For our third and final installment of the Google Search for Businesses, we’re going to bring everything we’ve talked about so far in the series and tie it all together as we talk about the “Google 3-Pack.” Read More
In Part One of our Google Search for Businesses series we talked about claiming and optimizing your listing, and the importance of accuracy and updates. For part two we’ll discuss how online reviews play a big part in a consumer’s path to purchase journey.
Welcome to our three-part series on Google Search for Businesses! We’ll share the whole series over the next week. Stay tuned for more!
If you’re a business owner, you’ve likely set up a Google business listing at some point. Your current business info on Google is not only the #1 source for your customers in finding your business and affecting your bottom line, but did you know that your listing also serves as a bullhorn to other business sites?
How your Google listing and online aggregators can affect your business
An aggregator refers to a web site or computer software that aggregates, or collects information on a specific type of information from multiple online sources. For example, you might see listings for you company on sites like Manta or City Search. And they pull your business info over to their site.
So, let’s say when you put in your Google listing info you made a typo on your phone number or address, but don’t realize it until a few weeks later. By then, aggregators have likely scraped the bad phone number/address and listed it on their sites. And now you have a mess on your hands because you’ll have to try and fix the Google problem, then address the others. A good rule of thumb is to go in and “claim” each listing from the get-go so you have the power to to put in the correct info.
The phone/address issue is just one example of how strongly your Google My Business info impacts your business. If a customer can’t reach you due to an incorrect phone number, or they can’t find your physical location, you will probably never see that customer because they found another business to go to. And for you, that means revenue loss.
Google checks several sources to verify your business info, searching for consistency. Here are just a few:
From search to customer visit
Now let’s back up a bit and talk about how Google search works for businesses, and the current statistics on how we are searching online in this day and age.
- There are now more than 60 trillion (yes, you read that right) pages on Google.
- Each day there are roughly 3.5 billion searches – and half of them are on a mobile device.
- 30% of those searches are local, meaning individuals are searching for a local business or service.
- 60% of “nearby” searches lead to in-store purchases. That could be anything from a restaurant to gasoline or a grocery store to a dry cleaner. (If you’ve ever taken a road trip and weren’t paying close attention to the gas gauge, you’ve used this feature)
- 28% of those nearby searches have a greater chance to visit the business if found via mobile search (folks who are on the go, usually).
- 90% of nearby Google searches lead to a visit within a day (nice!)
List your services, products and amenities
Are you double checking your Google listing yet? You should be. In fact, it’s important to review your listing on a regular basis, add new photos and stay on top of online reviews (more about that later).
Optimizing your listing can also help lead customers to your doorstep. Be sure to list out your services and products. Do you have any amenities like WiFi or a patio? Do you serve alcohol or offer gluten-free menu options? All of these items should be included in your profile for those narrowing their search. Remember when you used voice search to find a nearby happy hour on a patio?
90% of nearby Google searches lead to a visit within a day (nice!) Click To Tweet
To speak for your business, or let others speak for you?
The moral of the story is – if you don’t claim your free Google My Business listing, Google will turn to other data to try and fill in the gaps. And even when you think you’ve got everything up to speed, you’ll need to go back and make adjustments to hours, new offerings, store closings, etc.
Remember: consumers begin forming their opinion of your business when they hit “search.” Be sure your information is correct, your reviews look good and you will be set up for success.
Next week – Part 2: How Revenue and Google Analytics Tell a Bigger Picture
When it comes to SEO, we unfortunately don’t have a guidebook detailing what to expect, or a crystal ball for predicting the date of the next algorithm change.
We do, fortunately, have some hunches about what we think is pretty darn likely to go down in 2016.
Check out what we think might be in the cards for online marketing in the next year.
Businesses’ best friend, Google My Business, has gotten a face lift. The search czar began covertly introducing the revamped dashboard on September 29th after very quietly announcing it on Google Business forums (as of this writing, the post only had 334 views). And we have a feeling you’re going to love it.
What is Google My Business?
Google has so many services, it can be hard to keep track of what’s what. In case you need a refresher, Google My Business is, at its core, a way for your company to ensure that the information potential clients or customers find on Google’s SERP is correct. This can include:
- Your business address
- Phone number
- Price range
- Website URL
It can provide valuable information such as:
- Directions to your business
And it also offers a place for consumers to write said reviews and allows them to access your business information across devices.
What’s New in the Google My Business Dashboard?
This new roll out seems to be all about convenience and ease of use. Overall, what we notice is a cleaner presentation and simple interface. In fact, one of the first differences you’ll likely find in this streamlined dashboard is that locations and brand pages are easily accessed, with those being the only two options in the main navigation.
Once you begin clicking around, another helpful feature you’ll find is the addition of breadcrumbs, which makes navigation much easier in what could be an overwhelming service if you manage a lot of pages.
Another useful component is that you can now view locations in either card view or list view. The new card view for locations gives you the option to choose how many you see, as well as quickly manage or view the location, while the list view offers convenience in selecting and editing multiple
The hamburger menu in the upper-left corner of the new Google My Business dashboard is a dream. It offers another way switch back to look at all listings or brand pages, should you navigate away from one of those views, allows you to bulk import locations from a file or add them individually, as well as bulk download locations. It also offers a neatly-organized summary of errors and issues, including:
- Duplicate addresses
- Google updates
- Missing store codes
- Unverified listings
This menu also allows you to monitor published locations and those that are permanently closed, on top of showing you any pending reviews your pages may have.
It also provides accessibility and high-visibility to the “Create business account” and “Contact support” features, so you no longer have to fumble around the dashboard.
We’re really excited about this update to the Google My Business dashboard and we think you will be too. If you have any questions about the face lift, or about anything related to online marketing, we welcome you to contact our team today. You can reach us online or call us at our Kansas City area office at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001.
And for a visual walk through of the updates, check out this video from Mike Blumenthal of Local University.