Tag : Google

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6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Google My Business

When Google announced the planned shut-downof Google+ last year, few in the social media landscape were surprised. With pesky bug problems and low usage by both individuals and organizations, the platform simply wasn’t sustainable.

But such is not the case for its commerce-friendly cousin, Google My Business. In fact, aside from a company’s own website, its Google My Business profile (may be the most valuable piece of online real estate to manage.

If your business does not have a Google My Business account, or if you only lightly use one, here are six reasons why you should up your game:

  1. GET FOUND. If someone is searching for your company online, what’s the first thing they do? Google it, right? With an active Google My Business account, your “Business Profile” (as Google calls it) appears to the right of the search results on a desktop browser window, or at the very top of a mobile screen, providing a quick link to your website and a whole lot more (read on).  BONUS: Your Business Profile also helps you get found on the map, automatically identifying your location (or locations) on Google Maps, and providing directions with a click of the mouse.
  2. ENSURE ACCURACY. Your Business Profile puts you in control of what users see in the search results. In addition to your web address and location, you can specify phone numbers, operating hours, the services you offer (organized by sections, descriptions and prices), and more.  BONUS: This takes pressure off of your SEO and tagging efforts, and ultimately improves your rating on the search engine.
  3. SHARE CONTENT. Similar to other social media platforms, Google My Business allows you to share photos, videos and posts, showing what makes your business unique and increasing the appeal for viewers to follow your business.  BONUS: Understanding the business value of other platforms, Google My Business allows links to your Facebook, Twitter, LiinkedIn and other profiles.
  4. ATTRACT AND ENGAGE CUSTOMERS. In addition to shared content, your Business Profile offers places for customers to book services, write reviews, ask questions (which you can answer for all viewers to see), and send direct messages. Each chance to directly engage customers increases their trust and your growth potential.  BONUS: Google My Business also allows you to share special offers with your followers. Talk about incentive!
  5. GET INSIGHTS. The Google My Business dashboard includes some of the best features of Google Analytics, including website and search performance, how viewers search for your business (by query phrases as well as through direct, discovery or branded methods), and what actions they take upon finding you (website visits, direction requests or phone calls).  BONUS: Google My Business also shows what other businesses similar to yours are posting, helping you to keep an eye on best practices and the competition.
  6. IT’S FREE! There is no cost to establishing a Business Profile, which you can access both on a desktop browser and the Google My Business app. Google’s only requirement is that your business must have some level of in-person interaction with customers, and not be 100% online.

Here at Social Thrive, we take great care and pride in managing Business Profiles for our clients, knowing how important it is to their success. (To see a few examples, search for Arsenal Yards, The Royal Belmont, Back Deck, or Thomas Interior Painting). We’re also happy to provide free audits and recommendations for businesses who have yet to make the most of the opportunity.

But if you want to get started on your own right away, our friends over at Hubspot offer a great step-by-step guidefor creating a Google My Business listing.

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Things to know about Adwords: Round 2

In the discussion of Google Adwords and Paid Search, we still have so much more to talk about!

Creative: This is advertising just in case you were confused! AND Google doesn’t give you a lot of characters or space to work with, so you HAVE to be creative.  You have to give people a reason to click on your ad! Think as creatively as you can to what would draw those clicks: it could be free shipping, a gift with purchase, or drop that you are a small or local business. These little tactics will result in higher click through rates. Although Paid Search is a numbers game, this is still Marketing! Another video to help you along the way thanks to Google.

Conversions:  The best feeling is to know that you are paying for a click and YOU can see it and track it. You can find out what word attracted the visitor and what they bought. If you want to calculate your return, install the conversion tracking pixel.  What is more important to you: the traffic or the sales? Reminiscent of what we said in Round 1, data helps you make decisions!

Broad Match: If you do not know what this is, Google has two options for keyword targeting; these would be: Broad Match and Exact Match. Broad match allows Google to match your query to things that are similar to your keyword.  If you company is selling something very niche, then your ads will then we displayed to a more broad audience. So, they may be similar, but in what sense? and is there enough of a distinction to change your audience to less qualified leads?  The only thing that would make you think Broad Match is better is because you will be getting more impressions and although that looks great, and more clicks will look great, but your conversion rate will be low. The reason you have Paid Search having the brunt of your Marketing Budget is because it is highly target and efficient, don’t forget that! If you are going to use Broad Match, it is then unnecessary to add plural or misspelled versions of a given keyword as duplicate entries.

As Google Adwords evolves, I’m sure we will have a round 3 help list for you within a few months! Until next time, godspeed on your campaigns!

Example AdWords Ad

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Things to know about Google Adwords: Round 1

Every small business wants to understand Adwords Paid Search and it is generally where all small businesses now put their focus in their Marketing Budget.  Although Paid Search, looks simple and straight forward it is not.  Here are some things that are important before you begin a new Paid Search campaign!

Keywords: Spend more than a few minutes figuring out your keyword because this part is much more important than you can imagine. A good place to start would be to come up with basic search terms that summarize your business or website and then branch out under your basic categories. You also need to think from the perspective of your customer.  There are brands who use keywords that are too technical and are not the first thing their customer would be searching, as they would not think that way. The customer will be not be broad in there search, but nor will they be super detailed.

I know it is hard to not view keyword selection in terms of just search volume v. competition. Although those are big priorities, always keep your focus on the relevance of the word. A high volume searches won’t do you good if they are not highly qualified leads — it just means they most likely won’t convert. So, be specific and not too technical (unless that’s your product!)

Bidding: First things first, please don’t let Google set your bids. It is not because they aren’t honest, they wouldn’t try to do anything crooked with your money if they wanted to keep you as a customer. According to the algorithms, bidding is not easy.  Google guesses in lower volume keywords because the data isn’t significant enough so what we recommend you do is manage the bids yourself! For more about bidding, just watch this Google tutorial!

Data: Paid Search is something you have to constantly monitor and this also means you have to test too! You should test keywords, bidding, creative, and geo-location targeting too. When you gather enough data for a judgement call — then you optimize!  The data always will be your best indicator of what to do next and how efficient your campaign can be.