Ask any business that’s had a website for more than seven or eight years and you’ll hear complaints about how hard it is to show up on Google these days. It used to be, if you consistently published valuable content on your website (blogs, for the most part), optimized them properly, and shared them across the web, you could get tremendous visibility for your website.
Not so anymore.
A few years ago a brilliant marketing strategist named Mark Schafer coined the term Content Shock which he wordily defined as “The emerging marketing epoch defined when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.”
In other words, There’s Just Too Much Damn Content Out There!
Here’s the good news – businesses now have a new (and free) method to increase online visibility, particularly in the local market. It’s Google’s answer to the Yellow Pages (if you remember those), review sites, mini sites, and more. It’s called Google My Business (I agree, it’s a dumb name).
I haven’t been this excited about a visibility tool since I discovered Google Adwords a very long time ago. There are lots of reasons I’m enthusiastic and the success stories of my clients who are using it is a big reason.
Just last week Forbes published this article: “Is Google My Business Worth the Effort For Local SEO?” Here are some of the reasons that Forbes recommends you spend time on Google My Business (and I wholehearted agree):
- Consistency – Your business information will be consistent with your website and all your other public-facing media. It will practically guarantee the accuracy of your business information on the many third-party apps that get their info from Google. In other words, you won’t confuse people!
- Google Visibility – Increases your chances of appearing in Google results when people are searching for your services and don’t know you yet. A correctly formatted and optimized listing helps Google understand where you should be placed on the web.
- Website Visibility – Let’s face it, most of us invest a lot in our websites but it’s getting harder to actually attract visitors. Your Google listing portrays your brand and will draw attention from customers. (It also includes a link directly to your website.)
- Google My Business insights (analytics) show you exactly how and when people find your listing, how many times it’s been viewed and even how many calls and requests for directions you get. This invaluable information will help you tweak your marketing. (I have access to an even more robust reporting tool that even includes keyword reports!).
I’ve discovered even more benefits from working with my clients on their listings. Blogs, photos, videos, coupons, events and more can be published on your Google My Business listing.
When all the above information is kept up to date and optimized properly, it helps Google “learn” about your business and when to deliver your listing.
(To see a case study about how a compelling photo can drive new customers, read my post, How To Land A New Customer In 5 Minutes.)
Another perk: No one has to click through to a website to read customer reviews on Google My Business. Anyone who has a Google login can review your business and it doesn’t matter if they’ve never reviewed a business before (unlike Yelp, for example).
Google is adding new features to Google My Business every month. Because of that (and the fact that posts and events vanish after a certain period of time) it can be a part-time job to keep up with it.
Is it worth it? Yes!
Is it the new SEO? Maybe!
“[Google My Business] has the potential to help you reach new customers who otherwise might not have heard of you—and make sure they’re getting the right information.” – Forbes
Who doesn’t want that?
If you’re ready to optimize your Google My Business listing and need training – or if you want someone to take it over for you and do it right, please reach out to me. I’m certified in Google My Business optimization and would be happy to help you take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
Because as with everything web…the early birds catch the worms.
(My contact info: 917-710-3074 or firstname.lastname@example.org)