If you have a brick and mortar company Google+ Business is perhaps the most cost effective way to market your business. Google’s mantra has always been to give the user the best possible experience. They know that 97% of consumers look for local business online. Thus they recognize the importance of local search and recently made some sweeping changes in response to this demand.
Google+ Business and Google Search are directly linked and Google Search is the largest search engine in the world. Thus it’s imperative that any local business create and optimize its Google+ Business page.
Below are the highlights of the importance of having a good Google+ Business page:
- free and fast way to get number one ranking on Google
- drive more traffic to your site/store
- help you stand out from your competitors
- boost engagement with images/videos/blog
- ability to offer coupons
- feedback from your potential/existing customers
- increase profits
This short primer will discuss best practices to ensure that your Google+ Business page ranks well and serves as powerful magnet to attract customers to your store.
First and foremost claim your listing. Unbeknownst to you Google is usually able to glean information about your company and create a simple Google+ Business page. However, this is a very thin page and you should claim it so you can manage the page.
The easiest way to go to http://plus.google.com/pages/create Follow the wizard, and choose the most appropriate option to classify your business. You will then need to verify the business sometime they will send a postcard or make a phone call to the number associated with your account. This procedure ensures that only the actual owner of the business can make changes to the page. Once you are verified you can administer your account. Below are some best practices.
1: Edit your business information – In this section you list basic company information there’s also a spot for a description of your company. This should be short but compelling and persuasive. You also can list various categories. Please make certain you belong in the categories. Lastly don’t skip and sections, 100% completing is critical for high rankings.
2: Add photos and videos – You can add up to 10 photos and 5 videos. At the very least you should upload 5 photos. Maxing out your photos and videos will really help push you to the top.
3: Get reviews – 90% of people trust reviews from people they know, but 70% trust reviews from people they don’t know. This is way reviews are so important as they establish “social proof”. However, it’s very difficult to get customers to add reviews to your Google+ Business page. That’s the bad news, the good news is that all your need is a handful of reviews to climb to the top. Lastly too many reviews can actually hurt you, ideally you want to get a maximum of one review a month.
4: Monthly postings. Writing a short blog post about your business is a great way to engage your audience, learn about and show of your knowledge.
Couple of things never to do
1: No gaps fill out all fields, even optional ones
2: Set it and forget it, update on regular basis and read reviews
3: Post fake reviews
4: Stuff your page with key words
1: How to get high rankings – Complete all section, add photos with good description, try and get one review a month. Add a new post once a month.
2: How to handle bad review – Respond publicly, this can be a PR win because it proves that you take review seriously. Negative feedback can be helpful, they might be correct. You can adjust and then publicly thank them. Also a few negative reviews adds authenticity to your overall listings. Plus we all know that nobody can make everyone happy all the time.
3: Why isn’t my listing showing up in the search results – Google+ Business is starting to get competitive, it’s imperative to follow the steps outlined here.
4: Why is there already a listing for my business – Google spiders can crawl the web and create pages on their own.
5: Why do I need to claim my listing – You now control and have access to stats, such as how people asked for directions to your business.