GUEST: Google My Business and the Future of Google+
Submitted to Investment Real Estate by Laura Gattis at The Storage Group
Not-so-breaking news: Google+ is gone. By the time this blog is published, Google+ will have shut down permanently, causing panic for self storage facilities and businesses that used it as a way to boost their organic Google search rankings. But there is no reason to stress, embracing Google My Business (GMB) can help fill that void and increase your overall Google success.
Google My Business should be your best friend! When used properly, it is designed to inform potential customers of your hours, frequently asked questions, and other important details. It can help direct traffic back to your website, inform them of a deal, or showcase photos. Most importantly, it can help improve your local SEO. If you’re not sure what that means or where to start, then this is the guide for you!
Have you ever Google searched for a local business? If so, you probably started with the results at the top of the page to see if they could fill your needs. Am I right? According to Chitika, the top organic search result gets 33% of traffic. This means that if you aren’t paying attention to local SEO, you could be missing out on huge amounts of website traffic from potential customers.
How to use GMB to help Local SEO
Google loves to reward businesses that take full advantage of the features they offer. By using GMB properly, Google’s algorithms will slowly move you up the rankings. While there are other important SEO tactics, such as optimizing your website, GMB is a great way to test the waters of SEO before diving in.
There are numerous features you can use on Google My Business, but if your company is just starting out, there are four key areas to focus on. They are your business information (contact info, hours, address, etc.), frequently asked questions, questions and answer, posts and descriptions. The three easiest and least time-intensive to start with are company information, descriptions, and frequently asked questions!
Your company’s business information is the most important part of its GMB listing. If the hours, address, website, or contact information differ from what Google finds on your website or on other websites, it will punish you on search rankings. By having a cohesive listing that matches what shows on other websites, it will be easier for customers to trust your information. Does your company have multiple locations? Each location should have its own GMB listing!
Google My Business allows business owners to pre-populate a ‘frequently asked questions’ section of their listing. Do people often ask specific questions about your services or facilities? You can fill out the FAQ section and potentially cut down on customers asking these questions. That said, it’s a great tool for potential customers to see that you’re informed and willing to answer questions. For example, when you look up The Storage Group’s page, you can see a variety of FAQs highlighted.
Descriptions are a short, 750 character explanation of your business. Have someone else double check it for grammar and spelling, and make sure that it “speaks” similarly to how someone would talk out loud. This will help Google push it higher when someone searches from a voice device, such as Alexa or Siri.
As you delve into Google My Business and away from Google+, take the time to learn and actively use as many features as possible. As previously stated, Google loves Google, and over time will reward your company by showing you higher on search results than ever before!
If you need help getting started with Google My Business or Local SEO, you can contact The Storage Group through their website or by calling 888-465-6247 for more information.
About the author:
Laura Gattis is the Marketing Specialist for The Storage Group, the industry leader in website design, search marketing, and the first PWA/online rental tool. She has a Master’s degree in media innovation from the University of Nevada, Reno. Her expertise lies in social media management, content marketing, and strategic communications. You can reach Laura directly via email or by calling 407-392-2329 x161.