I also do reputation management online for businesses and my business is muffets comm and I specialize in pet businesses. Hence the mutt buds. Here’s some information where you can find me online today we’re going to be talking about Google, my business, Google, my business is a core component of local SEO, so the first thing is really quickly.
What’s local SEO SEO search engine optimization getting found online local SEO is when you’re targeting a specific geographic location. So, for instance, this here is my little girl Margie. She often grabs my phone and searches for dog, treats near me, she’s, not looking for dog treats in New York or in Texas or in Florida. She wants some really close, because she knows that she’s going to have to walk there and get those she’s not going to be able to get on a plane or get in my car.
I’m not going to give her the car key she’s going to be really close. So that’s local SEO, if you do targeting a specific geographic location. One thing is to remember: 71 percent of customers look to confirm the address online before actually going to a store for the first time. So it’s extremely important here’s another I’ve got a few different statistics. You can read over them a few of the key ones: 46 percent of all searches on Google are local.
18 percent of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day. Seventy-Five percent of smartphone owners. They use that Google search list first. So this you can just review over some of those as well and take a look at that Google, my business is really crucial for a small business. That’s targeting a local geographic area. It’s how you get found in the searches how you get found in the Google map searches.
You’ve got to have your information correct. If your information is not correct, you will come up lower in the searches you’ve got to have that information. Correct Google will find out if it’s not, you will come up lower in the searches also. This is where your Google reviews are extremely important. We’re going to talk a lot more in depth about that a little bit later, the reviews, but that’s extremely extremely important for your business, so the Google 3-pack again, I said Margie’s looking for dog, treats near me.
This is what she’s going to find earlier. If you were here during Jenny, Munz talk, she was talking about when you do a search on Google, you have ads come up and then you’ll have the map. This is a lot of times, people call it the 3-pack snack pack and you have the top three searches that come up and then at the bottom. You can hit more places. It’s got a map, so that is the Google 3-pack. That’s really what a lot of people are.
The goal is to get up into the 3-pack and as far as how easy or hard it is to get into that three packet really depends on the industry. How competitive your industry is in your area as to how quickly you can get up into that 3-pack and also then you’ve got to stay there. The Google knowledge panel, Google, my business the knowledge panel. It looks different on a cell phone, just like all searches.
Things. Look different on a cell phone and than they do on the desktop. So you just need to be aware of that. When you’re logging into your Google, my business account and you’re changing things, you want to make sure how it’s going to look and come up on the desktop versus the mobile. It’s got different information you’ll see on the mobile right. There call save message: you’ve got on. There’s the menu which is different services and things and you’ll notice the menu all that service is there that comes up only on mobile.
So if you’re inputting services that will only come up on mobile that doesn’t come up when you’re look the desktop. So if you’re entering things and you’re wondering why don’t see them check your mobile device and look and see if you find them there, okay look at my business. The first thing you need to do is a small business or any type of business is to set up and claim your Google. My business account you’re going to do that at business, google.
Com make sure you’ve gone there, set up or claim your Google my business account. It’s going to allow you to tell Google your seasonal hours your holiday hours. Let’s see, we’ve got Memorial Day coming up later this month, if you’re going to be closed that day or have different hours that day, you need to put that in Google. So when someone’s coming in searching, they know that you have different hours on that specific Monday.
You can input your images there you’re going to also input reply to reviews. You can add events if you’ve got a store and you’ve got a pop of it. Something going on or a big special that’s where you need to put this, as in your Google, my business account it’s where you really are going to have direct contact with your customers. So again, it’s extremely extremely important. Now mirja gets really upset when someone else has claimed your account.
She really doesn’t like it. I have seen this time and time again with small businesses that come to me and say I want help with my Google account and say, okay. So, let’s look at the account. Make me a manager. I’ll come go in and look at it. They say I have no idea and I can see that their account has been claimed, but they don’t have access to it. So that is why you really need to make sure that you claim your account yourself.
It you can. If someone else has claimed it, you can reclaim it. It takes time and effort, and it’s not going to be immediate. So you do need to make sure you own it. If you don’t get get control of it again own it. You have to be the owner. So let’s say, for instance, you have an employee, that’s maybe managing your account. Well, that’s fine! They can manage it. It’s just kind of similar when you think of like Facebook, you have admins and managers different roles, the same with Google.
You have an owner and then you have managers make sure it’s the business owner you’re the owner of that account employees as well. You can put them on as a manager, but if you have an employee that leaves let’s say they leave and leave on bad terms and they’re the owner of the account who news what they could do to your Google account. They could even do this, so I had someone come to me recently and she said I don’t know business is just off.
