Optimize SEO and Increase Traffic with Google My Business for Free
Google My Business is a free listing managed by Google that ties in Google Maps, Google Reviews, and Google Search. It is very valuable to the mobile user. It has a page authority of 100. New potential customers who want to find your business are likely to find you the for the first time because they are near your business or headed toward your area and have a specific need.
If you are looking for a service provider to help you with it know that there is a bigger picture of your directory listings which is one of the fundamentals building blocks of SEO. Here are the top three : Facebook, Apple Maps and Google My Business. You probably are familiar with a few more : YellowPages, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, and Foursquare. Here is a list of the ultimate 50 directories.
Here is a resource (cheat sheet) of how to optimize your business page on Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy, Yelp, and Google for SEO.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS- A New Business View
"Let's meet for lunch." What place is close to both of you that serves Indian food? Looking at a map, unfamiliar with the area and need to make a buying decision.
"Book a hotel for our trip." What place is close to the meeting? What restaurants are nearby, have a good vegetarian menu, but also serve meat and have gluten free, and can handle a reservation for 12 for dinner, in Cleveland, OH?
"Where can I rent a car?"
"Where can I get a replacement battery?" or "Where to get dry cleaning done on the way to the office that closes late?"
Think about how is your business discovered the very first time and how much information is readily available before a potential customer even knows your website. Local listings provide that info and Google My Business does it very well.
Next: Customers who already know you may want to check on hours, book an appointment, or get a coupon. What about them? According to research by Google "Summer Hours Make a Difference":
- 25% of small businesses change their operating hours during the summer.
- Most business owners aren’t cutting back for R&R, they’re extending their hours and staying open even longer.
- Yet since the unofficial start of summer (Memorial Day), only 1% of businesses have adjusted their hours on Google My Business.
- The states where businesses have changed their hours most on Google My Business are Ohio, Delaware, and Wisconsin.
Are they going to bookmark your website or remember that it is yourplace.net or instead of .com? Which is easier search for your business in a browser on their phone or type in Lodi, NJ, pizza and with one click have the address, phone number and can tap directions on how to get there?
This is a big part of the local listing ecosystem especially for Yelp, Angies List, and Foursquare. Google My Business has a place for reviews and they are seen before Yext and Foursquare because they are part of the visible listing right away. They are also a part of the 3 pack box ( it used to be a 10 pack ) that is shown right below the ads. Having a ton of 5 star reviews when your competitor has only a few is an advantage and people pick up on it as social proof. If you haven't seen your Google Reviews yet it is a good idea to take a look.
Last word, before redoing the website, before more ads on Facebook, put someone in charge of claiming all of your directory listings, especially Google My Business. The service is free and it you can do it yourself or hire someone to do the initial set-up, populate with media, and update all of the listings that are relevant to your business.