Many successful businesses these days find their target customers online. At least 70% of all potential customers purchase goods and services through an online platform because it is way easier and more cost-effective. Any business can find a massive presence online regardless of how invisible it may seem. Today’s local SEO hack strategies give business owners exactly what they need to outmatch their counterparts with the best locations.
Apparently, there is an easiest and direct method to surpass your competitors in your niche with utmost ease. The supposed marketing method revolves around the techniques of hacking local SEO, and requires no big budgets or long spells of constant campaigning. Irrespective of the type of business you are doing, you can get tremendous lots of customers only if you are doing the right things.
Google Maps is the most essential aspect when it comes to local Search Engine Optimisation. While local SEO happens to be somehow confusing and intimidating, there’s a quick way to beat all the confusion and jargon and still obtain the requisite traffic in seconds. As the Pareto principle suggests, 20% of your effort yields 80% of your overall results.
The same case also applies to marketing. About 20% of your marketing efforts yield 80% of the marketing results. Operating a local business is not only tedious, but also time consuming. Perhaps it’d be wise to apply the Pareto’s principle in running your business, because you probably have no time to learn everything there is to understand about SEO.
Google My Business
Abbreviated as GMB, Google My Business is equivalent to the 20% of your local optimisation efforts that yield up to 80% of your results. In case you thought this article would focus on Google Maps, note that GMB is primarily Google Maps. That is because you need to utilise GMB to address all your map issues.
Reasons to Choose Google Maps:
Google Maps remains the most important aspect of any given business. For instance, say you are an hungry customer in search of donuts shops around Pike Place in Seattle. You’ll grab your iPhone and do the Google search, keying in the keywords” donuts shops around Pike place in Seattle”. The information that is relayed is all from the Google My Business platform.
Google My Business highlights many crucial features of the business- including the hours of operation, ratings, and whether or not the business is legit. It may also showcase the photos of the place and the route to get there. Today customers find your business depending on whatever you convey on your Google My Business.
Is Google Maps Necessary For Your Business?
There are two things you need to ask yourself prior to claiming a business on Google Maps. The questions comprise the following:
1. Is your business serving the local customers?
2. Would you like to have customers come to your location or physical store?
If the answer to either of the two questions is YES, then sure you need to be on Google Maps. Those who operate a remote store, including software or digital marketing, may not need to be on Google Maps. Most of the digital entrepreneurs find themselves in this position.
Steps to Get on Google Maps:
If you haven’t created a Google My Business account or even listed your business on Google Maps, this information is appropriate for you. And for those who’ve listed their businesses on Google Maps, Click Trends explains great ways to enhance them if need be.
1. Go to Google My Business
You first need to go to the Google Maps website. In the top right corner, click “Start Now” to initiate the process. You may also need to call this number if you prefer voice calls — 1-844-491-9665.
2. Set Up Google Account
The next step involves setting up a Google account. This step is largely designed for those who’ve never set it up. Use your existing login info if you’ve already set up a Google account for your business, and then skip to the next part.
Ensure that you have a single Google email address associated with your local business. Go ahead and log in using those details. However, we suggest you create a new Google email account if you are starting from scratch. Choose “Create Account” and fill the following details on the next section:
– First and last names
– Current email address
– Mobile phone number
The location section requires you to select your country. Make sure to choose a country that you are operating your business in to avoid confusion. Then go ahead to the “Next Step”. Here, you are required to review the Privacy statements as well as Terms and Conditions. Scroll down to the bottom and select “I agree”.
3. Verify Your Account
While verifying your account, make sure that your phone number is correct. Request for a voice call or text message for verification. The number you provide will only be used for security purposes. Click “Continue” to go to the next step.
When you choose to “Continue”, you are directed to a verification page where you are required to key in your verification code. It takes less than seven seconds to receive this code. Enter the code and “Continue”. A popup message with a congratulatory statement will be displayed. You Google account is now fully set.
4. Set Up Your Local Business
Proceed to Google My Business by clicking the blue button. A map of the country that you selected will be displayed alongside some blank fields to fill out. The following information is required:
– Business Name
– Country or Region
– Street Address
– ZIP code
– Main business phone – the number your customers will be using to contact you. You can skip it and come back to set it later on.
– Category – start typing in your field and Google will come up with more specific suggestions.
– Answer the following statement with “Yes” or “No”, “Goods are delivered to clients at their location”. Click “Next” to proceed to the next stage.
