How Your Google My Business Listing and Your Small Business Website Get Married and Work Together Forever

How Your Google My Business Listing and Your Small Business Website Get Married and Work Together Forever

You are invited! Your Google My Business Listing and Your Small Business Website are getting married!

Small Business Website and Google My Business Listing

One of the most effective ways for a local business like yours to get found at just the right time is to have a fully optimized Google My Business listing, paired with a high-quality small business website. Keep reading to learn how to make this combo work for you and how to get an edge on the local competition.

If you are a small, local business owner, you know just how important it is to consistently attract new customers. You probably also know that you need a strong online presence to reach these prospective customers where they are looking for what you have to offer.

But did you know that up to 46% of all searches on Google are looking for local information? Or that 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find local information? Achieving and then maintaining visibility on Google is more important than it’s ever been because if you aren’t there to greet your prospective customers, one of your competitors will be.

So, you are invited to the wedding of your fully optimized Google My Business listing and your high-quality small business website!

Google My Business Basics

You may already have a verified Google My Business listing, but just in case you don’t, here is some basic information.

Google My Business (GMB) is a free platform that allows you to promote your local business and be visible on the “local pack” near the top of the page of search results for services/products in your area. When you have a GMB account, you can show your business profile, connect with customers, post updates and see how people in the community are interacting with your business.

Some of the reasons it makes good business sense for you to have a Google My Business listing include:

  • It shows searchers that you are a legitimate business
  • It lets prospective customers know you sell the products and/or services they are looking for
  • It shows people how to get in touch with you, your business hours and where you are located
  • It provides prospects with social proof in the form of customer reviews
  • It is easier for you to appear near the top of search results

Why Optimize?

It’s important to note that there is a difference between verifying and optimizing your GMB listing. When you claim or verify your listing, it doesn’t mean that it is optimized for success. This is a free tool you can use to get found by the very people you want to bring into your business, and if it’s optimized correctly it can be like a silent sales partner that works for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

An optimized Google My Business listing will:

  • Result in more views of your business information
  • Attract more people to your website and social media pages
  • Lead to more phone calls to your business
  • Lead to more in-store visits
  • Boost engagement with your business
  • Improve your ranking in the local pack
  • Ultimately convert more prospects to paying customers

When your listing is properly optimized, you’ll also gain business insights that you may not be able to get otherwise. These include:

  • The specific search queries people used to find your business
  • The number of views you get on your profile, posts and photos
  • The amount of engagement that takes place
  • A cross-section of your audience demographic
  • The number of phone calls, direction queries and visits to your small business website from the listing

Optimized vs. Unoptimized

Basically, a Google My Business listing that is verified but not optimized will only have some basic information about your business and a map but won’t have any of the information or activity that make it an effective marketing tool. When fully optimized, your listing almost looks like a mini-website of its own. An optimized listing will have:

  • Photos
  • A button taking visitors to your website
  • Ratings and reviews
  • The business category
  • Brief description of the business
  • Physical address
  • Phone number
  • Hours of operation
  • Questions with answers from you

Google My Business Optimization Tips

If you take full advantage of all of the impressive features of the Google My Business platform, you will start to separate yourself from your competition. Most small business owners are unaware of this powerful free tool they have at their disposal. After you claim your GMB listing, follow these optimization tips to make the most of it.

Complete All of the Sections in Your Account – This will create depth, engage visitors, let people get to know you better and let Google know more about your business.

Select Primary and Secondary Categories – The more coverage you have, the better as long as it’s relevant.

Be Very Exact with Your Contact Information – One wrong keystroke and no one will be able to get in touch.

Write a Complete and Thorough Business Description – The more people know, like and trust you, the more likely they are to buy from you. Also, more info for Google is always a good thing.

Publish New Posts Regularly – Aim for at least weekly and post things like events, updates, specials, offers, deals, new products or services, introductions to new team members, etc. If you have a business that lends itself to daily specials, you can post even more frequently.

Upload New Photos Regularly – Showing everyone new photos of your business, team members and products will help bring your business to life and increase the engagement level.

Answer All Questions – Great customer service is a must online just like in person, so it’s important to answer all of the questions that come in from customers and prospects.

Collect and Respond to Reviews – Many people use reviews as the deciding factor for visiting a business or not, so take the time to gather them up and respond. And remember, negative reviews are a great opportunity to create a memorable customer service experience.