I don’t nothing. I don’t know what’s happening. First thing I did was have. Let me look up on your Google and see. What’s going on, Google says she’s permanently closed, not just closed for today permanently closed. This is probably why you’re having a decrease in your business because of business. If Google says you’re closed you’re kind of closed you’re, not kind of you are closed, so that’s something that it can be fixed.
But again she did not have control of her account, so she could not admit she did not get any notification from Google that this had been done. She had no way to go in and immediately tell Google I’m not permanently closed, so it had to be worked with. So you do not want your business to. Definitely don’t want it to say this on Google, yes, so you’re the owner, the others are managers yeah mm-hmm yeah, but the main thing is that you’ll want and it’ll give you have.
You picked through different things, and I theory I don’t remember exactly. There aren’t very many choices. The main thing is that you’ll be an owner and someone else is going to have a different role. So that brings me to one thing talking about google guides, so I I currently am a level seven Google guide and what that means is basically Google guys we sign up and we answer, questions do tons of reviews.
Google will come on and ask questions and I’ll answer them and you got points for all of the questions. The answer is the images the articles that you add on to Google, about different businesses that you visit and Google the higher up. You get the more authority. Google gives you so, for instance, one thing that came up recently. I went to the acupuncturist for the first time I had a new guy was going to and I put in Google and said, take me there and it took me to down the road and, it said, turn left.
I turn left and I couldn’t find it so. I was looking at the street numbers and I had to turn right instead of left. So when I got there I mentioned to him, I said Google’s got you on the other side of the street. What’s going on with that, you know people aren’t going to find you they’re going to be late for your appointments. That’s going to mess your whole day up. Somebody may just go home and not come.
He said what I’ve been trying for months and months and months to change my pin. Google just says: no, so as a level seven guide, I was able to go in and immediately change it and Google accepted it and it’s still the correct address. So that’s one reason: having someone: that’s a Google guide higher up level is important to have that you’re. Working with on your team, because Google looks at that their answers as the authority because they constantly, we constantly give answers to Google and tell Google different things that are going on.
I’m sorry, um. No, they don’t pay, I’m not paid. Occasionally there are different little freebie things they’ll send out, but however it is it. I haven’t even clicked on some of them, some like newbie tickets to this or that or the other, but I have a occasionally you’ll get something. So there’s really not. You never know who’s a guide and I’m going to get to a lot of questions at the end. But as far as the google guides, that’s the thing you never know.
Who is a google guide? So when I go into a store and I’m like I’m a level seven guide – they better be nice to me now, but but yeah you never know like when somebody is coming in and is a Google guide. So you need to make sure, obviously, that you’re you’re doing your business well and treating everyone the same way with respect okay. So, let’s get into optimizing your profile again: business google.
Com you’re going to go in and basically fill out everything Google. Once you ask for throw all the information out first thing is your name address and phone number on this? You might just think. Oh, that’s easy name address phone number, no problem, you’ve got to be consistent, there’s things called citations and when I say consistent I mean if you are on Main Street, make sure every place that you enter Main Street.
You enter that and you don’t put Main St period, because if you go in to Google and put one thing in Facebook and have something else and they’re inconsistent other places online pick them up. Other places that you haven’t even entered. The information will pick that up and then you’ll have inconsistent citations and that will hurt you in your ranking. So you need to make sure your name. Address. Phone number is consistent across the board and the way I like to do that is figure out exactly how I want it and put it in a document and anytime.
I need to input the information. That’s where I get it from. I don’t have to think back. What did I use it’s right there? Oh before I forget, I do want to hand around my shoebox. I am going to be doing a drawing, so if anyone is interested in a free 30-minute, article chat with me. Please put your business card in and if you don’t have a business card, you can put your name phone number email legibly on a piece of paper and I’m going to be doing a drawing for that and then also everyone will get the slides and I’ve got Some other free stuff for you, too, okay, so Google guidelines, you cannot ignore Google, I mean we all know that, but the dot guidelines you have to abide by their guidelines.
I’m going to first talk about website and phone your website. They want your URL for your business. Let’s say: you’ve got a special going on and you have a landing page. You cannot use that landing page here in your main information for Google. You’ve got to use your URL for your business, your main URL website. That’s the cute first one, the phone number very same thing with the phone number. If you’ve got a phone number that you are using for, let’s say something different for some type of marketing that you’re doing you can’t use that you’ve got to use your business phone number that you use every day there.
