Google My Business

What You Need to Know About Google My Business

It may appear to you, as it does to many, that every time we turn around there’s a new local initiative from Google. Now it’s called Google My Business, and before I get any snarkier, let me say that it looks as if this one is quite useful.

Google My Business looks like it’s useful and a genuine help to your local business. The quest to bring it all under one roof is a long time coming, but appears to be worth the wait.

Essentially Google+ is now the platform, and all else revolves around this.

5 Reasons Why You’ll Want to Create Your Local Presence on Google My Business

  1. GMB allows you to easily update your information from one place – Once you claim your listing on Google My Business, you’ll get to update anything you wish regarding your business or online presence. You also have the ability to add pictures and even virtual tours if you would like, thus making it simple for people to get a real idea about your place.
  2. Connect with your customers through Google+ – You can talk to fans and customers directly through your company Google+ page, sharing content, and news. You can even start and conduct a Hangout on Air.
  3. Manage customer reviews – This one is the most talked about feature: the ability to see, respond and manage reviews on Google from one centralized location. Make sure you have a plan for handling your customer’s reviews, good or bad, and make sure anyone who will be posting to this page understands what you want to accomplish.
  4. Run your business on the go – Using the Android and iOS apps, you can access any part of the Google My Business platform wherever you happen to be.
  5. Customer Insights – Another cool feature. GMB shows you a number of useful statistics, such as where your customers are driving from. This can be useful when planning new campaigns. Another plus is that you can easily integrate your Google Analytics account into GMB. This is also true for Google Adwords.

Google My Business

How You Can Effectively Use Google My Business

Recently we discovered the latest and greatest new offering from the folks at Mountain View, otherwise known as Google. They have put together what they hope is a strong answer to Facebook with Google My Business. Google My Business is imagined as a one-stop page for online merchants and brands to manage their various Google account and properties, including search, maps, Google Analytics, Adwords, Hangouts and Google+. You’re able to do many things under this one umbrella, including posting to Google pages, share events and images, connect with those in your circles and a lot more. The key here is that you only have to post one time, and all relevant Google connected services are updated.

Google says it’s working on transitioning all business accounts that are on Google+ or Places for Business, and you should see this very soon. There’s also an Android app now, and the iPhone app will follow shortly.

How does this all work together?

One clear advantage this platform will have is that all of your information will be centrally located, and can be populated to your Google properties with no effort on your part. The first thing you see when you log into Google My Business is your company’s information that’s been taken from Google+, Places and Maps. You’ll be able to edit to update or change any information you find there.

Then you come to the dashboard as it were. This page consists of all your important Google services, such as:

  • Google+ Share
  • Google Insights
  • Customer Reviews
  • Google Analytics
  • Hangouts

You can get to those functions from this screen and add content, manage review and even start a Hangout. The mobile version of Google My Business is sleek and very easy to navigate.

What does this mean for Google+?

It may be too soon to tell what this all means for Google+. For right now, just think of this as a change of address. At this time there doesn’t appear to be any loss of functions for Google+ and it may actually benefit from the automated atmosphere and better organization this affords.

Google Helpouts

How to Use Google Helpouts in Your Small Business

Most of the time when we think about Google we aren’t exactly getting warm and fuzzy all over. Instead it’s usually just the opposite! This time it’s different. The newest offering from the folks in Mountain View is aptly named Google Helpouts. And we’re here to tell you, so far we love it!

So what are Google Helpouts?

Google Helpouts are video chats, performed on a timed basis either for free or paid, using the same video chat platform as Google Hangouts. The main difference is that, they are one-on-one video chats intended to offer specific help to those who request it. You will find currently eight major categories in which people can find someone to aid them, and the offerings are quite broad. One provider might be offering technical computer help, another guitar lessons and yet another home electrical advice. The possibilities are endless. All providers are approved by Google, and are rated by their users.

How can your small business gain from Google Helpouts?

