One of Google’s newest online marketing tools for local search engine optimization (SEO) is called Google My Business. This free tool gives you an additional way to reach out to customers who may already be searching online for exactly what you sell. In this post, learn how to properly set up your Google My Business page to generate more inbound local SEO-driven traffic.
Saving Time with Google My Business
One of the biggest time-saving features of the new Google My Business tool is that you can make changes from the Google My Business portal and they will automatically update your business information on Google+, Google Maps and Google Search.
Another significant time and cost saver is the Customer Relations Management (CRM) functionality that Google My Business provides. By seamlessly connecting you to your existing social networks via your new integrated business page, you can use your page as a platform to easily keep up with your supporters and customers.
NOTE: If you have already set up a Google+ Pages or Google for Business account, you should have received an automatic account upgrade to the Google My Business platform.
Getting Started with Google My Business
Your first step in getting started with your own Google My Business page is to register for a free Google account. Once you have done this, you can sign in to Google using the My Business page login and search by address for any existing references to your local business.
If you find any existing references to your business address or brand name, you first need to claim them as your business. If you do not find any existing references, you can click on “Add Locations” to add your location.
NOTE: It may take up to two weeks to receive a verification from Google (in the form of a snail mail postcard that includes a PIN number you must use to claim your listing in full). So it is best to get started on this task early before your next big marketing push arrives!
SEO Optimizing Your Google My Business Page
From here, you can begin to populate your new business page with photos, hours, contact numbers, websites and more pertinent details.
Here are the steps to take:
– First, be SURE your legal business name, phone number and address are accurate and match what is listed in your Yellow Pages. These are the three most critical pieces of information to ensure your page works to your benefit.
– Next, visit your dashboard and click the red “Edit” button to start editing for SEO.
– Now it is time to add your website, main contact email address, categories (you can add up to five) and an introduction (you get up to 250 words).
A Word About Your Google My Business Introduction Section
It may surprise you to learn that experts recommend against trying to fit all your relevant keywords into the Introduction section. Rather, focus on listing the most requested products/services you offer, local recent awards/kudos, memberships in local associations (i.e. Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau) and your Yelp page(s).
A Few Last Optimization Tips
These tips will act like rocket launchers for your new page.
Tip #1: Embed your Google Maps listing on your website.
Tip #2: Ask for reviews for your page.
Tip #3: Be sure you have your address and phone number listed on your website.
Tip #4: Submit your business to directories.
Tip #5: Check and re-check to be sure your business information is consistent everywhere it is listed.