Search engine optimization is a lot of work, especially when you are a new brand online.
Your brand is expected to go through diverse phases before it starts to rank on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Search engine optimisation is a long-term and sustainable digital marketing strategy that takes about 6- 24 months before visible results.
When it comes to ranking on search engines, there are a lot of factors that are taken into consideration, such as; content, backlinks, user interface and experience of such a website and domain age, most especially.
The bottom line is that owning a website does not guarantee that your website would rank on search engines like Google; it takes extra work before a business begins to benefit from targeted traffic from search engines.
You don’t expect your newly acquired domain name to outrank those existing domains on the SERPs. This is one of the primary reasons why most businesses do not invest in search engine optimisation; they instead use quicker and less sustainable means like Facebook, Twitter and influence marketing.
These mediums are faster but not sustainable because you have to keep spending a lot of money to be visible.
On the other hand, the search engine is not as fast as social media platforms like Facebook. Still, once it is perfected and well effected, it can convert enough targeted traffic that would eventually build your brand visibility online.
With search engine optimization in place, you can rank well on search engines and eventually start to attract targeted traffic.
Search engine optimization is challenging and takes a lot of time to start seeing results; this is why search engine giants Google has made it very easy to reach the top of the SERPs with the launch of a quick SEO platform called Google my business.
If your business is struggling with the proper digital marketing strategy to implement at a certain period of growth or maturity, I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you determine your business’s best digital marketing strategy. Click the link below to get started.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool designed by Google to allow businesses and organisations to maintain their online presence across Google networks, including Search and Maps.
To help customers find your business and tell them your story, you can verify your business and edit your business information.
All Google My Business was designed to ensure that your business stands out in the SERPS.
Prospective customers can quickly identify with your business, verify the authenticity of your business, make a phone call, even drop a review about your business, and eventually choose to visit you if you have a physical location.
Benefits Of Using Google My Business.
Do you know that a staggering 46% of all searches have local intent? Yet, despite this fact, so many businesses fail to take advantage of the free-to-use Google My Business platform.
There are unlimited benefits when you start using the google my business platform. If your business is finding it very difficult to attain visibility on search engines, you should start leveraging the power of Google My Business.
Here are other reasons why you should subscribe to the use of Google My Business.
1. Rank higher on search engines.
Ranking higher on search engines places your business on top of everything else on the internet; the more Google likes your business, the higher it will rank you in its Search and Maps results. Ranking higher on a search engine like Google makes your business authentic and trustworthy.
Getting Google to rank your business is simple all you need do is to supply quality, consistent, and accurate information.
The more Google can tell users about your business, the more it will like you. So, therefore, the Google My Business profile is the best way to feed Google this information.
2. Get More Information About Your Business.
One way prospective customers can trust your business is to get sufficient information to help them decide whether to buy or not.
Unfortunately, getting your business online via regular SEO can be quite tasking and may take time before you start to see results; this is why the Google My Business platform is recommended to get the job done in a jiffy.
With Google My Business, you can add a lot of information about your business online such as an address, images, posts, reviews from past customers and even testimonials from other customers.
3. Boost Targeted Traffic and Sales.
By having a listing and showing up in local searches, Google has made it known that businesses are 70% more likely to attract location visits from browsing potentials.
An even more impressive figure revealed that customers who find a brand through their Google My Business listing are up to 50% more likely to purchase just because they trust the authenticity of that business.
4. Boost Customer Trust.
One of the biggest hurdles they have to face for modern customers is building enough trust to make a purchase confidently. As a business owner, your job is to help them make that jump as quickly as possible.
To do this, one of the most straightforward steps you can take is assisting potential customers in seeing that your business has an actual location and it is up to date with the latest information needed to convert a sale.
Due to the original trust and confidence most users place in Google, your business profits whenever it pops up in a local search, as customers will automatically be more likely to trust your brand. Brands that show up on Google are 2.7 times more likely to be recognised as legitimate by consumers.
5. Show Up on Google Maps.
Next, to online reviews, consumers’ second most important factor when searching for a local business is closeness to their location.
It has been discovered that most search intent that has to do with purchases is locally engineered. This means that customers want to be able to access services readily closed to them.
