Contractors, your business are local. Sure, you may have a large radius around your home or office you travel in the area you serve. But, for the most part you are a local business and you need to use all the tools Google has for you to do just that, local marketing.
The Importance of Google My Business Listing
Creating, editing, and updating a Google business listing isn’t difficult, but many business owners overlook it. This post will explain how your Google listing helps your business get found by new customers, how to edit your business listing to make it more effective, and when you should update your business listing.
While this post is for Google business listings, it’s important to know that there are many other online business listings. Google is the KING of search engines, but business listings on Apple, Yahoo, Yelp, Bing and other search engines should also be used, maintained and updated.
When you put out a yard sign, where did you set it up? Not in the backyard or in the house, but on the street. Why? Because that’s where people are. If you want to be seen, you need to be where people are; and they are online. In fact, 84% of consumers use their computer or tablet to search for local business online, and 88% use their smartphone. Think of how you use your smartphone.
In order to get your business found, make sure you have a Google business listing, and that its representation of your business.
18% of local searches lead to a purchase within a day, versus only 7% of non-local searches. This means the easier your business is to find online, the more likely that a customer will make a purchase within a day of searching for your business. Something as simple as a Google listing can increase traffic to your website, get more phone calls and boost sales.
Gaining Exposure Online
Search engines are not the only way people find products and services they need. There are tons of apps and directories out there, that are specific at directing people to the right search destination. But, these platforms build their databases by crawling the web and using large search engines to gather this info, such as Google. Results show, many of the listings in these smaller directories contain information that has been pulled from Google business listings. By creating a Google listing, this makes sure that all other applications out there will be created with the correct and same information. Which multiplies your reach.
Just as a Google business listing can help your business, an inaccurate or incomplete listing can hurt your business, so it is very important to maintain and update your Google listing.
Helps with Local SEO
Many people are clueless when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization). One of the easiest ways to improve your website’s SEO is to create, maintain and update your Google listing.
Google is constantly crawling the internet for updated information in order to provide accurate and reliable search results. Google’s algorithms enable it to search the web, obtaining as much information as possible on any particular business. The more places your business is listed online, the more information Google can collect about your business. This makes it more likely to show up in search results.
Setting up your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business connects Google search, maps, Google +, as well as Insights, Reviews, and Google Analytics into a one convenient application. This means you can easily manage all these features in one interface and changes will update for all of Google’s services. These services allow your local business to be found more quickly and conveniently online. If you are not a local business, Google My Business is still beneficial as it provides a user-friendly page that allows managers to create content, interact with customers, and track Google Analytics.
Steps to set up Google My Business:
- Visit https://www.google.com/business/ and click “Get on Google”.
- Select or create the Google account you want to use and sign in.
- Search for your business in the prompted area by name and address.
- Once you have found or created your correct business location and type, click on it.
- Google will now create your Google + page with your address you inputted. Check “I am authorized to manage this business” and click continue.
- Google will need you to verify your business so click on “Mail me my Code”. Your code will be sent to your business location.
Congratulations! You now have Google My Business set up for your business!
Before you have access to your dashboard, Google offers a quick tour of Google My Business. Click “Get Started” to be shown around or you can also skip the tour by clicking “Skip Tour”.
- The next step is to add a Profile photo to the account. To do so click “Add a profile photo” under the profile % completion bar on your dashboard.
- Continue the same process to add your business hours, contact information, any additional photos, your website, and finally an intro to your page. Then click “Done Editing”.
You now have customized and set up a Google My Business! All of Google’s helpful services will now be at your disposal in one place. Potential customers will also now be able to locate you more efficiently and have a higher potential to do business!
Make sure to verify your business once the pin is received so you have access to all features!
How to Set Up Your Google+ BUSINESS Page
Choose or get a Business Gmail Account (Do NOT use your personal Gmail)
Avoid creating your business page through just any old account, such as a personal gmail account. Instead, choose a gmail account that is for your business (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), and use that account to create your page. Because Google+ Pages’ administrative capabilities currently don’t seem to be as sophisticated as Facebook’s (which enable you to assign multiple page admins regardless of the page’s origins), you’ll want to choose a business host account.
