31 May 2018

Google Maps is a bargain. Cheap or free and you can get phone calls. Do it now!

Good afternoon. Michael Byrd here with Home Services Digital. We are doing video number 20. In videos 17, 18, and 19 we talked about the three sections of a Google search results page and why you might want to focus on one or the other as your next step. All three are good. In fact, we recommend that you become visible in all three. But which one should you do first? We talked about various reasons why you might pick one or the other.


Let’s call it Google Maps because it’s easier

Today and in the next video we’re going to talk about Google Maps. And  just to be official here we’re gonna — let’s just go and look at the name:  Google My Business. And that’s the official name: Google My Business.  I’m gonna give you the big screen here. It used to be called—sometimes still referred to as—Google Places, Google Maps, Google+, Google+ Local. There may be another name or two that I’ve missed in all of this. But I refer to it as Google Maps not because that’s more correct—it isn’t really—but for two reasons. No. 1: I think Google My Business is a terrible name. It’s terrible. That’s a mouthful of stuff. When I was doing a search I had to type in “claiming my Google My Business page. That’s a mess. The second reason has to do with how this actually appears. And one of the things that I’m going to point to is why this page or this section of a Google search results page is so important.

Now you noticed on our our Home Services Digital website we talked in previous videos about the three sections: AdWords, Maps (see, we refer to it here as Maps), and the organic search listings. We spent a lot of time talking about these organic search listings because people think about … when they think about doing a Google search they’re after what they get. There’s also Adwords and Maps. I’m going to show you why Maps can be important. Now if you look at our little diagram here it cuts these sections apart; puts these nice big numbers on it. This makes it more apparent that there are three sections here. These are three distinct sections. The average user’s not going to separate them. They’re going to go to whatever catches their eye. And what’s gonna catch their eye is the Map section, in many cases, because it is the most visual. It’s got a graphic associated with it. It’s got a little more air in it. It’s not a bunch of words. It’s not a gray river of type. And so Google Maps is valuable because it’s visual.


What? Phone calls from search, without a website?

If you happen to be, or if you can get to be one of these top three in here you can get phone calls. And you can get phone calls even if you don’t have a website. I’m gonna show you an example of that in a second. One of the downsides of Google Maps is that there’s not much you can do. It doesn’t matter if you hire a web company. It doesn’t matter if you read everything there is to read about it, which I’m going to show you. There are some things you can do, but there’s not much. There’s a little bit you can do.

OK, so let’s look at what you can and should do. And in fact I could make the case that the first place everybody should start if you’re a business owner is Google Maps. You need to get this right, and it’s cheap. It doesn’t take long; it doesn’t take much time. It doesn’t take much money. You can do it yourself. You can pay a company like ours to come and do it for you—2 to 3 hours.  We used to charge 3 to 5 hours because there was so much more we could do. Google has taken that away. They’re putting some of it back.

OK, so here’s how you would find out about what you can do on your Google Maps page. We’re gonna call it Google Maps. You do a search right here. If you do this search: “Google business,” going to a Google search window, “Google business,” and you will get this article right here. If you look at the URL it’s Google.com slash business. And you’ll get this really well-written not too dense kind of simple article right here on your Google Maps page or your Google page and all the things you can do. It’s not a lot but there are things you can do to make sure it’s correct: your phone number, correct name, address, phone number. Definitely make sure that’s there. You’ve got these three tabs here. Read that. It’s a good start.


Make the most of your free page

The second article is this one that I gave you, the search “Google Business Moz.” Moz is a website that deals with search. I don’t know why they call it Moz but this is also a very good article and I recommend reading how to optimize your Google My Business listing. All right, let’s say somebody searches for “Royal Heating and Cooling.” I’m sorry,  they’re not gonna search the word. No, sorry, no, you already have that business. “Air conditioning repair Leland North Carolina,” and you look and you see what comes up. In there we have one ad in the Google Map section, which is one of the benefits of Google AdWords, which we’re going to talk about later. Here’s Royal Heating and Cooling. We see what they’re up against here. They’re up against two other players. They have five-star reviews, which is great. The competition only has three, which is really not good, and this one has none. Probably better to have no reviews than to have a 3-star average. So Royal Heating and Cooling is doing well here.

All right, now if I’m Royal Heating and Cooling, you know, I want to examine my Google My Business page, I can click on this. This is not the website, by the way. One of the things you discover here is that I don’t think this company has a website. You can show up in Maps, you can get clicks, you can get phone calls. You don’t have to have a website. That’s another advantage of Maps. You just have to get lucky to be in that top 3, but if I search for Royal Heating and Cooling this square over here, this rectangle over here is my Google Maps page. And right here it says “add website.” That means there’s no website, and if I look over here in this search I don’t see a website. This company probably doesn’t have one. In this article, this Moz article, the writer brings up this button right here: “suggest an edit” and comes up with the possibility—kind of obvious and, I guess if you think this way, that your competitors could go in and edit your page. Well that’s really dirty. I don’t think you should do it; I don’t think they should do it to you. But it does suggest that you should on a regular basis just check your page. OK, Google yourself. It’s a good habit to Google your business anyway every once a while and see what comes up and also Google your category–air conditioning repair, heating repair, plumbing, roofing, whatever–and just see how you come up.


What about reviews? They’re good. More next time!

All right, we’re going to talk more in the next video about reviews and what you can do with your Google Maps page as far as claiming it. So, next video: claiming and reviews. And that’s gonna be about all you can do with Google Maps. But you need to do it. It’s worth doing. You need to do it. You need to pay somebody a small amount of money, maybe us, to do it for you.

Michael Byrd with Home Services Digital. Please, remember to subscribe and tell a friend.

Thank you.


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