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A crucial step to any modern-day SEO strategy is to claim and add verification to your business, with Google's My Business (GMB) listing. Using this platform stands you in good stead to place higher in the rankings in your local area, Google maps installed on most mobile devices, and organic rankings.

Local Businesses who meet the accreditation can simply display important information about their company, details such as their phone number and contact information, opening hours, your Business address, your website etc.

Recently Google continues to expand their features to Google My Business, this is a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes to grasp the reality that their Google My Business listing will help attract viewers/ potential customers attention, which will ultimately help your ranking in any Local search results conducted.

It is important to note that common mistakes local Businesses make is just claim their Google My Business listing, tick off a job done and move on to other ventures. Over time this stands dormant and people forget they even did this. However as with most things in life the more you endeavour to investigate the more that you will see that there are a variety of tools and features Google gives to your Business. This will allow you to take advantage of your Google My Business listing, on a regular consistent basis to make sure your Business information accuracy stays in top form.

“The more data you give Google, the better your credentials are to potential customers”

Several questions need answering to form Google My Business Profile, the main aim here is to complete all the fields with relevant data about your business so that your potential target market will be able to find information about your business quicker and easier than ever before. An important note to make, is firstly by missing information out on your profile doesn’t look very professional and won’t stand you in good stead with potential customers, the ease of flowing information will help draw new clientele in. Secondly, there is an edit option, like Wikipedia this is a self-editing platform, which means if you leave your page with gaps and missing content, someone can easily come and fill this in for you. So there for regular checks to update information by logging in regularly to your Google My Business dashboard to check that no new alterations were made without your prior knowledge.

When you click on “Google Updates,” (you may need to see classic dashboard) There’s an option that allows you to review any updates, this is where you can delete or remove any information that is either incorrect or wasn’t placed there via yourself.

Google is all about helping to build communities for a better experience in the consumer world, it brings elements of trust and loyalty establishing a network of shared businesses profiles. When you get your account verified it is important to do your due diligence and check back regularly. This is now the opportunity to maximize your Business listing, and venture into areas to outperform your competition.

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Google My Business Posts

Most Businesses would relish in the idea of being able to post some adverts, like some social media posts that show up in your Google search on your Google My Business listing. Mini adverts regularly being shown through Google's search engine are an opportunity to display any developments or changes to any projects currently being undertaken. You can add images, advertise events or webinars, promote any sales taking place, seasonal offerings, sharing Blog content information to draw people to your website, the list is ever expanding and so are the opportunities.

To potentially help your SEO for your website it is important to note that Google has recently index emoji relevant search results. In time you will be able to search for a site with an emoji! People are also more likely to utilize the technology on their mobile phones, where location mapping is important, if your business stands out with an icon or emoji, this may help your SEO ranking over your competition. An early tip for a developing piece of interactive technology that can lead to ease of access to your products and services over your competitors.

It is important to note that we don’t recommend people over killing the emoji button like such examples that can be found on social media. This can form a tacky, irrelevant and unprofessional appearance for your business, which is the exact opposite of your your initial intent is. The trick is to try and tie something to your business that can be emoji related, such as pushing a new event or product. Still a new strategy that is yet to be fully tested, however an option that is most definitely worth testing on upcoming projects or campaigns.

Like social media posts, Google My Business has a time-scale feature, they will be viewable for a week, then go to your storage where they will still be viewable in your Google My Business listing. Also featured are reminders of a schedule that prompts you to be consistent with your posts and adverts.

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The Ability to Make Bookings

People will now be able to book your services straight from the Google My Business listing. This makes the customers experience much easier as they remain in Google to book an appointment or meeting with you. This will inevitably make your business have an edge over your competition, this integrated software shows potential clients / customers your innovation with modern day integration of media platforms. If your Business relies on bookings and scheduling in appointments, this feature can’t be ignored and is highly likely to get you some new custom.

