Reputation

Category: Reputation

Find Ready-to-Buy Customers on</br>Google My Business

Google My Business
Find Ready-to-Buy Customers

The latest updates on the #1 Listing service used by your customers.

Google Listings can be a challenge. On a good day. There’s just something about the process that can fluster even the best of us. Below, we share all of our tried and true steps to optimize your Listing; each and every one of the steps we take to boost our clients subscribed to Listing Management along with all of the latest updates to the tech giant’s free service.

//** Skip ahead to this month’s updates. **//

What is a Google Listing? What will it do for me?

A Google Listing is a free service by Google and it garners the lion’s share of the click-traffic from ready-to-buy customers. Think of it this way; when researching a product or service, a potential customer will most likely head to the organic search results (websites that appear below the Listings) to learn or read more about the variety of offerings. When a customer is ready to buy, go, or take an action, they head to the Listings. As such, let’s get your Listing optimized!

Like it on top? There are only three ways you can get to the top of Google.

  1. Paid Ads. (Pay to play service. Average click-thru is 13.8%.)
  2. Google Listings. (Free Listing service from Google My Business. Average click-thru is 28.8%.)
  3. Organic Search Results. (Earn your way to top position with SEO. Average click-thru is 43.9%.)

Let’s get your business to the top!

A Breakdown of Your Google My Business Listing

Home

Your Google My Business Home tab is a quick overview of your business Insights (how many visitors, top search terms, requests for directions), competitor content and customer posted photos. Be sure to check it out and find some new ideas for content.

Posts

Posts are Google’s equivalent of social media posts: with the exception that Google wants you to promote your sales and discounts, as well as announce events and share news. Posts are a direct pipeline to Google; your chance to have a 1:1 conversation with Google, and say, “Hey Google, here’s what we’re all about!” 

Curious how many customers see your Posts? Carefully look under a Post and you will see a number beside a little “eye.”

Get the full scoop on what posts can do for your business and all the details in Google Adds Posts to Your Listing. 

Info

The Info tab is the heart of your Google Listing. Here you can update all of the details about your business including Name, Address and Phone number (NAP), your business category(ies), hours and holidays, contact information, add a business description as well as products and services.

Google tells us the most referenced information by customers are hours, photos and reviews.
What is a business description you say? Glad you asked.

Here’s the short version. A business description is a 750 character, keyword-friendly written overview of your business. Want Google and potential customers to find you for website design? How about SEO services? Or reputation and listing management? This is the place to do it!

Looking for a few more details? Check out this video How to Add a Google Listing Description. Google My Business Profile Above the Fold | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

Up-to-date information about your business is HUGE. Repeat HUGE for getting your business found and chosen by customers. Don’t just think about it – finish reading this article and go update your information!

Insights

Ahhhh, insights, a data lover’s dream! Did you know that you can find out how many times your Listing was viewed? And what the top search keywords are for your Listing! The Insights tab gives you the ability to tailor new content according to what potential customers are searching for, giving you even better visibility in the search results!

Take a moment to look at the number of customers who view your Listing, click-thru to your website or ask for directions to your location. As the number of actions taken from your Listing increases, so too will your sales!

“Google My Business is the fastest way to find ready-to-buy customers. Check out the latest updates now!”

Power Up Your Business with Online Listings

Uncover the most powerful way to get your business on the first page of Google!




Reviews

Google and Facebook agree (shock!). Reviews are the #1 driver of success in Listings. Customers choose businesses with higher star ratings at an alarming rate. If you don’t have Reviews, you need to ask all of the customers you’ve wowed! Finding it tough to ask? Check out this article, Gracefully Ask Your Customers for Reviews for tips to make it easy-peasy.

Oh but wait! Responding to Reviews is equally important; good or bad. In fact, responding to Reviews will greatly improve your online reputation. Learn all about the 4 Simple Steps to Respond to Reviews. 

Messaging

Prefer a text or SMS message with your customers prior to a phone call? Messaging allows you to chat with your customers, book appointments or answer questions even before a potential customer is ready to discuss their needs in detail; or until you are ready to disclose your number.

**It is believed, though it has not been confirmed by Google, that Messaging will be shut down in March 2019. If you did not set up Messaging, it is likely no longer an option for your business.

Photos

A picture says 1000 words. Imagine how many words you say with current and up-to-date pictures of your business, location, products, services, team and logos. You can speak volumes and the customer is listening!

Don’t forget – customers can upload photos too; what a great word of mouth marketing opportunity!

Website

Did you know that you can create your first website for free with Google? If you don’t already have a website, this is a great place to get started. Your website address will be listingname.business.google.com, but you have the option to buy a domain and build a more sophisticated site using Google Sites.

Your new, free site can include location, services, hours and pictures and is mobile friendly.

Users

Adding Users will allow you to collaborate with team members and share posting duties. In this section, you can add additional people to your Listing to be able to add and edit your Listing’s content. This feature makes collaboration and coordination with colleagues a breeze.

Create an Ad

Last but certainly not least, you can create a Google Ad from within your Listing. **TIP** Creating your first Ad from your Listing will connect your Google Ads account and your Google My Business account, offering you the added bonus of displaying your ad within the Listings.

