Winning at Google ... Tips From an Actual Person at Google

Claiming and optimising your Google My Business listing has to be one of the best ways to get your business ranking high, and fast on Google. I’m not going to lie; while it SHOULD be the simplest thing in the world to do, it pans out that it is often not. Don’t feel badly. Even the most techie person can be drained of the will to live trying to figure it all out. There can be all kinds of road blocks and frustrations in the way of doing the simplest things like changing location details or verifying a listing to make it live. And because you are dealing with a massive corporation, personal contact is pretty much non existent. Speaking with someone who knows what they are talking about at Google, is like trying to get a date with Prince Harry.

This afternoon, I was working with a client to help her clean up her Google My Business listing. It was a complicated process and she had hit the wall, because every click took her to the same dead end. We eventually got on to a real live person from Google (not from a call centre in the Phillipines, from the US - this has NEVER happened to me before), and he walked us through the issue and gave us a couple of very hot tips with regard to getting your Google My Business listing to rank well. It was basically more exciting than getting a date with Prince Harry.

So here are my three golden tips and takeaways from this experience to help you resolve your technical/ support issues and optimise your listing:

  1. The weekends seem to be the best times to get in personal contact with support people at Google. OK, so super boring to be working on a Sunday afternoon, but let’s face it, we are all small business people. It’s what we do :-). Within 15 minutes we had a service person on the phone to discuss the issue with us. He walked us through the steps we needed to take, and then sent a confirmation link to confirm that the changes had gone live.

  2. He strongly emphasised the importance of continually adding new photos and information to your listing. And I mean all the time. If you are adding photos or information to your website, Facebook page or Instagram or LinkedIn accounts, you should also add them to your Google My Business listing. It doesn’t really matter what your images are named, what matters is that searchers click through, and spend time on your Google listing looking at them. This is what helps it to rank. If there is nothing there for them to see, they won’t click through, and your listing will slide in the rankings.

  3. Equally as important as keeping your listing updated with pictures and information, is getting your customers to write you reviews. This is SUPER important for a number of reasons. From a searcher’s point of view, they provide social proof that you are a great business. From the search engine’s point of view, it shows positive activity on your business listing from both the person leaving the review, and the person clicking through and reading it. Cam published a post showing you how to simply send your customers a link to leave you reviews on Google, and you can read it here . Don’t be intimidated by this process. It is actually much easier than you’d imagine, and your customers will be more likely to leave you a review if they don’t have to figure out how to do it themselves.

So if you are having issues with your Google My Business listing, don’t give up on it. It is basically the single most important thing you can do to improve your business ranking, and it is free. Most business people are not doing it well or at all, for the reasons I outlined above. Plus, you will feel very clever when you sort it out. Of course, if you are still struggling, you know where to find us :-).