SEO

Using Google My Business

Using Google My Business

WARNING! (Feb 2018) Google takes listings in Google Business very seriously. Avoid handing control of your listing to an SEO unless you know the SEO personally. Your site can be penalised for spam entries. Be wary of anyone who is using a foreign IP address and producing fake reviews on your behalf. Google appears to be waging a crackdown on dubious SEO's.

Originally, a local business could create a listing for themselves on Google Maps by using Google Places. After the creation of Google Plus, Google also made it possible for businesses to create social pages on Google Plus and merge the two.

Google My Business is making local search results more relevant.
Often sites listed in the Local Business Center will be listed at the top of search results next to a map. This depends on the search query and the listings Google has.
There are advantages to being listed (any Google product has its advantages in Search Engines e.g. YouTube videos)
It allows you to confirm your listing via an automated PIN that can be phoned or posted to you to confirm your listing.
Note this seems to have changed to a post card only possibly to ensure only authentic addresses are used.

Google Search Results
A Google Places Search Result

Refer Anatomy of a local Google Search for an analysis of the integration of Google My Business, Paid Ads and Organic Search results.

Google My Business Recent Trends

Google My Business and your website

The relationship between your website and Google My Business, is really important. Notice in the image below a search on "painting your front door Gold Coast" comes up with my client's site in his Google My Business listing with "Their website mentions painting your front door"

The key is good SEO content will drive people to your site even if you are not #1 on the highest volume keyword. In this case Steve our Phd qualified researcher wrote an interesting article Painting your front door.
So we notice that your Google My Business listing is inter-related to your website, Google is simply trying to indicate the most relevant results. The site is well designed and fast, it loads in 1.24s.

Google My Business and your website

Google My Business changing your address

Theory destroyed: you can change your address as long as it is a real business address.

After some previous bad experiences it was a concern when a client wanted to change their business premises address, especially if they were getting good map listings on it.

However recently a client changed her address to a nearby Southport address without any loss of listings - a gain actually because Google likes frequent changes to listings.

Google My Business Marketing Strategies

How to set up a Local Business listing


1 If you do not have a Google account you need to set one up - the one login can be used across many products. You can set one up at step 2.

2 Go to Google Local Business Center login to your account - enter the details of your business

Google Business Listing Information

Google can locate you on its map from your address information.

Enter your category - this is important to be listed accurately. There is other information you can also add like payments accepted.

Business Category


Updating a listing in Google Local Places

There can often be problems updating a listing in Google places, with a lengthy verification period required.
Some people recommend starting a new account and deleting the old one when changing an address.
However this is risky as you may end up with no account being listed.
From Google Support: Actually, the correct procedure to change an address is to create a new listing and mark the old one permanently closed.
If you already have a listing in Google Local and need to change details of that listing try these steps :-

  • Go to your listing and click manage this page (Click either Google+ or the actual map entries)
  • Login and Enter your updated details
  • Send a post card for verification or text if your mobile phone is linked to the account
  • Upon receiving the post card enter the pin to verify the new listing
  • Wait and check that it updates
  • If nothing happens you can try report a problem - which allows you to send a message regarding your listing

Check these posts for similar issues Google Places Posts

Entering Your Address in Google Places

Google may penalise a listing if the address is not a business address yet claims to be. You may be asked to provide proof that business is carried out at the location.

You can specify an actual address but declare it as not as a place where people visit you.

A radius and specific suburbs can also be listed.

Entering your address in Google Places

Asking People to Review your Places Page (Google My Business)

When you have an entry in Google Places you have a PlaceID. To get your ID go to Google's Tool for looking up your PlaceID
Your PlaceID will look like this ChIJSRFQ5voPkWsRcm-lkUkejxk

Construct your Review Me Link
Get your ID then construct the link with your PlacesID at the end eg https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJSRFQ5voPkWsRcm-lkUkejxk

Google's instructions to Create a link for customers to write reviews

Google allows you to create a short review link like https://g.page/GoldCoastSEO/review

Google My Business Profile Name

Notice your Google My Business page can now be referenced in a link like https://g.page/GoldCoastSEO based on the profile name you chose.

Managing Google Reviews

Genuine Google reviews are important. We create a feedback system for some clients that allow them to send a link to a client asking for feedback. It presents the opportunity to give typed feedback directly or go on to leave a Google Review.

Feedback Google Reviews

Ideal Image sizes for Google My Business

There are 3 types of photos-:
  • Logo
  • Cover Photo
  • Business Photos

When you set a logo you are able to move, crop and rotate the image in Google My Business.

Photo Standards
  • Format: JPG or PNG.
  • Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB.
  • Recommended resolution: 720 px tall, 720 px wide.
  • Minimum resolution: 250 px tall, 250 px wide.
  • Quality: The photo should be in focus and well lit, and have no significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality.
Video Standards
  • Duration: Up to 30 seconds long
  • File size: Up to 75 MB
  • Resolution: 720p or higher

source: Add photos or videos to your Business Profile Google My Business Image Recommendations

Three Steps to Managing Users in Google My Business

You can add users and give them roles. The users can be your website SEO or web developer or someone in your office.

Ideally you are the owner and the roles you issue allow others to add certain information to your account. This will allow you to reverse those roles in the future - for example when you discover the SEO did not live up to his sales pitch. (or simply outsourced to a foreigner)

1 Click Users on the Side Menu
Step One Click Users

2 Click Invite New Users
Click Add Users

3 Add Users Email and Authority Use an email recognised by Google
Add Users Email and Authority

Using Google+ or Google Places (Google My Business)

The distinction between Google+ and Google places (Google My Business) can be confusing. Google+ allows companies to have business pages similar to Facebook.
This is where your customers and clients can go to rate and review your business. This is more of a social perspective than Google Places.
You can, however, merge all of your Google Places information onto your Google+ Local page. In short, Google Places can still be used to manage your business listing, but it is Google+ that is likely going to give you all of your social engagement.

But sometimes it is confusing to know if your listing is actually a Google+ listing or a Google Places listing - to find out follow the steps listed above in Updating a listing in Google Local Places as this will definitively indicate whether it is a Google+ listing or a Google Places listing.
If you manage this yourself - great, however if you have someone else manage this (e.g. a marketing company) and your relationship ends you could be in for months of follow-ups to get your listing correct.

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