A Beginner’s Guide to Google My Business
As Marketing Manager for Kyros, I work alongside numerous brands and businesses with Google My Business Optimization services. Through this experience, I’ve put together some useful information to help brands and businesses grow their local search rankings through Google My Business. Read my 6 tips for GMB beginner’s, below!
What is Google My Business?Google My Business (formerly Google+ Business Page) is a social-networking platform that brings people together within the context of Google’s many services. Often under-estimated by Marketers, Google Plus is actually one of the top most social platforms and shouldn’t be overlooked, or treated with lower priority than other social sites. Getting started on Google My Business with a few basic features is something every business owner, manager, or marketer should take seriously.
What do you need to know about GMB?For starters, Google+ updates have greater engagement than other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Next, there is plenty of evidence to suggest Google has integrated social signals into their search algorithm, likely giving higher ranking to businesses and brands who complete their Google My Business profiles, utilize the available tools, and share relevant content. Using different methodology, the Moz Data Science Team and Searchmetrics have each conducted case studies concluding that “+1’s” on Google+ updates result in higher search rankings. If the above information doesn’t motivate you to create and utilize a Google My Business page, then possibly the fact that it’s a free social web tool that connects you with over 540 million monthly active users will pique your interest.
Here are 6 tips for the Google My Business beginner:
1. COMPLETE YOUR PROFILEThe biggest mistake I see brands and businesses make is not fully completing their profiles. Each area that allows you to enter text is an opportunity to draw relevance to your Google+ profile and the services your company offers. Missing information is as bad as inaccurate information. Make sure your visitors can find everything they want and need to know about your business. Check out our Google+ Checklist for more help completing your profile.
2. GROW YOUR CIRCLESGoogle+ Circles allow you to add anyone to a designated group called a Circle. Circles allows you to target your audience and establish your brand or business as an authority in your category. Asking for Google Plus followers can be tricky, so we suggest sharing a strong call-to-action in a post (e.g. “See great examples of our #GoogleBusinessView tours by following +GoKyros”). There are many other ways to grow your Circles such as:
- Give your viewers access to exclusive content\
- Share public videos and podcasts on your Google+ stream.
- Add a Google+ badge to your website to gain followers externally
- Follow Memes and Trending Topics
- Lastly, don’t forget to add a G+ badge to your site, making it easy for clients/customers to find your page and add you.
3. SHARE, SHARE, SHAREFirst, you will need to Circle other’s pages and profiles that have a similar audience base. Next, start sharing! Sharing interesting and relevant content posted by others is a great way to grow your Circles by connecting with like-minded people and businesses. By doing so, you can reach your audience and grow your following simultaneously.
4. USE HASHTAGSUsing hashtags in your posts help people find your posts when searching for specific content. As an example, I use #gokyros in my posts so people can find my circle shares easily. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Google+ will automatically add relevant hashtags for you. For example, if you used a not-so-popular hashtag or included just one hashtag, Google+ will automatically add more hashtags—and that gives you additional reach. You can also use the Google+ auto-suggest function. Just start typing anything after # and you’ll see some additional suggested hashtags. I’ve listed more answers to hashtag questions, below.
- How to create a hashtag? Simply use “pound” in front of the keyword. Example, using #gokyros in my post creates the “explore” link #gokyros.
- How can I use hashtags? Use hashtags in your posts to provide links to your content. Explore similar pages to yours for some ideas on which hashtags to use.
5. SHARE PHOTOSGoogle has a strong interest in photos, and so do your customers. Anytime you share links, tips, tricks, news – anything – find a photo you can share along with your post. Photos are eye-catching to users skimming their feed. Also, be sure to check out our Google Business View page for some compelling stats on the impact of photos online.
6. PROMOTE YOUR PAGEPro strategies to promote your Google+ page and gain more followers:
- Post updates frequently and keep your profile fresh – People are more likely to engage with a page that contains fresh posts and a complete profile. Learn about sharing updates in Google My Business.
- Link your Google+ page and your website – This is a great way to drive traffic to a page and it provides an excellent opportunity to engage with your customers and fans. Learn how to link a page and website.
- Add the Google+ badge to your website: Grow a page’s followers directly from your website. The badge helps Google consolidate +1’s from your website and a Google+ page.
- Claim your page Custom URL: Use it in emails or other offline marketing to help people remember how to get to a page