Remember, ads are one of the top three ways to get your business to the top of Google and help customers find you. 

Are you convinced of all the amazing (not to mention free) features that a Google My Business Listing can do for you yet? Need a hand getting set up? Check out our step-by-step instructions below. 

You’ll be ‘above the fold’ in no time!

Join the conversation. We Follow back!

Latest Updates

July 2019

Poof! And just like that, summer in Canada is half over.

While summer seems to be disappearing, Google My Business users are seeing a few disappearing acts of their own. And not in a good way.

Last month we heard reports of disappearing reviews on Google Listings.

At the time the reports were sporadic and unconfirmed. Google later spoke to the issue only to say it was aware that a small number of business owners were indicating legitimate reviews were missing and explained that in an attempt to clean up fake reviews, these authentic reviews were inadvertently removed. Google claims the issue is fixed and advises business owners that if you are still missing reviews; they’re not coming back!

Get a Quote

If you are a Better Business Bureau member, one of the benefits of membership is the ability for customers to request a quote directly from your listing. There are early reports indicating a “Request a Quote” button is coming to your listing soon; keep a close eye on the feature and be sure to test it before a customer does!

In order for Request a Quote to be active, you must turn on Messaging in your listing. To turn on Messaging, log in to business.google.com, look to the left on desktop for “Messaging” and toggle the option “on” using an SMS-capable phone number. On mobile, select from the profile options, toggling the feature “On.” 

Google strives to make it as easy as possible for customers to contact and do business with a local business. By responding quickly, you can increase your business’ likelihood that you will acquire a new customer.

 

Listing Insights and Dashboard Redesign

Gas Bar Proximity Google My BusinessEver wonder how your business listing Insights compare? Google tells us on average 1000 people view a business listing in a month. The most viewed listings are in the Hotel industry with 13,000+ views per mos.

84% of viewers see your listing after searching for a business in a specific category. For example, based on the current location and a search for gas stations, here are the search results.

These three results (spelling mistakes and all!) are what Google expects most closely match the search terms. Each of these listings will indicate one additional Discovery view, simply because they were viewed once.

As a business owner, likely wanting to increase sales and customer visits, the key measure is conversions. Conversions are how many people contact your business based on seeing your listing. Your listing tracks visits to your website, phone calls and requests for directions. It is ONLY these actions that Google counts as a conversion.

On average, business owners see a 5% conversion rate on their Google business listing.

If your listing is viewed 1000 times per month, a 5% conversion would represent 50 actions on your listing.

Google also points out there is a very strong correlation between the number of photos on your listing and the number of views. Speaking of photos, are you seeing a more visual dashboard, with larger photos and better selections? Not everyone is, but you can be sure it is coming your way!

POI Category 

What the heck? You never added a POI category to your listing. Where did this come from? Google added a new POI (Point of Interest) category to listings based on location. While it is not clear how locations were chosen, it seems like an added bonus if Google sees your location as a POI.

“Google My Business is making it even easier for businesses to find ready-to-buy customers. If you are not seeing 5% conversion, chat with @abovethefoldca!”

June 2019

Is Google My Business Your Next Social Network?

Google added new features in the last update including the ability for customers to “Follow” your listing and for business owners to create Welcome Offers that customers can save.

Customers will see updates from businesses they follow in Google Maps with highlights and offers. Find the “Follow” button below a business name (under BLG Business) and the prompt to “Create a Welcome Offer” in blue on the Above the Fold listing.

Follow button…>>>

Google My Business Invite Customers to Follow You

And Create a welcome offer… >>>

Google My Business Create a Welcome Offer

Shortnames and Custom URLs are Available

If you’ve read this blog post before, you know how often “asking for reviews” is mentioned. Google teased shortnames and custom urls a couple months ago and made good on the promise this month. Head on over to your listing to create your own custom url. Here are examples of what you will see after you create your own.

Listing link
g.page/abovethefoldmarketing/

Review link
g.page/abovethefoldmarketing/review

>>>Only one business will be able to use each @shortname thus be sure to set your name quickly!<<<

In a few more months, customers will be able to search Google Maps by these short names making it easier and faster for customers to find you.

Pictures Do Say 1000 Words

Did you know you can add pictures and videos to your listing? Businesses can now add a logo to their profile, upload photos that are displayed in a new dynamic module on their profile (and soon with captions) and set a profile cover photo.

What a great way to engage your customers as they want to learn more about your business. Imagine creating video of the inside of your store, introducing your team or showcasing your products and specials through video. Google continues to measure your uploads against competitors. No harm in being in the lead. 🙂

Order a Personalized Marketing Kit

Google introduced a Marketing site for small businesses to order personalized materials. Both hard copy and digital materials can be created. A few readers might remember an early blog post mentioning Small Thanks with Google. This site is replace by the new marketing kit site. Go create your custom marketing materials here.

Google My Business Marketing Kit Small Business Website Choose Your LayoutGoogle My Business Marketing Kit Small Business Website Get CreativeGoogle My Business Marketing Kit Small Business Website

And finally…

Be a Local Favourite

Google is going to highlight the top five percent of businesses in a particular category with a “Local Favourite” designation. This designation will earn your business a, “badge of honor.” This could mean some big wins in certain business categories. Stay tuned for more information next month!

