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If you have a business that has a physical presence, then it is essential to use Google My Business (GMB) to improve your local SEO and enhance your online presence. Google My Business (GMB) is a complementary tool provided by Google, enabling businesses to control their digital footprint on Google search and Maps. This article will guide you through optimizing your GMB listing to boost your content and SEO.Claim Your Business
When you claim your business, you verify that you are the owner or an authorized representative of the business. Once you have claimed your business, you can manage your listing and additional information to make it more informative and attractive to potential customers.Optimize Your Business Information
Ensure all your business information is complete and accurate, including your business name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and services. Add photos and videos to your listing to make it more appealing to potential customers.
The more information you provide about your business, the more likely potential customers will find your listing and visit your business. Keep your business information up-to-date, especially if you change your business hours or location.Use Relevant Keywords
Incorporate relevant keywords into your GMB listing to improve your local SEO. Research keywords your potential customers are searching for and include them in your business description, services, and attributes.
Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool or other keyword research tools to find relevant keywords for your business. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your GMB listing, making sure not to overuse them.Encourage Reviews
Positive reviews can improve your local SEO and attract more customers to your business. Respond to all positive or negative reviews to show that you value your customers’ feedback.
To encourage reviews, ask your customers to leave a review after they visit your business. You can also add a link to your GMB listing on your website or social media pages. Remember to respond to all reviews promptly and professionally, thanking customers for positive reviews and addressing any concerns raised in negative reviews.Post Regularly
Use the ‘Posts’ feature in your GMB listing to keep your customers up-to-date with your latest news, promotions, and events. Posting regularly can also improve your local SEO and increase your visibility on Google search and maps.Monitor Your Insights
Use the insights feature in your GMB dashboard to monitor your listing’s performance. Track how many people view your listing, how they find your business, and what actions they take on your listing.Use Q&A
Use the Q&A feature in your GMB listing to answer potential customers’ questions about your business. Respond promptly and provide accurate information to improve your online reputation.Add Products and Services Use Attributes
Use the attributes feature in your GMB listing to highlight specific features of your business, such as wheelchair accessibility, free Wi-Fi, or outdoor seating. Adding attributes can make your business more appealing to potential customers and improve your local SEO.Connect Your GMB Listing with Your Website
Connect your GMB listing with your website to improve your online presence and enhance your local SEO. Make sure to use consistent business information, such as your business name, address, and phone number, on both your GMB listing and your website.
To connect your GMB listing with your website, add a link to your website in your GMB dashboard. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and has a clear call-to-action to encourage customers to take action.Use GMB Messaging
Use the messaging feature in your GMB listing to communicate with potential customers and answer their questions. Respond promptly and provide accurate information to improve your online reputation.Use GMB Reviews in Your Content
Use your GMB reviews in your content, such as on your website or social media pages, to improve your online reputation and attract more customers. Highlight positive reviews and use them as testimonials.Conclusion
In conclusion, optimizing your GMB listing can improve your local SEO and enhance your online presence. Claim your business, optimize your information, use relevant keywords, encourage reviews, post regularly, monitor your insights, use Q&A, add products and services, use attributes, connect your GMB listing with your website, use GMB messaging, manage multiple locations, use GMB reviews in your content, and use GMB for local SEO. By following these steps, you can boost your content and SEO and attract more customers to your business.
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The page types typically include a map to show users where the location is, what are the cross streets, and any major landmarks. This enables the user to easily find the location and increases a brand’s opportunities for conversions.
With numerous mapping options available, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with them and understand how to implement them — especially the top contender: Google Maps.
And for that, you’re going to need a Google Maps API Key.
In this column, you’ll learn from my colleague/co-author Marshall Nyman and I what a Google Maps API Key is and how to get started.What Is a Google Maps API Key?
Google offers Maps, Places, and Routes to facilitate “real-world insights and immersive location experiences” to consumers on your website or app.
Maps allow you to share static or dynamic maps, Street View imagery, and 360° views of your location with your customers.
Places enable searchers to find specific places using phone numbers, addresses, and real-time signals.
Routes enable you to give your users the best way to get to your location with high-quality, easy-to-navigate directions and real-time traffic updates.
A Google Maps API Key allows you to integrate these mapping technologies into your website.Getting Started with Google Maps
To get started, log into Google Cloud Platform or create an account if you do not have one already.
Some mapping technology has associated costs and so you will need to set up billing by adding a credit card on file.
For new Google Cloud accounts, you will receive $300 in free credits for setting up billing. You can set up billing information here.
Visit the pricing page to get an idea of what the API Key usage will cost. Google provides up to $200 a month in free usage.
Anything over $200 will be charged to the card on file.How to Create API Keys
To create an API Key, you will navigate to APIs & Service, then choose Credentials in the dropdown. It will take you to this page where you can create the API key.
Once created, adding some restrictions to your key is recommended.
Google has a list of best practices for adding restrictions to keep your keys safe and secure, such as deleting API keys that are no longer needed and using caution when regenerating keys.Adding the API Key to Your Requests
Once the key has been created and restrictions are added, you are ready to place it on your site.
Google recommends reviewing both approaches so you can choose what is appropriate based on how your code is structured.
The code needed is:
And you replace YOUR_API_KEY with the API key you created.
Visit Google’s API Key errors documentation to resolve any issues or errors that come up during setup.Static Versus Dynamic Maps
You have the ability to add two different types of maps to your pages: static and dynamic maps.
Static maps just display the map as an image. You are not able to zoom or adjust the map, but the cost is much lower.
Dynamic maps, on the other hand, are not only interactive but customizable, as well. Dynamic maps also have the ability to have a branded logo pin.
The cost difference between the two map types can be significant, with dynamic maps at $7 per 1,000 requests versus $2 per 1,000 for static maps.
If your pages generate a lot of traffic, this could be a significant cost.
If your costs are currently very high from dynamic maps, it might be worth considering a static map instead.Places and Routes
Implementing the Google Maps API Key on your site means there are other features available to you, as well, such as Places and Routes. Both of these can improve your customer’s experience.
To get started with developing the Directions API, set up your Google Cloud project. Then, review this list of all parameters when building your Directions API HTTP request.
The following place requests are available for your business, according to Google:
Place Search: Returns a list of places based on the user’s location or search string.
Place Details: Returns more detailed information about the location, including reviews.
Place Photos: provides access to millions of place-related photos stored in Google’s Place database.
Place Autocomplete: Automatically fills in the name and/or address of a place as a user types.
Query Autocomplete: Provides a query prediction service for text-based geographic searches, returning suggested queries as users type.
For pricing information for the Places API and Place Autocomplete service, view the Places API Usage and Billing documentation here.
Google is continuously enhancing its technology to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing needs and expectations of local consumers.
As more consumers turn to search to find products and services near them, it’s crucial for businesses across all verticals to provide an optimal user experience to stand out from competitors and build a positive brand experience.
This starts with optimizing your local listings everywhere your business can be found and extends to your Maps presence.
Driving customers to your storefront in the easiest, most direct route possible while providing all the information they need to get there is essential to win customer loyalty.
Remember, the maps used on the sites are available from several mapping providers.
Google has been the main player in the space but Bing, Apple, and now even Amazon are looking to provide mapping options for brands.
Top 31 Instagram Stats & Facts in 2023
1. There are 1 billion monthly active users and 500 million daily active users who access the app globally.
2. If we look at the demographics, in India alone, there are 180 million users.
From the above image, we can see that the US, Brazil, Indonesia, and Russia have many people using Instagram. If you are someone who has a business in these regions or has the potential to target people from these places, then Instagram is the place to reach your potential customers.
3. Just like how we ask our friends or family before purchasing a product or getting to know new services through them. According to a survey conducted by Facebook. Inc, it was seen that 81% of people said that this platform helps their research products and services, and 80% of them mentioned that Instagram helps them decide if they should purchase a product or not. These Instagram facts and stats prove that people indeed use this platform for shopping purposes.
