X3 Digital Marketing Google My Business, Local SEO, Paid advertising experts

10 Ways To Optimize Google My Business Right Now

Local SEO is fundamental to small business organizations that work on a local, instead of a general level. While public SEO moves in the direction of driving clicks the nation over, local SEO organizes showing up on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in a particular area. Tying all of these things together is Google My Business. This system relies on showcasing your business through images, products, and marketing specifically to local leads and clients.
Growing your local SEO implies more site traffic, leads, and growth since the methods are more applicable to nearby clients’ base. By using Google My Business, a local business can compete head-to-head with huge, national companies with much deeper pockets. By working on specific local SEO tasks, you can kill the upside of more notable brands who are much more likely to market catchphrases and national recognition rather than focusing on the visibility of their local business listing.

Further, 46% of all search traffic is looking for a local business listing [SOURCE]. Without local SEO, your business could be missing out on a lot of traffic.

With all that in mind, here are the
Ten ways to optimize Google My Business for the best local SEO.

Global spending on digital marketing nears $100 billion: study

Step 1: Get a Google My Business Account

1. Get a Google My Business Account

Improving your Google posting (otherwise known as your Business Profile) is probably the best way to rank higher on Google Maps to gain visibility in Google Search nearby outcomes. To get access to your Business Profile to make these improvements you first need a Google My Business account related with that profile. When you give the entirety of the mentioned data in your Google My Business account dashboard, the whole of that data will be added to your Business Profile, which shows up in Google Search nearby outcomes, the Google Search Knowledge Panel Google Maps.

To improve your Business Profile on Google, make sure that you:

  • Create a Google My Business account and confirm responsibility for business (also known as “claiming” a business)
  • Provide precise and exceptional data including the correct address and phone number as well as hours of operation.
  • Include your logo, how long you’ve been in business, how your service sets your business apart, the products or services you sell, and a lot of pictures (inside and outside of your business as well as projects)
  • Encourage your clients to leave a review on your business listing
  • Respond earnestly and quickly to client reviews – even when it comes to negative reviews
  • Publish posts (reporting items, occasions, and special offers) to your Business Profile through the Google My Business dashboard.

Step 2: Create a detailed and CTA-driving description

2. Create a detailed and CTA-driving description

The description of your business that you add should be clear and should make potential customers want to reach out to you. If you’re not familiar with the internet parlance of “CTA” that means, “call-to-action” and means that you are using words in the form of instructions or outright requests to take action. The most straightforward illustration of a CTA is something like, “Buy now!” or “Give us a call to find out more!”.

The more information you can give potential customers, the better. You can tell your crowd what’s in store when they contact you or visit your location. You can also help make sure that a customer who’s not really looking for your business (we call these, “tire-kickers”) doesn’t waste your time. While it is a must that your Google My Business profile makes it obvious that you’re an expert in your field, it’s also important to let customers know – especially those who find your business in local search rankings – that you’d love to talk to them. Let that person know through your CTA’s that they can stop by or – especially during the days of COVID-19 – they can pick up the phone and speak to an actual person.

Step 3: 3. Choose the right business category

3. Choose the right business category

Categories let potential customers know what you do and what you offer. Being clear about this means that the combination of a local Google search and map results can inform shoppers of exactly what you do and how close you are to them.

For instance, if your primary classification is “Pizza café,” Google may show your business in somebody’s local search items when they look for “Cafés,” “Italian eateries,” or “Pizza.” Your class is only one of the numerous variables that can influence your local ranking on Google. Get familiar with local search ranking and how specific categories and sub-categories can affect your business.

Step 4: 4. Select the right attributes for your business

4. Select the right attributes for your business

Google My Business attributes are probably the most important details about your business that show up on your Google My Business posting and in other local business listings. They demonstrate things like payment options, amenities, accessibility, and other highlights including COVID-19 accommodations and availability.

Google My Business attributes are essential to customers, and they are critical to Google in ensuring the correct SERPs are delivered. It is a speedy and compelling path for a business owner to convey what might be essential to a customer.

