Is Your Business Ready for Google+?

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But, in order for these small businesses to pull off this resurrection or resurgence or renaissance or whatever you want to call it… they must be discoverable. Something much easier said than done when you consider the city has 70, abandoned buildings, 31, empty houses, and 90, vacant lots. And, not to mention, how do businesses achieve discoverability if they are already playing with one arm tied behind their back from a fiscal standpoint?

For businesses in Detroit, Google My Business is helping them get discovered, stay seen, save big, and ultimately… stay in business. And, whether you live in Detroit or a small town in Southern England, Google My Business can drastically help you, too. There are a handful of reasons you need a Google My Business profile.

The Complete Guide to Google My Business

One aspect of Detroit that I found intriguing was the difficulty in finding various cafes, shops, bars, clubs and retailers. Some of them were deep in the basements of what looked to be abandoned buildings. So, to combat this, nearly every business had a Google My Business profile. GMB makes it simple for customers to find the exact location of your retail location in Google Maps, not having to rely on dated word of mouth directions like…. On the first page of the Google search results, above the organic listings and paid listings, you will notice a high-visibility panel showing three local businesses matching your search.

It can vastly improve your search visibility in Google. Not to mention, when prospective customers are looking for local businesses, they are generally ready to make a purchase or at the very least are highly interested in making a purchase.

In addition to being easier to spot both physically and digitally, GMB allows businesses to add useful information like their name, what they do, their location, phone number, website, hours of operation and pictures. GMB also makes it ultra-easy for customers to leave reviews and for businesses to manage the reviews that are left. Whether businesses like it or not, customers will leave reviews if they have good or bad experiences.

Perhaps one of the best aspects of GMB is that it is completely free to use. If you are a business just getting your start in the local SEO game, GMB is an easy and extremely affordable way to get your toes wet.

You will be asked if you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office. Sometimes, an address is not enough. Make it easier on your customers to find you by dragging and dropping the pin to your exact location. Here, it is really important to get as accurate as possible in the business category that you select. This tells Google what specific customers should see your Google My Business. Please understand that verifying your business is an essential step in opening up a Google Business account. Google will not display your listing until your business has been verified.

Everyone makes typos. Double check it. Triple check it. Also, be sure to add a contact name that Google can address the postcard to.

Is Your Local Business Ready For Google’s Neighborhood Algorithm?

Now, choose how you would like to verify your account. Pick your poison. Remember that this can take up to five days. So, be patient. In the code field, enter the five-digit verification code on your postcard. If your postcard never arrives. Again, if you have clumsy thumbs, be sure that your phone number is correct before attempting to verify.

Is Your Local Business Ready For Google's Neighborhood Algorithm? - Search Engine Land

Once you hit verify, you will feel a buzz. From there, navigate to your email inbox and look for an email from Google My Business. In this email you will find a magical verification button. Click said button and you will be verified. You can manage your Google My Business brand presence alongside your other social media activity in the Hootsuite Dashboard.

To make matters worse, several of the top results are not located in what Google considers East Side Costa Mesa. They are clearly succeeding in a way that most local business would envy:. They have great social profiles with excellent reviews at the two most important local places on the internet. They also have a surprisingly good citation profile, as their Moz Local report shows:. Yet they are showing up dead last in the Carousel, even when the search is hyperlocal and in their neighborhood. As we all go mobile, wearable and trackable, Google is clearly trying to get more granular with its localized results, and neighborhood is most likely going to be an important local SEO battleground.

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So what can you do when the algo kicks you out of the hood? But I think Google, in its infinite algorithmic wisdom, sees a small search area, like a neighborhood, and wants to give the searcher results from outside the hood in order to give a more robust set. The good news is there are some pretty basic things you can do to make sure that your business screams a particular neighborhood to Google:. Staying on top of your neighborhood is one way to make sure you stay in the game. Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

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