Would you like to learn how to retain repeat customers and attract new customers through your Google My Business listing?
On October 28th, I hosted a webinar in Search Engine Journal sponsored by SEMrush and presented by Ross Tavendale, Managing Director at Type A Media.
He went through some simple workflows small business owners can start today to work smarter with their GMB (Google My Business) listing.
Here is a summary of the presentation.
Running a small business is difficult.
As a small business owner, you are often responsible for human resources, finance, operations, sales, marketing, and a million other things.
In today’s fast-paced environment, if you just stand still and maintain the status quo, it means your business will wear out and fall behind over time.
When it comes to ranking well on Google, you need smart workflows that can save you time, grow your business, and keep your customers happy.
What is measured is managed
To make better business decisions, you need to understand what to look for.
Have you ever asked yourself the following questions:
- Where did this new customer come from?
- Where did this new sale come from?
- Why is it so busy today?
- Why is it so quiet today?
- How did customers hear about us?
If you say “the Internet” to answer these questions, we have a problem.
The first way to fix this is to get your “direct” traffic as close to zero as possible.
Direct is the default setting if no other information is passed to Google Analytics.
To avoid this, here are some things you should do.
Implement UTM tracking for all external links
Apply UTM tracking:
- Google My Business.
- Your email signature.
You can add UTM parameters to your links using Google’s Campaign URL Builder.
You can then view the segmented traffic in the Events section of Google Analytics.
Use dynamic tracking phone numbers based on referrer
It is also advisable to change the site’s phone number depending on where the customer is from.
You can use a service such as Call Tracking Metrics to do this.
Assigning a call whisper to each number is also helpful as you can get instant information about each call without relying on analytics.
Connect this directly to Google Analytics to understand what is being converted.
If you have the time, it can also be helpful if you listen to calls and train your staff on how to best handle incoming calls.
Create custom landing pages
Another best practice is to create custom landing pages on your Google My Business, Facebook, or Twitter profiles.
Don’t send them to the homepage, but to a dedicated service page.
This is because the people who click on this page don’t want your contact information.
Your GMB list already shows your phone number and address anyway.
If they wanted your contact information, they would never click on it.
What they most likely want is to understand your service so that they can make a purchase decision from you.
Fight ‘Dark Social’ with Tracking on Open Graph URLs
Open Graph (OG) is the metadata used when sharing on social websites.
When people share (via WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.), Google Analytics records it as direct traffic.
To combat this you need to add UTM parameters to OG tags to combat this
Note that this is not 100% foolproof, it is a workaround that you can test.
Manage one-time and recurring tasks
You can also set up workflows for managing your one-time and recurring local SEO tasks.
One-time tasks include:
- Set up your Google My Business listing.
- Create entries in third-party directories.
There are also recurring tasks like:
- Manage your GMB list.
- Creation of GMB posts.
- Responses to reviews and mentions on the Internet.
GMB listing setup
Your GMB listing should be fully and fully optimized. So fill in all the details, including your:
You can also use tools like:
- Please try to get a full list of categories.
- GMB Spy Chrome plugin to see what others are using.
Another overlooked optimization tactic is the EXIF data contained in your images.
Purposely take pictures with a phone camera while your GPS is on and upload them directly.
The more location-based signals there are, the better.
To add GPS data to your pictures, you can use a tool like GPiSync.
GMB listing updates
You should find the time to regularly update your GMB list.
Remember to change your categories according to the seasons.
- If you are a bakery business, change the category to “Wedding Cakes” in the spring.
- If you’re a butcher, change your category to Christmas Hampers in November.
Use SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool to see the trends associated with the keywords.
GMB posts are like social media updates for your company on your profile.
Use them regularly to communicate with your customers and promote new products and services.
Regular activities help with ranking and increase conversions.
Use SEMrush social media posters to plan the posts in advance and automate the process.
Mentions on the Internet
Set up Google Alerts to receive email notifications whenever your company name or a keyword relevant to your company is mentioned on the internet.
You can also track your brand names with SEMrush and subscribe to relevant news in Google News.
And remember to always reach for links and respond to reviews.
Set up your business on the web
If you need to upload and control your data in bulk across different platforms, using the SEMrush Listing Management tool can be helpful.
You can also look for name, address, and phone number (NAP) inconsistencies that are affecting your rankings in the field.
Reply to all of your reviews in one place
The SEMrush Listing Management tool also allows you to collect all of the reviews in one place so you don’t have to keep an eye on many websites.
Reply within the user interface and set up one or more communications so that you don’t have to repeat yourself over and over again.
Analyze ratings on scale
There are so many insights that you can gain from reading and understanding customer reviews.
When you get a large number of reviews, you need to be able to break down that information to understand what is going on.
This is also important if you are a multi-site company or if you have multiple services that you run at any one time.
Use NLP to get deep insights into reviews
A scalable way to analyze your ratings is to use Natural Language Processing (NLP).
NLP is a type of AI that understands the mood and entities in the text.
With Google you can use your NLP for free.
If you don’t have the time to do every check via NLP, you can use Coda.io which has Google NLP built into it.
You can review sentiment, product category, and entities in your reviews for aggregated insights
Here is an example using SEMrush reviews from Trustpilot.
Use Zapier to automatically send reviews to your Coda Doc
Every time you get a new review, SEMrush informs you that you can act on it.
Coda collects it and analyzes it for you on the fly so you can get an idea of how your customers find your experience.
Set custom emails when certain words are mentioned or a certain mood rating occurs.
[Slides] Local SEO Workflows to Grow Your Business on Google
Check out the SlideShare below.
All screenshots by the author, October 2020