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How To Optimize Google Business Profile Webinar 10-23-22

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How To Optimize Google Business Profile Webinar 10-23-22


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How To Optimize Google Business Profile Webinar 10-23-22


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How To Optimize Google Business Profile Webinar 10-23-22


(00:04):  All right. Thank you for everybody joining us here today. We have some other ones probably coming in over a little bit of time, but I’ll get started. Rather than have everybody wait through here I think we’ll go through the presentation and that’ll maybe take a half an hour, 45 minutes, and then we can open it up to question and answers. So feel free to ask anything that is going to directly help you and your business related to Google My Business, and we could expand upon that.

(00:38):  So my name’s Bruce Jones. I’ve been doing search engine optimization for 18 years now. So I’ve ownedsome other businesses over time, and now I have an SEO training company and an SEO consulting company. So, either way if you need any help with SEO, I’m here to offer assistance also. And then, after the event, I’ll share the presentation with everybody and the slide deck that everybody could have there. So we’ll get started here.

(01:21):  So every Sunday we have these training sessions at 10 o’clock central time in America. For the last couple of them, it’s been Google Business Profile Optimization, but I’m thinking shortly it’ll be different topics that we’ll cover at different times there. You tell me what you think is important and that it will maybe take that a new account in the future here. That would be great. So here it talks about that, the different places that we have available for resources. And then there’s a resource page on the last page here as well.

(02:02): So one thing is that Google is always evolving. It’s changing things around. And so this is a view of Google search results in 2015. And actually, this is what it did look in 2015, because I had pulled this from another slide deck that I did back then, I didn’t realize we were gonna use it as the before picture back when we created it at that point in time, but it makes a good one through here. So it was at that point in time, they had the ads on the right-hand side and on the top, and then the organic listings down below that. Previous to that, I don’t have any spreadsheets of that, was just the ads were on the right and the organic listings were on the left. I think Google wanted to make more money, and so that’s where they rolled the ads across, over on top of the organic listings. But we all know where they are, and we know to stay from them. And I think that different surveys say that maybe 2% or 5% of the people click on an ad, everybody else clicks at the top of the organic results.

(03:13): But fast forward to now, current time, they have no more left than right panel, it’s just arranged vertically, and that’s because of the mobile first searches. So more people are searching Google on a phone than they are on a desktop computer. So they had to take that into account. So now, there’s the ads at the top, and for local search results, they’ve changed it around. And the problem was that, if it was the organic way that all the big companies would be at the top of the organic listings. So now they kind of evened it out a little bit and said, Well, you know, we don’t want the big players always. Maybe we want the local players through there, the local businesses. And so that’s where they came out with Google My Business back in the day and then Google business profiles now.

(04:11): And so, you see below the ads is the map, and then the businesses that are in the three map pack, and then down below it is the organic listings, through there. So, I think that statistics say that more than half of the people doing searches on Google are looking for local businesses. So there’s certain reasons why you wanna take the time to optimize your Google business profile. I guess that 44% of people are looking, and they’re looking for whatever is in Google results. The map listings show up above the organic listings and below the ads. And I guess it says here, 46% of people are searching for local results.

(05:11): So if you are doing search engine optimization or working with an SEO company now, and they’re not doing anything to help your Google business listings improve, what I would say here I quoted was, they’re digging where the gold used to be instead of where it is now. Because doing things and optimizing your Google business listing is really gonna be the big factor for any kind of a near me type of a search. The proximity of where the business is related to where the person is searching from is one of the biggest factors. And a bunch of other things like adding new posts on a weekly basis, adding images, making sure you pick all the different right categories and things like that. We’ll get into that a little bit more here.

(06:03): So here is one of our client, Google My Business listings, a veterinarian. So you could see the organic listings are on the left, this is a desktop view, and then the Google Business listing is on the right. And I think that Google is really just trying to own the search results. So after a while, I think there’s gonna be a point of, why do we even need to show the website of the business? If they want to click on it, they have the website link, but everything else is right here. Like, what’s their phone numbers? What’s their address? How many reviews did they have? Things like that. So you could probably imagine that Google has like an evolution chart in one of their offices that probably says that everything that’s in this Google My Business listing is gonna be owning the homepage when you do a Google search for a business name. And it’s now, it’s gonna be a big factor of when you’re searching for just a local business as well.

