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Google Business Profile Optimization SEO Sundays 10-16-22
Hello, everyone. I’m Bruce Jones. And thanks for joining me here today for learning how to optimize your Google My Business Profile. So we’ll you know, we have an hour marked out, but we’ll probably just take half an hour or a little bit more than that. At the end, we’ll have question and answers. So if you don’t mind holding your questions until then, I’ll try to take as much time as needed to answer them for you. Right. Thank you.
So I ended up creating the SEO Sunday’s website, based on thinking that it would be a good thing to just offer free training sessions and maybe to draw attention to some of my other SEO businesses. So one business that I have is an SEO training company. So I coach business owners, marketing directors, other people that are trying to get a job in the SEO industry. And so you could, I have a link to the website that’s here on this list, and feel free to check it out over there and ask me any questions about that as well. Some of the times that people would end up to approach me or I’d give my business card to them from the SEO training company, they would push the business card back in my hand and say, No, we want we don’t want to learn SEO we just want someone to do that for us.
And so then I created a SEO consulting firm. At Bruce Jones SEO, I also have an SEO job board and an SEO training, like a Learning Management seminar. I’m just working on getting that off the ground right at the moment here. I’ve been working in search engine optimization for maybe almost 18 years now. The first part of that was I was an IT manager, network administrator, network analyst. And I was tasked with taking care of the website for that company. The business owner asked me is our website search engine optimized? And I said, I don’t really know what that means, Mike, but I’ll find out. I let him know on Monday, the next following Monday, no, it’s not really. And he said, Well, why don’t you try to do some things like that. And I did, and the phone just started ringing. That made me realise that I could start my own business. And I started a digital marketing company named Design And Promote and ran that for 11 years until I ended up selling their business for a profit to a competitor maybe about five years ago now. I did some other things and then I came back to the SEO industry with starting these two businesses and growing them from there. Right. I also just recently wrote a book and it’s available on Amazon. I’m working on book number two, at the moment as we speak. So the first part is you know, we’re talking about Google Business Listing.
And why is it important now and why was it you know, it was invented I don’t know how many years ago, but this is what the Google search results looked like in 2015. We had the ads at the top, and then we have the organic listings. And the ads really before even 2015 the ads were on the right and the organic listings were on the left. Google, at some point in time, decided that they weren’t making enough money. So they rolled the ads from the right hand column over onto the top of the left hand column. And it was a lot closer to the organic listings where we’re all used to. And so some people were clicking those by accident, but they labelled them pretty well that these were ads and then the organic listings were down below. But let’s fast forward to 2022. So currently, so we have no more two columns. It’s just one columns, because everybody’s using their phone now and it was a little bit confusing for people to do it that way. So they ended up to just make one column. But they have ads at the top, depends on how many ads that you do put on the top as to like how much money people are willing to pay.
So for particular keywords like for example here, car insurance, there’s a lot of people that are willing to pay for ads and so they have more ads up at the top through here. Different businesses, there’s also some other ones like you might see for lawyer things, little pictures of the lawyers, it’s just in a different format. I’m thinking that as time goes on, Google’s gonna keep evolving that to make that better. Alright, so then the next spot below ads is the Google My Business Listings. So if you think about it, the regular organic listings are even below the Google My Business listing. So if somebody’s searching for something with local intent, you know, like a restaurant or an insurance company or something like that, then Google is displaying the Google My Business Listings up at the top. And about 55% of the people are making a decision, who they’re going to work with at that point there. Not too many people are even going down below the Google My Business Listings, to see who it is.
And depending on what the search term is, as to how heavily pronounced the Google listings are, but you know, I’m here to tell you that there’s a lot of people that are missing out, because they’re not optimizing their Google My Business listing. When the Google My Business Listings are shown like this, there’s three different ones, and depend upon what the reviews are and like the number of reviews, the review score, people are deciding who they’re going to work with at that point. Okay. So let’s kind of just talk about like, why you’d want to optimize your Google My Business listing. So here it says that 44% of local search factors are related to Google My Business. The Google map shows above the organic results, I showed you that on the earlier slide.
And the only thing really above the Google listings in a search result page are the paid ads. And we all know to stay away from paid ads. I have a report from another vendor that says how many people are clicking on the ads, little numbers like 2%, 5%. So even though the ads are at the top of the search result page, we’ve all been trained to know that their ads and that they’re not as good as the organic results, and to stay away from them. Right. You know, a lot of people are using their phones, and it’s a lot quicker and easier than scrolling all the way up down a long list. And you just people make a decision as to which of the three businesses that are showing up there that they’re going to click on. Okay, so three years ago, I started my SEO Training Company and SEO consulting company. And I was trying to think of like what makes those businesses unique or different, or, you know, what’s different in the world of SEO compared with the old days.
