Today we have a special guest… Tony Leary our local Google expert who knows about Google local and why it is so important for contractors to get this correct.
Tony’s research found out that in order to rank in Google local and to be on the Google local listings you need a website.
In order for your business to have a pin marker on Google Maps, all your information needs to be organized. Google is the searcher and pulls all the information about your business out of all the different directories, so if it’s not consistently the same then it could actually hurt your rankings.
A new word for me this week was citations. I heard that citations are the information that has been collected about your business, and then Google searches for those in the different directories.
We talked about the pros and cons of a professional service like Yelp and others that make you fill out a massive profile. They’re good if you haven’t done it yet, but if you have done it or had someone else do it before, they can fill out directories. Unfortunately it won’t fix the things that been done incorrectly, it just pushs more information out and it will take a while to remedy the situation.
So if you’ve been doing this yourself or have had it done by a service and its not correct, the thing that would probably help you out the most is to find someone like Tony that could go through and physically find the errors and correct the citations. He knows where to search and find out where the inconsistencies are and redo it which is the big difference between the companies that make you fill out all the info and push it out and how companies like Tony’s work. They both have value, you just have to decide what is the most important to growing your business right now… your time or paying to get it done right.
So a company like, let’s say Yelp, takes all the information you fill in for them to process and somehow you make a mistake. There’s really no one there to go through it to double check see if all that stuff is congruent with what’s going out. With Tony, he manually checks and takes a look. Additionally, he can double and triple check to make sure that what is there is correct.
The biggest problem and most important thing is to find the source of the incorrect information and then clean it up.
Also important are the categories. If you are not sure where you need to put your business and you don’t have the expertise, then you could actually hurt your business ranking as opposed to helping.
One of our other guests on this podcast we interviewed found out through his service that 50% of the contractors using his a mailing service didn’t have websites, which I thinks crazy! But because I think that at a minimum , you need a website just to confirm that you’re a viable business. Whether you like it or not, that is the world we live in.
For those do-it-yourselfers out there, Tony has a free newsletter that he has available (more info at the bottom of the post). But if you’re like me, I’ve got enough things that I need to do and which I do well. It is much more prudent to bring Tony on as team member to help while I do what I do best.
So let’s talk about Google reviews to go along through Google maps or Google local and how important it is to tie in everything Google, especially reviews.
I found that whatever business I do on the Internet, invariably every time I get a phone call they say “I’m calling you because I like the reviews that you’ve got listed”. So just being at the top of Google Local is not enough. Don’t forget to get the Google reviews because one is great, but two is better.
It’s really helpful that when someone writes you a review, they put the services that you provided and even the neighborhood where they live. This helps your ranking which I thought was kind of interesting because Google just wants supply relevant information to the people that are searching might have that hyper-local point of interest.
Probably one of the biggest shortfalls of Google reviews are that it’s hard for people to leave reviews. They are really not the easiest thing to find. So you have to give instructions to your customers to get to the Google reviews. You can go to white spark (www.whitespark.ca). They have a tool on their website at the top called a review generator handout. This allows you to create a simple PDF form and give your people a way to write Google reviews.
So really what we are talking about here with Google is called inbound marketing. This is because people are really looking for your service on Google the way that they used to use the Yellow Pages. Just like the old days, if you’re not in the directory, how can anyone find you?
Once you get past word-of-mouth marketing, local search marketing actually provides you the second highest return on investment based on all the studies that have been done. Go to www.Google.com/business (that’s going Google’s “My Business Dashboard”. That’s where you will find your business listing. You can claim it through a phone call or postcard if you haven’t done that already.
For more tips and go http://cartographymarketing.com/about/
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Local Search Specialist