks. You can keep your Knowledge Panel information relevant and up-to-date by first claiming, then verifying, your Google My Business profile. Google My Business is a free, easy to use listing that determines what appears on the Knowledge Panel. This will ensure that your customers can find and contact you, in addition to providing an overview of your products or services. Perhaps most importantly, the Knowledge Panel aggregates consumer reviews, making your online reputation readily available to all consumes. Managing your Google My Business listing, and Knowledge Panel, has become indispensable to online marketing success, as well as putting your business in the best position to get found. Claiming and verifying your Google My Business listing requires a bit of know-how, and we’re here to help -- contact us for more information on how to get started. INSIDE TIP: Subscribers to Engage121’s free HOT!Content service can access our 1-click Google My Business claiming app. Enroll here to get started. Good local marketing in the age of Google is no easy task. But doing it right can deliver some of the best returns for your local business. Interested in learning about how we can help manage your local Google My Business listings, and more? We’d love to talk. Learn more Related Services HOT!Content – a no-cost Daily Email with content and DIY tools. Digital Marketing Assistant, (DMA) – a managed subscription service.
Claiming and Verifying your Google My Business location is the first step to ensuring customers can find your business in Google Search and Google Maps. Now let’s ensure your customers see the best digital storefront possible! Business Info When you Created and Claimed your business, you provided the basics, but there’s more to a business than the address and phone number. Making sure your customers find accurate – and helpful - information is key to starting off on the right foot. Confirm your business category. Check to make sure you have the correct category or categories selected for your business. This will ensure you're showing up in the right search results. Enter your business hours. No one wants to show up to a store to find it closed. Let your customers know when they can expect to find your doors open. You’ll also be able to enter special hours for holidays so no one is left guessing. Confirm your phone number(s). If you have toll-free and local numbers, you can add both here. Confirm your Website. Your Google listing will include a link to your website so make sure it’s sending customers to the right place. Depending on your business, you may also be able to add links for appointment booking, online ordering, or menu. Add your list of services. If you have a list of standard services, you can list them here along with prices. Add a description. Add a paragraph or two to let prospects know what you’re all about. Add an opening date. Let your prospects know how long you’ve been in business. Photos & Videos Your customers (and prospects!) want to learn about your business. Adding pictures and videos provides your customers and prospects a preview of your business before they hop in the car. Exterior Photos. Adding a good exterior photo or two of your storefront will help prospective customers know they’re in the right place. Interior Photos. Add interior photos to showcase the look and feel of your business. Videos If you have a video that tells the story of your business, this a great place to put it on display. At Work Photos. Add pictures to the “At Work” section to show off your friendly staff helping customers. Team Photos. Add pictures to the “Team” section to introduce prospective customers to your team before they even step foot in the store. Messaging Not all customers want to make a phone call. These days, more and more customers would rather text or message you than talk on the phone. Google’s Messaging integration allows customers to text message you without making your mobile phone number public. Reviews Being responsive to customer reviews is pivotal to Local SEO success. Whether it’s a simple “Thank You” when a customer leaves a positive review or jumping on a complaint to make it right, you need to be responsive. Connecting your Google My Business page to HOT!Content and enabling “Reputation Monitor” will help you stay [...]
30 years ago, you would have made sure your business was included in the local Yellow Pages. These days consumers don’t turn to a printed Yellow Pages book when they need something. They turn to a computer, tablet, or smartphone to find local businesses. More often than not Google is the data source behind a consumer’s search, so shouldn’t you be equally sure to create and claim an accurate Google listing for your business? The good news is Google allows you to create and claim your business listing for free through “Google My Business.” All you need to get started is an active Google account. If you don’t yet have a Google account, it’s easy to set one up here. And, don’t forget that we are here to help. Contact us if you would like us to help you through the process. Claiming Your Business Go to https://business.google.com/create and log into your Google account. Enter your business name in the search box. If your business is returned in the search results, click on it to claim it. If your business hasn’t already been claimed, you’ll be able to confirm the business information and claim it under your Google account. If your business has been claimed and verified by another Google account, you will need to request ownership which will automatically send an email to the current owner requesting that ownership be transferred to you. If your ownership request is approved, you’ll be notified by email and will then be able to manage the listing. If your ownership request is denied, you’ll be notified by email and may be eligible to appeal. If there is no response after 7 days, log back into your Google My Business account and look for the Claim or Verify option to claim the business under your account. If your business isn’t listed in the search results, click the “Create a business with this name” option and click “Next” Enter the official address for your business If your business serves a territory, select “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” Selecting this option will enable the option to “Hide my address” if your business doesn’t serve customers at a storefront. Click “Next” If you selected the delivery option, you’ll define your service area before proceeding to the next step. Now select a category for your business Click “Next” Now provide the phone number and website for your business Click “Next” to confirm your business information and finish the claiming process. Verifying Your Business Once your business is Created and Claimed, you’ll need to verify your business before it will appear in Google search & maps. Log into Google My Business with the Google account you used to claim your business. Click “Verify Now” for the location you’d like to verify. Depending on the type of business and information provided, you’ll have different verification options All businesses will have the verify by mail (postcard) option. To use this option, confirm your business address and request the [...]