Set Up Messaging – This way, people can message you directly through your GMB listing for a more efficient process.

How Your GMB and Website are Tied Together

While your Google My Business listing can go a long way toward getting found online and bringing in new customers, your small business website also plays a huge role, and the two should work together for the best results. In many cases, consumers trust the details and information they find on local business websites more than directories or platforms like Google My Business. That’s one reason it’s so important to provide direct access to your website from your GMB listing.

Some telling stats from Bright Local show just how crucial it is to keep your small business website in tip-top shape:

  • 64% of consumers have used GMB to find contact details for local businesses, but only 8% of consumers never visit the website when deciding which local business to use.
  • 50% of consumers claimed they wouldn’t want to use a local business if the contact information on their website was out of date.

Must-Have Components of an Effective Small Business Website

Since your Google My Business listing and website must work together and the quality of your website matters, here are some elements that must be included:

Clear & Up-to-Date Contact Information – As mentioned above, it’s important that the contact information on your website is up to date.

Easy-to-Navigate – Making it as easy as possible for people to find what they are looking for will reduce your bounce rate and increase your leads and conversions.

Sensible Web Design – A great website isn’t all about looking pretty, but the web design should be easy on the eyes and consistent with your branding.

Customer Testimonials – Just like your GMB listing, people love social proof on your website, so take the time to collect and then display testimonials from satisfied customers. With the website, you have the advantage of only showing positive reviews and experiences.

Fresh, Relevant, Quality Content – Search engines and real people love when you update your content regularly, and one of the easiest ways to do that is with a blog that you post to weekly or bi-weekly.

Proper Titles, Tags and Descriptions – H-tags, meta titles and meta descriptions all work to help let search engines know what your site is all about, and it’s important for each page to include the necessary tags and titles.

Optimized for Local Search – As a local business, your website needs to be optimized for local search. Your Google My Business listing will help generate traffic, but you can’t rely ion it exclusively. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile, that it includes relevant local search terms in the content and that your name, address and phone number match other places they are displayed online.

If you’d like to learn more about how your Google My Business listing and website can help take your local business to the next level, grab your free Action Plan for Visibility and Find-ability here.

 

Website Homepage Design and Content: What’s your message?

Website Homepage Design and Content: What’s your message?

What does your website homepage SHOUT OUT to your website visitors?

What do you want your website homepage design and content to communicate? Is the message you intend to send being received by the people you want to reach?

Right People - Right Message

Right People – Right Message

Good Website Home Page Design

Uncluttered. Your home page is uncluttered and has lots of white space.There aren’t too many colors. Your website visitor is not distracted by too many elements e.g. pop-ups, animated ads, videos that automatically play, rotating elements that move too fast to process.

Easy to read.  Your content is easy to scan using left justification, bold type for the first phrase or sentence of a section or paragraph and bulleted lists  to draw the eye down the page through the content.

Easy to navigate, making it easy for your visitor to find the specific information they are there to discover.

Good Website Home Page Content

Speaks to the people you aim to reach (target audience) in the language they are ready to receive. Jargon and industry specific terms are eliminated and reading level is a match for your audience.

Right Message –> Right People

Speaks to the issues and problems of a specific (narrow) target audience and suggests solutions tailored for them.

Communicates who you are and the value you offer. Your content needs to compel your visitors to stick around, to spend some time on your site, find out more and engage with your site (instead of quickly clicking away to the next site in their Google search results).

Uses “Calls to Action” to communicate the logical next steps for your website home page visitor to take.

Our advice: DO give your website an update to keep it fresh and timely now and again and DON’T be taken in by the Latest and Greatest gadgets and gimmicks no matter how flashy and shiny and NEW they are.

You only have a quick moment to make a first impression, keep your visitor reading your home page and keep them browsing your site for more.

Website Home Page Design and Content Resources:

Seven Best Practices for Improving Your Website’s Usability. (Mashable.com)

Website Design Tips to Improve Usability and Readability. (ReadabilityFormulas.com) Also see the free Readability Calculators.