Step 5: Add photos to your Google My Business listing

5. Add Photos

When it comes to local search engine rankings, there are a lot of factors which can not only affect your ranking, but also whether or not a person clicks on the link to your website above others. Probably one of the most important – especially when a business has a very visual product or service (we’re looking at you, roofing companies!) is photographs and this is where adding photos to Google My Business comes in.

In Google’s eyes, adding photos helps to show that your business is real – especially when you include pictures of your staff. It helps show off a bit of your business’ character and helps increase trust. It’s a bit surprising that Google My Business puts so much weight into pictures but, with how much rich media content adds to other platforms, it should be surprising.

Having a few pertinent pictures in your posting will help your business stand apart from the group, accomplish higher rankings, and stand out online.


CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED WITH GOOGLE MY BUSINESS!

Step 6: 6. Get clients to leave Google My Business reviews

6. Get clients to leave Google My Business reviews

Reviews on Google (among other online reviews) give essential data about your business to both you and your clients. Business reviews show up close to your posting in Google Maps and search and help your business stand apart on Google.

Asking existing clients for a review of your business is simple by sending them a short URL to visit. To get reviews on Google, urge your clients to get the message out about your business by following these prescribed procedures:

Remind your clients to leave reviews. Seriously. Be explicit and know that happy clients are often happy to share their experience. Tell them that it’s easy, fast and straightforward to leave business reviews on mobile phone or regular computer.
When a client leaves a review, respond to them. Your clients will see that your business values their opinion, and potentially leave more reviews later on. However, don’t think that all reviews are going to be good! If a customer has a less-than-great experience (ESPECIALLY if this is the case) and leaves you a bad review, you should use your response as an opportunity to find a resolution. This will show that client – and others who read that review – your professionalism and flexibility.
Check your business, so your data is qualified to show up on Maps, Search, and other Google administrations. Just confirmed organizations could react to reviews. Figure out how to verify your business.

Step 7: 7. Post to your Google My Business profile regularly

7. Post to your Google My Business profile regularly

At the very least, you should post on Google My Business at regular intervals.

A lot of businesses post once every day and have seen excellent outcomes and improved rankings. In fact, Google actually seems to defer strongly to companies that use Google’s tools (including Google My Business) frequently.

In any case, remember that the latest Google post shows unmistakably in a search, so if there is some important information or deal that you need individuals to see, it very well may be a smart thought not to have another post for the following six days. That way, that post won’t be covered behind the more up to date posts until you’re ready. Remember this when sorting out how frequently to post to Google My Business is ideal for you.

Step 8: Ask questions your clients might ask and then answer them

8. Ask questions your clients might ask and then answer them

This may seem like an odd thing to do but, if you’ve been a good business owner – and we know that businesses owned by people who aren’t fail quickly – you’ve certainly heard more than your fair share of customer questions. So, with those questions now being typed into mobile searches, local searches, searches in your zip code, etc, you have a golden opportunity to help guide potential customers to the right answers.

For instance, if you’re a pizza restaurant, you can use Google My Business to post something like:

“Does Bob’s Pizzeria have outdoor seating? Yes, yes we do! Bob’s Pizzeria has a beautiful patio with heaters for when the weather gets a bit colder. Come on in and check it out!”

Not only can this act as a valuable tool for businesses but it also serves to answer specific questions about your location which people are likely already wondering about. It also is a factor in local search engine optimization (local SEO) which search engines look for.

Things like this can be even more important during the days of COVID-19 when people are sometimes reluctant to simply find a nearby location. They want to know if a business is open, if they have outdoor seating and if they have accommodation for cleanliness measures. People don’t want to waste their time simply heading to a businesses address only to find out that they can’t – in our Pizzeria example – eat there.

Step 9: Add your products and services

9. Add your products and services

The Product and Service Editor in Google My Business is all businesses but caters more to small to medium-sized organizations. Aside from a couple of verticals, most businesses can utilize the Product and services Editor to showcase their products to potential clients.