You also talked a little bit later about website info in different places that you can put different numbers and websites, but for this instance, when you’re filling out your business information, it’s got to be your exact information. Okay, let’s talk about name. Google says that your business name listed on Google. My business must be your real world name as used consistently on your storefront website stationary and is known to customers.
Okay. So what does all that mean? Let’s say you have a business and it is Joe’s towing. You cannot put in there Joe’s 24 hour, towing marietta, that is first keyword stuffing, which is the 24 hour and then it’s location stuffing, which is the Marietta you have to put. If your business name is Joe’s towing, that’s what it has to be. So that’s one thing: you need to make sure that you get right on your name, your address.
This is a big one, especially for businesses that are more service related that maybe work out of their home. The address it’s really important to know that Google does not allow a UPS Store box, a p.O box or one thing – that’s interesting, co-working space that I do have a little bit of a caveat on so I’ll talk about that wants you to have your address listed. If you have people come to you to a storefront location, co-working space, some co-working spaces will have where you actually have a desk that you are at about seven five, seven days a week or whatever and they’ll also have where you have a business phone.
Where you answer the phone there – and you have your name listed on a plaque – that’s acceptable, but you cannot have your phone answered by what are some of these places like Regis they’ll have like the receptionist that always answers your phone? That’s not acceptable. It has to be answered there, so that’s the only instance that you can use co-working space, and this is one thing to a lot of home offices.
So, for instance, I work out of my home office. I don’t see customers there. I go out and visit with them, so I’m not going to have my home address shown now one point in Google when I’m verify my account I’ll need to give them an address, because they’ll need to make sure that I’m actually a person. That’s real and I have an address to send stuff to you so I’ll give them that address there, but it’s not going to have my home address listed on my account, because I don’t see customers there.
The only time that you’re going to want to have it listed is when you are going to see people actually come to your home, and then you also have signage for your business there at your home. Not many places have that a lot of counties that you have to go through a lot of stuff to get around that, but that’s something that you have to know for home businesses that you can’t you have. You can give them your address, but you it has to be hidden, yes, have a question, so what you’ll do if you have, because a lot of things are service based, so what you’ll do is Google will ask for your service areas and you’re going to input Those service areas – and it really depends on how you’re going to input up.
I like to do a by zip code, because it’s really specific so I’ll tell people give me all the zip codes and I’ve entered recently. I did one that had like 25 or so zip codes. I don’t know that there’s a limit I haven’t reached that yet, but you can also put cities but, for instance, if you’re Atlanta and you do north Atlanta, but not South Atlanta, you’re not going to want to do that. So that’s one instance, but now for the pin, the only ones that will actually have a pin on the map are the ones that have addresses.
However, you can show in the rankings, if you don’t have actual pin on there. So that’s one of the main things is to make sure that you’re coming up in the rankings and the short search rankings being found there. Now Google has something called the new Google. My business spam complaint form, and this is to basically report. If there’s somebody out there, who has these things they’re doing the address the names incorrect, you can report them.
I haven’t had the opportunity to use this because, typically, when I report something to Google, I haven’t had them rejected. So I haven’t had an opportunity to use this form, but it is available for you there, and so like I was saying you can’t have the the name and address has to be correct. So if you’re searching for yourself you’ve got to what you’ll need to do is look up on the search results and see, are you number six and maybe like two or three people above you have all these keyword and location stuffing you can those need to be Reported they’re trying to gain the system and get above you, so that’s one thing that you can do is search and look and make sure you’re working on a level playing field.
I’m sorry a location something so earlier. When I said, if you were Jose towing, you can’t put just towing Marietta, Jose towing, Midtown. You’ve just got have Jose blowing Plumbing toing toing, see location, stepping is putting the globe patience so, let’s say, for instance, a big one Petsmart. They don’t do this, but, let’s just say: Petsmart they’ve got a location in Kennesaw and they want to emphasize that so they’ll put Petsmart Kennesaw, that’s not allowed.
They don’t do that because I’ve checked but but that, but that’s not allowed categories. When you’re inputting your categories. This is one thing that you can really take a look at your competition and see exactly what they’re doing and maybe gain some insight from that. So is there something that they’re putting in as a category that you don’t have and you’re missing out on something or is it there something that they don’t have, and you do and you can maybe emphasize that and gain some of their traffic away from them? Another thing with this I’ll say is when you’re looking at the competitors for categories and things like this – do not copy what they’re doing.