(07:11): The first point would be these Google listings are often just created by Google themselves. They might see a directory, or, let’s say there’s a business that has a Yelp listing, Google might crawl that and say, Oh, here’s a business that we don’t have a Google My Business listing yet for, and they create it automatically. Other people have the opportunity to create a listing as well. They just can’t manage it and add new content. But, you could just open up your phone and look at Google Maps and say, add a new business, and call it anything that you want to. Google is going to look at that information that you put in, and either approve it or disapprove it. So if you just made up some random business, it’s gonna look in does it see any other references to that business, at that address, with that name and things like that. And then decide should they start a new listing or not.

(08:14): And so the first thing is, what you gotta do is to claim the listing. If you find it out there. Otherwise, then you’ll just start a new listing then. So that’s where you request access. It sends an email to whoever might already be the account owner. So if you have a business that’s out there already, and then there was a past web design company was managing it for you or something like that, it’ll send an email to them. If they don’t agree to let you claim the listing and be an owner on there, then Google will give it to you anyways, if you wait a week or or two. And then, request access again, if that falls on deaf ears, then Google is gonna send a message to you that says, Great, now you’re the owner, but now you have to claim the listing.

(09:07): And that way they would have to send a postcard to you with a five digit code on it, and then now, you are the verified business owner, and you can manage it from there. If you don’t, if there isn’t one listed already, you should just do a Google search just to see, for starters, then just create a new business here. So these are the steps. So you need what’s the name of your business, what’s the business categories and things like that. I should mention that one of the big factors of ranking is what is your business name? So I have a client of mine that’s a wedding photographer and the official name of their business, which is shown on her website, and shown on her logo and on her Google My Business listing is, TWY Artistic Design.

(10:05): And it’s, but they’re a wedding photographer. So then, I’m talking to that client and I’m saying, you really should rename your business, TWY Wedding Photography, or at least, photography because, you know, we do a search for wedding photography Chicago, who shows up? All the businesses that include wedding photography as part of their business names, of course. And so, with my client it’s not. So my client, it’d be three scrolls down, finally, he’s there. But if he just changed it in Google, somebody’s gonna manually approve the listing or that edit. And so, they’re gonna look at his website and see what the domain name is and see what the logo says and what the header on the image, and then go to the ‘About Us’ page, and see what they call themself when they wrote the About Us information there. And noticed that it wasn’t TWY Wedding Photography, and they’re gonna reject that claim. So that’s why he really needs to get a new logo and create it and kind of just, modify the main parts of his website. Which will only help him rank anyways, website wise.

(11:25): So after you have a listing that’s created, then you go to, this is the page that you would see. When you click the ‘Manage Now’ button. If you only have one business, it’s gonna be in there. If you manage more than one business, it’s gonna be a list of all of those businesses. So here’s what it looks like if you just have one business, here’s the dashboard per se. And we’ll go through this on our dashboard live too, and maybe open it up at that point if anybody has questions.

(12:04): So oftentimes I show this to clients, and they look at all of this information and they’re like amazed. They’re like, Wow, I didn’t know all this stuff was there. And I think that Google keeps adding new features all the time. So that’s why even what it looked like a year ago, is way different than what it looks like today. So there’s many more sections that are through there like that. So let’s, walk through down the steps here.

(12:35): There’s some information, just even on this homepage, would be things like there’s a link to get a review. There’s showing how well your business has showed up in maps, and in search results as well. So a little bit of insights there. I think related to optimizing your Google business profile one main overlying part would be fill in all the blanks that you can. So oftentimes, all of SEO is just filling in all of the blanks with the right information. That, if you do that and your competitors don’t do that, Google is gonna put you at the top, because your form is more completed. Imagine that some people came in for a job interview and there were five applicants and one applicant filled out their application completely. And have a more completed resume there, and all the rest did not. Which one is gonna get the first interview, at least? Of course, the one that filled in all the information. So it’s like that true here.

(13:55): So one of the parts would be like the bullet point number one is the service area or the street address. So it’s kind of like you have an either or situation where you’re either like a hardware store where people come to visit your business, or you’re like a plumber where you travel to deal with other business, other customers that way. Sometimes people might say, Oh, I just have an online store, and if you read exactly the rules of Google My Business, it says that if that’s true, then you really don’t qualify to have a Google My Business listing. Because one of the qualification things are that you have to meet with people in person, either at their location, or they come to your location. There’s a lot of gray area related to that.

