By: Dawn Ouellette Nixon
February 12, 2020 3:32 pm
It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon. You’re looking for something to do with the kids that will help them burn off a little energy. You search “indoor activities for kids near me” on your phone’s google search bar. Instantly, a local trampoline park, a laser tag center and a roller skating rink pop up, listed with miles from home and reviews at the ready to read.
Jennifer Narkavich, owner of My Girl Managed Services, says that Google My Business is critical to doing business today. – PHOTO/SUBMITTED
It’s a fact of life today that for a business to succeed, it has to be easily found in an internet search. According to Jennifer Narkavich, owner of My Girl Managed Services, a Stroudsburg-based independent marketing consulting firm, one of the best tools to optimize this is Google My Business.
Google My Business, launched in 2014, is a free tool from Google, for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. The benefits of GMB are threefold, according to Narkavich- increased visibility in internet searches, a better experience for customers, and more traffic to your website, social channels, and front door.
Narkavich was the featured speaker at the Pocono Chamber of Commerce’s February Women in Business Luncheon on Feb. 11 at the Stroudsmoore Country Inn in Stroudsburg. She advised the female business leaders gathered at the Inn to pay close attention to Google My Business.
Local search results are critical to getting found, she said. After all, when people search for a product or service near them, they’re usually very close to making a purchase, which is why it is important that the information about your business that shows up when people search Google is as accurate, complete, and optimized as possible, Narkavich said.
She referred to the key requirements for a Google search optimization as a businesses’ NAP or name, address, phone number and website.
“Businesses with Google My Business profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t have a Google My Business listing,” she said.
However, Narkavich added that Google is “Getting a little greedy.”
“They don’t want to give too much away for free,” she said, “so they are hiding some information, and you aren’t coming up organically as easily anymore. You may have already noticed this with your business’s website. You have to pay attention to stay on top.”
Narkavich said that if a business adds too much information to their NAP, Google will think they are trying to get more advertising for free, and hide that business’ NAP.
“Don’t add too many keywords,” she said. “Keep it basic.”
According to Narkavich, reviews are another way to help rise your NAP to the top in a Google search. Generating, responding to and monitoring reviews all increase your businesses profile, she said.
“Make sure you have someone assigned to responding to reviews,” she added. “If you don’t respond, people assume that you don’t care.”
Google algorithms might decide that one business is more likely to have what a searcher is looking for than your business, Narkavich explained, and so rank it higher in local results.
“A lot of people aren’t using Google My Business to its fullest potential,” she said. “…it will help you float to the top.”
Need our help: Contact My Girl Managed Services for more information