So I came up with this statement here that if there’s an SEO company, that or that has clients with local customers in 2022, and they’re not making Google My Business a large part of their SEO tasks, they’re really missing out and digging where the gold used to be in the organic results of a website, as opposed to the Google My Business component of it there. So the first thing is, you need to claim your Google My Business listing, oftentimes, the listings will be created, sometimes just by Google itself, it finds a listing and a directory. You know, anybody can just go on to Google and say, Hey, there’s a business that I see that’s not listed in Google Maps and so you could just create the business yourself there. And so first thing would be type in your business name. See if anything shows up. At the bottom, see where the arrow is on the right hand side where it says, own this business, you would click on that. And then you would claim the listing, it would send most likely a postcard to your location with a full five digit code.
You enter the code in and now you’re verified owner of the listing and you can do all the rest of the items like add new pictures and create post and answer reviews and things like that. If the listing is already claimed, so maybe your marketing company created the listing and you’re the business owner and you don’t have, you’re not connected to it, you could still request access. It shows you who the person is that it’s going to send an email to, that’s the like the email address that’s associated with that listing, you might know that person, but either way, once you hit request access, it sends an email to them. If they don’t answer within a few weeks, you could go back and claim it again. And Google will most likely give you access to it, even though the other person didn’t answer it on the other side there, just because maybe their address is no longer valid, or they don’t care about that account.
Google is still gonna make you receive the postcard in the mail and add that information in there to make sure that you’re physically at that address. So now we’re going to create a Google My Business listing. So this is some of the reasons why you’d know all of the different steps to do that. So we just need to start the profile, enter in the business name, information, what business category is it and go from there. This page is what you’re going to see when you first go to I think the URL is business.google.com. When you log into the dashboard, under Google My Business for a particular listing, this is what it’s gonna look like here. So there’s a lot of different things on the left. And it keeps getting, there’s more things that keep coming around now related to things that you can do inside of your Google listing.
We’ll go through each one of these things here after we get through the PowerPoint, and I’ll show you what they look like live. Okay, so the first, I think the overlying part, just related, even in just SEO or Search Engine Optimization, just in general is taking the time to fill in all the blanks. You don’t have to, you just have to fill in more blanks than your competitors did. And Google is going to recognize that and more likely, you know, reward you for filling in the blanks here. So when you go through it, it’s like, there’s no need of putting a service area in unless you’re like a plumber. So there’s two basic parts of the Google listing. One is you have a physical location that people show up to do business with you, like a hardware store, for example. Or if you’re a plumber, or electrician, and you’re going to the other locations, and then that’s the reason why you’d put a service area in there.
Taking the time to put in your business start date, because there’s results that are showing in Google that are saying, you know, this business has been in existence for more than five years, or this business just recently started. If you don’t take the time to fill out your start date of your business, you don’t get to show up even in that query. Make sure you put your business hours in there and make them real business hours. So like, for example, I remember I was working with a photographer, and he wanted to leave his business hours as he was open 24 hours. And I said, so that means that if two o’clock in the morning, someone’s going to call to because they want a quote on photography job, you’re gonna answer the phone and give that to him. He’s like, No, of course not. And I’m like, well, then that’s why they want to have reasonable business hours, so that they know when they can call you or when they should call you. So things like that. Make it easy for people to get in touch with you by having an appointment link. You know, on any email that I send, I have a little link to my calendar that they could schedule a Zoom meeting and I invite anybody on the seminar here to do that for, I’m happy to spend a little bit of time talking about your business and what are some of the things that might be useful for you and how my business might be able to be helpful as well. There’s a spot in the Google My Business listing for products and services. And even if you’re a woman owned business or a veteran, things like that, there’s a spot to put checkmarks inside of there. You should keep an eye on those things because new blanks to fill in, keep appearing all the time. So the first part is the business category. So there’s about 4000 different pre-selected business categories that Google has and you have to choose from one of those, you have a primary category, that’s the most important thing. And then you can have up to 10 subcategories on there, as well. So I have on a page on my website, here, I have a list of those 4000 business categories. And it might be easier to go to my website and write down the ones that you want to add, than trying to do a search form inside of the back end of Google listing, right.
