Hey, good morning, internet fans, it’s Ryan Perry with Simple Biz Support. Today is Thursday, therefore, it is Internet Marketing Thursday. I have Virginie Dorn with Business Website Center in Petaluma on the other side. Good morning, Virginie.
Virginie Dorn: Good morning, Ryan. How is everybody out there?
RP: I hope they’re doing well. I know I’m doing good. It’s a beautiful day in Sonoma County. I think we’re suppose to push high 70s again today, which is my ideal weather. However, snow skiing is coming up soon. So, we do need some snow and rain at some point through out this year.
VD: Correct. Well, I’m more of a summer person, so I’m not complaining. It’s beautiful here.
RP: Neither am I. Today… Well, I should say last week we were talking about Google My Business. And that’s the new name for what used to be Google Business, Google Map, Google Local. It’s gone through all these different iterations and really talked about the importance of… From an SEO point-of-view, one of the first things I think everybody should do, if you haven’t already done it already or if you’re building out a new website, new business, is you need to be in Google My Business because you are plugging your company information directly into Google’s database. And if you want to be found on Google, you gotta be in their database. And so, we talked last week about going through and actually setting up Google Places correctly, because there are some important things that you want to do that can affect your ranking. And you’re going to kind of walk us through this today. I don’t know if you want to jump into a screen-share first or if you want to talk about Google My Business a little bit more before we do that.
VD: Sure. Well, we can do screen-share. And it will be a little difficult to show after you have claimed your business what it looks like, because we don’t have a real business to claim at this moment. All our clients are claimed. What we’ll do is create a business from scratch. So, for instance, you’re looking for your business and you didn’t find it on Google Map, you can actually create one. Because Google doesn’t know all businesses. It’s not a 100% up to date. Especially when you start a brand new business venture, you might look for ABC company in Petaluma, California, and not see yourself, but that’s normal. So, when you do that at the very bottom of the search results, it will say, “You want to add your business at that location?” Just click, “Yes,” and then it will take you to the screen I’m going to take you now. So, let me share with you…
RP: Alright, and while you’re bringing that screen up, Virginie, the two things that you need to have in order to claim a business on Google is: You must have a physical address. So, PO boxes, PMBs should not be used, actually cannot be used. And then, the second thing you need is a valid phone number that nobody else is using. So, if you’re using that phone number for another business or something like that, you’re going to create some issues because Google is indexing the business by your phone number. So, it needs to be a unique phone number. And I see you’ve got your screen-share up.
VD: Yes. So, Google is trying to make it as simple as possible. You don’t need to be a programmer or an experienced marketer to be able to create your business on Google or claim it. As you can see, they will ask you to put your business name… If you claim your business, it’s already there. So, we’re just going to create something called ABC store. Again, just a test store. We can pick a different region now, just kind of new. I’m not sure what the intent is for Google, since they primarily focus on the US. When it comes to the Google Map, they’ve expanded to other regions of the world. We’re going to put…
RP: Yeah, maybe it’s just an insight into what’s to come, especially North America in general, as far as Canada and Mexico.
VD: So, right, I’m trying to type. I’m just going to put a fake suite in my building on Mcdowell Boulevard. As you can see already, the map is looking for my business location. Now, just to let you know, with Google it’s very hard to see the field boxes in regards of the screen. So if clients complain about it, just tab from field box to field box. I’m in Petaluma, I’m going to choose California 94954. And this is when it becomes a little tricky, because you do need… Like you said
RP: Do you have a fax line or something at your business?
VD: No, we don’t have fax.
RP: I know, neither do I. It’s just sometimes if you go one digit off or you have two lines. Unfortunately, I only have one line.
VD: I just put my cell for a moment. I’m not going to confirm it at the very end. Now, it did recognize that it was a fake phone number, so they’ve got really smart over the years. Not so long ago you were able to leave a lot of fields empty and then go back to it at another time. Nowadays, they want you to be every accurate. I deliver my goods and services to what? So you can actually add location, you could also do a radius of some sort. Where you can say, “Well, actually, I’m a dentist and I will do home service… ” It doesn’t want to… Come on… It’s not allowing me to change it.
RP: Yeah, you have to check a box. My screen is partially blocked.
VD: Okay, so can you see it?
RP: Yes and no. Unfortunately, because we’re using Google Hangouts, I have a bar on the left-hand side of my screen…
VD: What about now?
RP: Yeah. Go ahead.
VD: Okay. So, I decided to do within 510 miles from my zip-code. So, it takes into consideration the zip-code you entered on the first page. So, you can actually decide how fast you want your reach to be. Again, adding a focused approach will give you better results on Google searches. Then you continue. We need to clear the Google Plus page, so that you can manage your business on Google. Please confirm the information. Just make sure you review it. If it’s not accurate, please go back. It is very difficult to make changes to a Google page account once it’s created.
It has to go for Google review and that might take days or weeks for some people. So, then you have to authorize when you can manage. And, we’re going to click continue. Google is doing freeze little thing. Alright, so Google has different ways to confirm a business. If you have claimed your business you have already received the authorization code. It comes in different ways, it can be mailed to you, and it’s a little white double-folded card. It comes in a little white envelope. Now, it use to be a post card but not anymore. Or they can actually call you… And just some food for thought for everybody out there, we do have a Google India. And often times, it would be a agent from Google India calling you to verify your information.
