Google has recently started providing a new feature to users of Google My Business and although your profile may not have it yet, the change is likely on the way. Access to the experimental service has been initially provided through invite only but Google is hoping to expand this feature to more businesses over time. If you currently have access to the service, it will be found in your Google My Business account under “Manage Location”.
Recently, Google released a list of recommendations for picking a reputable local company to help improve SEO and Google search rankings. Google My Business makes local businesses more easily found within search results. This can lead to an increase in organic, local customers to aid in small business growth.
Google admits that even with the tools they provide, not everyone has the time required to set up a listing or properly maintain it. Working with a third party can help achieve these results with little to no effort by the business, letting them focus on maintaining store operations. For this reason, Google released their own list over “how to work with a third-party”, however, we will go over some of the more prominent points.
Google makes it very clear that not all third-party SEO providers are equal. It is important to find a company that has managed business listings previously while similar target audiences or budgets equivalent to your own. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to ask what other services they can provide to further your business goals.
Stick to One Company at a Time
Testing one SEO company at a time will ensure you are receiving unadulterated results from the Google My Business management you are receiving. Business listings are only shown once for each location available, meaning multiple companies would we working over each other. For best results, test companies individually, if you are satisfied with the results then stick to that SEO provider.
Evaluate Business Performance
Google My Business offers a multitude of insights and analytics options. With these tools, businesses can track how customers are finding them and interaction levels they are achieving through the listing. Reviewing Google My Business insights monthly can help evaluate the effectiveness of the third-party in use.
Avoid Deceptive Behaviors
It is important that the third-party used to manage a Google My Business account remains transparent. As the business owner, you are entitled to know how users are interacting with your business and specific data counts, such as views and clicks. It is also important to note that third-parties cannot influence the order in which a business appears on Google Search or Maps.
Also, it is imperative that you obtain an official copy of your agreement before giving your Google My Business account to a third-party for outsourced management. This can help ensure no deceptive pricing is enforced. Regardless of what the third-party provider says, they cannot remove your business from Google or access the listing without your permission. For more information on working with third-parties read the entire Google help page by clicking here.
You can always call the experts at Skynet Solutions for help with your business listing, website development, marketing or anything else you need to help make your business succeed. With our diverse range of skills and experience, we are sure to have the tools you need to make 2016 your business’s best year yet. You can fill out our contact form to get started today. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn!
The team at Skynet Solutions was recently honored with a Congressional Commendation by U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine, in recognition of all the work we have been doing to educate, enhance and strengthen the small business community in Oklahoma. A Congressional Commendation is awarded by a member of Congress to officially recognize outstanding public achievement by those in their districts. One of the most rewarding parts of being an official Google Partner is all the events we get to host and speak at where Skynet Solutions marketing experts get to share their knowledge and interact with other local businesses.
Here at Skynet Solutions, we love being a part of the small business community and using our skills to help other local entrepreneurs succeed as well. Since fall 2015, we have been hosting and participating in “GYBO” (Get Your Business Online) seminars throughout Oklahoma to help small business owners get their businesses online. Thanks to our partners at Google, the REI Women’s Business Center, the Tulsa chapter of SCORE, area chambers of commerce and others, we have been able to help dozens of local business—like yours—improve their online presence in a variety of ways!
We’ve hosted workshops across the state, from Ponca City to Stillwater and Muskogee to Bartlesville and have covered topics ranging from how to use Google Analytics effectively to what S.E.O. is and how you can use it to amplify your business’ online presence. We also covered and held entire workshops dedicated to helping business owners get their business listed on Google Maps and other maps listing services, like Bing and Apple, and other effective tactics to make sure potential customers are able to easily find their business online. We have found maps listings to be one of the most effective ways to help a small, local business grow.
Skynet Solutions also recently co-hosted a special event in May to celebrate and promote National Small Business Week. Along with Tulsa SCORE, we created and hosted the inaugural SCORE Small Business Summit Tulsa, which brought together about 100 mentors, business experts and entrepreneurs from around the region to network and discuss all aspects of starting, owning and running a small business. Speakers from The Small Business Administration, Constant Contact, Tulsa Economic Development Corporation, the Tulsa chapter of SCORE, Skynet Solutions, REI Women’s Business Center and other local and regional institutions discussed everything from email marketing and small business taxes to bookkeeping for small businesses and social media marketing.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of a robust and up to date online presence for a local business; 50 percent of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61 percent of those searches result in a purchase, according to Search Engine Watch. In addition to that, 56 percent of mobile searches are from users seeking local information, like business hours, directions or a physical address for your store—which is why maps listings are so critical. If your business can’t be easily found online, customers are going to go elsewhere. You also have to make sure your business website is mobile friendly.
With the majority of internet searches originating from mobile devices, not desktops or laptops, according to Google, the majority of people who end up on your business’ website are going to get there from a mobile search. The majority of customers believe it is easier to find information on a mobile-optimized site and 48 percent of people who visit a site that’s not friendly feel that the company doesn’t care about their business. That’s definitely not the impression you want to give off to your valued customers!
To learn more about all of the educational small business-focused events that Skynet Solutions participates in and hosts, you can keep up with our blog, follow us on social media or give us a call. In the meantime, you can always get in touch with the experts at Skynet Solutions for help with your online business listing, website development, social media marketing or anything else you need to help make your business succeed. With our diverse range of skills and experience, we are sure to have the tools you need to make 2016 your business’ best year yet. You can fill out our online contact form on our website to get started today. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn!