Open sign on glass door hanging from chain

Google My Business is Now Google Business Profile — How This Affects Multi-Location Brands

Google My Business is now Google Business Profile.

Tech giants are hopping on the rebranding bandwagon. Amidst the major Facebook name change to Meta, Google also announced it will be changing Google My Business to Google Business Profile, and retiring the Google My Business app entirely in 2022.

What this change means for single storefront brands

Businesses can now manage store hours, updates, posts, and more directly in Search and Maps. In fact, Google recommends brands with a single storefront manage their business this way. Rather than logging into Business Profile Manager (formerly Google My Business website and mobile application), a single storefront business is encouraged to manage store hours, updates, posts, and more right from Search and Maps. Google Vice President and GM of Merchant Shopping Matt Madrigal said:

“Moving forward, we recommend small businesses manage their profiles directly on Search or Maps. To keep things simple, ‘Google My Business’ is being renamed ‘Google Business Profile.’ And in 2022, we’ll retire the Google My Business app so more merchants can take advantage of the upgraded experience on Search and Maps.”

What GBP means for multi-location businesses

Brand managers of multi-location businesses will still be able to log into Google Business Profile and manage data for multiple storefronts as they normally would. In fact, Madrigal shared that the Business Profile Manager will now be geared towards helping multi-location businesses manage data and customer communication.

“The existing Google My Business web experience will transition to primarily support larger businesses with multiple locations, and will be renamed “Business Profile Manager.”

New Google Business Profile features

Alongside the name change, Team Google shared new features users can expect to see within Google Business Profile.

View Call History in GBP soon

Search Engine Land verified that Google is officially rolling out Call History in the U.S. and Canada. This feature within the Business Profile Manager shows a log of calls initiated from Google Maps or Google Search.

Message customers on Search and Maps

Brands may now chat with customers from their Business Profile on Search and Maps.

Find “Read Receipts” on customer messages

Brands can now see when customers have read messages with a timestamped read receipt.

 

Google My Business API renamed Business Profile API

No functionality change to note with the Google My Business API except a name change to: Business Profile API. The API will remain under “active development.”

Google Business Profile Terminology Cheat Sheet

Still confused by all of the new Google Business Profile terminology? Check out this quick cheat sheet for clarity’s sake.

  • Google My Business (GMB) is now Google Business Profile (GBP).
  • The Business Profile Dashboard is now called the Business Profile Manager.
  • A Google Listing is now called a Google Profile.
  • A Google Business Page is now deemed a Business Profile.

What do you think of the new name and feature changes? Will the delineation between single storefront business and multi-location brands present different features and functionality in the future? What feature would YOU most like to see in Google Business Profile? We’d love to hear what you have to say about these changes. Connect with GPO on LinkedIn or send us a message to share your thoughts.

GPO team at Confetti murder mystery event for virtual team building

Remote Team Building 101: How to Host a Killer Party

Learn how GPO creates community and hosts team-building in a virtual work environment.

Do you remember going into the office every day? It’s a faint memory now because — like nearly every company worldwide — GPO went 100% virtual in 2020. And like many other companies, we saw an increase in employee happiness and productivity once we made the switch. Working from home fared so well for our team that we’ve remained virtual in 2021 and have plans to remain a flexible workplace for the foreseeable future.

While the transition to WFH life went smoothly for our team, it wasn’t without intentionality. By hosting virtual Coffee Chats and afternoon Happy Hours, we created space for employees to connect over topics other than work. Virtual water cooler hangout time via Zoom, if you will.

However, to level-up our team building while everyone works from home, we like to host #goGPO Day.

What is #goGPO Day?

So glad you asked. #goGPO Day is a dedicated day of fun; a time for our team to kick back, relax, and enjoy a few solid hours of team bonding doing something new together.

Because let’s be honest: building trust and rapport with team members in a completely remote environment can be challenging. When working remote, there are fewer opportunities for employees to get to know one another, let alone bond over shared interests or shared experiences. Studies show that team building for virtual teams improves communication, re-engages disengaged employees, and retains talent.

Hence: #goGPO Day!

Last year we put on our berets and whipped out our brushes for a virtual Painting with a Twist party. This year, we traded our berets in for detective hats and hosted a Murder Mystery party online.

Here’s how we made it happen!

