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SEO Basics: How To Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

SEO Basics: How To Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Creating a Google My Business (GMB) account is one of the most effective ways to get noticed in organic searches as part of your marketing plan. While most business owners create their GMB accounts, they don’t realize its full potential. We have compiled a few neat tactics that follow SEO basics to help you optimize your GMB accounts so that you are not only found more easily on Google but also ensure that your account is always updated and accurate.

Keep your GMB account details complete and up to date

Fill out all the fields Google asks for when creating and verifying your GMB account. Many people are not aware that Google allows anybody to help out in pointing out things that show up in a search about your business profile by clicking the “Suggest an Edit” option. So, keep checking your My Business listings dashboard and reject any unwanted edits.

Another lesser-known feature of GMB is “Know this business?” People who know your business can click this link and answer questions put up by Google, about your business. Happy customers can post great reviews that can help your business stand out from the crowd.

Use Google Posts

Promote a new product or announce upcoming sales using Google posts that show up as “mini ads” on Google Maps and Knowledge Panel. Design the posts cleverly and direct traffic from search page to your website or sales page. You have the option of including an image, text, a call to action, and a link in a Google post. These posts are broadcasted for seven days and new ones can be created once a post expires.

Activate booking buttons

You can get customers to book appointments with you directly from the search page. This is possible if you use Google’s Booking button and a compatible automatic scheduling service. Customers have the option to schedule bookings and fix appointment timings, without even visiting your website or calling you.

Use Google’s Question and Answer feature

Another way of using Google My Business account to reach out to customers is the Question and Answer feature. It allows customers and prospects to ask questions about your business and you get to interact with them on a one-to-one basis.

A point to note is Google allows anybody to answer these questions. So, you need to monitor your GMB account closely else you risk trolls and competitors from posting inaccurate or misleading answers. Google notifies you, via email, when somebody asks you a question.

Make use of Google’s direct messaging service

Customers can send text messages to you from the listings page. If you wish to not get business messages in your personal inbox, you can subscribe to Google’s Allo application. The app will send a notification every time a customer sends you a text. Presently, messages are not available to the mobile app or PC users since Google has just introduced this feature.

Ask users for online reviews

Google has specific guidelines for asking customers to leave online reviews about you or your business. These reviews are shown on the search and Maps page. Google absolutely forbids offering an incentive in return for favorable reviews.

But you may gently remind clients to write about their experience with your brand. Inappropriate or biased reviews can be flagged for removal. Do respond to customer reviews to show that you value their opinion.

Today a lot of businesses, even brick and mortar ones depend on Google for their leads. Though ranking on search engines is vital, GMB listings are a very effective way to reach out to local customers.


All Time Greats

Digital Marketing for Law Firms, How Hard is it?

A lot of "verticals" or industries make sense for digital marketing and the whole process can be very easy and intuitive. For instance, if you are running a Search Engine Optimization company, it's very straightforward to content market:

1- Write blogs or articles about SEO
2- Try to answer questions people have about SEO
3- Optimize those blogs around what the questions are and what you are saying.

But what about an industry that is a lot more complicated and not very straight forward? What about marketing for lawyers?

ACE, one of Philadelphia's top Law Firm Marketing companies, just posted this extremely helpful blog about why SEO is important for Law Firms. It delves into exactly how to do the job for a complex industry like the law and its practitioners.

One of the key points in the entire article is: "If your customer journey does not have a use for search services, then you'll never see SEO campaign results."

We recommend reading the whole thing. …

Tip #3 to improve your digital marketing

Do Your Research You may have ideas for what is going to work best for your audience based on past experience with your ads, but taking the time to conduct thorough research and have data to support your actions is important. You may anticipate that your customers will behave a certain way, when in fact they go in a completely different direction. It’s essential to be prepared for this ahead of time and use the information you collect from research to planning your marketing strategy. Elliot Simmonds explains this concept below:

“ A lot of people use sponsored posts and other paid advertising, and it seems that many are happy to simply pay the money and watch the views and clicks roll in - even if some of those clicks are from individuals tangential to the product or service they're promoting. Most platforms allow you to specifically target your sponsored posts and ads, and my tip is to do so following a period (even if it's only a short period) of actual research. Your gut i…

Tip #2 to Improve your Digital Marketing

Spend Wisely Each platform used to market online provides you with a different value. You need to analyze which outlets you should invest more time and money into, and which ones are not as important. Some platforms that work well for one company, yield little to no results for another. You need to find the one that suits your business goals the best. Digital Marketing is all very specific to your brand, and you need to plan your budget accordingly. Determining what each platform is going to do for your specific advertising efforts should be the basis for the decisions you make with your campaigns, explains Hitesh Sahni, Marketing Consultant at Smemark:

“It’s imperative to understand the value each channel offers. Search advertising platforms, such as Google Adwords, work best when there is a clear demand for your product or service, and you want to target people who search for your product or service online. Search advertising is less effective for a startup that has created a new an…

Does SEO Actually Work?

I wrote this for my new Doctor Digital column over at Results Driven Marketing's Blog. But I wanted to share it here too.

It's the most basic question of all: Does SEO Actually Work?

Yes it does! But not like you think it does.

This graphic should explain it pretty well:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!

Tips to Improve Digital Marketing: Tip 1

Digital advertising has become a major component of modern day marketing strategies. Here are tips on how to improve your digital marketing strategy:

1. Be Creative Your business has visual elements that make it stand out from your competition. Use that to your advantage in your marketing efforts. Whether it is a logo, mascot, font, or color scheme, having it included can help make your brand recognizable. You want to catch the eye of the audience, but you also want to maintain their attention and have them remember your brand. Incorporating unique and creative visual elements into your ads is crucial to the success the ads will bring you. Sarah Maloy, Content Marketing Manager at Shutterstock points out that you want a variety of creative images, but they should be consistent: "When advertising on social media, it's important to refresh your creative often so that it is relevant and so that users aren't seeing the same post more than once. When testing variations and tryi…

AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list of 2018

It’s Early in 2018 and AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list It’s only the first week in February and you are reading about the Metrics/Data supplier that has provided us with fodder by creating a huge marketing blunder, Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is world's biggest third-party database of search queries with refined monthly search volume and research metrics.  Their data is used by untold numbers of digital marketers across the world.  Arguably they are the industry leader in this type of data.  The only thing that they changed was how a tiny item in their metrics was being calculated. 
About a week prior to the effective date of the change, Ahrefs notified users that a change was coming to how they calculated a domain rating or DR.  They also stated that many sites would see their rankings drop.  I agree that a need for change was warranted.  What I don’t agree with how they calculated the change and its ramifications for roughly 75% of all websites.  

This past Friday evening around 11 P.…