Create a Page with the Desired Account
Visit http://plus.google.com/pages/create, and if you see the option to create a Google+ Page, get started! Follow the wizard (it’s much like Facebook’s Page wizard), and choose the most appropriate option to classify your business. You’ll be able to select from the following options:
- Local Business or Place
- Product or Brand
- Company, Institution or Organization
- Arts, Entertainment or Sports
After selecting your classification, fill in your basic information, including your page name (i.e. Your company name), your business’ website URL, your category (i.e. Your industry), and the classification of your page’s content (i.e. Any Google+ user, 18 years of age or older, etc.).
Customize Your Public Profile
The third step involves customizing your public profile. The profile basics include your tagline (think of it as your business’ elevator pitch) and an image (your company logo is a great option).
Promote Your Page
At this point, you’ve created the skeleton of your page, and Google+ will now prompt you to promote your page. Our recommendation is to customize your page even further and start sharing a few updates before you begin telling the world about it. Promoting a blank page isn’t a great way to convince people that your Page is valuable enough to add to their Circles. Invest some time in optimizing your page, and sharing a few links to valuable content before you start promoting it.
5. Get Rocking on Google!
This being the most basic level, this is really all you need to do to get your page launched. But as any smart marketers know, the ‘basics’ aren’t usually enough. Intelligent marketers understand the importance of optimizing their page to make it not only more engaging, but also more valuable and effective for lead generation.
In this step, follow Google+’s prompts to create an effective page, and remember — Google+ is a social network. Although every social network has its specific nuances and behaviors, many of the same best practices will still apply. Regularly share fresh content, react and respond to your fans, be engaging, and optimize for lead generation. Then measure, adapt your strategy, and optimize your presence, based on your own individual results and goals.
Google Gmail Account for Your Business
As you start creating a Google account that you will be using to manage Google products, it can be easy to end up using multiple Gmail addresses. This is a common problem. Why? Usually the task is delegated to social media manager, outside agency, or your neighborhood tech kid Johnny.
The problem that presents itself is that it becomes almost a job unto itself to sort out what account owns what Google Plus page, YouTube account, or any other connected Google services. So, we present you with a simple solution, even if you are in the middle of fixing a complete mess of Google accounts and logins. If you are having issues finding out who owns your Google Plus or YouTube account, here is a handy walk through on fixing that problem.
When you are first setting up your Google My Business presence you may be faced with duplicate Google Plus pages, multiple Gmail accounts, not knowing who the page owner is and a bevy of other issues. Luckily, most of the problems are solvable.
Create an email address with your company domain name first, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. The distinct advantage here is that you will always be able to control access to this email account and reset the password if necessary.
This step-by-step walk-through will show you exactly how to use your company email address (the email@example.com email we recommended you set up before or another domain of your choosing) to create a Google Account.
- Open Google.com and click the blue Sign in button at top right of your screen. If you are already signed in, log out first and then click the Sign in button.
- Next click the Create an account link below the sign in box for a new Google Account sign up form.
- Fill in your First and Last Name in the appropriate fields.
- Under the “Choose your username” box is a link that says “I prefer to use my current email address” which, when clicked, will allow you to use your alternate email address. Click that link.
- Then you can enter your current (non-Gmail) email address in the box.
- You can then continue filling out the rest of the form, which is pretty standard and doesn’t require any special steps:
- Create and confirm a password
- Enter your Birthdate
- Select your gender
- Add your mobile phone number (for security)
- Choose your geographic locations
Once you’ve filled out all the fields you can click the Next step button. You’ll then be asked to confirm that you agree with Google’s Privacy and Terms. Once you’ve done that you’ll just need to confirm your account by following the instructions sent to your email address that you gave.
And that’s it! You’ve officially set up a company Google account with your own domain name.
Google is King
As anyone who is online knows, Google is the king and although this is the basic steps needed to start using the king of all search engines, it is the foundation in which to move up in your quest to be the leader in your local market.
If you want help or to have your Google listing, plus all your local listings managed and taken care of for you please feel free to contact us today. We would be more than happy to take you to the next level using Google and other search engines.
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