“Google My Business is making it even easier for businesses to find ready-to-buy customers. Add your @shortname today!”

May 2019

April 2019

Google is Considering Paid Premium Services

This news is going to wake up a lot of business owners! And likely wake them up on the wrong side of the bed.

Announced on Twitter on April 28th, the first user received a request to complete the Google My Business survey regarding premium services. The 20-min long survey asked for details including service preferences, willingness to pay and payment thresholds.

The survey was only sent to a select group of industries and this screenshot lists most of the industries invited to participate (Is yours listed?). Google often rolls out new services and features to select locations and industries and it appears this roll out will be similar. If you’d like to complete the survey and let Google know you are not OK with Paid Premium Services, click here. (All links open in a new window.)

GMB Industries SurveyedGoogle wants you to toot your horn this month!

Google introduced “suggested” Reviews to post to your Google My Business Listing. Google will automatically suggest 4 or 5 star Reviews added within the last month or so, to be shared as a Post. These Reviews will display on Google Maps as well and in search results. Talk about a BIG push in the right direction to get business owners asking for Reviews.

As always, Google will roll out the feature in stages, so if you are not prompted when you sign in to business.google.com, don’t fret, when the feature is available and you have eligible Reviews, you will get a prompt. No muss, no fuss. Google lets you know when your business is eligible.

Here’s the show stopper… Google will allow you to edit the Review before you share it. Maybe the business name is not quite right, or a price is listed. You can edit the content prior to sharing. You can also add up to 10 images to provide context to the Review and a Call to Action (CTA) to encourage new customers to inquire.

Prefer not to wait until Google offers you the service? Want to share a Review now? Try these simple tips:

  1. Log into business.google.com
  2. Select Reviews from the left menu
  3. Choose the Review you’d like to share
  4. Click the three dots on the right-hand side to “Copy Link”
  5. Paste this link along with text to social media or on your website (if you have the functionality).

share a google listing review above the fold scott francis advanced leadership

Small Thanks with Google

Don’t see “suggestions” yet? Here is another free tool (opens in a new window) to generate social media posts, videos and printable materials based on your Google Listing.  You can create window clings, social media shareables based on Reviews and even business hours, or create a super fun custom view. Check it out below.

What’s Google’s Motivation Behind Promoting Reviews?

Google is taking on TripAdvisor for Reviews. You might remember a few months ago, Google added the ability to book hotel rooms directly from a Listings. Google recognizes the value of keeping traffic on their site, thus adding the most frequently used options directly to a business listing reduces the need for traffic to leave the Google search platform.

Short Names and Vanity URLs

Have you ever tried to ask a customer for a Review and had to send them a great big long link? Not sure how to find that link? You can check it out here.

With the addition of short names and vanity URLs you can add g.page/[yourawesomebusiness]. So instead of g.page/abovethefoldonlinemarketingservicesinc, we become g.page/abovethefold. Whew!

Keep in mind you need between 5 & 32 characters in your short name and can use the short vanity URL to request reviews, send directions or business hours or display products on your Listing.

When the feature is available to your business, you will find it in the Info menu, then click ‘Add profile short name.’

Product & Service Menu

The Product & Service menu (in the Info tab) is finally visible from mobile!

Depending on your industry, some businesses report seeing their menu items displayed (restaurants) on both mobile and desktop while others state that services can only be seen on mobile. Here is a sample service menu.

GMB Service Menu Above the FoldGoogle’s AI Duplex Roll Out

Available on all Android phones across the US, Duplex, Google’s AI system for bookings and reservations continues to gain momentum. Try it out by saying, ‘Hey Google. Make me a restaurant reservation.”

Guaranteed by Google

Guaranteed by Google is available across the US and in select regions in Canada. The Google Guarantee Program provides a “star” or approved label in Listings and Ads to businesses who undergo a complete inspection and review by Google. These businesses are “guaranteed” by Google to provide excellent service and value to customers. Some of the industries currently included in the program are plumbers, locksmiths and HVAC services.

It is expected more markets and industries will be included shortly.

“Google My Business is making it even easier for businesses to find ready-to-buy customers. Share your best Reviews today!”

March 2019

Google is demonstrating a real commitment to improvements for business on their Google My Business platform lately. With ongoing enhancements, you can expect to see a fresh new look when you log in next time. Updated colours and graphics give the Home menu a more modern feel with direct access to the most common features.

Along with updates graphics, businesses now have larger cover images and photos to show off their business, staff, location and products.

A Walk-Thru Plan

New to Google My Business or recently verified your Listing? Google created a walk-thru “Plan” customized to your Listing, indicating the work YOU need to do. Look for this link at the top of your Home menu.

Or watch for this pop-out on the right hand side of your screen on desktop.

Google will give you a Task list including responding to Reviews, update photos and take a closer look at your Insights. Keeping on top of the recommended Tasks from Google will help promote your Listing and improve your search rank results.

February 2019

February saw continued improvements for Service-area businesses, right from start-up to well-established.

