A Case Study showing What You Get from Google My Business
I’ve had a lot of clients ask me whether they really need to bother with a Google My Business Page when they really just want to set up on FaceBook, so I thought I’d put up some images to show you what different aspects of SEO and different social media connections can do for your business.
The images below are Google searches on two business names. One is Help Me Dave IT – our primary business. Its been around for over 15 years so it has a good online presence, connection to social media accounts, on page SEO and it’s had time to build up some trust with Google. The second business is Fizzy Juice Websites – this is when we are just establishing the business, so we have a website (with on page SEO), and a FaceBook page with no posts yet, but no Google My Business verification or Google Plus accounts.
In both cases we’ve searched on the business name so we can see all of the options that Google MIGHT present our potential clients with. Obviously it would also be nice to rank for keywords (like “IT Support” or “Website Design”), so that random customers can find us, but ranking for our business names is also important. The people searching for us directly have usually been referred by a friend and they’re pretty keen to find us – in other words they are almost guaranteed to call us IF they can find us and IF Google presents us as a trustworthy business.
Lets start with Fizzy Juice – just a Website and a FaceBook Page.
- We’ve carefully chosen a name that didn’t have too much competition, and our website is at the top of the list – great!
- The second listing is one of our portfolio pages – in fact it’s the portfolio page containing links to Help Me Dave. This shows the value of having good outbound links. Because Google trusts HelpMeDave.com.au it likes our page that links to them.
- 3rd in the search is our FaceBook listing. FaceBook scores points here because (even without any posts) our FaceBook page is an exact match for our business name, it has a matching custom URL and it gets us another spot in the searches.
- After that it’s all competition (businesses that aren’t ours). Luckily they’re all soft drink companies and not direct competitors – again because we chose a unique name that wasn’t used by any other web designers.
Now obviously we’ve got some work to do to improve the online presence for Fizzy Juice Websites – and hopefully soon we’ll be getting some better results once our Google My Business verification comes through…
Now lets look at the search results for Help Me Dave IT – with Google My Business Verification
If you click on the photo it will come up full screen so you can read everything.
First impression – if you’ve looked up a business and you see a result like this do you feel they are more trustworthy than the business with one small listing? Do you feel confident that you’ve got the right business, because you can see matching brand images? Even before you get to the website you are probably feeling good. So where do all of these extra listings come from?
- The first listing has not only the home page but also 2 sub-pages. Which other pages you see depends on your location. That shows that not only is the home page getting hits, our sub-pages are also ranking in searches. Why? Well, we’ve posted quite a few links to those pages on Google Plus and FaceBook which means there are links pointing to those sub-pages, whereas Fizzy Juice so far only has links pointing to the home page. Other factors also build trust for the sub-pages, but that’s one easy way to get started.
- Local Directory Listings. This shows that we’re in yellow pages and Yelp (as well as a few other trusted local directories), so we are listed in ‘the book’ and less likely to disappear overnight. That doesn’t just help Google to trust us more, it also helps the customer to trust us more. And it pushes any competition further down the page. The local directory results give you a second chance to appear in keyword searches too (when the customer is looking for “Computer Support” instead of your business name). And, of course, someone may actually USE yellow pages to find our business instead of going straight to Google.
- The next result down is our Linked In social account. The Linked In page has a profile and not much else, but it’s another connection and another presence for the business.
- Going further down the page there are lots of photos – these come from Google Plus posts and they appear because that account is connected to our verified Google My Business account.
- Next up is our FaceBook listing. Hmmm Google put Linked In above FaceBook, even though we have much more traffic and activity on our FaceBook page. Perhaps Google is biased towards it’s own Social Media products?
- And of course on the right we have the Google My Business Map references. That’s not a paid ad – to get that map result you need a Google My Business account and you need to verify it. Setting these up so that all of your Google accounts (from You-Tube / Brands / Maps / Google Plus etc) are connected can be a little tricky, but well worth the time when it means your photos, map references, reviews etc are right there in the Google search.
- At the bottom right you’ll see a post made in the Google My Business account with a button linking it to our website.
- A couple of reviews are showing up, again building some trust even though most of our customers don’t use Google reviews.
- The business phone number and location are right there on screen, so you don’t even have to click on the website to call. In fact if you do that search on your mobile phone it has a CALL button so you can click and phone us right there from the Google search (before you look for a piece of paper or change your mind!)
Still think your business doesn’t need a Google My Business Account?
A website and a FaceBook page will get you online, and FaceBook can be great for getting your brand to the people, but if you want your business to show up well in Google search results you really do need a Google My Business account.
Google accounts also come with some handy tools like Google Forms and Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Calendar. These free tools not only help you run your business, you can also add them to your website (to show a custom map, calendar or form) – you can even use them to add surveys and forms to your FaceBook posts.