 

Step one: hire a host

Taking time out of our busy schedules to plan a unique, memorable #goGPO Day simply wouldn’t happen with the pace at which we operate. Instead of spending weeks — or months! — figuring out how to host a meaningful virtual team-building event, we turned to the experts for help. We enlisted the help of Confetti, a platform that curates unforgettable team-building experiences. Getting assistance from a reputable company that has a proven track record of hosting amazing events made planning — and hosting! — #goGPO Day 100x easier.

Step two: pick an interactive, inclusive activity

From cookie decorating and mixology kits to trivia and drag queen bingo, there are virtual activities out there for everybody! The key to finding the right activity for YOUR team is to know your audience.

Since we have a healthy mix of introverts and extroverts, we decided on a top-rated activity: Murder in La La Land. There were enough interactive elements to let the extraverts shine and plenty of drama for the introverts to sit back and enjoy.

Next, we had to introduce this wacky idea of a virtual murder mystery to the team.

Step three: hype it up

The only way to make sure this virtual event would actually foster team bonding? Get buy-in!

To warm everyone up to the idea of doing something a little off-the-wall, we announced #goGPO Day at our weekly staff meeting with a hilarious “whodunnit” video outlining the basics of the Murder Mystery plot line. The video set the mood for the event: it was intriguing and a little goofy. Everyone was encouraged to participate and dress up for the event.

In addition to an impactful announcement, remind folks to opt-in. In the weeks leading up to the event, our team members were reminded often to show up, dress up, and have fun.

Step four: don’t forget the logistics

Ah, the details. Set your team up for success by providing all logistics ahead of time: what time to show up, where to be, what to wear, and what they can expect to do. In a remote environment, it’s better to over-communicate expectations — otherwise, you may end up with a confused, annoyed group who’s over the event before it’s even begun.

We provided explicit details about the event ahead of time, including:

  • A Zoom link
  • Suggested attire (1950’s Hollywood glam, if you’d like to know!)
  • Expected length of the Murder Mystery Party
  • What to bring (a notebook and a curious mind)

Team members had the opportunity to ask questions ahead of time so we weren’t scrambling at the last minute to answer questions.

Step five: HAVE FUN

Our #goGPO Day went off without a hitch. Our team showed up, game for whatever the Murder Mystery brought our way. We had a blast dressing up and solving the murder together — we even hosted a post-party Zoom to debrief on the hilarious moments that happened during #goGPO Day.

Somehow this planned event sparked spontaneity that can usually only be achieved at in-person events. And we achieved our end goal: uniting our team through the power of FUN.

Want to join an amazing team who loves to work hard and play hard? Check out our open positions and shoot us your resume.

https://gpo.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/pexels-photomix-company-106341-scaled.jpg

Google’s Page Experience Update Coming June 2021

Learn more about the upcoming Google Page Experience update.

Have you ever visited a site that has slow load times or content that’s constantly shifting as the page loads? Or have you ever experienced a website that isn’t mobile-friendly while you’re browsing on your phone? Not only is it a frustrating experience, it likely causes you to move on quickly from that site to find a site that’s faster, mobile-friendly, and helpful from the get-go.

Google understands that users prefer to get their information from a website that provides an excellent user experience (UX) — which is why Google is rolling out the Page Experience Update beginning mid-June. This update will introduce new page experience ranking signals called Core Web Vitals to the algorithm, ultimately rewarding brands who provide quality UX to users.

A little history on Google’s Page Experience Update

Prior to the upcoming search ranking change, web page experience was not an outright ranking factor. Elements that contributed to an excellent website experience — page speed and mobile-friendliness, for example — have certainly been ranking signals for years, but Google needed a quantitative way of calculating a helpful, enjoyable page experience.

Really want to nerd out? Check out all of Google’s Algorithm Changes since 2003, courtesy of Search Engine Journal.

So, in May 2020, the team at Google set up a system of metrics called Core Web Vitals to measure speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. Months after launching Core Web Vitals, Google announced that they were rolling out page experience search signals that included Core Web Vitals and traditional UX ranking signals (mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS, and the absence of intrusive interstitials). All of these search signals make up Page Experience, which will contribute to ranking beginning in Mid-June. The rollout of the Page Experience Update is expected to be fully live by August.