Info

If your business serves customers at their location, or within a specific area, check out the new ways for customers to find you based on how you want to manage your customer communication.

Hotel Industry Rejoice!

Google must think the most frequently asked question in a hotel is check-in and check-out time because you can now add it to Google My Business. If your Listing is marked “Hotel” you will see this option in Info.

Reviews

Google is making it easier to respond to Reviews. Business owners can now respond to reviews right from Google Maps on desktop. Best practices for responding to Reviews are to respond with 24 hours. Need a hand responding? Check out this handy video!

Listing owners and users can now leave Reviews with #hashtags to keep like-minded comments together. #FamilyFriendly #SundayBrunch #SinglesOnly will help steer customers in the right direction.

Spam Detection

Google will never call you to confirm details on your listing, offer to optimize your listing or threaten to close your listing. These are spam phone calls and if you receive a call protect yourself. Do not give any personal or identifying information.

January 2019

Another exciting month of changes is behind us as Google continues to change up their plans. 2019 will see the end of some significant Google apps, namely Google+ and Allo. While Google+’s loss seems to be minimal, for those tied into Google My Business Messaging, Allo is a bigger deal.

Messaging

Allo, Google’s Messaging app, is saying good-bye in March 2019. Predictions are that Messaging within Listings will also go away, however it was recently noticed that some Listings display a larger, more prominent “Message Business” button. Many are hopeful that Google will allow messaging through an app, or through a mobile device.

For many businesses, Listing Messaging is tied into chatbots and drip sequences. If your business relies on Messaging, stay tuned for more updates!

In the example below, you can see two options to Message the business. One in “Message” and the other in “Contact us now.”

Add Products and Services

Restaurants are long since familiar with the ability to add their menu, pricing and delivery information to Google Listings but most business categories will now see an option to add Products or Services within Info. Businesses can add numerous types of products and services including pricing to the Listing. Interestingly, content added here is only visible on a mobile device AND according to a Google spokesperson, this content does not influence search results.

Don’t let that sway you! In true Google fashion, what does not influence search today is bound to be a top performer tomorrow!

Mobile App

Google updated the 2014 mobile app on Android and iOS to include robust features such as Posting, Locations, Customers, Profiles and more. Most users will find the new app meets all their Listing management needs.

Agencies, however, are not able to use the app to service multiple clients at the same time.

Posts

Many users report seeing a decline in views and clicks to their Posts. Some business categories indicate Posts are no longer visible in search results. Google claims this is a temporary reduction but we are watching this trend closely.

For the time being, we recommend continuing to post keyword-friendly content to your Listing.

Google Guarantee

For a very select few business categories, Google is testing a Google Guarantee Program. This gives a business an “endorsed by Google” badge and drastically increases consumer confidence. Read the details on Google’s support page.

Agency Users

If you are an agency user, like Above the Fold, good news this month! Within the Agency dashboard, spreadsheets can be uploaded and downloaded to quickly integrate customers with multiple locations.

Spam Detection

Google will never call you to confirm details on your listing, offer to optimize your listing or threaten to close your listing. These are spam phone calls and if you receive a call protect yourself. Do not give any personal or identifying information.

Apps for Scheduling Google My Business Posts

We help by giving your business one place to stay social. Generate leads, schedule ready-to-publish content, and communicate with your followers all from one place. Finally, a tool that makes managing social media simple.

Meet Publer. Some Superheroes save lives. Others give them back.

If the image below does not appear, Publer can be found here.

If  the Local Viking image does not appear, click here.

https://cloudcampaign.io/

Google My Business Step-by-Step Setup

Login page for Google My Business

Google My Business Login | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor
As stated on Google’s website.

Computer

  1. Navigate to Google My Business.
  2. Search for your business using its name and address.
  3. If you see a dialog letting you know that someone else has verified the business, follow these steps.
  4. If you don’t see your business listed in the menu, click No, these are not my businesses or I’ve correctly entered the business. You’ll then be prompted to enter some details for your business. Make sure you enter an accurate, complete street address, and a phone number which reaches your business directly.
  5. Click Submit.

Mobile

  1. Open the Google My Business app.
  2. Sign in with the Google account you’d like to use to manage your business.
    • If this is your first time adding a business to Google, sign in with the Google account you’d like to use to manage your business and touch Continue.
    • If you’ve added a business before, tap the menu icon , then tap the name of your business to reveal a list of all listings in your account. Scroll to the bottom of the page and choose + Create new business.
  3. If you see a dialog letting you know that someone else has verified the business, follow these steps.
  4. Enter your business name and information and agree to the terms of service. Touch Continue once you’re ready to create a listing for your business.
    • You may want to access Google My Business on a desktop to access more advanced editing features, including adding service-areas. Learn more

Mobile Listings View

Google My Business Listing Sample Above the Fold | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

Verify Google My Business Account

Google My Business Verification Above the Fold | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

To enter the verification code you receive:

  1. Sign in to Google My Business.
  2. If you’re managing multiple businesses, choose the one at the address where you received the postcard.
  3. Click Verify location from the menu (or click the Verify now button) and follow the prompts to complete verification.

Voila!

