Screenshot 2022-08-30 at 08-31-23 Google Business Profile - Get Listed on Google

All About Google Listings. (WHY?)

Is Google My Business Worth It?

How You Can Make The Most Of Your Google Business Listing & Rank Higher Locally (Updated for 2022)

Optimizing your Google My Business page takes time and effort, and keeping it updated takes even more. Is all the effort worth it?

Regardless of whether you are a local, regional, national or international company, the simple answer is YES. Local search is an integral element of a comprehensive digital marketing campaign, and Google My Business is a huge and ever-growing factor.

Google My Business Listings: The Basics

It’s important to note that even if you don’t want to bother, chances are that someone else will. This may shock some, but you don’t have to be a business owner – or even an employee – to create a Google My Business (GMB) listing. Anybody with a Google account can make one from scratch or update an existing listing. So you’re in the game, whether you want to be or not.

Also, keep in mind that this is free advertising for you from Google, and that’s never a bad thing. Yes, much of this traffic will be branded search, but anything you can do to make your company easier to reach is helpful, especially if you run a local business that serves people at your location.

And, if you do everything with your listing correctly, your business will start showing up in service- or product-specific searches AND potentially competitor-branded searches.

How does Google use GMB listings? In a variety of ways:

  • As a credibility checkpoint (a physical location carries much weight within their algorithm)
  • As a basis for contact information
  • To provide important information quickly, in a standard format
  • As a collection point for reviews
  • As a dialogue flashpoint
  • For simplified mobile access
  • As a reference point to related websites

A recent statistical review revealed that 46% of all Google searches are seeking local information. Might as well give the people what they want, and appease Google at the same time.

The REAL Reasons You Want to Maximize Your Google My Business Listing

One of the first steps we take with new clients is to review and optimize their GMB listing – regardless of the size of the company. Obviously, if GMB were simply a platform for branded search and/or small local business, we wouldn’t waste time with this effort.

So why do we? The #1 reason is simply because Google places importance on it. And the importance seems to be growing – fast. Anything Lord Google finds important automatically becomes mission critical for us. If you’re maximizing your listing, you take up the most possible space in your hyper-local service area. If you aren’t taking advantage of your listing, you may fall behind as competitors garner more reviews, upload more photos and expand their list of official services/products offered.

Other Important Considerations:

Local 3-Pack

Ranking High In Google Local Map Pack | local advertising advantages of Google My Business

No, having a GMB listing doesn’t guarantee you a spot here, but it’s a big factor. Leverage the odds and optimize the heck out of that thing with 3-pack placement as a goal. The traffic you’ll get is well worth the effort.

Google Maps

A completed GMB page is vital for local map search. Google uses this data to feed Maps, and considering the fact that proximity is a key factor for local search, this is a vital component of a comprehensive local search campaign. Having up-to-date hours & NAP (name, address, phone) data will ensure you’re doing right by your current and potential clients, which means you’re doing right by the algorithm.

The Roll-Up Effect

A fully-optimized – and well-maintained – GMB listing leads to better map placement and possible 3-pack placement, which all has a “roll-up” effect on overall organic search listings. That’s why these listings are important for companies that aren’t only local. When you optimize this piece of the puzzle, it can boost your actual website, too.

What Regular Updates Do I Need To Make?

Posts

Is Google My Business free? Yes, so take advantage of it! It will help your company stand out, and help separate you from your competitors.

One of the most important components is Google Posts. These are short, 100-300 word posts, along with a photo or video. You can dress up your posts with call to action buttons that lead visitors to pages on your site. These are organic clicks that will help your overall site metrics, not to mention directing traffic to high-converting pages.

UPDATE: previously, Google Posts disappeared after 7 days. It appears that Google has made an update, and posts stay put indefinitely.

You have lots of options when it comes to Posts. You can promote events, present special offers (see below) or simply highlight something you do with a variety of call to action prompts. The best part? By adding a new post at least once a month, you can control the messaging surrounding your brand on a local level.

Offers

Offers can be huge for your listing – a recent check showed that one of our clients’ offers received triple the clicks than any other post this year. The only quirk about offers is where to find them with the admin panel! We got you: when you click on Posts, there’s a subtle menu bar at the top of the page. You can access Offers from this menu.

