Google My Business Gets You Found Locally
If you enter an internet search, no matter what browser you use, you usually receive results based on your location. These local search results are critical to getting found and allowing customers to review your business. Also known as Google Places, Google My Business makes it easier for customers to find information about your business online, including hours of operation, contact information and directions – all across multiple devices.
Bottom line is your business MUST be listed in Google My Business if you want to be found online in a local search. A fully complete and working Google My Business page can increase the success, for both your online and offline operation.
It is also critical to make sure that your Google Page is complete and accurate, and optimized for best results. Having one that is working correctly can have a big impact on not only traffic to a website, but for visitors to the actual physical location of the businesses as well. Put simply, a fully complete and working Google My Business page can increase the success, for both your online and off-line operation.
When users search for your product or service, the local search listings are the ones that dominate. In most cases, these local listings will be accompanied by markers for the lucky few, along with their addresses and phone numbers. Google also displays a map that points to each business highlighted in the actual search list.
Google My Business (GMB) Page Setup
Setting up a GMB page is relatively straightforward. It’s free to set up and will enable you to appear in local search results for queries specific to your products or services.
The first step is to claim your page if you have not done so already. If you are unsure whether this has been done, you can do a quick search on Google Maps to find out if there is a page for your business already created. See below for an example:
If you have no page, then sign in with your Google Account and simply create one using the easy instructions provided. You will need to get your profile up to as near completed status as possible, then verify it through a phone call or postcard code. Until you have verified your listing, you will not be able to hit 100%.
Optimizing Your Google My Business Page
Optimizing your business website is very important for online presence. So too, is optimizing your Google My Business page if you want to appear on local search results. Google’s goal is to help people find businesses close by to where they are located. This can make it difficult to attract customers from a location outside the boundaries set by Google. The closer the searcher is to your business, the higher up you may appear on the search results.
So how do you optimize your Google My Business page to get found by people outside the specified range? It can involve a complex algorithm, but also requires your business to be on other third party directory listings, like Yelp, Trip Advisor, Citysearch, and other smaller, high quality sites. You will need to make sure your Name, Address and Phone (NAP) information is consistent across all these sites for the best results in search engine rankings.
Blue Wave Concepts, LLC is an expert when it comes to optimizing Google My Business pages. Blue Wave Concepts, LLC offers our clients social media marketing packages that get results for businesses. We offer several standard packages, or we can customize a package that will fit your specific needs and goals. Contact us to discuss which option is best for you and how we can tailor it to fit your needs.
Hashtags may appear as a bizarre combination of words and phrases put together with the # sign before it, but they are vital for expanding your online visibility – if used properly of course.
Do you still find yourself perplexed about the significance of hashtags?
Why are you seeing them in (almost) every post across social media platforms?
How many hashtags are too many?
Let’s get these concerns straightened out. In this article, discover how hashtags are meant to be used and why you should start using them for your online presence.
It all began when Chris Messina tweeted in August 2007, proposing the use of # (the hash or number sign) to tag topics of interest. Two years later, Twitter started hyperlinking hashtags so that when you click on a hashtag, you are redirected to the search result page showing all tweets bearing the hashtag.
Now fast forward 12 years, popular social media channels have adopted the use of hashtags although the level of success is varied. They have simplified the search for posts and contents with a specific theme as well as helped monitor online discussions. So, what’s in it for you, your brand and business?
What are “the hashtags” for and why use them?
From a marketing and user point of view, hashtags improve your social media visibility.
Increase social media views and grow your followers
A study carried out by Simply Measured showed that posts with at least one hashtag have about 12.6% more engagement than those without.
Take Instagram for instance, this visual-centric platform creates a gallery of photos and videos for every hashtag.
The more hashtags you use, the more galleries your images and videos will appear in. These maximise the number of views and user engagement.
Expand your brand reach outside your network
Making your profile and posts public will allow the whole world to see it.
Your post with hashtags will display in the search results and galleries.
People who are not your followers, but are otherwise interested in the topic will be able to view your post.
If it garners a massive amount of engagement, it will be on top of the lists and trends.
If you need more help, there are 10 ways to get traffic to your website.
Promote your brand, product or services and events
Are you launching a new product?
Why don’t you use social media to enhance your marketing efforts?
Get the online community buzzing about your newest product.
Keep the hype up and draw people into your social media page and/or website using product-specific hashtags.
Create a unique hashtag that can spark the interest of your target audience.
For your upcoming event, design catchy hashtags for your teaser posts to build suspense.
Play the ‘anticipation game’ and get everyone hooked to the event.
Search popular topics and follow conversations
Fishing around for products and services that can add more value to your customers?
Looking for trending topics and contents that can help you pump up your digital marketing strategy?
Or are you tracking what social media users say about your offerings?
You can gather data on social media through hashtags.
Find out what your audience love and address their pain points.
