How 'Google My Business' Can Boost Your Promo Business SEO
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Google My Business is one of the most underutilized platforms by promotional products distributors. It’s easy to set up and manage, and can increase your online visibility and SEO. Every distributor should take advantage of this free tool.
If you don’t have a Google My Business profile or are not quite sure what to do with it, read on. It will help you a great deal with building your online presence and, I promise, it’s very easy.
Google My Business is a program that Google provides for businesses to create their own profile and it’s one of the most underutilized online tools by distributors. There are many advantages to having your own business profile on Google My Business. It’s important to note that it does provide many more advantages to local B2C businesses where proximity is a factor because it’s tied to Google Maps and it picks up the results based on the map location, but there are definitely worthwhile advantages for B2B distributors as well, where Google doesn’t factor in the location and distance in the same way, as buyers will want to visit your website and not go to the business.
Some people confuse Google Maps with Google My Business. Appearing on the Maps doesn’t mean you have a Google My Business account. Because Google wants to have as much information as possible on every business for their maps, they will add your business to the maps based on information they collect through the internet.
As crazy as it may sound, Google lets anybody create a profile for your business and even leave reviews, with you having no access to your own profile. That’s why you want to take control of the situation by creating your own profile or claiming it if there’s a profile already.
It helps your SEO. When you create your profile, you are basically adding your business to Google’s directory of businesses. This validates your business and adds credibility in the eyes of Google. They identify you as an active business, which is very important for Google, as it increases your chances of showing up on the search results. Also, all the information you include is indexed by Google, which is also important. There are other components to SEO, this is not the only one, but it’s important. The best part is, you can set it up on your own very easily.
It ensures your business appears in name searches. More people than you may think search for your business by name. Maybe they met you somewhere or you were referred to them. Also, if your own clients don’t remember the exact URL of your business but remember your name, they may search for your company through Google. You want to make sure you show up in those searches and having a Google My Business profile will do the job.
It’s a trusted place to collect reviews. Google reviews are highly trusted by the public because they are created directly by a real individual. When somebody is evaluating working with you, they’re going to go and check if you have reviews, just like you do in the same situation. Another advantage is that you can display those reviews on your website via apps that bring the review’s feed right to your website. This adds a lot of credibility and increases conversions on your website.
Creating an account is very easy, and once set up it’s very easy to keep updated. Here is how to maximize this valuable tool.
- Fill out all the information. Once you’ve created or claimed your account, fill in all the boxes, including business hours, special holiday hours, whether you are woman- owned or Black- owned, and all your services as well as products. Basically, fill out every single field so Google has as much information as possible about your business.
- Implement the appointment link. You can specify that you work by appointment if you like or encourage people to make one if they prefer by activating the appointment link, which can be a link to the contact form on your website.
- Add photos. Photos of your workplace are very important to Google. Don’t skip this part. Even if you don’t have a commercial location, you still have an office that is most likely set up very nicely and may have shelves with samples, signs, banners, etc. Stage the place if necessary and take as many photos as possible to post on your Google My Business page.
- Make sure your business info is consistent. It is important that your business information across the internet is consistent. What I mean by that is, your business name, your phone number and your address are the same as it appears on your website and in any other directories in which you might be listed—for example, Yelp, the online Yellow Pages, etc. We recommend using the address that Google is showing on the maps, exactly as it is spelled out. It seems like a silly thing, but it is important that everything matches.
- Post regularly. Posting fresh content a few times a week will signal to Google that you are active. This is very easy to do by integrating your account with the social media scheduling tool you currently use, and you can post the exact same content that you’re posting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
- Track Performance. Google will send you an email summary with your page performance, usually once a month. You can also see it by going to the Insights section of your page. For example, you can look at how many times you have appeared on the search results and how many people have taken an action, whether they called you or visited your site.
In these digital times, it’s important to take advantage of as many tools you can to increase your online footprint. Google is always looking to validate pages to show in search results, to ensure that they’re relevant and that they’re solid businesses. Google also values their own properties a great deal so creating a Google My Business page will give Google what they want to help you boost your business.
Gloria Lafont walks through the steps to set up a Google My Business page in this short YouTube video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrms-UcwLRA&t=11s
Gloria Lafont is president of Action Marketing Co., founded in 2007, a company specializing in implementing integrated marketing systems for distributors who want to generate qualified inbound leads and increase sales. Throughout her business career, she has started, bought and sold a dozen businesses in the branding and marketing field, including a distributor company. Reach her at email@example.com and ActionMarketingCo.com.