There are many ways a small business can employ Google Helpouts. Lessons, tutorials, advice and one-to-one help can go quite some distance toward introducing your business to the community, as well as strengthening your brand and reputation. Consider how best your business can benefit from this source of lead generation, and whether it’s a good idea to charge for your services. A free consult may be just what is required to develop a lot of the know, like, and trust you are seeking. It could function as a best business card you have ever made!

How do you start with Google Helpouts?

You’ll need to request an invitation, and make sure you have the technical equipment needed. (You probably already do!) You’ll also need to download the Helpouts plugin from Google. Once you are approved it’s simply a matter of going out there and helping people, and watch as your brand grows in reputation and sales.

Using Google Local to Find More Customers!

Although it’s been a couple of months since Google merged with Google Places to become Google Local, there was some confusion as to just what this new entity would become. Not any longer. One shining example of what is possible for small business is the Google business page for BakeSpace.com. They have employed all of the features such as hangouts, video and more to garner more than 330,000 users within their circles. Companies are waking up to the enormous opportunity that lies within Google Local and are finding excellent ways to use it for finding buyers and prospects.

So let’s look at some of the best ways your small business can leverage this platform.

  • Be sure your Google Local page stands out – The first and probably most important task is to be sure that your page is entirely completed. Fill out all text areas that are asked for, as this makes a difference in how Google ranks your page. Also, have a ton of images, as this also affects the ranking of your page. There’s also the benefit of being able to present a vivid look at your site and products.
  • Use the search function to prospect – Using Google to search for prospects and hook up with potential customers is incredibly easy! The search bar at the top of your Google page can help you find folks that are discussing your niche or company. Add them to your Circles and start the connection process!
  • Engage with potential buyers by creating offers – A great way to leverage your Google Local page is to create appealing offers and coupons that can be accessed directly from that page. This is a terrific method to convert Google visits to onsite purchases.
  • Use Google Hangouts to spread the word – There are numerous ways to use this awesome tool to boost your small business. You can hold webinars, training sessions, online press conferences, offer free consults (about your business) and even your own show. Google records these, sends you the file, that you can then upload to YouTube if you wish. Begin to see the possibilities?

I hope you’re realizing the potential of what Google along with Google Local, YouTube and the rest of the Google suite can do for your business. Get started on Google Local today!

Your Google Plus Listing

How to ignite your Google+ listing the easy way

Google+ has thus far not been taken overly serious by businesses aiming to promote their products and services. This is rapidly changing! Google+ has now positioned itself beautifully to challenge Facebook as a primary social network for business. Websites using the +1 Button increase page traffic by 350%, and over 925,000 people join Google+ every day! Mix together all of the functionality of your Google account, and big search engine benefits, you’ve got something we can get serious about.

Seven Tips for Utilizing Your Google+ Page

Confused on how to use Google+? Don’t fret – use these to begin!

  1. Complete your Google+ profile – Give this some thought as you do it. Use interesting photos and images, and make sure you link out to your other social media accounts.
  2. List your contact information – Include business hours, your contact details, and also maps and directions.
  3. Link to your sites – make sure you link to your main business blog or site. This is a must!
  4. Create your business page –You can create content of any length, including video. This has strong benefits for search results as well as folks that find you on Google+.
  5. Link to your other content – Link out to your blog posts. Along with having them indexed nearly instantly, this has a number of SEO advantages. You can also use your Google+ page to create posts, complete with multimedia that can link to your pages elsewhere. The possibilities are incredible.
  6. Utilize the Direct Connect feature – This Google+ tool permits people to add you to circles once they come across you in search. Similar to a Facebook “Like”.
  7. Use video chat in Google+ Hangouts – When you hold a video chat, Google+ streams it, records it, and supplies you with the recording via email. Then you can upload to YouTube if you want, or use it on your website or in private. One fantastic strategy to use it is to create impromptu product demos.

This is just the start of what’s possible with Google+. To see even more strategies plus a very cool infographic on the subject see this post on CopyBlogger.

