Our Beginners’ Guide to the Web series takes you step by step through the world of online marketing, helping you to make sense of and understand how optimising your digital presence could help you to grow your business. In this blog we take a look at Google accounts, and why creating and maintaining one is a key aspect of your entire online marketing strategy.
A Google account is arguably your first step on the web
Quickly open a new tab and search for a local product, service or a specific company on Google. Do you notice that there is a box in the right-hand corner displaying either a list of local results, or details of one company? Have you ever wondered how your business can feature here?
The companies you see within the prominent right-hand bar of your Google search possess an active Google account. This gives them a number of basic privileges – and some more complex advantages, as we explain later on in the blog. First and foremost, they are achieving relevancy for your search terms and have been exposed to you, the customer – even if they don’t possess a website or social media presence. Secondly, they have the opportunity to present some basic information about their business. Perhaps you can see some glowing reviews and a telephone number along with the clearly visible location. This is arguably enough for you to make a buying decision – instantly.
Google listings enable existing and prospective customers to find you easily
Google listings demand attention – so understandably they are treated with respect and granted authority by users. Unlike paid ads, these search results display organically, so they tend to be picked up and viewed much more readily. The specific searches you appear for will depend on the information you provide Google with on your profile (such as location, description of services, images and any links to websites or social media accounts it can glean data from).
Setting up a Google account for your business is actually quick and easy. Simply head to Google and set up an account, if you don’t already have one. Then add a Google Plus page for your business (this is essential for SEO – learn why in our dedicated blog) before heading over to Google Maps and adding your business – or selecting it, if it is already there. Once you’ve entered your details you’ll be sent a verification code from Google to your company address to confirm that you are a genuine business. Then you’re ready to go ahead and start populating your profile.
Reviews and extra information easily add authority
As we touched on above, the information your provide Google with on your profile or listing is really important. This is how it knows where to place you when users are searching for products or services in your area. Make sure that the images you add are good quality and high resolution (your customers will see them – so they’ll form part of the initial impression you present), and consider having SEO-optimised content written for your description. Impatient searchers want to be able to find all the information they need instantly – without heading off to other locations, picking up the phone or sending an email. Opening hours, price range and menus or product and service lists are essential – as they help users to instantly determine whether you have what they are looking for or not.
Link with other Google accounts for maximum effect
As well as ensuring that your website and any social media channels are linked, it’s worth considering populating your Google Plus account with content from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram. Adding Google Plus to your social media arsenal has understandably positive implications for your SEO. You may also like to link your YouTube account, and add short videos with SEO-rich descriptions and tags. These can then also be shared across your other networks and embedded on your website to further increase your authority.
Keep following our ‘Beginners’ Guide to the Web’ series for more handy tips and advice on optimising your online presence for future success and increase profitability.