Build community awareness
If your business is supporting local charitable programs and nonprofit social responsibility campaigns, utilise the official hashtags of the event to spread the word in your network.
Apart from increasing company involvement and spreading positive attitude (and good vibes!), you are also gaining marketing experience.
Inspire, join the conversation and bring value to the community, don’t just post industry-related content.
How to use hashtags properly on social media
The purpose of hashtags is generally to simplify content discovery, making information searchable and accessible on social media. However, each platform has different rules for using hashtags. Too many and irrelevant hashtags can seem spammy and can hurt your brand’s good name.
Customarily, hashtags must not contain any spaces – even in hashtags with multiple words. You can capitalize the letters to improve readability but you cannot use punctuation marks or it will break the tagging. On the other hand, if your hashtag is part of a sentence, you can use a comma, period, question mark or other punctuation marks to improve the grammar.
To reiterate, hashtags on Twitter are used to index keywords or topics. Popular hashtags are displayed in Trending Topics.
Tweets with hashtags are 33% more likely to get retweeted than tweets without hashtags.
You can use as many hashtags as you want but it’s recommended to use no more than two hashtags. Tweets with one hashtag are 69% more likely to get retweeted than those with two.
Each hashtag gallery on Instagram has two sections: “Top” for the most popular ones and “Recent” for the freshest posts bearing the hashtag.
Although this platform is tailored for hashtags, you are only allowed to use 30 hashtags in every image or video post.
To help you spruce up your Instagram story, posts and ads, take a peek at our favourite Instagram apps for both iOs and Android.
Do hashtags matter on Facebook? Yes.
It may look like that hashtags are not actively used on Facebook compared to Twitter and Instagram, but they function just the same.
Hashtags turn words and phrases into clickable links, giving you access to relevant topics and public conversations.
When you click a hashtag, you will find a feed of public posts (including posts of your friends and followers) that contain such hashtag. You can even see some related hashtags at the top of the page.
Hashtags maximize your exposure on LinkedIn and build up your network.
The platform proactively promotes hashtags to their users when posting updates and publishing an article.
You can type in the hashtags in the search box to look for relevant topics and articles.
There’s no limit in using hashtags also but it’s advisable to include no more than five hashtags in a single post. Before you select your hashtags, find out what hashtags LinkedIn influencers in your niche are using and explore popular hashtags (see screenshot below).
Apart from hashtags, learn how to enhance your LinkedIn profile to represent yourself and engage online in a way that can help achieve your professional goals.
Hashtags are used on YouTube to look for videos for topics that you’re interested in.
You can insert up to 15 hashtags in your video post. They can be added either in the title or description, or both.
Users will be able to click the hashtags in the video title. Be warned that over-tagging and the use of unrelated hashtags may result in the removal of your video.
Forbes indicates that an average of 600-700 words per page is optimal for SEO. And, Forbes states that websites with less than 300 words per page are considered “thin” by Google’s standards and, most likely, won’t rank as highly in search. Figuring out the best content strategy for SEO can be confusing at best.
Your website content is the foundation for every SEO strategy you implement on your website. It is, essentially, the fuel that drives the car. So, how much fuel, or content, do you need to impact your search rankings?
If you search the internet for “what is the best word count for SEO?” or something like that, you will find different answers from multiple resources. According to Searchengingland, longer content (1,000+ words) tends to help websites show up in search results. Forbes indicates that an average of 600-700 words per page is optimal for SEO. And, Forbes states that websites with less than 300 words per page are considered “thin” by Google’s standards and, most likely, won’t rank as highly in search. Figuring out the best content strategy for SEO can be confusing at best. However, identifying the best content strategy for your business and website is easy.
What is the optimal word-count for Google and SEO rankings?
There is not a clear-cut answer for the total word-count per page for best SEO results. Based on our own clients’ SERP rankings over time, we recommend developing website content based on key factors rather than a specific word count because we understand that each client’s brand and customer-base determine the content length rather than a blanket word-count.
The amount of content you write for SEO depends on:
The Type of Business You Have
- Companies that need to post information about their key services, philosophy, etc., will need to develop content that explains each of those facets.
- Dentists and Doctors, for example, should explain as many aspects of a service or procedure as possible, so patients can learn about that procedure and get as many questions answered as possible on a single page.
- A home improvement company, landscape design company or photographer will rely more on the before and after images and beauty shots.
The Complexity or Simplicity of What You Are Writing About
- As stated above, write website content that answers your customers’ questions. Content density is important for SEO. Make sure your content is thorough. Many companies will write content about services that just provide an overview of what they do or provide. We recommend that you write content that explains the process, what makes your company unique in that process while answering common questions customers might ask.
- With the movement towards voice search, we also recommend that you structure the questions as if you are asking them into your phone. For example, instead of writing, “best website content length for SEO,” or “best website word count for SEO,” draft your questions as, “what is the best website word count for SEO?” Essentially, write your questions they way your customers would speak or ask them.