(14:51): And I wouldn’t worry about it so much. I think Google’s probably just gonna open it up to everybody at some point in time. But things like adding your business start date, although you might think, why does that matter? But in the Google listings, there’s a spot for that. So if you don’t take the time to fill that in, Google’s you’re not even gonna be in the results then. And so, it’s showing things like five years in business, or recently open, information like that. If you have an appointment link, a place to schedule an appointment like Calendarly or just going to your contact us page, then make sure you add that as well. It just makes it easy for people to, if they’re looking to contact you online, to click the link, to go right to the place where they could in fact, contact you.

(15:46): There’s many other parts about, if you’re a veteran, or a woman-owned business, or a black-owned business, or different nationalities, there’s a spot for that. If you think that it’s important that people know, you wanna sort that out like that. And like I mentioned, there’s new things happening all the time. So every once in a while take the time to look in at Google My Business and see if there’s a new blank that you could fill in. I think they even gauge it just like that, so that it’s like who is just drinking the Google Kool-Aid and they’ll reward you with better search results.

(16:32): And the back end of Google My Business is where you add the business categories right below where your business name is. And there’s one main category, and you could put up to 10 additional categories. The main category, of course, should be the main thing that you do, but don’t forget about adding additional categories if they make sense. Google has a list of about 4,000 different categories, and so, you can’t make up your own. You have to pick what’s on the list, but oftentimes adding other categories will be helpful, and it might help you be found. Don’t pick any of them that you don’t do, of course., but take note of those.

(17:21): There’s a link right here on this presentation that links to my website, that has a list of 4,000 different categories. It might make it easier to sort through them all there, make a short list, and then go to Google My Business and add them in place.

(17:44): Once you figure out whatever category it is, you should, outside of Google My Business is when somebody opens the homepage of your website, they should know exactly what you do. Oftentimes, people overlook that and they put a bunch of other information. So that’s just a tip to help with your website optimization as well. When you change categories be careful with that. You don’t want to go in and just change a whole bunch of things on your Google Business listing at one time, because somebody at Google physically has to approve it. And if you freak them out by making too much changes at once, they might make it so that your listing is rejected. And it’ll need to come back and get reverified. And it’s a problem suck for some clients that they don’t have a listing showing for quite a while.

(18:48): When you fill in the address make sure you mark the correct address. There’s websites that it’ll even take note of, you put an address in, and it’ll search with the database at the post office. And it’ll check it against there to make sure that you’re spelling it out exactly correct. AAnd now that you’ve filled in all the information as completely as possible, now it’s time to verify your listing. So that’s when you fill in all of the information, and it sends a postcard to your office. I have to admit, the postcards go into garbage very easily. So sometimes we have to try this multiple times, and it you’re doing this yourself, just don’t throw anything in the recycle bin for a while. I’ve done it myself, even I’m walking back up to the house and I drop in the postcard to the garbage, and I’m like, Oh, wait, what? I needed that postcard. So maybe do a Google search for what it looks like here. I should have included a picture of it on the on the presentation right here. That’ll make it easier.

(20:06): Google is also changing the verification methods around. I have one attorney that I just signed up a short while ago, and Google sent a message that says, We’re not gonna allow verification by postcard. It needs to be video verified. And so, how you would do that is, you would click a link and you’d start like a Zoom meeting with somebody at Google. And you would start at the street and show a picture, like, Okay, yep, here’s the street address of this building. Here’s the street, here’s the sign on the corner. See, it’s on the corner of North and Maine, and my GPS is turned on on my phone. So Google really knows that they’re there with you. And then walk into the business and show your signage on the door to your office. And so, in this instance, this client, she says, I don’t have a sign on my door.

(21:02): And I’m like, Well, I don’t know, but I know that Google’s gonna be asking for it. So, if you think you are gonna be able to talk them out of that, feel free. Otherwise, it might be good to talk to a sign person and get a sign created. And maybe just stick it on there with blue tack or something, temporarily, to make it pass the Google litmus test here. We’ll find out more as time goes on here, related to that one.

(21:31): There’s also services. And so that is a spot that you could fill in multiple other services related to the business categories. And in each service, you could add up to a 300 word business description. And taking the time to fill all these out would be useful. You could always add new services, and sometimes Google even suggest services. So you need to go in inside of your Google listing every once in a while, to accept those suggestions by Google. Sometimes they don’t get it a hundred percent right. With my own business, I don’t really offer web design, but Google keeps trying to drop that into a service of mine. Andthe only thing I can do is accept it, and then delete it out of there and kind of fill in all the rest of the information here.