For instance, if you have a veterinarian, some veterinarians do grooming and boarding some do not. So if you’ve got a competitor, just down the block and and they’ve got in there, boarding and also grooming and you’re, so I’m going to add these into mind. Don’t do it? Google will find out that you’re lying to them and you’ll come down further in the ring, so basically it’s a tool to use not to copy now your business description.
This is something that’s really important. It’s where you’re going to stand out from your competition, it’s where you’re going to tell Google what it is that makes you different, unique: the different services products whatever it is, that you’re offering that are different and unique. You need to make sure that you input this information here. This is the one place that you can enter that information tell them what you offer and one thing is.
You need to take some time working on this, because it’s seven hundred and fifty characters or less characters, not words, characters so make sure you’re spending some time figuring out what you’re going to put on that the next thing: they’re different things services. I said earlier when you enter that, go and look at it on your cell phone, because when you go and look at it on the computer, afterwards you’re going to say well, I just spent time entering all my services and nothing shows up.
It’ll show up on the when you’re looking on your phone different things attributes these are things. Basically, if you click on that or not attributes highlights you’ll click on that and Google will give you a list of things that you can choose from. You can’t pick your own, so basically I’ve seen women LED veteran LED if it’s like something a restaurant, it might say Wi-Fi available so basically you’re going to be able to choose what from there google allows you to, and when I mentioned that, I also want to Go back and talk a second on the categories.
That’s also something. When you choose your category, you can’t just decide what what you do. You can’t say this is the category I think I am. Google has a list of categories and you have to choose from them. So that’s something you might want to spend some time, looking down a huge long list of categories and see where your business fits: okay, your holiday and seasonal hours. These have got to be correct if somebody comes by your business and you say: you’re open and whatever you’ve got something seasonal hours and they’ve changed and you’re closed you’re not going to have a happy customer they’re going to get pretty ticked off holiday hours as well.
Again, I said, we’ve got Memorial Day, make sure you’ve got whether you’re open or closed on that day. Your specific hours, you don’t want people coming by your store. I know I went a while ago. I was probably a year ago to Pyke lift him up on. Google, they said we’re open, I went by, they were closed, they had seasonal hours, they had not updated their Google, my business okay, so because of that, the goal of my business is not a set it and forget it.
You can’t even put all your informations that I’m done, I’m finished. No, it does not work like that. You have got to consistently keep on top of it. There are also things Q & A so on each business. Anyone can go in and ask a question. Anyone out there can answer that question. So, let’s go back and say the holiday hours. Let’s say somebody put in there. What are your current hours this weekend and somebody else goes in and answers them and they’re wrong, because you’ve got just new holiday seasonal hours as the business owner.
You need to go in. Look at that and answer it correctly as the business owner. No, we’ve got new seasonal hours and this is what they are and this is when they last so. It is not a set it and forget it type of account, and then I want to get to the reviews again, not a set it and forget it. Type of platform reviews you’ve got to consistently ask for Google reviews. Few things not to do. You cannot incentivize.
Basically, that means you can’t do any contest and say leave us a review and you’re going to be entered into a contest. That’s a big no-no, no giving any discounts for leaving reviews. None of that. The other thing is no review gating. So I’m not sure if you were familiar with what review gating is, but that’s basically when you send out something to all of your customers and say how did you like our product or service and if somebody says loved it, leave us a review hated or didn’t? Like it had a problem, they’ll go over here and it’ll say: take them down a whole different path.
That’s considered review gating and Google is strongly against that there is here it is. There was one company I write about online, they did review gating, they had 464 reviews, Google found out, they were review gating and when Google got done with them, they had 78 reviews left. So I’m sure they probably paid a company because there are companies out there that will read gate for you probably paid for all those reviews had all these reviews and then they got them taken down and not only that the business said we had more than 78 Before we started this review, gating google says we’re: Google, we don’t care, so no mu, gating.
The other thing you need to do is make sure you consistently ask for reviews and you want quality reviews. You don’t want just a review. A five-star review is great as a 5-star review, but you really want something with more meat to it, not just great job. You want something you, your real key is to have something with your keywords in it. So when you’re asking them to leave a review whatever service our product, it was that that you provided mention that and try to trigger them to use those keywords in your review, because when Google does searches, I’ve searched numerous times and a keyword will come up and They’ll say this is why we gave you this result and it’ll be from an answer in a review and they’ll.
