When you first learn about Google My Business, AKA GMB, you’ll probably also learn about N.A.P. N.A.P. is a marketing term that stands for Name, Address, Phone. In local SEO, it’s a reminder that your N.A.P. should always be the same.
For example, if your business is incorporated, it should always include “Inc” or “Incorporated”. It should not, however include one AND the other. Optimally, that’s the way it should be across the Internet.
In local SEO, consistency is important. Changing business names, addresses and phone numbers can “confuse” search engines and people, leaving them to wonder if they’re looking at the same business. For this reason, a local SEO company will most likely check your N.A.P. in any listing they can come across to see how consistent those listings are.
However, as important as consistency is, there is more to a local listing than just your name, address and phone number. For Google My Business, there’s quite a lot more, and multiple ways to connect with your audience. Today, we’re going to talk about how you can take a step beyond your N.A.P. to increase your online search presence.
What is Google My Business?
On the chance that you’re not buried knee deep in search like we are, slogging through the proverbial trenches, as it were, I’m going to take a moment to introduce GMB to those who’ve never heard of it. If you have, skip down a paragraph or two while we get it sorted out.
Google My Business is a business network owned, as you may guess, by Google. It allows business owners to have some kind of control over how their business shows up in Google, at least in the searches that the GMB listing shows up. You won’t find it in every search, and you won’t see your own listing in every search, but at least when you do see it, you have the opportunity to make sure the information is correct.
Why Should You Use Google My Business?
If you’ve never heard of GMB or you’re still wondering whether it’s for you, it’s time to tune back into the blog post.
The first question most business owners generally ask, when presented with some new thing, is, “What’s in it for me?” That’s a legitimate question, and a good one. There are two big reasons:
Local Listing Management
In short, a well-rounded Google My Business profile allows you to monitor what’s being displayed to the public. Fact is, you’ll have a GMB profile whether you want one or not. The search engine automatically creates them. -And, anyone can edit the profile, which means that someone could come along and report you as closed without your say so.
Finally, those changes go live immediately. If you aren’t monitoring your profile, you won’t know what’s happening or what people are saying about it.
Creating a Robust Business Listing
The second major reason is the possibilities for marketing that abound with a GMB listing. It’s gone way beyond making sure your N.A.P. is correct. -And keep in mind that prospects don’t even need to visit your site to view this information.
For the rest of this post, let’s look at what you can do to enrich your Google My Business listing for stronger local ranking and as a better lead generation tool.
7 Ways to Enrich Your GMB Listing for Better Lead Generation
There are several ways to build up your Google My Business listing, but first, don’t neglect other accounts you may have. Just as you’re going to do with GMB, take the time to fill out every section possible of your social and business accounts. Take advantage of the real estate being offered you.
With that said, let’s move on.
Upload your logo in a square image to ensure it isn’t skewed. For example, even if your logo is 200 wide by 100 tall, add white space to the top and bottom to make the image size 200 x 200.
Provide an image that showcases your business as a cover image. Whether it’s you standing front and center with your staff or a recognizable product, make sure it says what you want it to say about you.
Include images of your building, your products, your street, your office. If you don’t have products but you have services, provide happy images of your people providing those services.
GMB allows – even encourages – you to add videos and images to your account. However, while a picture may say a thousand words, a video can say it better. If you have someone on your team that’s good with a camera, now’s the time to use those talents!
You can create posts – almost like short blog posts – on Google My Business. These posts are great for advertising special events or product sales. Of course, you don’t have much of a character account to work with, so make it count!
You can set up GMB to allow for people to directly message you from search to ask you a question. The question is sent immediately to your mobile phone via SMS, where it waits for you to answer. You can also use Google’s Allo app once it’s set up.
You probably know already that you can ask customers to give you a review. However, what you may not know is that Google allows you to create a special business URL to send people for those reviews. This makes it easy to send individuals to your Google listing with that URL once they’ve received your product or you’ve completed the service they hired you for.
And That’s Not All…
The areas above are quite a few of the ways you can take advantage of Google’s business listing. You can also keep track of how well your listing is bringing in business, showing up on Maps, and whether individuals are asking for directions, calling you and so on. Although it’s not real robust, the reporting section provides enough info to know when something you’ve done has helped to strengthen your GMB’s listing.
Now, you can ignore all the above and leave your Google listing sitting there on its own, untended, unmanaged, unclaimed. You can assume that it won’t work for you. You can decide that it’s not really worth the trouble.
Or, you can take advantage now of all the marketing goodness wrapped up in this one area. You can fill out as much as possible and make your listing robust. If you get lost, give us a call. We’ll guide you through the process. It’s well worth the time spent in getting it done right.