How it works:

Recently updated items and categories show first in the Product Catalog. To feature an item, make a minor update to carry it to the highest point on the list.
To ensure all clients utilize search, check your items and add your them through the products tab in your Google My Business dashboard.
Retail vendors can use the Product Editor to transfer items to their Business Profile. To look more closely at the products you offer, clients can tap the items in your Product Catalog and product posts.
Once again, this is an opportunity to use your product posts to drive people to either buy online or to visit your business location. Remember that Google tries to prioritize local businesses above larger, national companies who are actually located near a particular location. For instance, in our earlier example of of Bob’s Pizzeria, a person may be searching for a local pizza restaurant and a national competitor miles away from their location isn’t what they want. In this way, local businesses can compete by using their local nature and their address relative to local search optimization to dominate the big boys.

Step 10: Make regular updates to your Google My Business profile including offers and promotions

10. Maintain your Google My Business profile with regular updates
Regular updates are essential to ensure that your Google my Business profile does not become out of date or stale compared to its competitors.

One suggestion that we have is to set one (or more) day a week to add content to your Google My Business profile as well as other local citations. Be sure you’re using local keywords (example: Roofing companies in Fort Collins CO) which search engines can use to establish local intent. Use these updates to share company promotions and new industry features.

If you do not maintain your Google My Business profile regularly with updates, your competitors will surpass you, and your business may lose revenue.

The Bottom Line
While we hesitate to say too broadly that consumers have become “smarter” they have become smarter consumers when it comes to searching various links for more information about a particular product or business. It’s not enough to just be a local business in a certain category – you have to set yourself apart.

Now, the “word of mouth” marketing thing is something which a ton of businesses point to as their only method or marketing. While that is certainly one of the MOST powerful small business marketing tools, it’s also an incomplete pathway to a new customer these days. In fact, if “Jenny” recommends a mechanic to someone, that someone searches for that business online 68% of the time. On top of that, if that business doesn’t have any online reviews or if their website is lackluster (or non-existent) then potential customers are extremely likely to look elsewhere.

At X3, a huge part of what we do for our clients is help them build out many different types of citations and perhaps the biggest these days is Google My Business. So, if you’ve gotten this far and you’re shaking your head saying, “I do NOT want to mess with all this stuff!” then you need to either pick up the phone and call us or CLICK HERE to send us a message. We want to help your business DOMINATE YOUR COMPETITION ONLINE.

Curious to see how small business from X3 can hep you DOMINATE YOUR COMPETITION ONLINE? Get in touch!

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X3 Small Business SEO Packages

Small Business SEO Packages; Finding The Right One

Small business SEO. Is it worth it?

Let’s be honest, COVID-19 has affected just about every aspect of our lives. From how we go “out” to eat to how we shop, consumers are going online to search for what they need more than ever. Simultaneously, businesses are having to adapt how their existing and potential clients find them. Gone are the days of relying on radio, word-of-mouth marketing or newspapers. Local search engine optimization (aka, local SEO and small business SEO packages), Google My Business, local citations and business listings, digital advertising and an entire suite of SEO services related to digital marketing is how we shop.

Today we’re going to take a look at how a local SEO package can turn just a website visitor into a customer and how important it is for a business to be relevant in the digital space. But first, do the goals of a well thought out SEO strategy make it worth the cost?

Global spending on digital marketing nears $100 billion: study

Yes and no. I met a potential customer a couple of years ago in the home services space. More specifically, his company provided electricians, plumbers, heating and air conditioning services. As part of his digital marketing strategy, he was using Google PPC (pay-per-click) advertising – which is definitely one of the services that X3 provides and includes in the online marketing strategy for many of our customers. His spend with Google was about $6,000 per month which is a healthy spend and was paying for itself with a roughly 1:1 direct return on investment. Where he lost money however, was in how he was managing his PPC campaigns.

X3: Small business SEO. Is it worth it?

This gentleman was doing all of the keyword research, competitor analysis, conversion goals, and other work to run his campaigns all on his own which is quite common among many small business owners. When I asked him how many hours a week he spent managing his ads, he told me about 10 hours per week (40 hours per month for those playing along). I then asked him what his hourly rate was for he and his employees, he told me it was a baseline of $100 per hour. This means that he was taking an additional $4000 in his own time and adding it to his cost each month. When you add to that the fact that he had to learn all of the management and tools to run his campaigns, he’s probably coming out in the negative.

