Have you ever done an online search for a business name and gotten a list of results, along with a quick breakdown of that business on the right side of your screen? That’s Google My Business. Below, we outline several reasons why it’s important and include instructions on how to get started. If you’re already using GMB, read on to find out some additional information that will be useful to you!

SEO

We’ve posted a lot about Google Ranking Factors and Google My Business plays right into that concept. Providing Google with detailed information about what your business is, where it is located, and the types of services that you provide enables your business listing to be up-to-date and informative. In turn, more accurate search results may lead to more potential clients finding your business. Moreover, adding local SEO to your listing means your business information is geographically optimized as well, which is important for many businesses that only serve local customers.

Quick Information

Sometimes a customer doesn’t want to scour your website for information like hours of operation or your address. This is especially important now during COVID restrictions when it may be uncertain if a business is open or closed. In addition, updated information means customers can find your address and directions quickly and easily. There are also Google Reviews that are separate from other review sites like Yelp. These reviews are not able to be sorted by a third party like other reviews sites, meaning you’ll see all the reviews, good and bad.

Because of the visibility of reviews, getting your clients to post Google Reviews is good for business. Make it easy by sending individual notes to each customer, thanking them for their business, and asking them for a review. Be sure to include a link to the Google Review page for your business.

More Places to Post

If you’re already using GMB, did you know that you can post promotions, event information, products, photos, and updates? Quickly get customers in the know and also get some free advertising!

How to Get Started

Ready to get rolling? Click here for the link to begin the process of claiming your business and setting up Google My Business. Once completed, be sure to check in often to keep your information up-to-date. Check out Hammersmith Support’s GMB page too.

Google ranking factors

We’ve shared a lot about SEO on the Hammersmith Support blog: what it is, how to boost SEO organically, and how to use images for good SEO. Now we’re bringing you a few of the actual factors that Google uses to rank a site. As of 2019, there are 210 individual factors that Google uses to evaluate a website. Some are things we can all do for our websites, and we’ll detail those below. Others are best left to the website professionals! Here are 10(ish) of the Google Ranking Factors to consider for your business website:

Content Content Content

Content is evaluated in several ways, but we’re going to group a few topics together:

A. Freshness: how recently your website has been updated is HUGE. In fact, Google even puts the date of the most recent update in the search results. If that doesn’t tell you how much Google values fresh content, we don’t know what would. At minimum, content should be updated 1-2 times a month.

B. Update Magnitude: This goes hand in hand with freshness. Changing a few words here and there isn’t going to cut it. Making significant updates to content, like adding new testimonials, images, blogs, or multimedia, will help the most.

C. Quality: Grammar, Spelling: This one is a *little* contested. While some reports say Google doesn’t rank quality, others include quality as part of End User Experience. Bottom line, it doesn’t hurt to have good grammar.

Links

There’s a fine line between not enough links in a post and too many. The baseline is 1 internal (linking to another part of your site) and 1 external (linking to an outside website) link per post. BUT, if you have the opportunity to link to more than one internal page or external site because they’re related to the topic of your post, then there should be more than 1-2 links. Linking to reputable and authoritative sites (news outlets, educational institutions, established businesses) increases the rank as well.

Security

Obviously security is important for your end user safety and your website’s lifespan, but Google also ranks secure sites higher. All the more reason to make sure your URL has that important “s” in the http.

Page Speed

Having a website that loads quickly is usually targeted at end users to keep them from bouncing. But Google also ranks the page speed. If your site has a lot of images or other multimedia, software downloads, or is targeting buyers from around the world, using a CDN can speed up the loading process, not only making potential customers happy, but improving your rank at the same time.

Mobile Friendliness

This is one of the more recent additions to Google Rankings. Having a site that is optimized for mobile users is vital. In addition, priority is given to sites that build mobile framework first, then desktop user framework. Something to keep in mind when evaluating how your end user will likely access your website.

Keywords

Keeping your website’s keywords quality is a must. In addition, be sure that a keyword appears in the first 100 words of a page’s content. At Hammersmith Support, we utilize the Yoast SEO plugin to make sure that our meta data, keywords, and post descriptions are optimized.

Headers, Numbered Lists, Bullet Points

Big, bulky blocks of words are a no-no from an end user’s perspective and for Google Ranking as well. Be sure to break up content and organize it so that readers – and web crawlers – can scan the information easily.