Images

There is currently a limit of 2,000 on GMB images, and most people aren’t likely to hit it. It’s unclear the extent to which updated images affect search rankings, but considering that image search is an important part of Google search, it’s safe to say you should add images whenever you can. And hey – people love to look at pictures, and they tell the story of your company in ways that words cannot.

The more new photos you have (whether you uploaded them or a customer did) the better.

Reviews

Yes, reviews matter. Just take a look at Amazon, and the products that sell the most – they are typically the highest and most rated. When you add in the fact that Google puts great emphasis on reviews, it justifies the extra effort you’ll need to make here. Just don’t try to take the easy route, and make up reviews or pay people to do them. You will be found out, and your site will suffer. And if someone trashes you online, respond in a thoughtful, timely manner to protect your brand’s reputation.

GMB also creates a nice little URL for you to share to happy clients. Rake in the 5-star reviews and become the community leader.

The Unknown

The importance of Google My Business is much more than posts and images. It’s a critical asset to your entire digital marketing strategy. In reality, having an optimized GMB listing plays a bigger role than we think it does.

I love a good conspiracy theory, so here’s one for your next social gathering (if they are sad and dorky, like mine). Google is up to something bigger here, and I think GMB is just the tip of the iceberg. Up to this point, GMB is completely free, but I think those days are numbered. And when you add in the fact that GMB also includes a website builder, the plot thickens.

Just think: If Google controls the platform, they control the amount of organic search SEO influencing that can be done. That leaves only one alternative: AdWords. Cue the diabolical laughter…

Gravity-Paper-Hot-Cup-Mockup-Preview.png

Social Media, Best practices

Best Practices for Social Media Posting

Using social media to your small business’s advantage is a key milestone to your SEO and marketing strategy. Gaining exposure through social media is a very achievable goal, but there are many considerations when developing a robust social media marketing strategy. There are also plenty of simple methods for streamlining your social media posting which will save time, optimise efficiency and contribute towards a well rounded online presence for your company. With the rise in popularity of social media platforms, search engines had to factor social media into SEO. Your social media activity contributes to your online presence overall. If you are the topic of online discussion, search engines recognise this and account for it.

Where to start

Outlining and defining a social media marketing strategy and a posting schedule is a helpful first step to clarifying your goals and outlining how you intend to achieve them. Whether you wish to make sales, improve your SEO and organic traffic to your website, or simply engage more actively within your target communities, understanding what you wish to achieve will aid your understanding of how to move forward. When you have an understanding of what you would like to achieve, you must decide which social media platforms would be the best fit for your business.

Looking into the differences in community, format, type and style of exposure on the various social media platforms will also help you to determine the best fit for your business. From the short and sweet regular tweeting of Twitter to the visual-focused Pinterest, each has its pros and cons. Sometimes what you have to present can be a defining factor in where you are best to target online; which leads us to the next key step.

Preparing your content

Quality, captivating and engaging content is vital to social media success. Eye-catching imagery, preferably original rather than stock images, or perhaps even bespoke illustrations are an excellent way of establishing a recognisable brand identity. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of content. The more attention drawn to your posts and content, the further established your business will become online.

Video content is also a vital aspect of social media content these days. With the rise of platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Facebook’s move towards reels, search engine algorithms have had to acknowledge the shift in the online community and react to it. Video content is a very current form of content, the value of which is not to be underestimated. Bonus: most platforms are utilising it.

Content repurposing is a wonderful way of managing and distributing your content. Maintaining pattern language across online platforms is vital to establishing and affirming brand affinity, so if your intention is to host a presence on multiple social media platforms, having an interconnecting strategy can save you a great deal of time and stress thinking of new posts and content for every individual platform

Think carefully about how you can maximise the impact of these posts, embedding focused long-tail, mid and short-tail keywords and keyphrases where appropriate. Consider carefully your online voice for social media; do you wish to present yourself in a more light-hearted, personal manner compared to your more serious website? Will you maintain a serious, professional online demeanour? Whatever you decide, keep it consistent. Building familiarity with your customers and managing expectations of how your audience hear from and interact with you will aid your decision making in how you design and write your social media posts.

Presentation

For each social media platform, you will have a different set of priorities to consider visually for setting up your profile. Most social media platforms include a bio and caption space of some variety, which offers the opportunity to explain who you are as a brand (preferably with a few carefully selected keywords embedded in this description).