Some security notices for everybody. If someone from Google calls you, they should not be asking you for anything. They will verify the information that is already in front of their screen. So, if they ask you “What’s your business name? What’s your address? What’s your phone number? What’s the business owner?” It’s not Google. A typical Google India agent will say, “I just want to verify the information you submitted to us. I see you are ABC store, located at da-da-da-da-da in Petaluma, California, and this is your phone number. Is this accurate?” And you answer, “Yes.” And then, right away it becomes activated. So, for this particular instance, they decided to send me my code by mail. So, that means in the next week or two, I’m going to be receiving that little call to verify my business. I can continue and verify later. So, actually, now there’s lots of new change. They will let you make some edits. Even the Google listing itself is not live yet, because you have not confirmed it with that security code. You can still make changes to it and start uploading photos, perhaps your fax number and so forth.
RP: Alright, we have to kind of cruise through this, because we have about five minutes left.
VD: Okay, so again, it’s very self-explanatory. You a cover banner, this is your basic information, your category, you can add hours of operation, very simple. You can do weekdays and so forth. I mean, truly… To do it well it should take an hour for a business owner. Just take your time, make sure you enter the information the right way the first time. Every time you see the little pencil button, it’s an edit function, of course. If you want to maybe add your website URL, you could click edit here and then just start putting abcstore.com. You can even put your email, you add more contact information. They have different ways. If you have a chat on your website, you can actually enter the information given to you by your chat service.
RP: And just to make sure, you just want to be aware of those, that you’re putting this information and this is going to be public information. So, if you have a info or sales at email address, that will be the email address you’d want to put in versus your personal one. As an example, you definitely want to put your web address in here because again if you want to be found on Google, you want to plug directly into their database, and this is a great place to do that. And the key thing for me when you’re doing this is that the information is consistent across all the different social media platforms and local search directories. So, if you move, it’s really important that you go back in Google, update your information, your new address. But now you have mixed information. Google shows one address here, but then on your Facebook account it shows a different address. So, you have to go through all the social media accounts and local directories, city search, Yelp… There’s hundreds of them out there, and those all need to be updated very, very important.
VD: That’s very good advise. Another issue with that is sometimes you’re on directories you didn’t even know you were listed on them, but you still have to edit your information there.
RP: Right, that’s where moz.com comes into play. You check their local search, it will check the biggest directories and let you know if there’s issues.
VD: I agree. So, I think, are we about out of time for this, because we can truly spend more…
RP: We got about two minutes. The other thing in order to fill this out correctly and completely, you definitely want to put your company hours, your business hours and the other one are photos. Photos are really important. If you have any video, put videos up. And don’t use stock photos. Actually use pictures of your business, employees, yourself, all of that type of stuff because it actually adds to the… When people come and visit your page, you’re personalizing it. You’re humanizing the page. And that’s what… This is about… This is my business, it’s a local search. This is, Coca Cola is not really interested in being found locally wherever their main headquarters is because they don’t necessarily… They don’t want customers there. However, if you are a dentist, if you are an attorney, if you’re an auto body shop, I mean think about all the businesses that support a local community, it’s really about local people in your community finding you. Finding that dentist, that auto repair shop, and if they’re looking for you then you really gotta think, as a business owner, how are people going to connect emotionally to me and that’s where finding the right pictures, making it easy for people to find a good email address, a good phone number, hours of operation.
Just make it easy on them so that they’ll want to do business with you instead of going, “Ugh, this profile is incomplete, they have no pictures or they’ve got one picture and it’s just their company logo.” I’m sorry, if I’m going to go to a dentist, I really don’t care what your logo looks like too much. Unless it’s a really bad logo, then I might care. But I really want to know who the dentist is and what type, what does the storefront look like? Is it very clean and aesthetically pleasing? Then definitely put a picture up there. It’s going to help. The other things are going to be the descriptions. They ask for company information. Fill all of that out. It just gives a better complete… What do I want… Presentation, so that when people come see you they can actually get an idea or understanding of what your business is. And who you are as a business, what you stand for. A lot of that can be conveyed through a good profile that’s filled out. And then the last thing I want to say is that once you do have your business and it is claimed, now you can start marketing through Google Plus. People can start liking you. You can start sharing your videos like I do with these videos. You can start sharing other people’s information. You can socially engage with people just like you would on Twitter or Facebook for business.
RP: And that’s all I gotta say.
VD: Well, it’s the truth. So there.
RP: So there. Alright and we are out of time. So that is Google, or Google My Business, they recently changed the name. I gotta remember the ‘My’. All business owners that have a local presence, you really need to be on Google My Business. If you’re not you’re doing yourself a disservice. Virginie, as always, I appreciate your time.
VD: Well, thank you. Have a great week and a great weekend coming soon.
RP: Definitely, you too. And enjoy the sunshine. We’ll talk soon.
VD: Alright, bye.