7. 90% of the users follow a business page. Create content that is engaging and attractive for users to follow your page.
8. The explore tab lets users discover new content, and pages and even get to know new content creators. This tab is crucial for businesses as 50% of users use this tab every month. Getting your business page featured on the explore tab will pave the way for more brand awareness and new followers.
10. Since so many use stories on a daily basis, you can understand how essential this feature is for your business. 58% of people mentioned that they have become more invested and interested in the product or brand after seeing it feature in stories.
11. What else does a brand need when they get users to purchase its products? 50% of users who saw the brand on stories went ahead to visit their website and make a purchase.
The above Instagram facts mention the reach stories have and how powerful they can be for businesses. The following facts will help you enhance your stories for better reach and engagement :
14. The swipe-up call-to-action element creates more engagement for your business. Swipe-up is an element that people or users have to make to be directed to the in-ad link. The link can be anything. It can be a website landing page or a Youtube video. Hubspot’s Instagram engagement report mentions that 70% of the people who took part in the survey have used the swipe-up element.
15. Add central text to your stories. 75% of the time, they perform better.
16. Interactive features like GIFs, locations, questions, and polls bring in more users. People like such interactive features. At present more than 60% of business pages use these features in their stories. Use these tools to make your content more engaging and fun.
Source: Imagine Media
17. Regarding Instagram facts regarding video content, How-to video tutorials are the most popular video content on Instagram. Make the video fun and easy for users to understand.
18. Users like to watch behind-the-scenes videos, and they want to know what goes on in their business. If you are posting images of photoshoots on your page, make sure to post a behind-the-scenes video. Also, post videos that have interviews with models or celebs that you collaborate with.
19. IGTV videos are an excellent way to catch the eye of the user. Make fun IGTV videos. As mentioned above, they can be interviews, chat sessions, or behind-the-scenes because they are 4x larger than posts on the explore feed.
20. Having captions can increase your audience. IGTV automatic captions are available in 16 languages. Use IGTV videos and switch on captions so that more people understand your videos and products.
21. Add product tags to your posts. It can be stories, videos, or images. Product tags will bring in more brand awareness and make the customer journey smooth. It will give details of the product and how it can be used in different ways.
Source: Sprout social
26. While posting, tease your audience to generate curiosity. Product teasers will make users talk about your brand.
Here Starbucks is teasing its audience by dropping a post regarding its seasonal drink. When you just hint at the product that users are interested in and do not force them to buy, there will be more engagement and purchases.
Source: Later blog
Another example is when the brand beauty blender teased their followers into guessing their new launch. A point that has to be noted is that when you are teasing your audience with emojis or contexts, make sure that they are relatable to your target demographic.
27. An average business page posts once a day. Make your post engaging and post at the right time because, as mentioned in the above Instagram facts, posting at the right time can affect your engagement rate and ranking.
28. For a business page, the average engagement rate for a post is 0.96%, which means one engagement for every 100 followers. This Instagram fact is significant for pages that have fewer followers, and the fact is that accounts with more than 100,000 followers have an engagement rate of 0.62%, whereas small accounts have 1.55%.
30. 47% of users mentioned that pages that replied to DMs promptly were a crucial factor in purchasing their products. As a business page, be active on messages and interact with users. This will increase sales and customer relationships.
31. Collaborating with content creators is encouraged. Collaborating with them helps in spreading the word. While collaborating, one thing to keep in mind is that never forget nano influencers as they have more engagement rate. Nano influencers are the ones who have less than 10,000 followers. Also, 55% of fashion shoppers purchased products after watching creators promote them.
Instagram can really boost your business online if you plan and execute it well. These were a few Instagram facts that we wanted to put out there to enhance your strategies and plans. Make use of this most trending platform to take your business to the next level.
If you looking for the best Instagram marketing course, then we suggest you check our Instagram influencer mastery course now.
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The key to local business success: Be the first to use Google’s newest marketing features in your area.
Get more traffic in the door, get your business noticed faster, and outrank your competition.
Amanda Jordan, Director of Digital Strategy for RicketyRoo Inc., joined me to discuss the easiest ways to incorporate the new Google Local and Google Maps features into your local SEO strategy.
The pandemic, changing search habits, and more people shopping locally have driven the need for local businesses to have a strong presence in the search results.
Google Business Profile and other local features are vital to adapting to these changes.
In this podcast, you’ll learn how to grow your local business with a few tweaks on Google Local, Google Maps, and Google Business Profile.
Every time I’ve seen someone go from no Google Business Profile to a cool business profile, or even just adding anything like that, there’s a huge amount of growth because essentially you’ve just made yourself visible to lots of people that didn’t even know you existed before. –Amanda Jordan, 58:54
The more thorough and valuable your reviews are, the more of an impact it does have on your ability to rank. –Amanda Jordan, 19:55
It’s good just to have something up there that’s recent and current just because It’ll help you stand out. –Amanda Jordan, 11:35
A lot of times, we see social media and SEO as two completely separate things, but they can inform each other. They both give you data about who your customers are, how they found you, why they like you, and what they’re interested in. –Amanda Jordan, 22:01
A lot of times, especially with local SEO and the focus on reviews and things like that, we can forget about the technical elements or not be as confident in our ability to handle them. I think it’s perfectly normal but I think that’s a place where a lot of technical and local SEOs can grow. –Amanda Jordan, 40:40
Connect with Amanda Jordan:
Amanda has extensive experience designing campaigns, including web development and SEO, and is very talented and creative.
She began her SEO career in 2011 and has enjoyed tackling complex problems for clients. Her specialty is local SEO for legal and enterprise companies. In her free time, Amanda enjoys playing with her dogs and beating her son at Mario Kart.
Connect with Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal:
Most of us use Gmail as our primary email service. So, to gain access to most of our sensitive information, a hacker is likely to launch an attack on Gmail first. Setting a virtually unhackable password is the first step towards immunity.
However, if that password gets compromised somehow, we must come up with a failsafe; one which would keep the hackers at bay. And that is exactly where Google’s two-step verification comes in.
RELATED: How to set up Google 2-step verification
Google’s Two-Step Verification asks you to verify your new Gmail login on your phone, even after entering the correct password. So, as long as you don’t lose your phone and password simultaneously, your account won’t be compromised.
This second step can be a simple Google prompt on your screen, a text message, a call, or even a security key. So, make sure you think long and hard before picking the most convenient option for you. In this piece, we’ll take an in-depth look at Google’s Two-Step Verification, and tell you how to make the most of the useful service.
Use Google Authenticator App
Google Authenticator is a free application that securely generates Two-Step Verification codes on your Android smartphone. No more waiting around for text messages to arrive, simply use the Authenticator app to complete signing in to Google or other supported accounts.
Even after setting Google Prompts/Call/Text/Secure key as your secondary login method, you can configure the Google Authenticator app as your backup.
Here’s how to set it up:
Step 1: Go to Settings and tap on Google.
Step 2: Tap on Manage your Google account.
Step 3: Go to Menu.
Step 4: Open Security.
Step 5: Tap on Two-Step Verification.
Step 6: Enter your password to access the 2-Step Verification menu.
Step 7: After scrolling down and locating Authenticator App, tap on Set Up.
Step 8: Select Android and tap Next.
Step 9: A barcode will be displayed. If you’re carrying out the entire process on your phone, tap on “Can’t Scan it?” to get a code.
Step 10: Download the app from the Google Play Store.
Step 11: Open the app and go to Scan a barcode. If you are setting this up on your phone, go to Enter a provided key.
Step 12: Enter your email-id alongside the key retrieved (step 9) from Google. Make sure Time-based is selected.
Step 13: Tap on Add.
Step 14: Copy the six-digit code displayed there.
Step 15: Go back to Google Settings, and tap on Next.
Step 16: Enter the six-digit code you copied and tap on Verify.
Step 17: Press Done to finish linking the Authenticator app to your Google account.
Your account would be added. As the codes change quite frequently (Time-based), no need to memorize the codes. Just head over to the add and copy the codes when needed.