A profile picture must be carefully selected (perhaps a company logo?) and a cover photo for the very top of your page. This can be updated regularly and be used to draw attention to specific campaigns or key products and sales; for example, if you are hoping to make ticket sales, the larger cover image on your profile could be a banner advertising the ticket sales so that any user who views your profile sees this immediately.

Another common consideration is content buckets. On platforms such as Pinterest, content buckets (or “pinboards” as they are called on this particular platform) are the primary concern in how your page is presented. For Instagram, “highlights” present an opportunity to showcase previous content shared via Instagram-live or stories at the top of your profile above your photo gallery, but below your bio description. While stories are only designed to remain viewable for 24 hours, highlights can keep them permanently featured. Try to consider how you would like to organise your content in advance. Would highlighting product information be beneficial? Showcasing positive reviews, or pointing readers towards the blog posts you would most like to push traffic towards? Pay attention to what you want to achieve and what you wish to be seen most, then outline the most appropriate structure to reflect this.

How you post

Finally, streamlining how you post your content can make all of the difference to the impact your posts make. The more time you can save by optimising the efficiency of your social media posting, the more time you will have to focus on other areas of your business.

It can be beneficial to establish a template format for your social media posts. This enables you to maintain a common format for your images and accompanying text which can speed up your ability to customise your images further, ready for posting.

Understanding the best time to post on the various platforms can make all the difference in how many people see your post quickly, and potentially the level of engagement your post receives. Once you have an understanding of this, it may be worth scheduling multiple posts in advance. It is possible to do this on third-party platforms, such as Hopper HQ, Hootsuite or Tailwind, and many others, however, if you are using Facebook and Instagram specifically, Facebook’s Creator Studio also allows you to manage posting in advance. Scheduling your posts in advance enables you to work on other tasks at the time your social media posts go live, giving you a level of flexibility in your general workstreams. While posting in advance is a very useful tool, it is important not to neglect the monitoring and reacting to current social media affairs as a result of your advanced social media content posting schedule.

Stay relevant

Taking initiative and being aware of social media trends, current affairs and key influences of the platforms on which you host a presence shows your audience that you are relevant, active and to a measured extent; reactive. Social Listening is an excellent way to monitor online external chatter about your small business, website or blog and respond actively. Pay close attention to social media trends that impact your target audience, as this is a fantastic way of staying connected to your community. Your more dedicated followers may look out for your response to current affairs, so stay in touch with what your readers are engaging with and react accordingly.

Widen your niche

Consider engaging with a variety of groups within social media platforms with common interests related to your small business

Strategic hashtags are excellent additional streams for connecting with wider online communities. Whether these are hashtags designed for an online movement, connected to specific events or simply to bring together like-minded people, communities of like-minded people track and tap into these hashtags, making them powerful routes to building engagement. Tapping into niches within your target audience is simple, effective and absolutely worth consideration. We have previously outlined the benefits of hashtags to give you a more in-depth understanding.

Managing your social media posts can be a minefield, from the design of posts to clarifying the most effective scheduling. If you are interested in having a conversation about your social media marketing strategy, we would love for you to get in contact. Mighty Coders Uganda would be happy to help.

Mask_Group_2.jpg

Facebook ads or Google. Which One

The Difference Between Facebook Ads and Google Ads

Digital advertising through Facebook and Google are both effective ways of targeting potentially untapped or relevant audiences but with similar, yet slightly different methods. When used alongside each other, a strong online marketing presence can be established for your company. But why would businesses use either?

Google and Facebook ads are budget-friendly, fast and effective methods of reaching people online who have in some way expressed an interest in a product, service or topic related to your advertisement. Using the platform-specific dashboards to outline and define the parameters for your budget limitations, potentially significant keywords, location targets and demographic preferences helps to define your requirements and strategy for the ad campaign, as well as increase your chances of achieving your goals. Whether your aim is to increase traffic levels to your website, sell products, services or push downloads of your app, there is ample opportunity to focus your advertisements to achieve results.

Why would I run a Facebook Ad?