So what you should do is make sure that whatever you put as your main category is the most primary thing that you do, there’s no need of adding any categories of items that you really don’t, you know, take care of the things of that category. The next part is, as you add your business, it asks you what’s your address, making sure that you spell your address, right, so that Google knows exactly where it is. There’s some tools that you can use that I have linked here that you could go to look in, like the post office to validate that the address that you’re saying that your business is that is really the same address that the post office knows, which then of course, is the one that Google knows, instead of using a different abbreviation, and things like that. There’s even a place here on Moz, that you can check out where there might be other citations that are, mentions of your business that don’t have the correct address, then now might be a good time to take a look at that. Okay.
Next would be that you would fill this form out, and then it would send you the postcard, and then you plug the numbers in. So here’s a spot in the back end of Google My Business where you could even fill in the services that you offer. Within each service, there’s also a spot that you can put up to a 300 character description of that service. And so let me tell you a story of I was doing some different searches. And I looked for, like, for example, SEO consultant LA or Los Angeles, and I saw that there was more than 300 listings that showed up. When I did a search for SEO LA, there was more than 300 listings, when I did a search for SEO consultant LA, there was only eight. And so then I was like, What does those eight have in common with each other, it just happened to be that those eight that showed up on the search result page in Google happened to have SEO consultant listed as a service on their back end of their Google listing. So that was very important to me to, to say and to stress to you to take the time to fill in all the blanks here, because it’ll make the difference between your business showing up or possibly not. Adding posts on a regular basis, because they are no longer featured after seven days, you could add promotions to and like a coupon type offer. And say that, you know, this coupon expires in December or something like that. Or if you have an event, then you could even put that into your Google Business Listing as well. Okay. Here’s what promotions or the offers look like. Here’s the live events. And so it’s best to just start creating an event initially, and you could put it for a long time in the future. It’ll no longer appear on your listing once that event date happens. Same thing with promotion, you have a deadline, and then it drops off of your profile at that point.
Here’s a fence. Make sense that your event ends up going back to, what do you call it, your event links back to where somebody can sign up for your event. You can also add photos into Google My Business and using real photos, not stock images is going to get better results. This just happens to be a client of ours that is cash for junk cars. And this is some of the photos that they’ve taken the time to collect up out in the field. And it does pretty well. They’re a very successful business and their Google My Business listing keeps improving all the time. There’s different categories up on top here, as you see when you go into the business images. And so taking the time to put some images in different categories, would be beneficial for them. You could even optimize your image by renaming them a good keyword. And there’s all kinds of things that you could do to improve an image. But if you just take a picture with your camera, or your phone, you know, there’s GPS coordinates that could be connected or not depends upon if you have the GPS thing on. And what’s the name of the image.
And this pane on the right hand side you see here is, you could even include different keywords and mark your image as it is, is it five stars, or four, who’s the author who the image is copyrighted to all kinds of items like that. Okay, Google reviews are another important one through here too. When you take the time to ask people to leave a review for you just remind them or have a message as part of your business process, maybe there’s a QR code, that’s where your reception counter is, or it’s added into your invoices or something like that. So taking the time for, asking for reviews and filling out the like answer or reviews or Thank you, to the people that are leaving your review for you. So the way the business answering reviews is, I would say see here, it tells people how you treat your existing customers or how you feel about your customers there.
If you get any bad reviews, don’t be like an ostrich holding your head under the sand. But, you know, be apologetic, and answer your review. And you know all the other people that are reading the reviews, they might see the one star review but how you answer is a big factor as to how people, do they still believe you or are you turned off? That’s a big factor there. There’s also a way of, you know, we talked about Google posts, and that they expire every seven days, there’s some different tools that you could schedule your posts to appear when you want them to. So here’s a number of different ones. We like to use Publer actually, but here’s some other choices that you could check out. So with Publer, you can connect to up to three different social media channels for free.
And so for example, you can connect it with Google My Business, Facebook and your LinkedIn company page. And then when you put a post on there, and you schedule it, on that date and time that you say that it could appear on all those profiles at the same time, saves a lot of work. And you don’t have to remember to do that. So what we deal with, we offer managing Google My Business Listings for our customers, and on the first day of the month, then we go through and schedule everything for the month. And now we don’t have to worry about it any longer. Right. But here’s some different things about Publer. All the different accounts that you could connect them to, their paid pricing, which if you have a bunch of listings, or you want to add it to more social media accounts, then the paid one might be a good choice for you as well. Same with Buffer, not everybody kind of starts off with a free plan. So you’re here. This talks about our Google My Business Management Service.