What exactly are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals are metrics that are part of Google’s page experience score that help quantify a page’s user experience. While the metrics will evolve over time, the current set focuses on three core aspects of the user experience:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance
  • First Input Delay (FID): measures interactivity
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures visual stability

Screenshot of Google's core web vitals

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

largest contentful paint screenshot

Source: web.dev

LCP measures how long it takes for content “above the fold” of your screen to load. To provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have LCP occur within the first 2.5 seconds of a user visiting a page. Beyond 2.5 seconds may cause you to have a “Needs Improvement” or “Poor” LCP score.

First Input Delay (FID)

First Input Delay screenshot

Source: web.dev

FID measures the time it takes for a user to interact with a webpage. Keep in mind that the page does not have to be full interactive; it tracks concrete interactions, like clicks (not scrolling or zooming), as soon as the user lands on the page. For instance, someone may click the navigation menu before the rest of the site renders. Sites should aim for an FID of less than 100 milliseconds to fall into the “Good” category.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Cumulitive Layout Shift screenshot (CLS)

Source: web.dev

CLS evaluates how long it takes a page’s elements to fall into place. As a page downloads, unstable elements sometimes shift around, causing a poor user experience. Unstable page elements typically include ads, web-based fonts, images or iframes without dimensions, and more. Google measures the “impact fraction” of how much space an unstable element takes up on a page. For example, if an unstable element takes up 25% of your screen and it shifts another 25%, simply add those two percentages to get a 50% Impact Fraction, which is shared as a score of 0.5. To provide a good user experience, sites should aim for a score of less than 0.1.

How can brands check on their Core Web Vitals?

Curious to see how your brand’s Core Web Vitals are performing? You can evaluate Core Web Vital performance in Google Search Console a couple of different ways:

  • Core Web Vitals Report: This type of report replaced the Speed report and analyzes the three metrics that make up Core Web Vitals: LCP, FID, and CLS.
  • Page Experience Report: Not only do you get the Core Web Vitals report within this report, you can evaluate mobile usability, intrusive interstitials, security issues, HTTPS usage, and ad experience. The report is evaluated per-URL and is limited to mobile URLs at this time.

How does the Page Experience Update Affect GetLocal Pages by GPO?

The Localize Content platform is built and maintained with Google best practices in mind, including page experience. The pages are built light to ensure fast load times, keeping LCP and FID times low. Plus, the design framework ensures we’re utilizing stable page elements to prevent CLS from occurring.

While Google updates tend to make digital marketers break out in a slight sweat, remember that page experience isn’t the end-all, be-all. Google takes many other signals — like high-quality content! — into consideration when ranking search results. Making sure your site is optimized for search takes meticulous daily maintenance. The brands who embrace search optimization as a marathon, not a sprint, fare the best in the end!

Have questions about the Page Experience Update or your search optimization strategy? Reach out and let us know! Our team is ready to help.

 

 

City map with some location tags

5 Important Google Business Profile Ranking Factors

Our guide to the 5 most important Google Business Profile ranking factors.

Trying to figure out how Google works can be a little like stepping through the back of a wardrobe into Narnia. It’s a world of its own that’s constantly evolving, keeping digital marketers on their toes!

While the world of search can feel magical, there’s a science behind Google’s ranking algorithm — including local search.

Why local search? Well, we know that Google aims to help consumers find answers to their questions. With 34 billion searches per month in the U.S. and more than half of them showing local intent, sharing accurate, local answers for consumers is incredibly important to Google.

Where to buy and near me mobile searches have grown 200% in the past two years. Think With Google

High consumer interest in local search means multi-location brands need to appear in local organic search results and Google’s Local Pack to drive the most clicks and calls possible.

Screenshots compling google local pack example

Google Local Pack: Also known as the Google Map Pack or the Google 3 Pack, these map results appear at the top of a SERP and shows three relevant businesses within the searcher’s proximity. Studies vary, but the Google Local Pack drives 15 – 30% of clicks from a SERP when you exclude searches that result in zero clicks.

How exactly can you optimize your multi-location brand for the Local Pack? Only Google knows for sure, but experts suggest that you focus on Google My Business.

Google My Business is THE Number One Ranking Factor for the Local Pack

According to Whitespark’s 2020 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, GMB signals are the most important ranking factor to Google’s Local Pack and have been on the rise for several years.

