Author: Cheryl Luzet
As the world’s leading search engine, Google is always evolving, experimenting and aiming to find the best ways for businesses to interact with their users. Although this constant change can have many benefits, it can also be a struggle for small business owners to keep their Google pages updated and in sync with each other. Previously companies needed to have a Google+ and a Google Local page and this could be confusing. To help with these issues and to make things much simpler, Google has this year introduced its new business concept Google My Business.
Google My Business is a platform where you can manage the multiple needs of a business in the online environment. Here you can log in to all your Google pages in one place: share your latest news with your customers, read and respond to customer reviews, update your company information and you even have a data dashboard to help you collate and review your results. Google My Business is an easy and convenient way to control your brand profile across Google Search, Google + and Google Maps. Google have also responded to the fact that many businesses now need to manage their pages on the go as it enables you to do everything via your mobile too!
If you already have a Google + for business page you don’t need to do anything as Google will transfer your account for you – all you need to do is log in via the new portal: http://www.google.co.uk/business.
If you are a new business or you have not previously had a page, then you simply need to go to the Google My Business site and follow the easy steps to setting up your page. Once your page is set up you can begin to think about what to include on your page and how to make Google My Business work for your brand.
As always, you need great content to really get your page going. Make sure that it is compelling, relevant to your customer and something that they will want to share or engage with. Share blogs from your website or any special offers that you might be running to grab your customer’s attention. Striking images are also very important as Google is becoming much more image led – so it could be worth investing in some professional photographs of your products or store. A good way of boosting the relevance of key terms in search results can be to give your pictures keyword-optimised file names, so make sure that you take the time to do this too.
A brilliant new feature of Google My Business is the Insights page where you can see how your company is doing in the search results. This is a vital way to keep on top of your SEO and to see how your campaigns are working. The insights are divided into Visibility, Audience and Engagement. This means that you can see how visible you are online and how customers are finding you. You can also get demographic details about the type of customers that are interacting with your page and how often they are doing so.
Google My Business is also great for letting you review customer engagement with your business. From your central dashboard you will be able to see all customer reviews and your overall score.
Encourage your customers to review your service. This can give your profile a boost as there is nothing more attractive than those 5 shiny stars. Email your best customers, or include a postcard next to your till to request a review. Google can take these reviews into account when ranking your website, particularly in local search.
Reviews can really affect how potential customers perceive you, so encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and make sure that you respond quickly to any negative reviews.
For more information on how to get the most out of Google My Business, contact us.
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