We put up a post a week and add new images, answer reviews for you. Strategize with you to do the rest of the things that are helpful to help your Google Business Listing rank higher and then go from there. So this is all for the presentation, you know the PowerPoint or the slide deck part. Here’s some different resources for that. And then more information about SEO Sundays and where to sign up. And now let’s jump over to what it looks like in the back end of Google My Business. So when I go into my Google My Business Profile, this is what I see, I have managed now. I have all of the businesses that I’m connected to here on this list. And that’s just for one Google profile, I have other multiple ones here for different things. But let’s just go into my SEO training, Google My Business listing here. And we could go through and I’ll explain what it is. And so here’s posts. So here’s all of the different posts that we add on a weekly basis. The kind of like the parts that are important related to posts is they have 80, to 100 words that include a keyword that we want to rank for, or that’s important to us, and two links.
So that would be a link here within the body of the message, and the Learn More or sign up button. There’s a number of choices in here. So let’s just say for example, if we edited this post, then you’ll see that, you know, you could make this button, be the order online button, or book an appointment or learn more. But if we look at the message itself, then we make sure that we have the link to a different page on our website, I’m not saying all of them should go to your homepage. If this message is about, for example, reviews, it should be linking to the review page. Next, on the side, here is the info tab. This is the part that I was saying that taking the time to fill out all the information is beneficial. So in this instance, internet marketing services, the primary category, but then these are the additional categories through here, like that. Here’s the address, the business is located so people could get directions.
Here’s the business hours, you know, I might closed on Labor Day or Christmas, that’s all listed here. So people can kind of, you know, plan ahead for the forward part here like that. My phone number, you can put a shortened URL, what’s your website address. What’s the link to an appointment, where you could schedule an appointment there with you or fill out a contact form, and then the services. So it’s kind of an unlimited number of services that you could add as long as they make sense. But for example, strategic trainer and then here’s the description of that. So here is the, you know, there’s the main service, you could add to price if you wanted to. But it’s not worth managing it, I don’t believe. And then you could have up to 300 characters that you could fill in a description. Taking care to make sure that you mentioned the keyword, but don’t be spammy about it. You know, we’re not trying to get the most keywords in there. We’re just trying to make sure that we didn’t forget to mention the keyword that people are searching for. That’s all.
So if we go back to info, and then we keep scrolling down. There’s other attributes here that you can select if they make sense. Now, you could pick, do you have a wheelchair accessible restroom, or parking for handicap like all those things, choices like that, having a business description that uses the right keywords. And when did your business start, that’s where you could put it there. Next part I think we could look at is not products but photos. This is the part here about different photo categories. So here’s the outwork photos and putting new photos on and on a regular basis is good because it I think Google just notices, you know, who cares about the Google My Business listing, the people that are adding new content and improving their listing, Google is more likely of going to put that at the top of the search results because they want to show their things off just like you want to share your things off, your profile as well.
Also, here’s the front cover and back cover of a book that I had written recently, other events that I’ve spoken at back when we could do that. And hopefully that’ll come back again. And then all the different things. There’s also a Google My Business or a Google Business Listing website here. So sometimes people would say, Oh, I don’t want to publish that because I don’t want it to be my website. But the goal or the intention here is not for it to be your website. This is just a summary website of everything that happened on your Google listing. So there’s your Google posts that are through here. Testimonials, business description, photos, a map to your and directions to your location, what your business hours and go from there. So I would say that related to getting more backlinks to your website, publishing, this is a very important part, and adding posts. And remember, I mentioned earlier about making sure that you add a couple of links through there. That’s really the goal there of that part.
And so let’s see, there’s also insights. So I have to say that the insights from Google business listings are pretty rudimentary, but it talks about, like how many visitors that you’ve had, and you know, how many phone calls, and when people got directions to your location, where they’re located at from there. So here’s reviews, and answering the reviews, as I mentioned, is important. And so some people ask the question of so when you answer the review, as the business owner, should you mention the keywords that you want to rank for? It’s probably not as important there. But as you ask for reviews, you might mention like, Hey, and don’t forget to mention the service that I provided, or the product so that it ends up to get the keywords within the review. That’ll be helpful. You see that sometimes that show up in search results, like the keyword that somebody mentioned in a review ends up showing up through there.
Alright. Okay, so now, I guess it’ll be a good time if anybody had questions, and we can go from there. Okay. Thank you very much for joining me here today. Look forward to it and feel free to signed up next Sunday. So it’s a continuing thing every Sunday morning at 10 o’clock AM Central time in the Chicago time zone there like that. I think I’m going to do it where I’m going to have two or three different Google listing presentations, and I’ll change to be a different topic over time. But feel free to find me and reach out to me for just a free zoom call to talk about your business and how I might be able to help.
Thank you very much.