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Messaging Service

The ability for your potential customers to send you text messages! An immediate lead that would be Gold dust in the days of Glengarry Glenn Ross. An ideal opportunity to fully engage with new clients and crossing the boundaries of unfamiliarity and connect with people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer them.

Currently messaging is only available to mobile web users and is unavailable to mobile app or standard desktop users.

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Questions & Answers

A great feature that allows people to get to know more about what you have to offer them. This can also help rest assure any queries they may have that will have been answered before even speaking to you. This allows you to advertise your strengths and relieve any concerns new clients may have stumbled across before deciding to go ahead with your services.

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Google My Business Online Reviews

Google's policy is to encourage their business owners to ask their customers for reviews. Online reviews will appear next to your listing in Google Maps. Online reviews help spread your message of loyalty and trust and encourage people to use your services (click through rate) from word of mouth that highlights reputable reviews on your products or services.

When customers leave reviews for you, either positive or negative it is important to acknowledge them and respond to them. This highlights your value in customer care and emphasises the fact that you have addressed the dismantled customer and attempted a resolve.

Negative reviews do happen, they may not seem nice and are certainly not welcoming but it’s a fact of life. You can’t please everyone all the time, you can make mistakes, learn from them and move on. People know a troll like figure that can leave poor comments that are unduly noted, they usually stand out as a certain customer everyone is likely to get, so it is important to not take anything personally and move on.

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Photos and Videos

Since its origins the Internet has involved to a vibrant visually appealing place for people young and old. Gone are the days of boring text and standard written information. Today is all but grasping people’s attention, visually! Photos and videos are the key to grasping an audience online. Today people scroll their phones and see your video playing without the sound even on, however, the visual vibrance will display all that is needed to get across.

The misconception of a professional imagery, or a high-end video production is what is essential to produce content good enough to share is simply false. Sometimes messages can spread like wildfire if caught correctly. Some of the most successful YouTube or Facebook videos are flukes caught by fellow family members on their I phone. This elaborate method of producing visual content is not necessary and holds people back from producing actual content that will help promote and establish your brand. Videos are in their infancy, and currently you can add up to 30-second-long clips of your company which is ideal to get people’s attention, particularly as it’s on the best-known search engine on the planet!

The videos must be location specific and are established at the place of work with the people who work there. This will discourage a flock of marketers promoting their products with flash images and promotional content. Google My Business discourages this behaviour and can remove any content that breaches their terms and conditions. The duration is typically 30 seconds long (subject to change) and holds files sizes up to 100 MB, with a resolution of 720p or higher. Load several videos and features become available on mobile devices which serves as a huge incentive to upload consistently.

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Business Information

An important new feature now available to Business owners is the full Business description option, which allows you 750 characters to describe your services or products, however 250 are only visible before they are cut off in the knowledge panel. Here it is vital to become market savvy and select your keywords and key features carefully, so your Business has maximum opportunity to show up in the key ranks search on Google. Important information that its vital to your message would be location, telephone number, website etc. to name a few.

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Services and Menus

If your industry offers a service such as web design, nail salon, hair dressers etc., and have a menu or list of options whereby selecting your service is apparent, then this feature in My Google Business is a vital asset for you and your business.

You will be able to categorise and display all your services or products as well as their prices, which is all the relevant information the potential customer will need. Be sure to be consistent with up to date services and any promotions or price changes that are likely to incur in these industries.

Final Thought

Today more than ever, The more interaction, the better your chances of ranking higher in the search engines. Google emphasises its efforts in engagement with the consumer and evolving features to keep the Business owner lively and in the market. By tapping into evolving technologies, your Business stands a great chance of standing out from the crowd, maximizing your online presence is an art form that comes with effort and reward.

As new features continue to evolve, it is important to use them to keep your Google My Business listing at its full capacity and potential.

We fully recommend you take advantage of the key features that Google My Business offers and hope we have answered some key questions. If you would like any additional information or need any help and support with setting up your Google My Business account, we would be delighted to hear from you.

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