You have added or claimed your business on Google. Let us know how it went! Did you have any difficulties or was it an easy process?

Keeping your Listing up-to-date is a key feature of climbing the search ranks. Read more about adding Posts or a Description. By utilizing all of the features of the Google My Business Listing service, your business information will remain accurate and customers will more easily be able to shop with you.

The Ultimate Google Listing Guide to find more Ready-to-Buy Customers.

Get your copy today!




How We Help

Do you want to create raving fans for your business and find more ready-to-buy customers? If so, you need to turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to do’ers. We’ll show you how.

Claim, Verify or Decommission a Listing

Optimize Google My Business Listing

Schedule Weekly Content & Update Monthly

Thanks for reading!

Here’s more you might like:

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Luke Rossmo by Above the Fold | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

Barb is exceptional in her domain. Her unique approach is invaluable and leads to increased exposure which leads to increased business. She is also very approachable and genuinely cares about her clients. She also effectively conveyed information in a way that allowed me to understand.

 

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Sherry Knight | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

Here I am trying to build a brand and along comes Barb McGrath showing me how to focus growing that image! Wow, it has been a wild ride – each time we meet I learn something new I can apply. It is exciting and daunting, all at the same time. Barb is there each step of the way and slowly, I am learning what I need to know in order to build that brand.

Thank you Barb! You are so knowledgeable and also such an inspiration – marketing in the digital world is different. Yet, knowing that and working with the digital world are so very different when it comes to branding and marketing.

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Barb is a pleasure to work with. She’s driven and incredibly knowledgeable with a multitude of digital marketing tactics and strategies.

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Jim Aho for Above the Fold

Barb is one of the brightest marketing stars out there. She’s smart, genuine and driven to succeed. I recommend her most highly.

 

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Humanly Branding & Marketing for Above the Fold | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

Barb brings you decades of marketing smarts combined with a deep understanding of how to use the latest digital tools to make sure you’re seen online. Get her in your corner!

 

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Connections Family Resource Centre | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

Barb makes the world of digital marketing easy to understand for those of us who aren’t so technologically savvy! Its obvious she has tons of knowledge and is passionate about her work.

 

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Cascadia Dog Training | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

Barb and her team are AMAZING!!! Their expertise and knowledge have brought my business to a whole other level. Thank you for everything you have done for me and my business!

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Roxanne Brown Jewellry | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

I’m looking forward to incorporating all of the great suggestions that I got to help move my company along in the area of social media.

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Healthy Lifestyles Nadine Howard | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

Barb has been a life and business saver for me! Building an online presence for your business isn’t easy and takes precious time, but Barb helped me tremendously! She knows what she’s doing, and so great to work with! I highly recommend her. I’ll definitely continue to work with her on an ongoing basis!

 

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Robyn Michon by Above the Fold | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

I came to Barb feeling frustrated with my marketing. It always felt like a guessing game. Barb has empowered me by showing me how to use data to purposefully decide where and how to market my services.

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Southeast College | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

As someone who still considers herself new to the digital world of advertising, the knowledge and expertise that Barb has is astounding. She has such a wonderful way of knowing exactly what our business needs, sometimes even before we do.

I appreciate all the time and research that she has done around internet marketing and the assistance she has given our business thus far. I am excited to see the metrics and how our business grows in the digital world over the next few months!

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Melby Mark Harvest City Church Christian School | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

Barb is well versed in the digital world and knows what is currently working in the social media arena. Our visit and discussion around communication and it’s importance was very enlightening and informative. Highly recommend talking to Barb!

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clipnclimb Saskatoon | Website Design for Business, Social Media, Online Digital Marketing, Strategy, Reputation Management, Sales and Conversion, Consultant and Advisor

Barb is awesome to work with! She really understands our business and is very attentive to our needs. I’d recommend her services to everyone looking to grow their business’ online presence. Thanks for everything Barb!

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Local Safety Company at the Top of Google

Langen Health & Safety is an independent business committed to providing personalized experience and top quality products to fit their customer’s needs.  With 25 years of health & safety experience in regulatory enforcement, electrical transmission/distribution and power generation, industrial construction, oil & gas and mining, they ensure that companies are fitted with the proper protective clothing.

Langen Health & Safety is competing in an industry typically reserved for national companies. But yet, here they are at the top of the Snack Pack (the local listing top 3 on Google) primarily because they were willing to put in the time and effort to get there.

Let’s look at the simple strategies used to get real results for Langen Health and Safety.

 

  1. They contacted Above the Fold for some help “getting found on Google.” (And yeah, we’re biased but can’t help but think this was most important.)
  2. First, we create a Google Listing.
  3. We work through the specifics of optimizing their Listing with images, posts, a description and specific business categories.
  4. Finally, we work with their marketing and website guru to help her understand meta text, how Google reads a web page and how to add pixels to your website for tracking. This insider information gives us a detailed look under the hood for their website.

detailed look under the hood

Once we are armed with this information, we are able to:

  1. Make recommendations that directly impact their search results
  2. Research industry keywords to determine the most effective terms.

The final piece of the puzzle in managing their online reputation is paid online ads specifically targeted at their customers and key markets to drive new revenue for their business.