For example, let’s say your business is a restaurant in Lagos, Nigeria, and a traveller presently arrives in Lagos and needs a place to eat out; all he does is search for restaurants and automatically, a complete list of restaurants very close to him appears Google Maps will quickly populate with dozens of red markers, each indicating a local business that meets your search criteria.
By simply creating a Google My Business listing and finishing the verification steps.
This is a great benefit that allows users to instantly see how close you are to their location, increasing their likelihood of visiting you.
6. Google My Business is Free.
It takes a lot to give your business a reputable search engine. First of all, you need to own a website, design it, write content or better still, higher the service of a freelance writer and even spend a lot on paid advertising.
The creation of the Google My Business platform has made Search engine optimisation for every kind of business seamless and accessible.
All you need to get your business listed on the SERPs is a Google account and a valid Google My business listing details of your business.
7. Google My Business Ensures Online Consistency.
When it comes to regular SEO, you have to do a lot to ensure that you don’t lose your rankings; most of these include the continuous publishing and updating of targeted content and ensuring that you are up to date with the latest SEO tips and tricks.
Apart from the stated requirements above, your SEO strategy can still become bastardised by the influence of a Google algorithm update.
So many businesses have lost their SEO to a Google algorithm update, making their competitors take over their position on the SERPs.
The Google My Business platform is designed to make sure that all your business needs to stay online for a long time is made available; even if you can’t afford to run a website or host a blog, you can leverage the Google My Business platform to help carry out all of these dirty work on your behalf.
8. Google My Business Offer an Official Website For Your Business.
Most business owners find it very stressful to manage a website; it has also been discovered that most online businesses never bother to renew their websites once it expires.
Google My Business has an inbuilt website builder that allows anyone to create the perfect website using the inbuilt drag-and-drop builder feature.
When your website is created via Google My Business, a custom subdomain is assigned to you which does not expire; all you have to do is design the website with the perfect colour and layout.
You should also know that your website can be removed if it does not comply with Google’s policies. Therefore, this is not sustainable to establish your brand presence online.
I, however, recommend that you buy and host your domain yourself. Therefore, I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you decide on the best platform to purchase your domain and host your website.
9. Google My Business is the Future of Online Marketing.
Google is constantly expanding and growing in data and online features for consumers and businesses to make sure such data is accessible.
Google is a billion-dollar giant that has scratched the surface by creating online tools to help small and big businesses increase sales and brand awareness. It has done a lot in bringing hidden business to the limelight.
Start today by creating a Google My Business and taking steps into the new online marketing and branding firm.
How To Get Started with Google My Business Listing
Setting up a Google My Business account does not require a third-party skill. A smartphone or PC, a Google account, and an active internet connection is required.
Google My Business is a core element of local SEO, so it’s important to highlight how crucial your listing data is accurate and kept up to date. In addition, research suggests that 50% of consumers visit a store or business after performing a local search.
1. Setup a Google My Business account.
Now that you have the criteria mentioned above set up, all you need is to access the Google My Business platform; you can either access the web platform or download the mobile app from the Google play store or IOS platform.
STEP 1 – Login to the Google My Business platform.
You can access the Google My Business platform via the web or the Google, My Business app on Google Play and Apple App Store.
STEP 2 – Enter the name of your business.
Make sure your business name matches any relevant document that you might have. Note that Google scrambles its existing Google My Business Profile to find out if the name you intend to pick exists, and if it does, you will be asked to provide another alternative.
STEP 3 – Choose the Business category that suits your business.
Every business belongs to a specific category, and it is best for you as a business owner to identify the best business category that suits your business. Google offers various sort to do every business; most of these categories includes, Software business, Health and Wellness, consulting firm and many more.
STEP 4 – Add a Location.
This section would optimize your business on the Google Maps service to enable you to receive prospective customers who are close to you.
If your company does not have a physical location, you may leave this part unchecked and come back for it when you have one.
STEP 5 – Enter an Address.
If your business has a physical address, it is time to show it here clearly. Also, this section makes it compulsory for every new business owner to add a physical address.
STEP 6 – Do you serve your business to customers outside your location?.
This business allows you to optimize your business for far distance customers that might be interested in patronising you. But, of course, most companies are not designed to operate outside their vicinities, such as commercial banks.