Local pack pie chart

changes over time bar graph

It makes sense. GMB is a product Google prefers over other listing aggregators. Additionally, Google owns nearly 90% of the search engine market share in the U.S., making it THE source of truth for business listings.

So how can a multi-location brick and mortar business shine in the Local Pack? The good news: as a digital marketer, you have some control over optimizing your business listings. The bad news: there are ranking factors that are simply out of your control. Let’s dive in and see which signals are most important within GMB.

5 Important GMB Ranking Factors

1. Primary Category

Make sure every business listing has a relevant primary category. Additional categories are a ranking factor, too, as long as they are relevant to your business. When filling out your primary category, go ahead and add as many additional, related categories to your business listings.

Pro Tip: Update your categories regularly. Google is adding new categories all the time. Darren Shaw, Whitespark

There are two to 10 category changes every month to categories. In the last year, we have found there are a lot of restaurant categories added as well as the auto industry. Joy Hawkins, Sterling Sky

2. Keywords in Business Title

You likely don’t have control over your business name — nor should you keyword stuff your name for rankings’ sake — but businesses with highly descriptive words in their name will perform better in GMB. For example, a clothing retailer cleverly named “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” will likely not rank as high as the more straightforward “Lucy’s Clothing Boutique.”

3. Proximity to Searcher

Google serves up GMB listings that are close in proximity to where the searcher is located. Unfortunately, this ranking factor is out of your control.

4. Link to Local Pages

While most businesses link to their homepage on GMB, multi-location businesses should link to their location pages. This allows Google to crawl your location page and find local content — sending excellent relevancy signals.

5. Positive Google Reviews

If customers recommend you, Google is more likely to as well. Well-rated businesses rank higher in the Local Pack compared to low-rated businesses. Bonus tip: while you don’t have control over what customers write about you, it’s important to know that customer reviews with relevant keywords also help your ranking.

Remember: Local Organic Search Drives the Most Clicks to Site

In addition to providing customers with business information via the Local Pack, your multi-location or service area brand should focus on a search strategy that helps you rank high in local organic listings. Local organic results appear below the Local Pack and receive roughly half of all clicks when you remove zero-click searches. And while GMB is a small ranking factor for local organic results, your brand should focus on creating unique, relevant, local content to rank higher on the SERP.

Need help figuring out how to get your multi-location business to rank higher on Google? Get in touch with GPO today to learn the content strategy and tools you need to make it to the top of the SERP.

Sorry We're Closed Business Sign

5 Important Ways to Update Your Business Listings in an Emergency

When emergencies happen, it’s important to keep your business information up-to-date so customers know when and how to access your products and services. Here’s a checklist of action items to help ensure your online business information remains accurate and reliable when a health crisis, natural disaster, tragedy, or other emergency affects daily operations. These recommendations are based on the features available in Google My Business (GMB).

Please note: If you are a business that is affected by COVID-19, you can learn more from Google Support about handling your Google My Business listings.

Update Store Hours

If an emergency has disrupted your normal business hours, change your store hours to reflect your new open and close times.

Tips for Handling Unique Store Hours

  • GMB Special Hours: For short-term changes in business hours, you may use Google My Business “special hours” to show that this adjustment is temporary.
  • Appointment Only: If your business cannot remain open to the public but you’re still conducting business, share this information by adding it to your business description (more below). Google does not provide an “hours by appointment” option at this time.
  • Dedicated Hours for Certain Patrons: More businesses are adjusting their hours to give the elderly and other at-risk people exclusive access to their business at certain days and hours. The best way to communicate this message is through your business description (see below), email marketing, social media, and a post on GMB.

Use Alerts

Add an alert banner to your website and location pages communicating information about changes customers can expect during this time. Website visitors may want to know if you are still operating during the emergency, how your business is making adjustments, and if they can expect delays in receiving your products/services.

Use an alert banner to drive traffic to a page that addresses customers’ most common questions. For example, with the increase in to-go and takeout orders, people want to know: Is it safe to order from [Restaurant]? And what are the restaurant’s employees doing to ensure the safety of my food?

A dedicated FAQ page with answers to customer questions is a great way to maintain customer trust—and potentially business—during a risky time. Turn to your social media profiles or customer service team for insight into the most commonly asked questions.

