Episode 126: How You Can Master Google My Business Better Than Your Competition

Google My Business is one of the most important tools when it comes to SEO. And it is also one of the most overlooked tools as well. Having a Google My Business is critical. But it isn’t enough. Are you also optimizing your Google My Business? You want to ensure that your Google My Business is optimized to its fullest potential so that you can show up in the map and in rankings. This could help your business flourish. Listen to these tips and turn your Google My Business into a critical part of your marketing.

Roger: Hello and welcome to local SEO today. I’m Roger Murphy.

John: And I’m John Vuong.

Roger: We want to welcome you to this podcast. John and I are in the SEO industry. We talk about how to get more lead generation for businesses all over North America and today for entrepreneurs and business owners that are watching this. We really want to talk on the topic of your Google My Business page. John, it’s a huge thing.

John: It’s so vital if you’re a small medium-sized business and you’re servicing a local community, right? We actually live in Toronto. We operate our business in Toronto but we service throughout North America so a majority of the business, small businesses here in Canada I believe it’s like 90 percent is operated and owned by small business owners, right? So if you currently own a small business have you cleaned and optimized your Google My Business listing?

Roger: And the Google My Business page is really…we pretty described in certain and center if you’ve been in…it is the landing page that Google wants to drive people to. Yes, there’s your website which will be linked there but the Google My Business page John, has so much content.

John: Yeah, so Google own their own real estate, right? So the more real estate that you can provide them so that they can actually display some of the service products, images, videos of what you’re offering the better, right? So you know especially for branding purposes as well. Someone that knows you by name, they might see your knowledge panel and then have everything they need to make a decision.

Roger: And I see because we’re in this industry I see on a regular basis when I’m reaching out to potential clients that you know are looking to come on board their Google My Business Page is not optimized. It’s not done properly.

John: Yeah so we’re gonna just go through the big steps in terms of how to claim it, what to do and fully optimize it so the first thing you have to do is really have full ownership of that Google My Business page so that’s really claiming you’re a Google My Business page. You can just Google how to claim your Google My Business page. Typically what…there’s gonna be two options: you either get sent a postcard to just verify that you actually do all that business at that given location that you put online.

Roger: That’s how Google verifies it.

John: Exactly.

Roger: They know that if it’s sent to a physical address and the mail gets to you it must be a physical address you own.

John: Yeah, and then you gotta put in a pin code and it expires within an X amount of days so you just need to make sure that whenever you receive it log back into your Google My Business page enter the pin code and therefore now you’re verified.

Roger: Yeah, and there’s another one they could phone you also.

John: As well, so there is limited…I’ve only had it…instance a couple times actually throughout the years but there is an option for people to actually verify, via phone as well. It’s a lot quicker but it’s very rare that that happens. So once you verify your Google My Business page then you should be inputting all the accurate information.

Roger: Sort of like loading the content, right?

John: Exactly, so the most important thing is making sure that your name, address, postal code, phone number, website URL is consistent, right? And it’s very similar to how you would create citations, right? Where you put your information consistently and keep it the same in every single place out there.

Roger: In citations it should be mentioned that those are basically the millions of online directories that are out there but the idea is you say John, this is…you must be consistent your NAP your name, address, phone number needs to be identical across all these platforms so start right with your Google My Business page.

John: Yeah, the next most important thing to really consider is making sure you put yourself in the right category, right? Because typically what you want to do is look at who your major competitors are and just put yourself in the same category as them, right? I know Google allows you to have multiple categories but the first category actually plays the…has the most value, has most weight so make sure you’re putting yourself in the right category where all your major competitors are and then you can also add some secondary, third categories in there as well.

Roger: Another really interesting thing you can do is actually ask questions and provide the answers at the same time and this really is about giving good quality information to people searching on Google and that’s a very powerful thing.

John: Yeah, because it’s their own knowledge panel so the more FAQ I would say you have on there the less people who will call you asking those questions because they will actually see it right on the Google page, right? So make sure that you’re asking questions that you get asked the most. You can actually ask and answer it yourself, right? So instead of waiting for someone to actually ask it. Just do it yourself.

Roger: That’s right and what it does it just again adds more quality content to your own Google My Business page and that’s so powerful because again this is your new landing page really.

John: So the next thing I want to talk about is uploading the right images or videos, right? So just like anything you want to upload, quality images. Today everyone’s phone has very high megapixels, right? So the quality is very sharp. Make sure that you’re able to upload quality images because it’s your first impression, right? Google is gonna upload images based on what they deem fit for you know, your business, right? You can upload 20 of them but they’re gonna only put you…your cover or the focus one on what they deemed the best suited for your business.

Roger: Interesting, so the next one or you know, in terms of what we’re really doing is if you can visualize the Google…your Google My Business page we’re adding, we’re filling up this page with really valuable content. The next thing and we all do it and it’s been going on for years now is reviews. Ask your clients, reach out to your existing clients to write a review about you on their Gmail address, I guess they’ll go to your Google My Business page.