Site Architecture

A well-designed / organized website makes it easier to be evaluated by Google, resulting in a higher ranking. Being able to quickly and easily index site pages is a must. This includes a well-designed site map.

Usability

This is another factor that initially appears to be relevant for the end user, but doubles by impacting rankings as well. An easy-to-navigate site will keep users longer and reduce the bounce rate. This low bounce rate and satisfied user translates into higher rankings.

Image Optimization

We’ve shared how ensuring that your image information is on point is a great way to organically boost a website’s SEO. The same is true for ranking. Making sure that image captions are accurate and informative, while the “behind the curtain” items like title, Alt Text, and description are all completed as well are all considered for rankings. Be sure not to have spammy Alt Text or descriptions. They may work for a short time but will hurt the rank in the long run.

Hungry for more? Click over to the Hammersmith Support Blog for more topics about SEO. 

Google Analytics has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. Why is that? On top of being easy to navigate and offering great insights into who is visiting your website, this tool offered by Google is FREE. Yes! So what does Google Analytics do for your website and business? We’ve got the breakdown for you:

What Exactly Does Google Analytics Do?

Through JavaScript, Google is able to capture information about who is visiting your site, how they get there, and how long they stay on each page. Which means you’re now able to see not only how many visitors are coming to your page but also if they’re using a phone, tablet or desktop to get there. You can see how long they stay on each page and which pages have the highest bounce rate.

Some of the areas that are tracked and analyzed are:

  • Audience Behavior: new versus returning visitors, frequency of visits, how the audience is engaging with the site
  • Mobile: smart phone versus tablet
  • Acquisitions: campaigns, searches, keywords
  • Realtime: locations and traffic sources can all be tracked as they are happening

Each of these sections is broken down into individual reports, making it easy to see the data from several angles.

Why Is That Important?

You may be thinking “sure that’s nice, but I don’t need all that data.” Even if you don’t use all the data provided, there are certain aspects that you can absolutely use. Say the reporting shows that the majority of users on your site are viewing on their mobile phones. What if your website is not optimized for mobile? You risk users leaving your site because it’s not easy to navigate on mobile. That’s information you can use! Updating your site’s infrastructure so that it is mobile-friendly can reduce your bounce rate and increase the length of time that audience members spend there.

This data can play a huge role in your website content, too. For example, if your site is written to explain how WordPress works, you need to be sure that your wording is directed at your target visitors. Said another way, you wouldn’t explain WordPress to a Millennial the same way you would to a Baby Boomer. Knowing the demographics of who is visiting your site can help you shape your content to ensure it’s being presented in the most effective way possible.

Why Not Use Google Search Console?

Here’s the best part: Google Analytics and Google Search Console work in tandem! Analytics is the breakdown of who is visiting your website, how they get there, and how long they stay. Google Search Console is the analysis of your site and how it’s performing for those visitors. Using both tools simultaneously gives you a comprehensive view of your website from an outside perspective. In addition, both Search Console and Analytics are designed to be used with the suite of other Google apps, including AdWords.

Have you heard of Google Search Console yet? GSC is a free service offered by Google to help monitor, track and troubleshoot your website on Google searches. Basically, it helps you update your site to improve how Google sees your site. Why is that important? Because even if your site is live and being updated, it may not be indexed on Google correctly. Not searchable = lost leads.

Who Needs GSC and Why?

Do you have a business website? Do you know where your traffic is coming from and or how to improve it? If not, GSC is definitely for you. Even if your hosting site offers insights into traffic on your website, it likely does not offer the level of detail that GSC can offer about that traffic. In addition, being able to troubleshoot how your site is viewed by Google is important because even if you think all the right pieces are there for Google to evaluate and index your site, there maybe an issue where the search engine can’t or won’t index your site. GSC help you find those issues, fix them, and get Google crawling your page accurately. Searchable = leads will find you!

Google Search Console is also great way of tracking which sites are linking to your website. It helps to detect some security issues like malware and hacking as well as optimize your ranking on Google.

Let Hammersmith Help

Is all this information a little out of your wheelhouse? Or maybe just one more thing you don’t need on your to do list? No problem. That’s where Hammersmith Support comes in. Our maintenance services offer enrollment in Google Search Console as well as working with the service to maximize your site’s presence on Google. We’ll enroll your site into GSC and monitor changes that need to be made to make sure your site is maximized on Google searches.