Quality of the Content
- Regardless of content length, your copy should be written with quality over quantity. Don’t include fluff or filler text just to lengthen the content. Write what you need to convey your services and answer questions.
- Write your own unique website copy. Don’t “borrow” content from other websites, as Google sees this a duplicate content, which will likely impact your page in some way.
A final note about website content length for SEO:
Although we have broken down the key components of your content for SEO, we do recommend a minimum of 300 words per page. However, develop content for each web page on an individual basis. Some of your website pages may have only 300 words and other pages may include 1,300 words of copy. Take one page at a time and focus on the quality of your content.
Can you recall the shrunken version of a desktop site on your phone, where you have to pinch and zoom to see anything? It was likely not an optimal experience!
Because of this, back in 2015, Google rolled out a change to the search engine algorithms which now factor in a website’s mobile presence as a ranking signal. The date was aptly named Mobilegeddon. This reason alone can justify why responsive design is important!
If it is not, your brand may be losing out on leads and sales.
In fact, 40% of users have gone to a competitor’s website after a poor mobile experience.
To ensure your website offers an experience tailored to handheld devices (without creating a separate app), consider why responsive design is important as a mobile solution.
Let’s get into the details about the why and how.
First of all, what the heck is mobile responsive design and why should you care?
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design (RWD) creates a system for a single site to react to the size of a user’s device—with one URL and one content source. A responsive website has a fluid and flexible layout which adjusts according to screen size.
The importance of responsive web design is that it offers an optimized browsing experience.
Basically, your website will look great and work well on a desktop (or laptop), a tablet, and a mobile phone’s browser.
In the past, developers built more than one site in order to accommodate different screen sizes. With the number of device types out there on the market today, this seems completely inefficient…right?
Now you can understand why responsive web design is not a shiny trend anymore, but more of a shift in the thinking behind building websites. The term was actually coined in 2010 by web designer Ethan Marcotte.
Responsive web design offers us a way forward, finally allowing us to design for the ebb and flow of things. -Ethan Marcotte
Having a mobile responsive website is not just another option—it’s a requirement!
Benefits of Mobile Responsive Design
The number one benefit of a responsive layout is the guarantee that any user on any device will have the best experience possible on your website. And, the most consistent.
Website responsiveness is also a great way to refine the content on your site, making sure that people using a mobile device are only seeing the most essential information.
With the Google algorithm update, a responsive web design increases visibility on search engines—because it is mobile-friendly. A site with an effective mobile experience will show up in search results above one without.
Why Responsive Design is Important for Business
1. Increase reach to customers and clients on smaller devices (tablets & smartphones)
2. A consistent experience that can increase lead generation, sales and conversions
3. Analytics, tracking, and reporting can all be in one place
4. Time and cost on-site content management is decreased
5. Stay ahead of the competition (even 44% of Fortune 500 companies are not mobile-ready at this time!)
Note, that there are two other methods by which to offer a mobile-friendly experience. The first is called Dynamic Serving, which uses the same URL but different HTML and CSS code. Pages recognize the device they are viewed on, and serve up the correct code.
The second method, is a separate mobile site altogether. When users visit on a mobile device, they are sent to a different mobile-specific URL.
As long as the correct steps are taken to optimize fully for mobile users, the most useful method really depends on any given situation. Figure out which works the best for your online presence, before diving into it.
Google accounts for over 5.7 billion searches conducted on the web daily.
Google even offers a mobile responsive test, so that you can see how easily a visitor is able to use your page on a mobile device. You simply enter a page URL and receive a score.
How to Optimize Google My Business
1. Complete your business information and add a description
2. Upload more and better images
3. Respond to Google My Business reviews (yes, all of them)
4. Use posts to promote events, offers, and content
5. Create and upload videos
6. Add shortname
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free, easy-to-use tool that helps businesses manage their online presence and appearance in Google Search and Google maps. If you’ve ever searched for a business’ name, you’ll often see their GMB “knowledge panel,” a card containing important information customers want to know about local businesses, show up first.
GMB displays tons of valuable information customers would want to know:
- Business Name
- Business Type
- Hours of operation
- Phone Number
- Link to website
- Link to Google maps
- Overall Star Rating
- Popular times to visit
- Related Searches
- And More
At a quick glance, you can learn a lot about a business and whether or not you want to visit there.
That is exactly the point of the tool: to give customers enough data about a business to help them determine if they want to engage with that business.
Why should I care about Google My Business?
The benefits of Google My Business are threefold:
1. Increased visibility in search
2. Better shopping experience for buyers
3. More traffic to your website, social channels, and front door
An optimized GMB page helps Google understand more about your business: who you are, what services/products you sell, where you’re located at, and what your website is (so they can crawl it for more info).
The more Google knows about you, the more types of searches your GMB listing can appear in.