Category

Google

What is Google My Business

google my business, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

 

Have you ever Googled your business or one of your services? You open your browser, type in your top service, then bang, right there in .0068 seconds your competitor across town pops up. 

It’s frustrating. You know you know you have this service listed on your site. You know you have it linked to from various citations around the web. You know you put in headers and that the keywords are on the page. But still, right at the top is a list of 3 other businesses ahead of yours.

 

Google is trying to help ….. really.

You see this is where Google is trying to be helpful for its end users, and where you can be left behind. Even if your SEO is great, if you haven’t listed your business on Google My Business you will be behind your competitors. Google is trying to show its users relevant businesses that perform the service you searched for from local businesses. We find that a lot of times distance is the tiebreaker as well. Which is great. If two businesses are equally matched then the distance I have to drive to get there is going to be a big factor in me having a good experience or not.

 

Now Google may eventually pick up on who you are, where you are, all that but this is your chance to tell Google through their My Business product what you do, where you are located, hours, and more. This is your “listing” on Google itself. It’s your chance to say what you do and not leave it up to the interpretation of indexing robot spiders.

 

So how do I get started?

 

Signing up is relatively easy. Just head over to Google and Search My Business. Or go Here.

 

google my business

 

Go to start now and Google will walk you through their sign up process. If you already have a Google account you would click Sign In. Either way, if you try to sign up twice, Google will pick up on it and direct you to the correct gateway.

 

Once you are signed up it’s time to enter information about your business. They start with Name, Country, Street Address, Etc. If you have a service business without a physical storefront you are going to want to click the box at the bottom that says “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location”  that way Google will list you as having a service area and not start sending people to your house.

google my business information

 

Once your information has been entered you hit continue. If you checked that you have a service area you will then drop a pin on the map and set that area’s size and scope.

If you have a service area and a physical storefront of some kind you set that on the next page as well.

 

google my business prairie giraffe

 

Now it’s time to verify your business.

Google want’s to be sure you actually exist. One sure fire way of getting that done is to send you a postcard. This postcard will have a code on it that you will have to enter into your My Business account on the location you just created under Verify. It usually takes 1 to 3 weeks to receive the card. Once you receive it that verification process is easy.

 

prairie giraffe my business

 

Once you verify your business it’s time to input your information

 

prairie giraffe marketing

 

On the left-hand side, you will see a menu where you can enter your info, see insights, reviews left on Google, create posts and message clients. We will go over messaging clients and creating posts in a future post. For now, just enter your business info. This is where you can give Google as much information as you want. You can upload pictures of your company and employees in action, enter your hours, what you do, different services you offer. You can even access your Analytics and AdWords Express accounts (if you choose to go with Express, which we recommend you not).

 

Taking back control

 

What it comes down to is Google My Business will actually give you a sense of control over your business. SEO, SEM, and how your website was built can be really overwhelming. Even Google Analytics can be a bit much. Google My Business is the place where you can simply state what your business does and see how you’re doing out there. It’s also a great place to create posts and let your customers and potential customers know if you have a sale going on. All of these things let gain some control of your online presence and move forward with confidence.

 

Need help setting up your Google My Business Account? We would love to help! Drop us a line or give us a call. We can get you set up in no time.

AdWords vs SEO – What’s the difference and why both are important

adwords, SEO, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

What’s the difference and why both are important?

 

SEO Search Engine Optimization.

 

You get your website all set up and running. You list your services, products, and all the reasons your potential customers should be using you over your competitors. You launch and wait, no one comes or the ones that do bounce off your page.

 

The problem is probably with your SEO or search engine optimization. You need to let search engines know who you are, what you do, and do it in a way search engines can understand.

 

Things like Metadata, Schema, and backlinks are important and having a good handle on them or hiring someone who knows how to use them is important. You may get lucky and Google will crawl your pages and you will rank well, if you are in a non-competitive niche, however for most of us, that is not going to happen without some work.

 

AdWords and PPC

 

If you don’t know what AdWords and PPC are, it’s how businesses advertise on Google and other websites on the Google Search Network. You probably see these ads every day and don’t even notice.

 

search engine marketing

 

These ads can show up all over the internet, anywhere the Google Search Network is, and are a great way to target customers and potential leads. AdWords is an amazing tool for reaching your potential customers.

 

Not only can your ads be customized to fit your needs and business, you can also track conversions and other metrics. This allows you to get a better picture of not only who is looking at your ads, but also what devices they are using, where they are, and if they are your intended audience.

 

With AdWords, you can tell if your ads targeting people looking for high-end area rugs are actually attracting people looking for carpet cleaning in Tampa Fl. You can also see if you are paying too much or not enough in the bidding process. Maybe your keywords are going to cost too much for what you’re selling?

 

AdWords VS SEO

So what’s the difference and why are they both important?