Langen Health & Safety has had great success getting to the top of Google. Try these simple strategies for real results for your business today!

Google My Business is one of the most powerful resources to find ready-to-buy customers. Take a few minutes to learn all about this free Listing service from Google

Thanks for reading!

Here’s more you might like:

The Ultimate Google Listing Guide to find more Ready-to-Buy Customers.

Get your copy today!




How to Add a Google My Business ‘Description’

How to Add a Free Google My Business ‘Description’ Immediately to Get Your Website Noticed

Google is at it again. Shaking up the top Listings.

You can expect to see some significant movement in Listings in the coming weeks. If you’d like to see your business move up in the Listings, now is the time to act. If you’re not familiar with Google My Business Listings, the image below depicts a common search result with 3 Listings.

Google My Business Snack Pack of Listings by Above the Fold Canada

The Top 3 Listings are Google’s Best Search Results

Google My Business has added the ability (re-added is more accurate) to include a 750-character Description to your Listing. This description is a search-friendly, keyword-rich statement about who your business is and what you do.

If local marketing is important for your business, then you need to make time to update your Listing today.

Here’s how:

  1. Log in to Google My Business here.
  2. Look to the top right, click Sign-In.
  3. Under Locations, choose the Listing you’d like to add a Description to.
  4. Look to the Menu on the left-hand side of your screen on desktop. (At present, it does not appear that these changes can be made from a mobile device.)
  5. Click Info on the left-hand Menu.
  6. Scroll down past Website and Attributes. The next selection is Add business description.
  7. Add up to 750 characters describing your business. Use customer search terms, keyword descriptors and any other key ‘findable’ terms.
  8. When complete, click Apply.

It can take up to 3 days for changes to appear.

Add Your Description Right Now in Less Than a Minute!

Google Continues to Up the Ante

Google continues to up the Listing ante with Descriptions, following the success of Posts and Messaging. As a local business owner, this super-charged listing service is a fast-tracked opportunity to get found.

Prefer to hire a professional writer for your Description? We’ll write it for you! Just email us here.

How will the Description Help Get My Business to the Top of Google

You can expect to see descriptions in search results, listing descriptions and matched carefully with Google’s ever-changing algorithm. While the algorithm itself is not for the faint of heart, what we do know for definite, is playing by Google’s rules will get your business found by more customers, more often.

Take Time Today and Update Your Listing.

Here are the guidelines to consider, as stated on Google My Business.

Business description guidelines

“Published content should highlight what makes your business unique. You can use this field to provide useful information on services and products offered, as well as the mission and history of your business.

You should be upfront and honest about the information provided, focusing on content that is relevant and useful to your customers to understand your business.

Content published in this field should not:

  • Be misleading to users. Do not provide inaccurate or false information about your business or the services and products offered.
  • Display low-quality, irrelevant, or distracting content. For example, misspellings, gimmicky character use, gibberish, etc.
  • Focus on special promotions, prices, and offer sale. Examples of content not allowed include, “Everything on sale, -50%” and “Best bagels in town for $5!”
  • Display links. No links of any type are allowed.
  • Display offensive or inappropriate content:
    • Harassing, bullying, or hateful content. Published content must not promote hatred or incite violence against individuals or groups based on ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
    • Content containing obscene, profane, or offensive language.
    • Content promoting and encouraging violence or terrorist activities.
    • Sexually suggestive or explicit content. Content must not include profanity, sexually graphic and offensive slang terms, terms that are common signals for pedophilia, content that promotes pedophilia, bestiality, or sexual violence, or content that promotes escort services or other services that may be interpreted as providing sexual acts in exchange for compensation.
  • Display unpermitted content:
    • Do not upload content related to the sale of dangerous and illegal products or services.
    • Do not upload content that exploits or abuses children.”

To read more, please visit Google My Business Support.

Share Your Description

Ready to write your description? Keep in mind the search-friendly, keywords customers use to describe your business or find your business and start with these descriptive terms. Expand your description based on what you want customers to think and feel, when they think of your business.

Willing to share? Leave your description for our readers below to get ideas for their business and share this post for other local business owners.

Thanks for reading!

Here’s more you might like:

The Ultimate Google Listing Guide to find more Ready-to-Buy Customers.

Get your copy today!




Gracefully Ask Your Customers for Reviews

Canadian eh? Gracefully Ask Your Customers for Reviews

Asking for Customer Reviews is so un-Canadian of us

It just feels wrong to ask people to leave nice reviews about your business!

Competitors are likely to Attract more Customers

Does it feel any better to know that 85% of people google a business before deciding whether or not to shop your location. Competitors with more Reviews, are likely to attract more customers. That might make it feel much more Canadian!

Here’s our simple approach that anyone can use:

1. Thank the customer for their business.

2. Ask. Ask immediately after you wow a customer.

3. Ask in-person, through email or through our text service with a 90%+ open rate.

4. Keep your request simple.

A small percentage of customers will leave business reviews without being asked. A much larger percentage will leave a review after being asked. If you’d like more reviews, you need to ask.

Here are the quick steps to find a direct link to your Google Business Listing Review request.