Have that keyword? Let’s see the and reply to all reviews, positive reviews, of course, you’re going to want to reply to negative reviews. These are the ones that a lot of people cringe on they don’t want to. With you have to the main thing, I will say about the negative reviews: don’t go overboard, don’t let them take you down the rabbit, hole and leave a huge long review response to their negative review, basically be short, concise and pleasant, businesslike with them, and just basically Ask you to say: I’m sorry you had this experience.
I would love to talk to you further to see what we can do about this, because when you light your response, you’re, not only writing it for that person, you’re! Writing it for everyone out there I’ll tell you one of the first things I do. When I look at reviews, I sort it by the lowest score people do that, I’m not the only one and look and see what the negative reviews are and see how the business owner responded.
So if you’re like oh it’s one crazy person, they just evidently don’t like anybody and they just left a review bad review because they had a bad day. Well, a lot of times people can kind of read through and tell this is might be unusual and and if they see you just go down a rabbit hole with them, they said well, this business owner. They might be a little bit crazy too. I don’t want to do business with them, so that’s why you want to be it and basically be polite and just short and try to get it offline and and deal with it that way.
Few more things for different statistics: 68 % of customers have left a local business review. That’s one of the things. A lot of people they’ve had a good experience. They’ll want to leave your review just say: can you help me out leave me a review, I’m trying to get up help me out on Google. I’d really love you to leave a review. People are really willing to do that. Let’s see 91 percent of 18 to 34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
That’s a pretty big number. I know a lot of times. If someone, if I get a recommendation, I might then go online and look them up to see what it says online. So that’s something you definitely need to keep into in mind. Also, like I said earlier, 82 % of customers seek out negative reviews. They want to see what the negative review was and how the business owner responded to it post. This is something that Google right now has.
Is your free advertising? You can post as often as you want. I recommend at least once a week at a very minimum once a week, because these posts stay live for seven days, so you need to post at least once a week you’re going to post images. You can also post some short articles. This is your free advertising. You can post your specials your promotions, your events make sure you’re posting events that you’ve got on there post them on your Google, my business profile, any type of promotions.
Also, when you’re posting it, it will say, add a link optional. No, no! No! That’s not optional! That’s just google telling you it’s optional, it’s not optional! For you! That’s where you can put a link there, that’s different than your URL. So let’s say, for instance, you’ve got something going on and you’ve got a sales landing page. You can use that and put that information there so make sure you’re using the posts in Google my business.
The other thing you’ll want to do is embed your Google, my business map on your website because has a nice pretty little map there and you can see the stars. People can look on there and see. So you definitely want to embed that on your website. Now. I’ve also seen people put a button on their site. That says, leave us a review. I typically don’t like doing that because that’s kind of like for everybody – and I don’t know that you’re my customer – I want to send my direct people that I’ve had direct contact with directly to leave a review.
So I typically don’t do that. One thing is: if you do that, please make sure you are leaving a link to your Google, my business profile. So I had a client come to me recently and she said she’s starting a business and here’s a website for a competitor, and this is what she’s going to be doing so go Kay. Let me take a look and see, see everything that’s going on for this business. There was a link, a button on the site.
That said, leave us a review, so I’m going to check out for Google my business page, so I clicked on it. My client and her competitor are in California the place that it took for the customers to leave reviews all the way in North Carolina. It was a very similar name. Somebody had simply set up the website and searched on Google found a similar name and stuck it in there and said, give us reviews and that place had over a hundred and some reviews.
I’m like how many reviews did this business in North Carolina get that are actually for this business in California, so make sure you’re checking things like that and again, when you’re asking for reviews, definitely give them the direct link to your Google, my business to leave a Review, ok, so again it is not a set it and forget it. People can go in, ask and answer questions and again anybody can report something as incorrect.
You need to make sure you’re going in consistently and checking those make sure. Sometimes Google will say you have a pending edit. You need to take a look at that decide. Is this something that that needs correcting, or is this something that is incorrect, and I need to let Google know no? This is not right, so it is not a set it and forget it. You’ve got to spend time on it. Ok, so what is next with Google, my business, it’s Google who knows recently they this week.
Actually, they came out with a survey, and I know a lot of people are freaking out saying because the survey was talking about Google monetizing, Google, my business possibly charging for the account all. I can say that that is right. Now they sent a survey out. We have no idea what’s going on with it, no idea, if it’s going to be something that’s paid in the future or not, and if it’s paid how much it would be.
So the main thing is and and the other thing they just sent a survey out – they could change it next week. They could change it next year. Who knows so basically get in claim your account optimize. It make sure you’re using your Google. My business account