John: Yeah and you know, this becomes more and more important today, right? Because people are gonna use that information to judge you especially if they don’t know who to use, right? It’s great that you’re gonna get referrals from their existing customers or people that they know but they’re also gonna double check you, right? It’s like another place that people want to feel assured that you’re a quality business. If you’re running a good business typically your review should be 4.5, 4.7, 5 stars but the more reviews you get the better, right? And focus on not just any review but commenting on the reviews is as important.

Roger: Exactly, because in the real world there’s gonna be positive reviews, there will be negative ones we live..we’re in a world where you’re not gonna serve and satisfy everyone but as long as you say John, respond to each one. Respond to the positives, respond to the negative ones just to show them, “Please reach out to me if there was an issue, there was a service…if the service level fell down. Reach out to me personally.” These are the things you want to respond on your review page or on your review section.

John: Yeah so and another thing is depending on your industry on Google My Business you can actually upload certain things as well so if you’re a restaurant you may be able to upload your menu, right? If you’re a service based business you can actually upload appointments so that you can actually get people to the right appointment page on your website, right? So figure out how to optimize your service page…Google My Business page based on your business, right? And make sure that you’re linking properly, right? Because having dead links or improper links that don’t really go anywhere has no value. I forgot to mention this section which is right after you put your NAP you can actually put a little blurb and I believe it’s between 750 to 1000 characters. A little description about your business so this gives you, people who are reading that Google My Business page a little insight about who you are, what you started with you know, just a little history, who you service, what you’re all about, right?

Roger: Kind of a benefits of your business are.

John: Yeah so it gives you a way to really sell your service product, right? What makes you different.

Roger: NAP which you just mention is your name, address, phone number. That’s the acronym for…

John: Yeah so this is on top of the NAP it’s below, it’s like a description part so populating. It’s prime real estate. It allows you to just get people who are interested to read a little bit more about you before they even land on your website.

Roger: One thing we didn’t touch on John but in terms of when we’re asking, or the business owners watching today when they’re asking for reviews there are ways to automate it where you can send a link to your client. Where when they click on it it will populate to the Google My Business Page.

John: Yeah, so you can definitely have a system in process, in place, right? To generate more reviews. There’s also a lot of companies that actually just focus on reputation management and chattering more reviews. That’s one of the things that’s very challenging for offices like dental offices or offices that have services that actually have a huge volume of customers coming in every single day, right? So you have a hundred plus clients come in every day to really get your receptionist to do this. It may not be worth their time, right? So it may mean automating work with another vendor that specializes in this and it will lead to more positive reviews for your business, right? They got a process in place. The last thing I want to talk about is really posting. I guess it’s a G+ post, right? So very similar to how you can post updates, newsletters, anything that’s relevant in your industry or repurpose some of the services that you offer. It allows… Google allows you to post it and it shows up for seven days on the knowledge panel.

Roger: So do this weekly because it only lasts for a week at a time.

John: And if you have more than one thing going on that we…you can offer and post as many posts as possible, right? But however that real estate you probably shouldn’t do more than three a week just because it becomes a scrolling left, right?

Roger: Sure and in reality again it only lasts for a week at a time then it falls off. Kinda like Instagram…like your Instagram stories they only last for a period and then they drop off.

John: So it’s another way to amplify say a new blog post or anything new that’s going on in your business and hopefully it would garnish more clicks to your blog page, right? Just another highlight of Google My Business and it allows for fresh content on Google, right? So by optimizing everything it allows you to really make use of the real estate Google allows you to have when someone does a search for your business, right?

Roger: So that’s how powerful this Google My Business page is. John, these have been terrific ideas and I hope you, the viewer today have grabbed a few of these ideas and tips and tricks but it really is and will help their businesses if they optimize this thing properly.

John: It’s always changing, they’re always adding certain things on Google My Business like you know, how Facebook has this thumbs up or Like? Well, Google My Business also has that as well. Thumbs up so it actually helps if you have Q&A’s or reviews. Ones that have you know, local guides or someone that actually can have more thumbs up. It appears higher as relevance because you can actually sort by relevance or top reviews, lowest reviews things like that always comes up like there’s always something new going on so just stay on top of that. I mean there’s not a lot of major drastic changes on google. There might be and this has been in the works but there might be a piece section on Google My Business as well where you might have to pay for certain things that they allow you for, right? So just stay on top of what’s going on and you know, just optimize it.

Roger: Exactly so it’s helped your business, optimize it. There’s some tips and tricks we’ve talked about today and we hope you’ve benefited from it John, thank you for your time.

John: Thank you, Roger

Roger: And thank you for watching and we’ll see you again at Local SEO Today. Have a good day.