Update Your Business Description

Your business description is a summary (up to 750 characters) that appears when a user searches for your local business or checks out your listing on Google. Use your description to share how your business is handling the emergency. Here are some ideas to help you craft your emergency business message:

  • Explain why you are adjusting your business hours.
  • Share extra precautions you’re taking to mitigate risk.
  • Communicate new or extra services during this time.
  • Highlight any delays customers may see.
  • Give readers a timeline on when they can expect your business to resume its normal operation.

Use Google Posts

Google Posts allow you to post content directly into the search engine results pages for your business listing. Think of it like a social media post for your business listing. You can write a quick note, add an image, and link to a more extensive webpage or blog post that shares a complete overview of how the emergency is impacting your business and what customers should know.

Manage Store Closures

On March 15, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that businesses now have the option to mark themselves as ‘temporarily closed.’

You may use this setting to let customers know that though your business is temporarily shut down, they can expect to see your business return after the resolution of the emergency.

Top Tips for Managing Business Information in Evolving Emergencies

Be on Standby for Evolving Changes

As emergency situations evolve, so will your business information. Be on standby to make online changes that’ll help customers stay up-to-date on how to access your products and services.

Prioritize Location Pages and GMB

Update your owned location pages and GMB listings. Anticipate that consumers may look in both areas for information.

Understand GMB Limits

Google My Business is an amazing tool for spreading information about your business, but it has limits. Depending on the nature of the emergency, Google may choose to prioritize updating one business’s information over another’s. For example, Google is prioritizing health-related businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak, so critical edits (like hours, business description, etc.) to health-related businesses will be reviewed by Google before edits to other businesses. Also, new reviews and Q&A posts are on pause in an effort to protect businesses from ill-informed reviews.

If you have questions or need guidance on how to update multi-location business information online, please contact GPO.

Man holding phone with street in the background and Google Maps pulled up on his phone

Google Maps Is the Ruling Local Search Tool

Google is the Big Cheese. The Kahuna. The Sultan of Swat. (Okay, so that last one is Babe Ruth, not Google.) But did you know that Google Maps, in particular, might be the reigning Titan of Terror? Many clicks are shifting away from WWW sites and traditional SERP listings in favor of Google Maps.

We’ve been tracking this shift in our clients’ monthly analyses.

Engagement with Google business listings (GMB) continues to show growth YoY, including a record number of calls, direction requests, and clicks to clients’ websites from GMB. Map views and discovery searches are also at all-time high levels.

Survey confirms Google Maps preference

A new survey* found that 77% of respondents use Google Maps to find “near me” business information before they turn to other sites. After Google Maps, users turn to Facebook (38%) and Yelp (35%).

The survey also found that the majority of people (81%) use their smartphones for “near me” searches—no surprise there.

What’s interesting, however, is that people aren’t searching on their phones when they’re “on the go!” Most local searches are happening while people are at home (59%). Among those who performed local searches at home, 54% said they would go to the business either right away or on the same day, and 46% said they would visit the business within the next few days.

What’s the big deal?

Online research still results in offline purchases—it’s just difficult to track. (Google’s latest patent aims to track AND increase offline purchases. Check it out if you’re ready to get a little creeped out.)

The best way to secure your spot in Google’s Map Pack is a threefold approach.

  1. Claim your Google My Business listings and ensure the data (name, address, phone number, hours, latitude and longitude, etc.) are accurate. This isn’t a “one and done” thing. You will need to manually triage and correct listing information on an ongoing basis.
  2. Create local content pages for every business location and geographic area your company serves.
  3. Link your local content to your Google My Business listings.

This last step is especially important. It closes the loop for Google and shows the search engine exactly who you are, where you do business, and what you sell/do.

You can also further optimize your Google Maps listing by adding images, getting reviews, and optimizing your business description.

Reach out to GPO for help improving your presence in Google Maps or closing the loop on your local search presence. The Titan of Terror isn’t going anywhere. 😉

*The survey included a little over 1,000 responses from U.S. adults; 53% female; 47% under the age of 45.

Row of hands holding a mobile phone

57% of Search Traffic is Now Mobile. Are You?

57% of Search Traffic is Now Mobile. Are You?