Revoke Trusted Device
Losing a device that has access — your laptop for example — to all your login credentials is a nightmare. Not only is the perpetrator getting your valuable possession, but they can also access all your important emails and social media accounts.
Most of us use autofill to simplify the process of signing in. Google’s Two-Step Verification does require an additional step, but it only requires the password in case of trusted devices — devices, which have been used to log in successfully in the past. So, a trusted device with the auto sign-in turned on is a weapon of destruction in the wrong hands. Thankfully, Google has thought about this unfortunate scenario as well. In case your laptop gets stolen, you can head over to settings and revoke the permission for trusted devices.
Step 1: Go to Settings and tap on Google.
Step 2: Tap on Manage your Google account.
Step 3: Go to Menu.
Step 4: Tap on Security.
Step 5: Locate and tap on Two-Step Verification.
Step 6: Enter your password to access Two-Step Verification settings.
Step 7: Scroll down and tap on Revoke all under Devices you trust.
Change Phone Number
If Google Prompts or the Authenticator app isn’t your cup of tea, Google lets you go back to the good old days of text/call-based verification. Simply add the number of your choice, and Google will send a text or make a call with the verification code. Enter the code and the number will be linked with your Google account. If you’ve recently changed your number, you’ll have to link the new number with your Google account to continue enjoying the benefits of Two-Step Verification.
Step 1: Go to Settings and tap on Google.
Step 2: Tap on Manage your Google account.
Step 3: Go to Menu.
Step 4: Tap on Security.
Step 5: Locate and tap on Two-Step Verification.
Step 6: Tap on the little pencil icon (Edit) on the right side of your phone number.
Step 7: Tap on Change phone.
Step 8: Add the new number and tap on Next.
Step 9: Enter the verification code to complete the process.
Similarly, you could also delete your phone verification process by tapping on Delete phone.
Launching a business online can be quite intimidating to any small business owner. Fortunately, any business can benefit from search engine optimization (SEO), which can make a small investment go a long way, as well as making sure that local buyers find their websites. Therefore, local SEO is an obvious choice to promote and market your business on the Web. The following blog post provides 15(!) low-cost marketing techniques to help drive traffic and sales to your website.What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a specialist technique that aims at getting your business name and website in front of people who are physically located near it. Search engines are the modern-day yellow pages, and your potential customers are looking to find you where you and your products and services are located.Why is local SEO important?
According to 2009 chúng tôi report titled “Great Divide’ Separates Small Biz, Online Consumers,” 82 percent of local consumers use search engines to find local businesses. Furthermore, more than half (57 percent) use Yellow Pages directories with 49 percent using local directories. Local consumers are going online to find local businesses. It is important to be visible in order to acquire new or existing business.15 Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business
1. Submit Your Website to Search Engines
The first thing you will need to do when launching a website is to submit the site to search engines; Google and Bing are the major search engines to focus on. Out of the 15 techniques, this will be the easiest but one of the most important.
Tip: There are local search engines that can be of more benefit such as Yandex (for Russians), Baidu (for Chinese), and Kvasir (for Norwegians).2. Make Your Website Easy to Use
Before marketing your website through various online channels, make sure that your meta data is accurate and follows the Google Webmaster guidelines. On-site optimization includes page titles and meta descriptions. Page titles should include your business name and one or two keywords that you want Web visitors to find you with. Avoid using too many keywords and make the titles and descriptions appear natural.
Tip: Search for competitors in your area to see keywords they are using to attract Web traffic.3. Implement Google Analytics
Web host providers will often try and bundle analytics and data packages, but the best, free analytics tool on the Web is Google Analytics. It takes less than two minutes to sign up and implement the code, and you can start collecting Web traffic data immediately. Data includes the number of Web visitors, how long they browse your site, where the visitors are located, and how they arrived at your site. This is significant data for promoting your business and the most active channel (and geographic location).
