Category Archives: Google My Business

Social Media? Not Using It – Lose It

Not Using It? Lose It!
Not Using It? Lose It!

Social media is about connecting. One of my pet peeves is for business websites to have social media icons to various platforms, but they have not updated them for months or sometimes years.

My rule is, if you are not using it – lose it!

We all have our favorite social media accounts to use and some of us will use more than others, but if you are going to have the icon on your website, you should try to do one update a week and at the minimum of once a month. If you cannot keep on top of that consider farming out your social media updates to an employee or contactor.

When you are operating in a competitive market, social media interaction may be the one thing that helps differentiate you from your competitors. Especially if you are providing value to users in the things you are doing on social media.

It does not have to be difficult to keep your platforms updated. You can use an application like Hootsuite or Sendible to schedule, repeat, and save updates to reuse. In fact with Hootsuite, you can even send the same update to multiple profiles with one click.

Don’t make things hard for yourself, boost traffic and engage clients with the smart use of social media.

 

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Why Is Google My Business Verification So Hard?

Building Exterior
Building Exterior that Google does not like!

Google My Business verification should not be so hard! For owners of a single business verification is a snap – complete your profile, ask for a letter to be mailed to you, confirm the PIN number Google sends to you. But if you are an owner of multiple businesses that you run out of separate offices, brace yourself for the run around from Google when you try to verify a second business.

Just this last week, a supervisor at Google My Business finally told me that Google would never verify my client’s second account. We had been working diligently since October 11th to provide all the information and documentation pictures the Google staff said it needed for review. I have to say I was nearly foaming from the mouth when I heard that final response!

It is unthinkable that Google has such vague standards when it comes to business verification; rules that are not in step with small businesses located in the USA. Additionally, add a language difficulty , as the staff appears to all be located in India, and the difficulty grows exponentially.

Ridiculousness at Its Best

I was told to supply a photo of both suite doors and signage on each but as there was a wall between the two, Google did not like the image. I could not knock down a wall in order to provide the photo.

I was told to take a picture of exterior signage for the business, but as the client is in an office condo park, no businesses have exterior signage unless they own a whole floor. Another fail!

I was told to take a picture of the reception desk with the large company sign behind the receptionist. Okay let’s get real, this was a small business, they have an office, but not a glitzy reception area and no need for an inside sign, they know who they are! A fail again.

Finally, I was told that the font on the second business sign did not match the font on the sign on the first business. Wow, that was an eye opener!

Then I was told that due to the history of requests and images sent as we tried to give Google what they wanted for over a two month period, that they did not believe the client ran two businesses. So, the history of what I had sent to Google based on the account reps requests totally worked against the client.

Nothing should be this difficult to resolve, but it’s Google! Understand that on Google My Business verifications, Google does run the world.

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Google My Business Verification Problems

Building Exterior
Building Exterior that Google does not like!

Google My Business verification should not be so hard! For owners of a single business verification is a snap – complete your profile, ask for a letter to be mailed to you, confirm the PIN number Google sends to you. But if you are an owner of multiple businesses that you run out of separate offices, brace yourself for the run around from Google when you try to verify a second business.

Just this last week, a supervisor at Google My Business finally told me that Google would never verify my client’s second account. We had been working diligently since October 11th to provide all the information and documentation pictures the Google staff said it needed for review. I have to say I was nearly foaming from the mouth when I heard that final response!

It is unthinkable that Google has such vague standards when it comes to business verification; rules that are not in step with small businesses located in the USA. Additionally, add a language difficulty , as the staff appears to all be located in India, and the difficulty grows exponentially.

Ridiculousness at Its Best

I was told to supply a photo of both suite doors and signage on each but as there was a wall between the two, Google did not like the image. I could not knock down a wall in order to provide the photo.

I was told to take a picture of exterior signage for the business, but as the client is in an office condo park, no businesses have exterior signage unless they own a whole floor. Another fail!

I was told to take a picture of the reception desk with the large company sign behind the receptionist. Okay let’s get real, this was a small business, they have an office, but not a glitzy reception area and no need for an inside sign, they know who they are! A fail again.

Finally, I was told that the font on the second business sign did not match the font on the sign on the first business. Wow, that was an eye opener!