Mobile search on Google now represents about 57% of all search traffic, says a new study from BrightEdge.

The study also finds that the same query on the same search engine generates a different rank in mobile and desktop 79% of the time.

That means that while you may have visibility on page one of Google when searching a key phrase on desktop, you likely won’t see the same results when you search on mobile and vice versa.

For listings in positions 1-20, 47% had mobile and desktop rankings that were not the same, reports BrightEdge.

So what? Google has already indicated that the mobile-first index is imminent, and not in a “somewhere over the rainbow” kind of way. Having a responsive site is the first of many steps in having a truly optimized mobile user experience. The next step? Understanding the intent behind customer’s mobile searches vs their desktop searches.

How are your customers using mobile to find you? Once you can identify and differentiate between desktop and mobile demand, you can produce separate mobile and desktop content that resonates on multiple devices. And where organic visibility or CTR differs between devices, you can use your knowledge to optimize for the device that’s more important to your customers.

This is one reason we differentiate and track desktop vs mobile organic traffic and engagement—to provide you with a clearer picture of how well you’re reaching your mobile customers. If you’re ready for a deeper dive into device-specific keywords and traffic, send us a note. We’re here to help you build the mobile foundation you need for the future!

Woman looking at her phone

Google Posts: What You Need to Know

Google Posts: What You Need to Know

What are Google Posts?

Google Business Profile screenshotGoogle Posts offer a new way for businesses with brick and mortar locations to be heard online, in real-time.

Released to all businesses with a Google My Business (GMB) account on June 22, this feature allows local businesses to effortlessly create content to display in their Knowledge Panel in Google.

“Your Google listing is the ideal place to showcase what is unique about your business,” says Google, and Google Posts is “an easy way to help attract new customers and build relationships with the customers you already have.”

With a maximum word count of 300 and a lifespan of seven days or less, Posts are built for instant consumption and to drive action. They can be used to:

  • Highlight daily specials or current promotions
  • Promote current or upcoming in-store events
  • Showcase a product or announce a new arrival
  • Drive one-click action, making it easier for customers to make a reservation, sign up, learn more, or buy an item

Take a look at how a jewelry store (above), therapist (below), and secondhand sporting goods franchise (below) are using Google Posts to drive brand awareness and action.

Just Mind Google Business ProfilePlay It Again Sports Google Business Profile

Barbara Oliver Jewelry uses Google Posts to share stories about her customers (Shane and his girlfriend) and send visitors to product pages and customer reviews. Just Mind uses Posts to explain what they do in relation to a certain social problem (in this case, traumatic events) and drive newsletter sign-ups. Play It Again Sports uses Posts to let customers know about the latest and greatest products. Come and get your skateboards while they last!

Why bother with Google Posts?

This feature is essentially a new way to make social media type posts directly in Google Search and Google Maps. As a business’s organic reach in Facebook continues to decline, Google Posts offers an opportunity to be heard in an equally crowded, but just as trafficked space—all in real-time.

Google hopes that this new content will keep users engaged in the Knowledge Panel and search in general, for longer.

No one is yet sure the extent to which Google Posts will be beneficial for search from a long-term perspective, as it’s not clear where or how Posts that have expired will live (if anywhere at all), and whether they will be indexed, searchable, and discoverable in search.

From a short-term perspective, however, Posts could prove to be a powerful way to increase in-store traffic, especially when it comes to generating an audience for an in-store event or limited-time offer. Posts can also be shared directly from Google across Facebook, Twitter, G+, and email.

Ready to try Google Posts?

Now is the time to start brainstorming how your business can leverage Google Posts. Will you promote limited-time offers? In-store events? New product arrivals? Customer testimonials?

Creating a Post for a single location is incredibly simple. Within your GMB dashboard you can add text, an image, link, and select a CTA button (Learn more, Reserve, Sign Up, or Buy). If your post is designated as an Event, it will live as long as the event timeframe. Or, you can schedule up to ten Posts ahead of time and give each a lifespan of up to seven days.

Currently, Posts can only be displayed for one location and cannot be applied to all locations within an account. Analytics is limited to Post views and actions, is not integrated into Insights, and cannot be viewed in aggregate. Google has indicated that this lack of functionality will soon be addressed.