Facebook uses its knowledge of its users to push advertisements to people who it believes may have an interest in the contents of your advertisement. When a Facebook advertisement is set up, a number of parameters are offered, allowing you to define your budget, key information to help Facebook understand the kind of people you are hoping to market to, and further distinctive information, such as whether you would like to focus on a specific geographical location and or have an ideal demographic.

The key is that Facebook uses your specifications to push your adverts to people it feels would be a good option to sell to. Usually these users have expressed some form of interest in something related to your advertisement, or meet your preferred criteria. The criteria set may be based on a keyword, group, activity, or interest the user has defined or subscribed to on their profile, or they may have expressed interest in similar products and services online previously. The important thing to note is that Facebook Ads are targeted to profiles of some relation to the contents of or criteria set for your advertisement.

How are Google Ads different to Facebook Ads?

The difference is Google sells to its users based on their search queries. Google Ads are pushed to people searching for something that Google’s algorithm believes matches your Google Ad content. Your ad will then display in a prominent, relevant position to the reader with the aim to attract them to your advert. You then pay per click (PPC) on the advertisement.

Google Ads are slightly more complicated than Facebook Ads in that there are multiple types of Google Ads that are positioned in different key locations depending on the type you choose:

Display ads

Ads that display on videos, websites or online articles as users are browsing.

Search ads

Ads that display in The Google Search Network (websites and apps which display ads beside their content or beside search results).

App ads

The goal with Apps is to gain and maintain active users. Promoting your app on Google Search, Google Play, Youtube and as many platforms and websites as possible is ideal, making it easy for viewers to click the advert and be brought to where they can directly download the app.

Video ads

Often played before, during and after Youtube videos, or in the Google Display Network, video content is increasing in popularity online and is an excellent form of campaign marketing materials for capturing audiences attention.

Understanding the difference between these Advertisement specifications and choosing where best you would like your adverts to focus is an important decision to make. Consider your needs, aspirations and the audience you hope to reach and choose your advertisement strategically. If you feel you may need some help to determine the best strategy to meet your needs and requirements, contact fresh online here for a commitment-free conversation about how we can help you.

What other factors does Google Ads take into account?

Search Intent

Search intent is a clarifying factor for Google. If the search term queried is transactional in its wording, this means that the search query expresses an intent to purchase a product or service. This helps the algorithm to define if your advertisement is the most relevant result to display alongside the SERPs (search engine results pages) or within another video, article or website.

Rank

Google does not necessarily dedicate space entirely for one individual ad. It may show a series of ads in succession, and to decide what order and whether your ad is the most appropriate ad to display, Google processes the ad options in Ad Auction. Ad Auction does not work like an auction in the sense that it is not swayed by financial incentive. It calculates the ad rank and position in the order of advertisements it will display by determining the quality of your ad content, and landing page, as well as its relevance to the search query and keywords used within the query. Because this process is based on your relevance and quality rather than the size of your organisation, you can rank highly in Ad Auction regardless of how new or small your company is at present.

Device Type

If a person searches a query on their mobile phone or tablet device, the advertisements that will show are ads and websites which are optimised for this particular device type. The same goes for computer searches; if your ad is focused on mobile or tablet devices, it is less likely to appear for a search query on a computer as it is less suited to this type of device.

Ad Rotation

If you have multiple active Ads running at the same time, Google has to determine which ad would be best to show, either in a Rotate or Optimize setting. Rotate setting means that your active ads are presented on an equal basis across Ad Auctions, whereas Optimize setting means that Google can decide which Ad is best suited for winning a high rank in the Ad Auction.

Which is the best option?

Ideally, the best strategy would be to use both. By taking a structured process to utilising both advertising platforms, you can take a more holistic approach, capturing audiences who are actively searching for something relevant to your advertisement as well as audiences who have expressed interest in topics, products and activities similar to the contents of your ad campaign. You can tell Facebook to market to people who look a certain way, meet specific personal criteria or have previously identified with related personal interests, while your Google Ads focus on previous or current active search queries.

Google’s system is a more direct approach as users will have actively sort out something related to your ad, but Facebook’s method of placing your ad in front of a range of people it believes may potentially take an interest is just as beneficial.

If you have to choose between them, neither is better than the other per se. The difference between how they target users can define whether you feel one would meet your objectives better than the other.

To run Your ads perfectly, You need a perfect team. That’s where Mighty Coders Uganda slides in