Tip: Once your account starts collecting Web traffic data, map out goals on your website and begin tracking. Goals could be submitting a form or signing up to a newsletter.4. Add Your Business to Google+ Local
Adding your business to Google+ Local is the next most important technique to implement. More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, and adding your website and business information to the Google local business directory can help. It’s free and simple. Also, you can manage your listing information including business description, product/service details, photos, videos, and offers.
Tip: Make sure your Google listing has a 100 percent score; most local businesses don’t reach 100 percent.5. Create Social Network Business Profiles
Not only is this at no cost, but you will also get trustworthy links from these profiles. The more trustworthy links you get to your website, the higher you will appear on Google.
Tip: Get your family, and friends to become the first to “like” or “follow” your business, and stay away from buying friends from third-parties. Build your social media presence naturally.6. Launch an Online Marketing Campaign
Tip: When you create your campaign, make sure you use Ad Extensions that include local information, phone number, and Google + page.7. Get Listed in Local Directories and Local Listings
Get listed in local directories and increase the number of trusted inbound links to your website. Most directories are free, and by adding your business, you will see an increase in Web visits from potential customers. (According to Mashable, positive Yelp ratings can boost a restaurant’s nightly reservations by 19 percent.)
Within two days of adding a small business to local directories, Web traffic from mobile grew from 0 percent to 18 percent of total traffic, and 30 percent of total traffic was referral.
Although claiming business citations is listed at number seven on this list, BrightLocal ran a survey in 2011 that found the top five most important local search ranking factors.
(Full report can be found here.)8. Get Involved in Your Community
This continues to bring home to Google the relevance of your business to a specific area, especially if you’re able to include links to your website (be very careful not to spam social communities, though).
If there are local forums in your field, then it’s a great idea to get your business actively participating in them. By creating a profile and adding value to the forums, this continues to add relevance of your business to Google.
Tip: Try not to spam the forums or websites with links to your online business as this will only get you banned.9. Optimize Mobile SEO and Its Accessibility
Tip: Visit your website on your smartphone and find three ways to improve the experience.10. Add Social-sharing Buttons
In the footer of your website, make sure you add a link your Google+ Local page along with other social sharing buttons.
Tip: Make sure your email address and phone number is listed on each and every page of your footer.11. Implement Webmaster Tools
Using webmaster tools in both Google and Bing helps you identify issues with your website. By fixing these issues, you will ensure that both search engines have no issues crawling (finding) your website when a local search is made.
Implementing both tools is relatively straight forward, and your web developer should be able to support you with this.
Tip: When adding your website to Bing Webmaster tools, you will receive $50 in market funds (US only).12. Upload Pictures
The local directory sites like to provide users with pictures of your business. To help ensure that your business gets the best exposure, upload your own pictures. They don’t need to be of a professional quality but they will represent your business, so make sure they are decent.
Tip: Save your photo with a filename that includes your business name and a keyword.13. Ask for Reviews
Most local sites and directories allow customers reviews. Other than Yelp, most are supportive in requesting reviews. Customer reviews, whether good or bad, make your business more credible to future customers.
Research shows that having at least five reviews in Google+ Local is the magic number where the reviews may start to help with rankings. However, since the recent Google Places move to Google+ Local, reviewers are required to have a Google+ account.
Tip: Use your website, invoices, thank you pages, and email communication to ask your customers to review your business.14. Launch a Blog
Write about your industry, your talent, your services, and promote it in all channels. Blogging not only helps increase awareness of your business, but it also improves your writing. You will learn more within your field (become an expert!), and it is a great way to acquire new links to your website.
Tip: Link your Facebook page and blog by adding the RSS reader application in Facebook, making sure that your blog posts will show up on your Facebook page each time a new post is published.15. Be Consistent
Each time you add your website and business information to a local directory, social network, or forum, make sure you be consistent with your business name, address, telephone number, email address, website link, and business description.
Tip: Create a file that you can use to copy and paste the information from to make sure all listings are the same.Local SEO is Essential to Your Business
Small businesses cannot afford to spend a great deal of money for online marketing, but using the marketing techniques above will help lower the cost and support the launch of your local business online. Local listings and SEO have always been important for small business online marketing efforts, but now they’re even more essential.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos
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