Half of the consumers who searched locally also went on an in-store shopping trip within a day, Google reported earlier this year. Local search matters. How findable is your business, and how do you jump on the local search bandwagon? Bigfin has tips on what you need to know about business listings and the Google My Business portal that lets you control your business listing on search and Google+.
Why List in Local?
Google has been ruling as most popular search engine, so most likely your customers are using the site to find what they need. Google makes finding easier, especially on mobile, where an easy tap from the results page opens directional navigation. Mobile searchers are frequently looking for a place to quickly schedule services or buy a product—and they want to make sure your company is ready for business.
In the short time it takes a customer to decide which search result to pick, your reviews, hours, and location could put the conversion odds in your favor.
Make Google My Business Yours
Note: Once upon a time, there was a similar feature called Google Places, so when you hear Places referred to, know that Google My Business is its advanced successor.
Start here to enter company info on Google. Once your information is entered and your business verified, it will end up on search results, Maps, and Google+, so you can garner reviews and rating stars to attract customers. (Speaking of reviews, now is a good time to refresh on how to handle bad ones. These tips reference Yelp, but they’re helpful for any reviewing platform.) Search Engine Land has a great tutorial on Google My Business initial set up, so take a look at the steps before you begin.
Optimizing Your Google+
A few quick tips on getting the most out of Google. When you use Google My Business, you’ll also be creating a Google+ page that connects you socially with customers. Your listing is free, so the only investment you make is time. Spend it wisely by following these key guidelines that can help your page stand out:
- Create updates with links, images, and more. You can publish Google+ posts via Google My Business, and it’s a great way to stay relevant.
- Use creative, readable formatting. A Moz blog post suggests employing text variations like bold and bullet points in posts and offers formatting shortcuts.
- Insert hashtags. Hashtags can help your post be found, so add ones that reflect your content. Google automatically inserts relevant hashtags, but it’s smart to write your own as well.
- Find more followers. A larger number of followers adds value to your page: think of followers like fans. Put the Google+ follow button on your website so users who like what they see can click. You can also add Share and +1 buttons too.
- Read Google’s playbook. This Google+ manual simply states how to use Google+ for social, with ideas on maximizing your online presence.
In addition, Google AdWords also pulls information from Google My Business for location extensions, which can help ad performance. However you decide to use Google My Business, know that this well-rounded search and social tool can amp up your digital marketing efforts.
Bigfin.com LLC is an industry leader in online advertising, SEO and custom web design. Our comprehensive digital marketing solutions include social media management as well as social media advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social outlets. Looking for mobile website solutions or help with search engine marketing? Contact us online or by phone at 425-822-8200.