5. Add Service Area
Add service area on the next page only if you deliver goods directly to your customers. It helps Google to know the distance of your business from your potential customers. For instance, let’s say Click Trends sells t-shirts to most of the regions of metro Seattle. In this case we will give the business a 5-mile radius. Google hides your address if you fail to check the box on this page. Once you have filled the right information, click “Continue”.
6. Confirm Your Business
When you select the “Continue” button, you authorise your business to be set up on Google+. It only takes ten seconds to complete setting up the account on Google+ account.
7. Verify Your Business
In this step, a page requesting you to choose a method to receive a verification code shows up. Google sends you a postcard via mail to verify whether or not your business is legit. This steps weeds out tones of scammy businesses that claim locations that are not actually their own.
You may choose to verify later if you wish, but we recommend that you fetch the postcard in your mail as soon as possible so that you can get on Google Maps. Click “Mail” and ensure all the information is correct in order for you to receive the postcard. One everything is correctly set up, choose “Send postcard”.
8. Wait for the Postcard to Get to You
Google sends you a postcard, so make sure to check it out. The postcard comprises three steps for verifying your business. Since you may need to keep waiting for at least five days, proceed to the next step and complete other things in the meantime.
9. Verify the Business With a Postcard Verification Code
The information that will be shared in this section is all in the postcard, so never panic in case you forget to bookmark this page. Go to the Verify Your Business section at google.com/verifymybusiness. Log in and add your verification code provided in the postcard. Once you are done and is successful, then note that your business is considered legit on the Google Maps.
10. Set Up Your Google+ Profile
This is the longest step but very important. If you got here from step 7, select “Continue” to be taken to the next step of setup. If you got here from step 8, you will be able to proceed to this stage as soon as you verify your business.
A welcome message pops up requesting you whether you’d like to receive communications with customized tips and recommendations, which enhance the presence of your business on Google. If you are a new local business, we recommend that you click “Yes”. Google has a ton of useful features and it is important for you to stay on the know.
Select “ Get Stared” and then roll up your sleeves to start the work. Take your time and insert all the essential details of your business to your Google+ account profile. The more you include critical details of information to your Google+ profile, the more your business is likely to show up in Google’s desired local pack. Incorporate the progress bar in tracking your progress and never stop until you get to a cool 100%.
Optimise All the Details That Are Most Relevant to Google Maps
This article snippet essentially addresses crucial seo hack techniques for a better and faster local seo. The “Information” section is most important to Google maps as well as Google Local results because it gives you a better local seo. You need to completely insert every single detail of your business to your Google+ profile.
Click the pencil icon located beside each other if you need to edit the info on your “Info” tab. As you fill out the business information, include a locally-optimized name. For instance, a name like “Seattle” is very important when it comes to seo hack. Also, choosing the right category of business is important. Select the tightest possible category for your specific type of store.
For example, say your business deals with clothing, implying that you are a clothing store. Choose a specific category that you are dealing in, such as a youth clothing store. This will be useful for customers searching for your business.
Make sure to mention the hours of operation and make sure to fill that section accurately. You are likely to get negative reviews if you give wrong expectations. Anyone can see this info, so make sure to insert a phone number and expect to receive some phone calls. If you have a website, mention it too, although it is not necessary to winning top rankings. Of course, you can add photos as well. Lots of them to be precise.
Tips to Checking an Existing Business on Google Maps
Sometimes you already have a local business, have set up your Google+ account and the business is already in operation. You may just need to confirm whether or not things are looking as good as possible. Here is how to check the progress of your existing business:
First, go to Google My Business and select “Sign In”. In case you are not already logged in, key in your account username accompanied by its relevant password. Once you are logged in, proceed to the “Info’ section and check your account to verify its accuracy. You can also complete filling out your Google+ profile if it isn’t done yet.
While most of us happen to geek out concerning local SEO, it is not as complex as we tend to think. Sure, local SEO comprises tons of complicated and advanced things that need to be done. However, ranking in the local pack and gaining lots of customers revolves around optimising your Google My Business Profile. You need to ensure top accuracy in your Google Maps account info so that millions of users can access your business at any time.
Many customers access Google Maps almost every second. They use the app, desktops and other gadgets to perform Google Searches. What does it mean? It simply means that if you have already built out, verified and secured your Google Maps account your customers will find you with utmost ease.