Get the Most out of Google with Google: My Business!
Tired of searching for clients? Wish more of your perfect clients would find YOU? What do you find when you Google your business? Or when you Google search terms related to your business?
For years, I've had a love/hate relationship with Google.
The love: When I first started my online business, I was REALLY good at Google optimization.
The hate: I was a musical theater coach… And now I have 100k+ views on YouTube videos about how to sight sing, and I show up at the top of the search results for Tap Dance Terminology. Haha!
If you know anything about us… That's no longer what we offer here. 🤣🤣🤣
I've searched and searched for a way to take control of my SEO and finally found someone to help. My good friend Ryan Steinolfson and Crystal Horton of Accelerate Marketing share their 5 tips to get the most out of Google. With their support, I'm finally seeing a change and an uptick in search results for links like Live Video and Bots! Yay! We also have been working together on a client account who has gone from page 50 to the FIRST PAGE for their top keyword! So cool!
Meet Ryan & Crystal!
I met Ryan while speaking at Digital Marketer in December on behalf of ManyChat, and I sent Crystal a bunch of fun gifs. Being able to speak in front of an audience about Google, especially Google My Business, was incredible for Ryan so he could learn what resonates with people in the moment as he is talking. Crystal was recently nominated as one of the top 11 local SEO women in the world, which is insane.
Fun fact: Ryan hired Crystal over Facebook audio messages through Messenger after they had a back-and-forth conversation. Sometimes you and someone are just speaking the same language!
Ryan had been using Google Hangouts for years. What he always wanted to do was start a Google Hangout from his phone, which he couldn’t do. Meerkat came out. Then Periscope came out, where they had these Periscope summits in New York and San Francisco. Ryan spoke at both of them. He was the first person in the world to use live video underwater while scuba diving. He’s also done them while surfing and kite surfing. He literally strapped his phone to his forehead while narrating his actions live, which made his audiences feel like they were right there with him. Which it’s important to note that, when you do things differently, and you’re just yourself showing experiences that you have, that is where the magic is.
What is Google: My Business?
Any business owner wants a consistent stream of leads to acquire new clients, and the consistency is the tricky part. 75% of all searches are on Google. When they are looking for your business, they are typing in your profession and your location. When they type those things in, what do they find? In Google: My Business, when you type in a keyword and location, what pulls up in Google is the one that has the content with the best match to your search and present the answers to them. There are ads at the top that everyone scrolls through. After that is the Maps section. This is Maps Business. These are the top three businesses Google recommends for your search query. It’s different from a regular search because your website link and directions on how to get there is right there.
To show up at the top of a results page on Google: My Business, you could pay per click, but the reality is, most people skip through those top hits because they see the Ad box and ignore it. Or you could show up for free every single time someone searches your keywords. The distinction is some people are paying to be there, and some people are supposed to be there.
Every Google: My Business profile has a knowledge panel. This knowledge panel includes all the knowledge of your business, such as hours, phone number, website URL, and reviews. You have to leave a review for a business through Google Maps, and there is a link that you can create and text to people to get to the review box more easily. The more reviews you get, the higher the ranking you will get in the search results.
For The Prepared Performer, I initially created a profile when I was teaching voice lessons, and the address was my house. Even after I moved, my old address was still showing up. That is fixable. After building my business through focusing on Facebook, I finally had to clean my Google presence up. and I have Ryan and Crystal to thank for it!
TIP: Before you use a digital marketing agency, make sure they can track the results in terms of phone calls. If not, they can’t prove the value they are giving to you. You can connect a service like CallRail to GMB to track this. CallRail can track someone with a pixel, even if they get to your website indirectly rather than directly through the GMB link.
# 1 How to Increase Website Traffic through Google: My Business
The Set up:
- Go to Business.Google.com to set up your business page, and Click “Sign In.” You will need a Gmail account because that will be the primary hub of your business page. You can connect your business email later on.
- Follow the steps. Type in the business name. After that, it will ask for the address. You can type in your home address if you are a service-based business. Then there is a checkbox you can click that tells Google you don’t want your address to show up anywhere on your GMB listing.
- Next, it will ask you to include the cities that you work in. Please keep in mind that Google will only allow you to include cities within a 300-mile radius from where your address is. You can’t say that you work with people in the USA and Australia. Google won’t allow it. Your GMB page will put a pin on the map in the zip code that you have listed. All of the searches will be based on the zip code.
- Next is the list of service areas you offer. Input the city, but also include the zip codes. It gives you more exposure. It tells Google what you want. Starting closer to home is a great way to expand out.
- Next, it will say, “You will receive a postcard within the next 7-14 business days with a six-digit code.” Google is confirming you put in the accurate location. Once you receive the postcard and input the code, you will begin showing up in Google.
- It’s super important to fill out as much information as possible. The more information you include, and the more specific you are, the more you will show up on Google. It may seem like a lot of work, but once you complete it once, it’s all set up. It’s done. It’s a foundational piece of real estate on the Internet for your business.
Why Google: My Business different
- You have Google as the number one search engine. YouTube is second. GMB is the third most searched search engine. It is a different search engine. The reason GMB is different is because it primarily serves up businesses based on the location of the searcher.