 

Imagine your website is located in a city. Your “store (website)” is new to the neighborhood. No one really knows you, what you do, or if you are even trust worthy. On top of that, you couldn’t afford prime real estate to the point that your store is 20 miles from town with no roads, just a dirt trail leading to your store.

 

As you can see from the situation you would need serious work if you ever hoped to be successful. You need some roads, a reputation, some advertising, etc. Your product is really good, and the dirt road going by your shop is adequate that advertising will get customers in the door. However, as soon as the advertising stops the new customers stop as well. This is the picture of why SEO and AdWords/PPC are both important.

 

AdWords and PPC are like sticking up a billboard in the middle of your “town” and a flier in your potential customers pocket (in a non-creepy way). AdWords will work as long as you can afford it money and is probably going to work well if you invest enough time into learning what you’re doing (or hiring a company like Prairie Giraffe Marketing ;). However, as soon as you stop, the billboards and signs come down and the next person willing to buy those spots get put up. It’s the Pay-to-Play option. It gets people in the door and it does it well, but if AdWords is your only strategy, you will pay forever.

 

SEO, on the other hand, is building roads to your store, larger, faster, smoother than your dirt trail. Gaining trust from those in your “town” and a good reputation (Links and Domain Authority). The more search engines know who you are, what you do, and that you are the best person for their (the search engines) customers needs, you will get traffic and people coming to your store. The best part is once your SEO has been taken care of and is in good shape, you don’t have to pay as much to keep it up.

 

Granted you should always be working on your SEO, but unlike AdWords, you don’t have to pay per click or impression. You start gaining more and more organic traffic.

 

Both are important, but which one should I start with?

 

Short answer, Both!

 

Get customers to your site using PPC advertising. But, your long-term strategy should include incorporating SEO best practices into your website from the beginning. Start including the right headers, metadata, and schema where applicable. Start getting local citations with websites like Yelp, Angie’s list (if applicable), Google My Business, Apple Maps, etc. Use content marketing and blogging to show your audience and Google what you do and that you know what you’re talking about. 

 

Look for opportunities to get links to your business. If you have a business where you are an authority on something and not just selling a product, see if other complementary businesses would be open to guest blogging opportunities. Also if you aren’t already, start blogging on your own business website. Nothing tells search engines and audiences that you know what you are talking about better than talking about it.  

 

Start building those roads and authority today for the long term while getting customers to your site with AdWords and PPC.

 

If you need help getting started with any of the concepts we have talked about here, or if they sound great, but you just don’t have the time, feel free to reach out. We would love to help you get started or take it off your hands.

 

 

Is Google My Business Right for Me?

google my business, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Google My Business is a great way to show up on Google searches. Generally on the right-hand side of the page on the regular search page and on maps. A whole rectangle devoted to you and the details about your business a customer might want to know like your hours, images of your business, link to your website, and a phone number. This is also where people can see your reviews.

 

Getting Started

To get started with a Google My Business account Click Here and click on the ‘Start Now’ button in the upper right corner.

Google will walk you through the signup process collecting important information along the way. You will also have the opportunity to upload images of your products and services, your team, your building/office, and your logo.

Google will verify your location using a postcard. It generally takes 2 to 3 weeks to receive the card and once you receive it simply log into your account, go 

prairie giraffe

down to your locations, click “get verified” and once that’s open enter the code. Hit submit and you’re done.

My Business is a great way to keep up with your customers and has some great features, like verifying holiday hours, My Business Posts, my business insights, and My Business Chat.

My Business Insights

Insights are a great way to see who’s searching for your business, when customers are calling, and other ways customers are interacting with your listing. Here are all of the ways Insights helps you see how customers interact with your my business listing. 

Hours

Holiday Hours change. Maybe you’re going to be open this Veterans Day, but last year you weren’t. Don’t surprise your customers. Use your My Business account to get the word out. Simply log into your dashboard and go to the options pane on the right that says verify holiday hours. There will be a list of holidays for you to choose from and it only takes a minute to record your hours for the next several months.

 

Chat

my business

Google My Business allows you to chat and message directly with customers who find your business listing on Google. This messaging feature is displayed 

beside your other contact information. This is another way for customers to reach you in a place they are already looking.

 

Posts

Go to your Google My Business account and on the left, click posts. You can add a post title, an image, up to 300 words, and have options for a call to action button. This is a great way to announce a sale, event, show off top products, and more.

 

These posts are free to create and are a great way to draw more attention to your business and what you have to offer. Remember though these posts expire after seven (7) days. Google does not want their customers feeds becoming full of expired and useless information. So you will need to plan accordingly.

 

Updates, Changes and Moving Forward

Google is updating My Business all the time. Here are some more ways Google has updated their My Business service in 2017.

 

Google My Business is a great way to show up in search results and doesn’t require a huge amount of time and commitment. However, if you don’t have time to set up your account contact Prairie Giraffe today and let us complete the process for you.