Find More Ready-to-Buy Customers on the First Page of Google
Check out the latest updates on the #1 Listing Service used by purchase-ready 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.
Looking for just the updates? 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 something, go somewhere 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.
- Paid Ads. (Pay to play service. Average click-thru is 13.8%.)
- Google Listings. (Free Listing service from Google My Business. Average click-thru is 28.8%.)
- 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 Quick Tour of Your Listing
Your Google My Business Home tab is your quick-view dashboard with insights, an overview and a few hints into what your competitors are doing with their Listings. Be sure to check it out and find some new ideas for content.
Posts are Google’s equivalent of social media: 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.
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 and *ALERT ALERT* add a business description and products and services.
What is a business description you say? Well, 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.
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!
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!
Power Up Your Business with Online Listings
Uncover the most powerful way to get your business on the first page of Google!
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, go ask all of those customer’s you’ve wow’d! 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.
Prefer a text or SMS message with your customers prior to a phonecall? Messaging allows you to chat with your customers, book appointments or answer questions even before a potential customer is ready to discuss 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 setup Messaging, it is likely no longer an option for your business.
If a picture says 1000 words, imagine how much you can 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!
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.
Adding Users is adding collaborators or team members. On this page, 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 setup? Check out our step-by-step instructions below.
You’ll be ‘above the fold’ in no time!
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.
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 chat bots 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Google My Business Step-by-Step Setup
Login page for Google My Business
- Navigate to Google My Business.
- New to Google My Business? Follow these steps to sign up for free
- Search for your business using its name and address.
- If you see a dialog letting you know that someone else has verified the business, follow these steps.
- 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.
- Click Submit.
- Open the Google My Business app.
- 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.
- If you see a dialog letting you know that someone else has verified the business, follow these steps.
- 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 desktop to access more advanced editing features, including adding service-areas. Learn more
Mobile Listings View
To enter the verification code you receive:
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- If you’re managing multiple businesses, choose the one at the address where you received the postcard.
- Click Verify location from the menu (or click the Verify now button) and follow the prompts to complete verification.
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.