(22:29): But you see where one of my employees took the time to fill out great business or great service descriptions on each one of these. Like I mentioned, you can add up the 300 characters, make sure that you use the keywords. And there’s a long list of them there on all of our clients’ websites and our own as well.

(22:57): There’s Google Posts, so that’s another section of your Google My Business listing. And out of everything besides just filling in the blanks as much as possible, adding a new post every week is probably the most important thing that you could do. So, sometimes I have busy business owners that I’m kind of going on a rant talking about all the different things that they could do, because there’s a myriad of things. And the business owner might just say yeah, I don’t have time to do all that stuff. What’s one thing that I could do that would move the needle the most? And I would suggest adding a new post every week, and making sure that it mentions the right keywords. And it’s long enough, so like, 80 to a hundred words or so, and then it has a link back to your website. You could put two links. You could put one in the body here, and the other one in the learn more button there as well.

(24:07): So there’s some scheduling tools that can automatically, you could, like at the beginning of the month, you could schedule all your posts and have them go like that. And that’ll save a lot of hassle, and you don’t have the pressure of doing the post, on a certain Tuesday at two. Maybe that’s when your target audience is most likely active on their profiles. This way, if you’re busy, then you could just have them all scheduled, and then you can go off on vacation. There’s also other posts that are offers or promotion information. I use it to just say, I offer a free strategy session with me. Other people might just say, buy this, get this free or 10% off in the month of December, things like that. All of those. And these don’t expire in seven days. They expire when you say the expiration date of that promotion is.

(25:09): Next is, there’s events also. So then, you could add events here. So if you’re doing a webinar or something like that, you could put the events on your Google Business listing and then, it expires on that event date. And then it stays active on your Google Business profile up until that point in time. You could add events a long time in the future. And it’s putting more content out there, which is gonna end up to be good.

(25:50): Adding photos. And as opposed to stock photos, adding real photos on there are important. So this one is from a client of ours that’s a cash for junk cars business in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. And this is some of the cars that they’ve picked up, the junkers that, you know, putting it on a truck, and getting it loaded up, and taken away. And I see there’s numbers and how long ago the picture was posted. So I can see from my perspective of it, of like, these real photos are getting a lot more views than, if we added a stock image onto there.

(26:34): There’s different business categories. Notice the things going across the top up through here. And so, Google wants you to have some images, in each one of the categories would probably be the best thing here. You could also add images, and like I say, just adding real pictures is probably the best thing that you could do through here. Related to images, you could even optimize images where you could name them a keyword before you add it to Google My Business. It really is not as important on doing it on your Google Pictures, but overall just to optimize your images makes sense. What is Google gonna think is more important? An image named DSC5001, or something that includes what your business is about, and makes reference to that.

(27:47): Another part would be reviews. So when Google shows three different businesses in the search results, then now people see those three businesses. So you could see my two businesses are, so when you do a search for, I think this was like SEO near me, it located in, I’m in Naperville, Illinois, Chicago suburbs. So then my SEO training company came up at the top, my SEO consulting company came up number two. And the third one was a past student of mine that I trained. It was a marketing company that I trained in SEO, and so he knows what to do. And so now, which one are we gonna call? You know people are deciding based on besides the name, of how many years they’ve been in business, how many reviews they have, and what their reviews score is also? I’ll have to replace this picture with one of them that shows like the ones that doesn’t get any clicks. These are all pretty evenly weighted here, I think. So that’s why it’s important to get more reviews, and ask for reviews as part of the business process through there. So I think that covers just the things that you do on the back end of Google My Business.

(29:15): Now we can talk about other things that help make it easier. Like the bolt on, which I think is very important is scheduling your posts with a different tool. There’s a couple of tools that are available to be able to do that. And so here’s a list of all different types. We have a post on our website that talks about the different choices, and also the links to the ones that we like the most. I think, in our own opinion, Publer is the winner, because you could post to up to three social media platforms. And you get to schedule all of them on a calendar, nice and easy to use and go through there. But I would suggest checking out a couple of them and see which one you like the best.