- One of our clients is a person who sells wood slabs, which is a location-based service. For the most part, people are coming to the location. Google wants to serve up the business to people searching within a 30-mile radius.
- You can game this system by creating a City Page on your website that focuses on each area. Just know that the key is to be able to expand that service area that you show up in. Accelerate Market creates a grid report that shows clients where their business ranks in terms of each search based on location.
- If you’re a coach who can get clients from anywhere in the world, or another similar business, that is the niche that nobody is doing this in, because they think the location is harmful rather than helpful. There is an opportunity here.
#2 How to Get More Followers/Email Subscribers
Google My Business (GMB) Followers & Welcome Offer
*I am a huge supporter of expanding your community, if you haven’t read my post about email lists here.
- If you go into your GMB page, you can create a Welcome Offer when people show up on your GMB page through their smartphone. Think of it like a landing page. Every time someone goes to your GMB page, they can see this offer. It’s a foot in the door to give someone something that extends the olive branch. And it’s super simple to set up.
- It’s super important to know there is a GMB app that you can download onto your phone. You get some things in the app that you can’t do from your desktop. It’s kind of like Instagram for your business. You can post content right from the GMB app onto your page, such as photos, posts, hashtags, and videos. This can all be included in your knowledge panel.
- On the GMB app, you can follow businesses that you like. You will get notified when they provide an update. There is no better way to connect to your clients than updating your GMB page.
- Any post you post on Facebook should also be posted as a post to your GMB page.
# 3 How to Get Reviews the Right Way
- In the GMB app, you can jump into your business’s profile. When you scroll, there is a code attached to “Get Reviews” that Google made available a few months ago. This is the link you can text and email out to as many people as you want. You can do this once you have created a reviewable moment; it’s all about the strategy of following up soon after.
- An example is their work with me. I met with Ryan and Crystal and did a strategy session. I went from #40 to #3 or 4 on the maps, and some other great ROI stats. Things were going well. Ryan knows me, so he texted me the review link and included the content he wanted me to use in the review. Copy, paste, done.
- It matters that your keywords are used in your reviews. It creates a knowledge panel of keywords under the reviews that Google finds the most times. So Google is definitely paying attention to how keywords are used in those third-party independent reviews. They even create a keyword cloud on each GMB’s profile review pages. And people do not have to be in your area to leave reviews.
- And don’t be afraid to lovingly follow up. You may text it to someone at a bad moment and they forget to do it, even if they want to. So if they don’t do it, you can follow up and ask them again. This strategy came about because when Ryan was a biotech rep, his entire job was determined on whether he got his blood tests sent out. He had to train these nurses. Once they understood the why, they were more likely to draw blood. It’s a very grassroots strategy called the remote review strategy that works so powerfully.
- When you sign into the dashboard at Business.Google.com, when you scroll down, there is a section called “Your Business is on Google.” The link Ryan is referring to is “Share Your Business Profile.” The other link under “Reviews” in the dashboard is “Get More Reviews.”
#4 How to Use Google Reviews to Promote Your Business
- Word of mouth is how more people know about your business. You can share any GMB review on social media, and you can also take a screenshot of a review and add it as a GMB post. The trick is, copy and paste the testimonial, give the correct name and credentials, and include that in the post as well. Those are valuable words for Google to see.
- A Google review is only as good as the number of people who see it. Posting to social media, posting those reviews to your website, using schema mark-up to make sure that Google knows those are actual reviews, and you can create review videos to post on YouTube.
- Those review videos can show up in the YouTube carousel, too. The trick is to just use the title of your business and your location in the title, description, and tags of the video, so when someone types in your business keywords, location, and reviews, that video shows up in the results.
- We have done the same thing with our Facebook reviews for The Prepared Performer, both sharing the testimonial by copying and pasting the text into a new post and creating review videos to share on our social media and website.
- When someone gets a referral for you from someone they know, they type in your business name and your city. Do the top directories that pop up for you all have five stars? And are all the videos that pop up in the carousel for your business? If the answer is no for either question, you gotta work on that.
# 5 Learn How Your Competition is Stealing from You
- We call it GMB Spam. Your competitor is keyword stuffing all of the keywords that are being typed into Google so they ensure they show up in their primary spot, and they list that as their business title. That is known as spam. There is also location spam where people have duplicate listings to expand into different locations.
- Crystal’s favorite keyword stuffing example is one they took down for our mutual client, Kayla. She moved from the #5 position to the first spot when they got it removed. When you get someone removed for breaking Google’s terms of service, it is not revealed to that business who reported them.
- The example Crystal showed includes the keywords “momleader, time management coach, business coach, life coach,” and a bunch of locations all in the name of the business. To clarify, GMB requires that you use your registered business name as the title of your business on your GMB page.
- These ads can go up to $1,000 per click by the way, which means for every click an ad gets, a person is spending $1,000 on that single click.
Google: My Business is such a great way to get your business out there, to grow your email community, and make sure that the most people are seeing you! I can’t thank Ryan and Crystal enough for going through these 5 steps with me and you! Make sure to check them out at Accelerate Marketing.
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