TUGTSBMS Part 3: Local SEO/Google Maps

In part 2 of our “The Ultimate Guide To Small Business Marketing Strategies” we discussed social media strategies.  More specifically, how to automate social media.  Part 1 detailed how most small businesses can set up a decent wordpress site so that it stands a chance to rank in the SERPS for their services when potential clients/customers search.  The third installation of our guide completes the trifecta so to speak for an online presence.  Today, we discuss setting up your “google my business” page and optimizing correctly.

Why do I need Google My Business?

So far, we have discussed two strategies (read: services) that online marketing agencies can sell you.  If you have been beat over the head with numbers and fees and you are struggling to find the value in “local SEO” then let me break it down for you.  Google My Business is your best bet to generate quality leads for your business. Creating and ranking in the local 3 pack puts your phone number in front of potential clients and customers that is the closest option above the fold aside from paid ads.

The local 3 pack also provides a great option for a mobile user to call your business with one click, the ease of use allows for customers to easily contact you when a problem arises.

For the duration of this guide we will refer to Google my business as “GMB” for short.

2016-Local-SEO-Guide

2016 Local SEO Guide Directions (Not in PDF form)

Step 1.

Go to http://www.google.com/mybusiness to set up your business profile.

You will now search for your business name in the search bar. If your business isn’t already listed you can select the option to input your business information, which will look like this

 

Something important when adding your business information is the box at the bottom

If your business is doesn’t have a physical location (usually service niches) OR you don’t want customers to know your local (home office) address. This is important because the information will be listed in the 3 pack when you rank.

Regardless of when you input this information, you will need to fill out the business information completely.

Follow the prompts and request the post card to be sent to your address provided.

Important Tips-

Remember your exact address that you input. This sounds silly but we are talking about the differences between using “street” and “st” or “road” and “rd”.

You will also need to enter a physical location regardless of whether or not you want customers to visit you at that location. In order to prevent people from SPAMMING with lead generation businesses that rank and generate leads solely from the 3 pack, Google requires you to verify your business through the use of a mailed postcard. If you can’t receive mail then you cannot verify the business. In this instance, just use your home address or an office that receives mail.

If you have a special instance that you are not in that physical location and need additional options to get the GMB verified then email me at sszeliga@simplebutwell.com and I will walk you through those options.

Step 2. Build Out Your Business Profile

You will now be taken to your very own GMB page and be able to add important information related to your business. The page will look like this

Click the “edit” button on the top right to start to add your information.

Add your website info

In the contact information section you will have the option to add your website. I would highly recommend that you get a website if you do not already have one. It doesn’t have to be special or expensive but you need someplace to help optimize this listing. Your website allows you to write additional content in regards to other services that you might provide that you can’t add to the “category” section

Add your introduction

The introduction allows you to add some content based on the services that you provide. Here is an example that can give you some ideas

I like to list the services that are provided as well as utilizing keywords that a potential customer/client might be searching for when looking for help. I would highly recommend doing some keyword research before this point to understand what types of keywords are generating search volumes that could help to add new clients to your business.

Step 3. Adding Photos

This is probably the most time consuming step but also one of the most important. You can and should be uploading photos of yourself in this section

The first section allows you to upload an identity photo and a logo if you have one. After uploading those photos, you will add photos of you providing services at work. These DO NOT need to be actual photos of yourself, but if you have them and are a legitimate business there is no reason why they shouldn’t be uploaded.

Important- these photos need to be uploaded from your computer Don’t have photos? Here is how we can get around that problem.

We use https://pixabay.com and create a free account. You are looking for photos that require no attribute and are free to use

Do a search for whatever business services that you provide and find a photo. In this case, I searched for “seo”.

Save and Rename Your Images with Keywords

After downloading the photo, I will rename the file to include keywords of the services that I provide as well as the location. This is important as you can also utilize these photos for your website. I usually will name them as {Service + Location} such as seen above.

You could also save some images that include your brand name in the file Ex. Simple But Well Marketing Solutions Seo Utica

Because you need to add multiple photos/images I would save them as a mixture of each technique.

Step 4. Optimizing and Geo Tagging Photos

This step will require you to go to your Google+ page rather than the GMB page so open another tab and then go to Google+

You are looking for the photos section; the photos that have been uploaded should appear in this section

Click on the photo and you will have some options to edit.

On the right hand side you can add captions as well as locations. I like to add a small caption containing keywords that the business would target.

The next step is to geo target your photos so that they are more specific to your location. Click on “add a location”

Enter your location and then selection “drop a place mark” and the “save”. You will now see the location with coordinates instead of the “add a location” tag.

The final step is to add a comment at the very bottom in the box. I usually will add a small comment that includes the keywords we have been optimizing the page around.

Repeat this process with all of the photos that you upload, continue to geo target them as well as add new keywords related to services that your business provides

Final thoughts and tips

I can’t stress enough how important it is note the EXACT address that you use for your GMB page. Be sure to add at least three photos for each category that the GMB page suggests. This is usually only a problem for non-legitimate businesses, take the time to take some pictures and add some trust behind your business. If you are a local lead generation business then you will need to take the additional steps that I suggested and find related photos online, download, rename and then geo-tag them to the correct locations.

After these steps have been completed you will simply wait for the post card to arrive and follow the steps listed to verify the business. Congratulations, you now have a live GMB listing that is crucial to generating more leads for your local business.

Steve Szeliga

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