  1. Login to Google My Business.
  2. Find your Listing.
  3. Click “View on Search”
  4. When your business listing appears, click on “Reviews” or “Write a Review.”
  5. An entry box will appear on screen, allowing you to write a Review. Copy the URL in the address bar to a location you will remember. (IE bookmark or e-notebook)
  6. Share this direct link when asking customers for a Review.

Test it out yourself to be sure it is working correctly. You can also use a “link shortener” to make the URL smaller.

And now that you have new reviews, don’t forget to respond! Check out this quick video on how to respond to reviews.

Reviews are one of the fastest ways to grow a small business. Get started today! Tell ya what. Become our customer and we’ll send you a request for a Review after we wow you. Deal? 😉

Thanks for reading!

Here’s more you might like:

The Ultimate Google Listing Guide to find more Ready-to-Buy Customers.

Get your copy today!




A Handy-Dandy Little Black Book on being Google-Friendly

Get Your Business Found on Google Today!

Looking for a quick check on your Google-friendliness? Here’s a handy checklist to measure your progress.

Moving up in the search results takes time, patience and high quality information that includes the keywords your audience is searching. Remember, your audience, or customers, are looking to solve a problem. You want your business to be the solution.

Google condensed the number of visible Business Listings in the search results down to three. These three listings are referred to as the Snack Pack. Here is an example of the Snack Pack in the auto dealer category. These three businesses listed increase their exposure exponentially.

snack pack

Top the Organic Charts

Only a small percentage of consumers will click the “ADs” at the top of the search results. Only 7% of searchers feel the content matches their search, or feel safe clicking the content. Organic content is the other 93%!

Organic content is free. It’s a genuine match to what the searcher was looking for and as a business owner, you have complete control over the content. But here’s the thing. It takes time and it takes effort, but the checklist below is everything you need to know to rise to the top of the organic search results.

As a business owner, you have complete control over the content

1. Backlinks still matter.

Those inbound and outbound links on your website matter. Linking to other areas of your website, other content and articles, it matters. As do the inbound links to your website. Google likes to see other websites (Facebook, Twitter) linking to your website.

2. Be sure your Name, Address, Phone number (NAP) match your social profile info.

The business information on your Business Listing, social profiles and directories should be the same. Google rewards businesses that take the time to keep this information consistent.

3. Optimize your Google Business Listing category based on your target audience. IE local business categories.

If Google does not know your business category, then it is nearly impossible to appear in the search result. Be as specific as you can about the type of business you operate. IE If you are a Consultant, list yourself as a Consultant, not as a Corporate Office.

4. Optimize descriptions on your channels. IE use your keyword research!!

Each business listing and social channel gives you another opportunity to describe your business. The descriptions should be the same, or similar, but should describe your business as accurately as possible.

5. Geo-tag your photos on all channels.

Add location specific data to your photos, or “allow” location data to be saved with your photos. And don’t forget to name your photos with “keywords” and “business name.” IE “Be Google-Friendly Above the Fold”

6. Enhance your Google maps details.

Complete all available details on your map Listing. This links to your Google Business Listing.

7. Complete your meta data, titles and descriptions on your website.

Use the titles, descriptions and all of the meta data available to you in the back end of your website.

8. Add Reviews to your site, Listing and social profiles.

Google loves to see business Reviews! Ask for them. Respond quickly to them. Share them.

These simple steps will keep your business Google-friendly. If you would like to see your business search results improve, this list is exactly where you need to start!

Let us know how it goes!

Thanks for reading!

Here’s more you might like:

The “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know” about Managing Your Online Reputation Webinar

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How to Respond to Customer Reviews

Responding to Reviews is Key

Customer Reviews….you love ’em or you hate ’em, but either way every business gets Reviews. And that’s a good thing!

Customer Reviews can improve your search results by 10%!

Customer’s seem to share their opinion from every direction. Facebook. Google My Business. Indeed. Yelp. Glassdoor and dozens more.

Think of Reviews like a phone call from a customer. If a customer called with a concern, would you ignore it? Hang up? Put them on hold for more than 24 hours? Responding to customer reviews promptly is critical to capturing your 10% search result improvement.

We get asked “how to respond to Reviews” a lot, so we decided to do up a quick video. Listen below for our tips on responding to positive and negative Reviews.

How to Respond to Customer Reviews

How to Respond to Positive Reviews

  1. Say thank you.
    • Your mom was right! Be sure to say thank YOU!
  2. Be sure to mention your business name.
    • This will help increase the likelihood that the Review will appear in search results when looking for your business.
  3. Add a marketing message.
    • This is a great chance to reinforce what your business accomplishes.
  4. Invite future business.
    1. Ask the Reviewer to share their experience with family and friends, or return for a future purpose.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

  1. Apologize and empathize.
    • As soon as you can, apologize with the customer.
  2. Add a marketing message.
    • It’s ok to mention what your business does and strives to achieve.
  3. Keep it short. Be sure not to mention your business name.
    1. Keep your response short and simple.
  4. Direct the conversation to someone offline.
    • Always, always, always give the Reviewer an offline contact.