Connect with your Presence Management team or Client Partner for more information on how to utilize this exciting new feature. Are there business goals that Google Posts could help you achieve? Let’s talk about!

Further Reading

Rows of Facebook logos

Like, Comment or Share! How to Maximize Facebook Local Search Potential

Like, Comment or Share! How to Maximize Facebook Local Search Potential

When it comes to local search, Facebook is getting a little more “likable.” The essential pieces are there: Facebook has millions of business pages, a boatload of location data, behavior data, demographic information, social networks, and constant engagement.

Despite this treasure trove of potential, Facebook hasn’t been able to put the pieces together—but they’re working on it.

As columnist Wesley Young points out in changes by Facebook that make it a real local search player, Facebook now…

  • Prominently highlights maps and directions at the top of local business pages on both the Home page and the About page
  • Returns local results for general searches, even when a geo-modifier isn’t specified in the search
  • Provides more robust and complete local search results with pictures, addresses, distances, hours, and star ratings
  • Features interactive maps with pins for business locations
  • Incorporates social media into search results by including mini-profile pictures below place listings of friends who have checked in or posted about the business

This last piece could help Facebook gain traction in the local search ecosphere. Reviews are already powerful, but reviews from friends? Irresistible.

There’s no doubt Google remains the biggest, baddest player in local search. They dominate with over 63% of the general market share and 95% in mobile. Google’s search results still encompass a wider range of businesses, too, with Facebook’s ability to help businesses dependant on their social media presence.

Go Further on Facebook with Rich, Useful Business Details

Even so, you can make the most of Facebook’s local search potential by:

Reviewing your business’s information.

Double check your location’s “About” page, business profile, and location information on Facebook. Are your address and phone number correct? Do your descriptions reflect the most recent brand standards, product focuses, CTAs, etc.?

Adding more business categories.

You’re only asked to select one business category when you create your Facebook page, but you can actually select up to three. Ensure that your business categories are accurate.

Activating buttons.

Activate buttons that Facebook offers, like click-to-call and appointment schedulers, to convert more traffic.

Not leaving anything blank.

This gives Facebook a chance to crowdsource answers.

Person holding a phone with the Twitter app opened

4 Reasons Why Social Share Buttons Should Be A Part of Your Search Engine Marketing Strategy

4 Reasons Why Social Share Buttons Should Be A Part of Your Search Engine Marketing Strategy

Amplify Your Presence Through Social Shares

Have you considered adding social share buttons to your website or blog as part of your search engine marketing strategy? Although the implementation seems daunting, it is actually an excellent call-to-action for visitors to engage with your content or retail items. According to the inbound marketing big boys at Hubspot.com, “Websites that use Google’s +1 button generated 3.5 times more traffic from Google+ than websites that don’t have the button installed.” That is a compelling nugget of knowledge that is very hard to ignore.

Our search engine marketing interpretation: Out of sight, out of mind. So put yourself out there! Still on the fence? Here are 4 more reasons for you to consider installing a plugin like Socialize or DiggDigg2u on your website:

It offers people many ways to share your content directly.

Save your readers a few steps! With multiple social share button options (like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or even personal e-mail) they can save time and avoid any hassles in order to promote your message. If you make it easy, they are more likely to act on their impulse to share relevant content with their friends.

It diversifies your web presence.

Niche community buttons like StumbleUpon, Digg, Tumblr, Reddit, and LinkedIn are used heavily by those who actively engage with the Tech, Fashion, and Politics communities. If your brand resonates with pop culture gurus, it is a good idea to have a wide portfolio of social buttons and ways to engage.

It encourages conversation about your brand or organization.

Once a blog is shared via a social share button, another avenue opens up for others to continue the conversation about your blog topic or your brand. Put simply, social share buttons increase visibility. And visibility begets more opportunity for conversation.

Social shares become links back to your site.

While they may be “no follow” link, social shares still organically increase the amount of unique page views your receive on your site. It’s another case for visibility: The more social paths you create that lead to your content, the greater chances it will be seen by others and shared through 3rd party streams.

Treat your fans like house guests. Make things more comfortable and easier for them when they visit your home[page]. Be open, be friendly and encourage conversation. And make it easier for people to amplify your message through social shares. It is a search engine marketing strategy that is getting very hard to put off!