Then I was told that due to the history of requests and images sent as we tried to give Google what they wanted for over a two month period, that they did not believe the client ran two businesses. So, the history of what I had sent to Google based on the account reps requests totally worked against the client.

Nothing should be this difficult to resolve, but it’s Google! Understand that on Google My Business verifications, Google does run the world.

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What Exactly is a Google My Business Account?

Several pushpins on a road-map of a tourist
Get on the map with your Google My Business account.

If you have been using Google Places or Google+, Google has a new property call Google My Business that you need to be looking at and migrating to.

First notice that even if you have been posting on Google+ pages you may not have a Google My Business site. For that matter if you’ve had a Google Places or Google Maps page, you may still need to re-verify to migrate that page to Google My Business.

Here’s what I’ve found out. I have a number of Google+ pages that I routinely post to as well as a personal Google+ page. I even had one Google Places page. When I set up my own Google My Business page, it was a different URL than any of them. Sigh… that means I had to start all over in building a fan base as any of my existing pages did not migrate into the new Google My Business page.

The Google My Business pages even look different. You’ll know you have one if over the cover image you see things like your office hours, your address, and website URL. You can see the cover image of my own in this post and view my site online.

Google is really pushing the Google My Business pages. My Google AdWords account rep even told me this past week that Google AdWords will be doing away with the ability to add business addresses manually in AdWords and using only the Google My Business  page for locations in the near future. This means that it is time to get going on embracing this new Google product.

Personally I hate that the migration did not allow me to pick up one of my existing pages about my business that had a nice number of followers, but this is Google, it is their way all the way.

So, better get prepared for the future, as it is clear that Google will want to only deliver Google Maps and Google organic results pointing to a verified Google My Business page in the very near future.

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Google My Business Can Bring You New Local Clients

Image of a Google Maps exposure on Google.com.
Image of a Google My Business exposure on Google.com.

Yes I know, Google My Business is tied to a Google+ Page and no one seems to like Google+, but I have to say that there is a place for Google My Business and the reviews that are done there.

I recently moved to the Fredericksburg area which is in central Virginia. I need all new doctors, a new beauty salon, a new dentist – well new everything! How have I, an experience web marketer found new businesses to trade with and doctors to go to? From Google My Business!

As Google showcases Google My Business listings in the search results preferentially and returns them based on your own location, the results are catered to you personally. Click a result and you do not go to a website, but rather a larger map view with all local listings at the side and a plethora of reviews.

Which listings did I take time to review – those with reviews. Who did I not even bother to look at – anyone with no reviews or those with poor reviews and a low number of stars.

I never even went to any websites but the last two selections I made and then to only get the phone number and check out the faces of people who I would be trading with.

That’s the new way Google is forcing us to use their search engine. Clicking into a business website is secondary to getting the information you need fast right from Google AND this is where the Google My Business page is so important, as this is now the landing page before a client even gets to your website.

If you are smart and work the Google system, you will start now by setting up your Google My Business page and then aggressively working to add reviews to that page. Remember, Google is wanting people to stay on THEIR site to serve ads and to not even need to click into your website for information.

If you need savvy solutions to help with your website visibility visit us at McCordWeb.com – there’s no SEO “snake oil” here!

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Site Prominence and Local Organic Placement

Mobile exposure in AdWords is key.
Does your website show up prominently in mobile searches for your location?

Organic placement in the local results is important for many businesses, but the big question is how can you get there other than paying your way onto the page with Google AdWords?

If you are a service provider that looks to sell your services in your hometown, placing with your location is key to growing your business.

Here are my top tips to getting local placement for smartphone and desktop searches.

  1. Make sure that your phone number is in text at the top of your website page and not in an image.

2. Make sure that you have your full address and phone number in the footer of all of your pages.

3. Put your phone number and city location in the meta title tag of your home page.

4. Make sure that you have your city location in your h1 and h2 tags on your page.

5. Start working on great customer service and start building reviews. If you have reviews on your website, make sure they are coded for Google using Rich Snippets.

6. When you blog, blog with purpose and cater to your local market with city or state names positioned prominently.

7. Hire a savvy expert who will assist you in crafting a content strategy to boost local positioning. At McCord Web Services we provide consulting to help you position your website to place in your geographic location.

Don’t flounder around anymore, get the help you need to start placing locally in your city and state.

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