Are you currently managing a Google+ Business and a Google Local account and are getting confused about the difference between the two? If so, you’re in luck. If you haven’t already heard, Google introduced Google My Business. It combines Places for Business, Google Local, and Google+ Business under the My Business dashboard. Managing multiple Google accounts has never been simpler, and the marketing advantages are endless. Here are three ways you can take advantage of My Business to get a leg up on your competition:
Be seen on Google
What is the first step in any marketing strategy? The answer: brand awareness. After all, how can you gain customers if people don’t know who you are or what your product is? For local businesses though, it can be difficult to rank on the first page of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) if they are in the same industry as larger, more well-known brands.
Therefore, your first step is to create an effective SEO strategy to make your business more searchable on Google. In fact, studies on search engine results show that 59 percent of consumers use Google every month to find a reputable, local business, and yet 75 percent of users never scroll past the first page of results. Having poor Google search ranking can thus be detrimental to brands, because you lose out on so many potential customers.
This is where Google My Business steps in. When you create a My Business account, fill out your information as completely and accurately as possible, as it will show up on Search, Maps, and Google+. Include your business location, hours of operation, contact information, website URL, and pictures of your business. Make sure that the information you put on Google is the same information that you have on your website, Web directories, and your other social media profiles, as citation consistency is important in SEO. As a result, when people are searching specifically for your business or simply doing a broad search on your industry, they’ll be more likely to find your information and visit your website.
Connect with current and potential customers
In addition to making your business more findable on Google searches, you can also manage your Google+ page right from your My Business dashboard. Now, before you scoff at Google+ and go back to just using Facebook, consider this: your Google+ business page boosts your SEO and increases trust in your brand.
By measuring who comments, shares, or +1s your posts, Google captures identifies your audience’s identity, activity, and interests and can then deliver your content in front of this demographic in organic search results. In addition, other social media platforms place a “no follow” tag on any link you post, which means that those links don’t influence your business’s page rank. However, when you post any content on Google+ that links back to your site, Google treats them as Web pages, which then helps increase your site’s visibility and page rank.
Aside from its SEO value, Google+ is also a great way to engage with your audience and build a long-term relationship with them, which will make 82 percent of your consumers trust your company more. Think about it. People trust word-of-mouth recommendations, especially when they come from people they know. So when people are engaging with your content and reposting on their own pages, others will see your brand as a trust-worthy source. In addition, Google+ humanizes your brand, allowing you to showcase your brand culture and to interact with your audience.
In order to do well on Google+, post often and post regularly. If you have a blog, post the links on your page and ask your audience to read and share them. Post fun pictures of your business and your employees so that your audience has a better idea of who you are. Share content that is relevant and useful to your audience, not just posts solely promoting your brand. Remember that the purpose of your Google+ page is not to push your product on people but rather to create a community and engender trust in your brand.
Analyze your performance
Your analytics is arguably the most powerful tool in your My Business dashboard. You can see your site performance in the last 30 days, and you can also quickly delve into your Google+ and Web analytics right from your dashboard instead of toggling back and forth between pages. In your analytics, you’ll see detailed information about your audience demographic, post visibility, user engagement, and user behavior.
With this information, you can tweak your Web content based on how your audience interacts with it. If one Google+ post is getting a lot of engagement, you now know that’s the type of posts that your audience wants to see. On the same note, if your post leads your audience to a page on your site but people are only spending a couple of seconds on it before dropping off, then that’s an indication that they’re not finding what they’re looking for on your page and you need to change the content or layout of your page. Therefore, pay close attention to your analytics, and every week, evaluate your performance and devise new strategies to improve your Web performance.
Ultimately, your Web performance is only as good as you make it. Digital marketing is a huge investment in money, time, and effort that involves a lot of research, trial, and error. However, it can also have huge rewards for your business, and in this day and age where everything is digital, your Web presence can mean the difference between success and failure.
Photo Credit: Using Google My Business/shutterstock