By now, many of you have probably heard that Google has killed Authorship, effectively changing what many SEO companies and marketers were doing to increase visibility in search results. While there are many theories to why Google did this, one fact remains: Good content should still prevail. Having said that, where you put that good content is also critical.
Introducing “Google My Business,” a restructuring of Google’s web business tools. In Google’s efforts to continue to develop better tools for business, they have consolidated Google Places for Business, Google + Pages tools into one consolidated dashboard. Because of Google’s strong market share in search (currently over 67%, according to the most recent comScore Search Share Report), this is really the main property to make sure is set up correctly.
The key elements within Google My Business are: Search, Maps & Google +. If you set up your Google My Business profile correctly, it should provide a solid base for your content efforts. Here are some key elements to focus on:
• Make sure your business location is entered in correctly and consistently. This is sometimes referred to as NAP (name, address and phone number).
• If your business is local or has specific locations, make sure that data is accurate on the map so that customers can find you. You can drag the map market to your exact business location.
• While most Google presences are static, it makes sense to update your graphics and cover page on a fairly regular basis. If you just have your logo, consider placing your logo on another photo that might attract more attention by visitors and show Google that there is some activity on your property.
• Ensure that you have a robust “About” tab, so that someone can find out the key things you want them to know about you on that tab. Also, make sure the first part of the About section is written almost like a newspaper headline, so the casual visitor will be encouraged to continue reading.
• Making sure your images have keyword-optimized filenames, which can boost your Google profile in search results and lead both mobile and Web searchers to view your property for more information.
• Another often missed opportunity is to look at which customers you have heard positive feedback from and let them know they can share via Google. They need to have a Gmail account. You may also want to touch base with customers or partners that you have received good will from in the past to see if they’d like to share it via Google.
• As mentioned above, Google has essentially dismantled their Authorship program, there is still value in making sure that there are solid connections between your onsite blog and your Google My Business pages. The lesser-known, but still effective Publisher feature lives on. Take the time to add that code, as it should continue to benefit your results.
• Link to your main website. It almost seems silly to mention, but it is surprising how often this isn’t done. All this effort to “get found,” then forgetting to get them to where you want them to go!
• Include links to your other social media profiles, in the same manner you do on your website. This ensures that your links to your customer’s preferred channels are easily accessible and should impact social signals (which many surmise can help search results).
• Make sure to be consistent in your branding across social media platforms. This should impact search and will help your customers confirm your identity more readily.
Implement these suggestions if you haven’t already. Your Google My Business presence is more than just a place holder–it should be getting you leads and keeping you connected with your customers. Take a little time to make sure it is set up for your success.