When you consider that Google is the number one site on the world-wide web, there is no denying that Google can be a very powerful marketing tool for your business . . . and there is no reason for you not to set up shop on Google’s business block – Google Places. One feature of your Google Places listing that can exponentially increase your customer base is Google Places Reviews. Want to know how Google Places Reviews works? Here is a guide:

What is Google Places Reviews? First, it helps to understand what Google Places is. Google Places can be thought of as an extension of Google Maps – or a way of increasing Google Maps interactivity. Basically, every location on Google Maps links to its own Google Places page, so that you can access everything you need to know about a business simply by clicking on its corresponding spot on Google Maps (or by clicking the Places page link in Google Search results). A Google Places business listing is like a yellow pages listing on steroids, including not just business information, but also everything from driving directions to videos about your business. Google Places Reviews is just what it sounds like: the area of your Google Places listing where your customers can post their reviews for all the virtual world to see.

Where do reviews come from? Of course, you may direct your customers to post reviews directly to your Google Places page. However, Google goes one step further and does some footwork for you by aggregating reviews from a number of third party review sites (Yelp and Bing, for example).

Can you edit or remove reviews? It is inevitable that there will come a time when your business will have to face a negative review. While it may be tempting to correct or remove the review, Google does not allow for this practice. However, if you feel that the review is incorrect, illegal, or irrelevant in some way, you can flag it for Google’s review. Google will then determine whether or not the review can stand, and will either leave it or remove it.

Online reputation management is a complex process, but it is also tantamount to your business success. To make the most of your online reputation, you may want to enlist the help of qualified and competent professionals like us. We can be reached by phone, at 617-454-1234, or here.

Local consumers today spend a great deal online trying to find local businesses who have what they need or want – this includes food, entertainment, banking, shopping, auto repair, hair care, massages, lawn care, and the list goes on and on. According to Google, one in five searches includes a “location”, which prompted them to create a solution that will help businesses attract new local customers.

Today, that solution is Google+ Local, which is a portal of business profile listing pages that replaced what was once known as the popular “Google Places”. In an attempt to make local search more effective and interesting, Google created Google+ Local by integrating Google Places with their new social network, Google+ (also known as Google Plus or G+).

Similar to Facebook pages, Google+ has already gained massive popularity in the social networking arena due to the fact that it is owned by the largest and most powerful online search engine; Google itself. Therefore, Google+ Local is expected to receive the same level of success as it creates a unique, yet effective way for small businesses to gain local online exposure.

3 Easy Ways Google Maps and Google Places Will Deliver Customers to Your Door

If you know anything about business web marketing, then there is no doubt that you’ve heard of two powerful offerings from the Internet powerhouse, Google: Google Maps and Google Places. Google Maps is an interactive map application that encompasses features like driving directions, zoom in/out, multiple map views, business location and contact information, and more. Google Places is an extension of Google Maps, bringing points of interest from Google Maps to life with individualized Places pages. If your business is not using both Google Maps and Google Places to attract new customers, then you should work on setting up your Google presence, and right away.

Want to know more? Here are three easy ways Google Maps and Google Places will deliver customers to your door:

Highly targeted marketing. When you complete your Google Places listing, you have the option of targeting your listing for your ideal consumer market in a number of different ways. You do this by enriching your content with keyword phrases that are aimed at reaching the very people your business serves, by choosing categories for your business that will attract those who are most likely to become paying customers, and by creating ads and deals that are specifically designed with your primary market in mind.

Your Google Maps place marker. When you create your business listing on Google Places and have the corresponding business location marked on Google Maps (with that familiar blue pin that Google users have come to know and love), you are literally making your business available to everyone who searches for a business like yours in your area. That means that even if someone doesn’t know the exact name of your business, or that person is searching using general keywords that pertain to your business, your business’ location marker will show up on the Google search Map results.

Two powerhouses, working together. Think of it this way: everyone who searches the Internet using Google (and let’s face it, that’s practically everyone who uses the Internet) sees both Google Places page listings as well as Google Maps results. This means your business has an even greater chance of standing out and getting the attention you want it to when you take advantage of using Google Places and Google Maps together.