Now, I know that I’m talking about a pay-per-click strategy here but much of the keyword research is the same as it is with search engine optimization (SEO). At X3, it’s our job to know what Google is looking for and to pay attention to key algorithm and strategy updates. While PPC or small business SEO packages certainly aren’t free, the knowledge which an agency like ours holds means that we know how to attract the “eyes”  or major search engines and bring the digital customer to your door.

What do small business SEO packages include?

At X3 we focus on value because cost – as all good small business owners know – is a terrible indicator of the positive return a service brings. With that in mind, let’s take a look at just what one of X3’s small business SEO packages might include

– Keyword Strategy

This would include a set of relevant keywords to the business in question. With local organic search being the primary focus of our imaginary small business, these keywords would need to tightly define how a business would like to be found in local search which would result in not just “tire kicker” leads but leads which are intent on buying their product or service.

– On Page Optimization

This can include a wide variety of things which all fall under established (and shifting) guidelines. To name a few: site map, keyword research, code validation, meta & title tags and image & video optimization to name a few. Google webmaster guidelines help to define these and every single piece of the puzzle can help result in more organic traffic.

– Link Building

If me and 99 of my closest friends were at a bar (minus the ridiculous COVID-19 thing) and someone said, “Hey everyone! Can you recommend a good plumber?” and five of us pointed at Bob of Bob’s plumbing, we would be creating what amounts to a real-world backlink. We are using our social proof to create a link to Bob. When it comes to building high quality backlinks on the internet, the same principle holds true for a great SEO strategy. A link for Bob’s plumbing on a local business directory like a chamber of commerce helps to increase Bob’s search engine rankings by telling potential customers that his business is trusted.

X3: What do small business SEO packages include?

– Content Marketing

There is a saying in the SEO marketing world: “Content is king”. To a very large degree this holds true. When we refer to content creation what we’re primarily talking about are additional pages on a website which may describe services and the like. We’re also speaking of blog posts like the one you’re reading now. Adding content to a website on a consistent, ongoing basis is one of the biggest factors in small business SEO and can even result in potential customers seeing links to your site on social media outlets.

Should we hire an SEO agency or try to handle search engine optimization on my own?

I like to use this analogy a lot: Can I replace my own roof? Absolutely. I can go on any number of instructional websites (including YouTube) and find out exactly what I need to do; what supplies and tools to buy, where to buy them and how to do the installation. In fact, I could probably do all of that for less money than hiring a roofer. However, just looking at the amount of time it would take for me to learn all of that, not to mention the inevitable mistakes would put me so far behind in terms of being cost effective that I would be MUCH better off hiring a professional.

Webmaster Guidelines  |  Google Search Central  |  Google Developers

So back to the original question: Should we hire and SEO agency or try to handle it on your own? First, no, you shouldn’t hire an agency, you should hire X3. Period.

Hiring an SEO firm (ahem – X3 – ahem) means you’re hiring someone who is used to providing business SEO services. We are SEO experts in each aspect of the game. This includes content marketing, Technical SEO, Google algorithm updates, on and off page optimization, content analysis just to name a few.

I’ll go back to an earlier point here as well; if you had a machine which you could put a dollar into and get 2 back, you’d be camped out in front of that machine all day long. That’s what happens when you work with SEO professional like us at X3. We do everything we can to make sure your search ranking outstrips the other guys, even in highly competitive industries which includes SEO for roofers in Colorado where there are over 5,000 licensed roofers to compete with. Our small business SEO packages are designed to make you dominate your competition online while simultaneously bring you trust, results and clarity.

X3: Small business SEO. Is it worth it?
Additionally, our marketing services don’t end there. We’ll cover this in another article coming up but our team has developed an amazing long term strategy which brings all avenues of generating business with your target audience to fruition. We engage our SEO team in addition to social media marketing, retargeting and cross-populating targeting and reviews to increase your conversion rates in local and national markets.

The Bottom Line

At X3 we are SEO professionals. It is our job to maximize your marketing budget so your digital marketing efforts can turn search engines into that put-one-in-get-two-back money machine I mentioned earlier. It’s also our job to show you how your money is being spent and provide the trust, results and clarity so you can account for each dollar and track conversion goals to see that money grow. Let’s talk.

Curious to see how small business from X3 can hep you DOMINATE YOUR COMPETITION ONLINE? Get in touch!

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