But if your business is designed to reach out to more customers, you may set this up.
STEP 7 – Show your contact details.
Most times, prospective customers find your business via the Google search and are looking out to reach you immediately; this section allows you to optimize your Google My Business profile to display readily available contact details. In this section, you can add a valid phone number, email address and a working website.
STEP 8 – Add your business hours.
Business hours show prospective customers who might have stumbled on your business when you are available for physical visits and consultations.
STEP 9 – Add Messaging.
The messaging features allow customers to message you directly from the Google search. You don’t want to keep customers trying to figure out how to get in touch with you.
You have lots of competition standing by to steal that customer of yours; this is why this section is essential.
STEP 10 – Explore The dashboard.
Now that you have set up the essential information with Google My Business, it is time to prepare your business for customers.
All you need to make sure your business stands out among the crowd has been made available and is shown in the Google My Business Dashboard.
2. Post regularly.
The following action to optimize your business for relevant search via the Google search engine fully utilises content marketing.
Google My Business allows all kinds of businesses to utilise the content marketing section to outrank other companies and show proof of the company’s authenticity.
Posting on Google Business helps your business leverage SEO’s power to get visibility. Google Posts are almost like social media posts in Google search in your Google My Business listing.
They help you outrank your competitors. The possibilities with Posts are limitless! Posts show up prominently in your business Knowledge Panel, so don’t miss this chance to stand out.
3. Update your Information regularly.
There are a diversity of questions Google wants you to fill out to complete your Google My Business profile. When done, your listing will have important primary data to make it easier for potential customers to find more information about your company.
And if you don’t fill out that information, someone else could. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t realise that anyone can recommend a change (or “edit”) to your business listing, including your competitors.
Google My business allows anyone to make all kinds of edits to your business profile. However, you should keep your profile up to date, check regularly, and add the relevant data suggested to you by Google.
4. Create a Website using Google My Business Site Builder.
Another significant factor to consider when optimising your listing on Google My Business is to use the inbuilt website builder.
The website builder found in the Google My Business platform was designed to rapidly help small business owners set up a landing page kind of website with the necessary information that a client might need.
These pieces of information can be contacts, images, services and addresses. If you don’t own a website, you can take advantage of the one by the Google My Business platform.
5. Get Reviewed.
Reviews make your business genuine it also makes you stand far away from your competitors. One major factor that drives prospective customers to want to patronise you is that they see that customers are already reviewing your business.
Reviews also help your business rank on search engines; the more reviews your Google My Business Listing gets, the more it stands out on the Search Engine results page, attracting more profile visits that may eventually become paying customers.
6. Combine Your SEO efforts.
Getting your business listed via Google My Business is just one out of all the needed SEO requirements. You can choose to stick to that, but I recommend you leverage other SEO strategies such as Blogging, Link building, social mentions, etc.
Bringing all these other SEO efforts together would ensure that your business continues to outrank its competitors.
I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you get started with search engine optimization. Click the link below to the article to get started.
7. Make sure that you get verified.
When you begin listing your business on the Google My Business platform, you will reach a spot where you will be asked to verify your business. Google offers three forms of verification, and these are;
1. Postcard verification.
This is the most-used verification process and is available to all businesses. With this process, a verification postcard will be sent to the address you entered earlier (it should reach you within five days).
Once received, you can enter the code in your GMB account to verify the business. If your code doesn’t show up, you can click the ‘Request another code’ banner at the top of the screen in GMB.
One major drawback of this verification process is that your code might never reach you, and it does not work in third-world countries.
2. Phone verification.
Some businesses have the option to verify their listing over the phone. You’ll know you’re eligible if you see the ‘Verify by phone option at the beginning of the verification process.
Using this process, you’ll receive an automated message with a verification code that you’ll then need to enter into GMB.
This remains one of the faster means of the verification process because all you need to do is receive the verification code immediately on your phone, which settles it.
3. Email verification.
Like phone verification, this is only available to some businesses, and you’ll know you qualify for it if you see the ‘Verify by email’ option.
This simple process sees you receive a verification code in the inbox of the Google Account associated with the GMB listing and enter it at the verification stage.
Be sure you have access to this inbox before proceeding with this option.