(30:12): I know, before we used a scheduling tool, I would lose sleep because I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking, Did I schedule that post? Did I do that post for this client that I said I was going to, or the client asked me to? And now, that avoids any challenges. Just, the beginning of the month my employee just schedules that, and then she can go lay on the beach the rest of the month, because she got all the work done there.

(30:43): Here’s what Publer looks like, some of the other parts related to that. Here’s the different social media accounts that it can connect to and the pricing. It used to be that the free version was up to five social media accounts instead of three. But the point is, if you’re going to create these posts and schedule them for every week on Google My Business, why not add Facebook, and LinkedIn, or Twitter, or other profiles like that, and post to them at the same time for free? Wow, I mean, that’s a huge value I feel, that could go through. Some of our clients have more than three different social media platforms. And then, at that point, then we just buy the paid version and use that.

(31:45): Buffer is another tool that will allow you to schedule those in advance. Here’s the different social media accounts that it connects to and their price. Pretty similar, there are up to three channels for free, although it looks like you could do more. With each additional channel over here, you just pay them $5 a month for each one of them. So if you had a whole bunch, I don’t know what one is gonna be the winner, you’ll have to check it out.

(32:21): And if you didn’t want to bother doing all of that, then maybe you’ll hire a company to do that for you. So, that was when I started my consulting business three years ago, I saw that as a missing component of, nobody wants to have to do these things all the time, but they’re important. So, I started a service that we post for you. So we optimize your profile, and we put the posts all scheduled together, and in the end, just sometimes, I might not even have a connection or a login to anything other than a client of ours listing. And, I guess their website traffic is up 20%, 30%, things like that. That’s very positive increases just from optimizing Google My Business we see through here, through there like that. And we could help manage your reviews and answer the reviews for you because you really need to answer the reviews, because it shows your prospects, how you care about your customers or not. So if anybody would like to know a little bit more about that service, I’m happy to give you some of my time and show you that, and some of the success stories that we’ve done.

(33:55): This is just all of the deliverables that are on our package. Last slide is a resource page here. So different tools that we use that might be helpful for you, going back to some of the other information. And that’s it for the presentation.

(34:16): Now we’ll go through and look in the back end of Google My Business. So when you first log on, it’s gonna look like this. All the different businesses that are in there. We have quite a few through here. We’ll pick one-on-one SEO training. There’s things like performance, reviews, and then we can go talk about each one of these things.

(34:55): So the first thing would be info. And like I mentioned, there’s always new blanks to fill out through here. So, taking note of that and I think that Google is just measuring, who cares the most? Those are the ones that we’re gonna put up at the top. So when they have a new feature and they post it here, who takes the time to fill out those blanks out through here. And doing things like adding all your services, do you have a handicap accessible restroom? Do you have handicap parking? Making sure that you fill in the business description related to it and use the right keywords that you want to be found for. And when did the business open through here like that.

(35:45): We can look at posts as well. Here’s all of the existing posts, and you’ll see every week we have a new one. And so, it includes 80 to a hundred words. Those words include the keywords that we wanna rank for, and two links, one in the body of the email and the other one on the button. And we’re not saying that we should go to the homepage of your website, but when we write a blog post, then we get to feature it out here, and this is where the link is going to. All the different ones.

(36:27): There’s also, if we look at offers. Here’s just an offer that me helping non-profits and this is where they could sign up, and events through here like that. And then, we move on down the line. Here’s all the services. So taking the time to add more services, fill in the service descriptions, that’s beneficial. There’s also a Google My Business website. A lot of times people when I show that to them, they’re like, Oh, I don’t want this website turned on because I don’t want it to take over my website. But this is never intended to take over your website. It’s just a summary of everything that you did on Google My Business. So there’s just kind of a header, here’s your Google My Business post, here’s your reviews, images, directions to your locations and all of that. So it helps with back links to your website as well, by publishing it. It’s a little bit hard to explain just in this thing here like this. But I’m happy to show you more if you’re interested in learning more about that particular item through there.

(38:02): So that’s it for the presentation. We could flip through the question and answers. So anybody have any questions related to what we covered here today, or SEO in general? How about you, Jovie? Yeah, just kidding. So we’ll publish later on. We’ll put a link to the presentation and we’ll share that inside of EventBright, so you could get back to it. And feel free to join us on future ones here.

(38:40): Thank you very much. Bye-bye.

(38:43): Thank you. Okay, bye-bye.