Where to Find Reviews

In Canada, there are approximately 20 Review sites. They include:

  • Avvo
  • Caring.com
  • Cars.com
  • Citysearch
  • DealerRater
  • Edmunds
  • Expedia.com
  • glassdoor.com
  • Healthgrades
  • Houzz
  • indeed.com
  • Kudzu
  • OpenTable
  • Rate MDs
  • SureCritic
  • TripAdvisor
  • Vitals
  • Yelp
  • Zocdoc
  • zomato.com

In addition to these, many social sites and Directory sites also include the ability to leave a Review.

 

An Easier Way

Managing Reviews from a number of different sites can be time-consuming, frustrating and likely to cause error. It is estimated that managing your online reputation takes approximately 300 hours per year. Here are three ways you can manage your online reputation:

DIY

You can manage your online reputation on your own. Here are a few quick steps to get you started:

  • Create email alerts for your business name, your name and all of the products and services your business offers.
  • Create email alerts for your competitors and the products and services they offer that you want to monitor.
  • Review the emails daily to be sure you are responding as quickly as possible.
  • Monitor trend data for industry keywords.
  • Create Listings on all relevant sites being sure to return each time business information changes. (holiday hours, sales, etc.)
  • Add your competitors to your list of “Watch” pages in Facebook and other social channels.
  • Respond to Reviews on each Listing and Review site.

With a Little Help

Subscribe to an automated service that will scan keywords, competitors, social media and media mentions for each of the key terms you define. There are a few subscription app services available. We shopped them all, and chose ReputationManagement for its ease of use, cost effectiveness and comprehensiveness. We also chose ListingSync to keep all of our Listings in sync.

If you decide to shop the app, be sure to look for:

  • Use and popularity in Canada
  • Central repository to respond to Reviews
  • An overview of your business Listings
  • Competitive data and monitoring services
  • Analysis of sentiment
  • Includes proof of performance reporting
  • Ability to generate Reviews, and most importantly
  • Ability to pre-screen and respond to Reviews before they are publicized. 

Hire a Reputation Management Expert

Hiring someone to manage your online reputation is similar to hiring someone to build your website or create content for social media. Owning and managing a business is an already busy task. Hiring someone to actively monitor and manage your online reputation will help you focus on the job of growing your business.

Large firms and media monitoring services can be hired for 1000’s of dollars each month. Some of the firms to compare include BrandWatch or Meltwater. Above the Fold, yours truly, is a local option providing all of the service at a fraction of the price. If you’d like to learn more, please start by visiting Review Management and drop us a note to discuss further.

Managing your online reputation could be one of the best things you do for your business this year (and next!). Start today by completing a FREE online assessment. The assessment will determine if:

  1. Online information about your business is consistent.
  2. 5-Star Reviews from your customers will improve your search rank.
  3. Social Media posting is leading to conversion.
  4. Website visitors can find you and easily use your website. 

Ready.  Set.  GROW!

Above the Fold is Saskatchewan’s #1 resource for customer acquisition and sales growth strategies. Start your free online assessment today!

Home to THE Largest Marketing Store.

Thanks for reading!

Here’s more you might like:

The “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know” about Managing Your Online Reputation Webinar

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Google My Business Stands Out with “Posts.”

Google My Business Stands Outwith “Posts.”

Are you familiar with Google My Business?  If not, check out our DIY Resources section here, for tonnes of free stuff, easy information and all sorts of tools to manage your digital strategy and online presence. Google My Business is one of the most powerful resources to find ready-to-buy customers. Take a few minutes to learn all about this free Listing service from Google or let’s just say that Google My Business is all kinds of awesome. For free

In June 2017, Google announced that business owners could use their GMB Listing to also include a “Post.”  Whatchu talkin bout Willis?! (And if you’re old enough to understand that social meme, you’ll really appreciate this post!)

**Updated April 2018. Google My Business now includes the ability to add a ‘Description.’ Read more information here.**

A Direct Pipeline to Google

What good is a “Post” on a GMB Listing? Think of it this way…a direct pipeline to Google and free advertising!

GMB “Posts” allow business owners to publish content to their Listing to promote sales, coupons or communicate with customers and potential customers.  Here is a sample GMB Listing with a Post.

Jazzes it up pretty good! If you have not yet taken advantage of this free opportunity, go ahead and give it a try today!

There are a couple things you should know before you get started.

  • Google My Business Posts expire one week after posting.  Be sure to keep fresh content posted.
  • You can add text, images, events, buttons and links to other web content.

Ready to get started?  Here’s how:

  1. Sign in to your Google My Business account here.
  2. If you have multiple locations, click Manage location for the correct location.
  3. Click Create post. Or click Posts from the menu.
  4. The “Create Post” screen will appear. Just enter the relevant information.
  5. Once you’ve created your post, click Preview. If it looks good, click Publish in the top right corner of the screen.

Working from Mobile? Click here for a more specific explanation direct from Google.

If you use an app to schedule your social media, you will want to consider an app that can post to GMB and all of your social channels. The app we recommend is called Social Marketing. The link will open a new window to the Above the Fold Marketing Store.

Thanks for reading!

Here’s more you might like:

The Ultimate Google Listing Guide to find more Ready-to-Buy Customers.

Get your copy today!