Improve the Readability of Your Web Page. (WebCredible.co.uk)

Not Sure What to Feature on Your Homepage? 4 Ideas to Get You Focused. (ContentMarketingInstitute.com)

Essential Tips for Designing an Effective Homepage. (SixRevisions.com)

Website Marketing: Ideas for Organic Traffic to Entice Visitors to Your Website

Website Marketing: Ideas for Organic Traffic to Entice Visitors to Your Website

The Beauty of Organic Traffic for Website Marketing

organic traffic for website marketingWhen you decide to start a website, you not only have to think about how you want to design it, but also how you are going to market it. Marketing is the key in all business, online or offline, and website marketing will be a foundation to your local business marketing success. Taking the necessary steps to build organic traffic — to get your website noticed on the search engines — is not a complex process, but it does take some time and effort.

The very first thing you can do is to start a blog.  Blogging is an excellent way to start bringing traffic into your website.  Let people know why you started a site, and what you intend to do with it.  How are you going to help people and be any different than the next business owner?  Blog posts that contain keyword-rich content will help your site rank higher in the search engines, although it may take some time for this to happen.  Get your voice out there and be consistent.

Website Marketing with a Blog

  • Write with your audience in mind. What is it that your target market wants to read about?  How are you able to solve their problems with your site or product?
  • Engage your website reader by asking them questions. The simple way to know what your readers want is to ask them. Make them want to leave comments and suggestions regarding your content.  Once your audience feels like they can engage with you, trust begins to form and a solid relationship can be created.
  • Use clear, concise headlines. Make sure your readers know what your content is all about.  Having a headline that centers on an issue the reader wants to know about will draw them in and make them want to know more from you.
  • Include a call to action. Once you’ve written your epic content, make sure there is a call to action following the blog post.  You can offer your visitors something in return for signing up on your email list.  This can be a free report, e-book, or set of articles that help them solve a problem.
  • Connect with social networking. Social media is such a big part of online marketing in today’s world.  If you want your website to get noticed you must become a part of a social community.  You will be able to expand your readership, and gain a larger following.  The reach that social media has is vast. This is not something you want to pass up when trying to build your business.
  • Maximize reach and impact with SEO. Optimize your website marketing with keyword rich content.  This can allow your ranking to be higher within the search engines.  SEO is not something that can be learned overnight.  It will take some time, effort, and patience on your part but it can be a helpful technique in getting your website noticed.

No matter what strategies you choose for website marketing, make sure put your audience at the forefront of everything you do. They have chosen you as a valuable source of information by even coming to your site and reading your content.  Your audience definitely plays a factor in how you should market yourself and your site.  Be transparent and unique in your delivery and you will be sure to build lifelong relationships with people that like and trust you.

get more website trafficDoes your website invite traffic? Would you like to have us take a look and give you some practical advice about changes you can make right away to make your website and marketing attract more eyeballs and inspire more sales?

Click here to learn about our KickStart! My Website service.

You might also enjoy:

4 Glaring Mistakes Small Business Website Owners Need to Fix

10 Tips for Writing Website Content That Ranks in the Search Engines

Search Engine Optimization

To Promote Your Website and Get More Visitors, Optimize Your Web Pages

10 Tips for Writing Website Content That Ranks in the Search Engines

10 Tips for Writing Website Content That Ranks in the Search Engines

search engine optimization

No one wants to slave over content for our web pages and blog posts and discover that no one found it, read it or clicked through using our links. The whole point of writing website content that ranks is to get more visitors to our web pages who stay longer, sign up for our lists and come back to buy our products and services.

Here’s the list of ten SEO copywriting tips presented by ContentVerve.com in their InfoGraphic below and reported by Social Media Today:

  1. Write for users, optimize for robots.
  2. Forget about keyword density and keyword stuffing.
  3. Integrate related keywords, synonyms, and grammatical variations into your content.
  4. Use Google’s free tools to find long-tail keyword variations that you can blend into your site copy.
  5. Focus on writing long, in-depth, quality content.
  6. Target high quality low competition long-tail keywords.
  7. Write content that answer’s common questions from prospects.
  8. Get your content noticed and shared on social media platforms.
  9. Strive to build your AuthorRank and develop your Google+ profile.
  10. Don’t forget about title tags and meta descriptions, they are the first thing people typically see in search results.

While there is no simple formula for achieving top positions in search results, these tips will help appease both search engines and your site visitors. In addition to the tips above, focus on adding new and sharable content to your website or blog regularly. Google prefers websites that update their content on a regularly, so the more often that you update your website the more likely Google is to crawl your website.

Reference: Posted by Brianna Smith at Social Media Today, http://socialmediatoday.com/brianna5mith/1525246/seo-2013-10-tips-writing-content-ranks?ref=popular_posts, June 10, 2013.