Work alongside Google to make your business stand out!
Google is selfish. Google doesn’t people to leave Google. We talked the other day about how social media sites are all about keeping users on the site so they can make more money from ads.
Well, guess what? Google is the *same* way!
The more users live and stay in the Google universe, the more opportunities Google has to put ads in front of them. This is how they remain a billion-dollar business when they hardly charge for any of their services.
Google is in the business of advertising.
Most people don’t know that Google is in the business of advertising!
We’re used to Google just being a search engine, and they still are. But you’ll notice when you go for a search, how much more information is being pulled out by Google, so you don’t need to actually go to websites as much as you used to.
They do this because it makes sense from an advertising standpoint. That’s all you really need to know.
So what does a strong Google business listing look like?
Take a look at this business listing for Fu-Wah, a wonderful little West Philly staple with awesome Vietnamese hoagies and Italian hoagies:
The left side of this search looks like a basic Google search. But what really catches your eye in this photo?
The right side. And what you’re seeing on the right side is Fu-Wah’s native Google business listing. In this listing, they provide all of the relevant info someone would want to look at before visiting their business.
They’ve added their hours, showed their location, linked to an order page, added a phone number and even reviews.
They’ve answered all the big questions you’d ask if you were considering eating there!
Besides the obvious convenience factor. The point of this listing is so when people Google Fu-Wah, they’ll see the business listing pop up and won’t need to go to the website anymore. Which is exactly what Google wants. Because ads.
Remember, the goal is to work with Google to form a mutually beneficial relationship.
Let’s take a look at another example of a listing on Google that answers a more specific query. This is what appears when you search “what is a rolling boil” on Google.
The first thing that pops up is this answer from Merriam-Webster that IMMEDIATELY answers our question!
There are lots of people, bloggers and websites that probably put a lot of time into thoroughly explaining what a rolling boil is. But 90% of us are going to read these two sentences and then go right back to making dinner.
There’s a couple of things going on here. One, as I talked about, Google wants to sell ads. Merriam Webster helped Google out by providing a concise answer to our question. And now Google is featuring that answer in a primetime location where it can also show an advert!
A new player in the search universe
How else is this concise answer helping Google? Well, judging by the structure and format of this content. This answer is also going to be the answer given to anyone asking their Google Home Smart Speaker “what is a rolling boil?”
Voice technology such as the Amazon Alexa and the Google Home are only going to become more prevalent in the coming years. Think how much more convenient it would be to simply ask your smart speaker a question while you’re busy cooking than it would be to pull out your laptop or phone to physically type your question on Google.
Why does this matter?
I’m sure you’re curious about Google, but we’re really talking about this because any business, organization or anything that would or should exist on Google Maps, needs to start thinking about how to stand out in the Google universe. And not just focus on SEO and getting people to click on your little blue link.
Because at the end of the day, what most people are seeing is that big beautiful listing.
I haven’t included a Google Maps example, but it’s the same sort of thing. A lot of people are searching on Google Maps to find things.
Implement something today
Your first action step today is making sure your Google presence is claimed. If you haven’t claimed it, hop on over to business.google.com, sign in and then claim your business.
This is an easy win for your biz. If you’re running a business, if you’ve spent a cent on SEO work or on digital marketing or anything else, and you haven’t already claimed and optimized your business, then you’ve missed the very lowest of low sweet ripe hanging fruit.
Go do that right now, stop reading this article. Go claim your business. And then, once you’ve done that, or if you’ve already claimed it, take some time to really optimize it.
Add some photos! Those are what people are going to see first. Photos are the one interesting graphical element of a Google search. Add some good photos, make sure your hours are up to date and make sure your website is linked.
The TLDR (Too Lazy Didn’t Read) Version
Just like we talked about with social media. It makes sense to do what the platform wants you to do, so you can work together instead of against each other.
It’s not just about fighting Google in order to get people off their platform and onto your site.
It doesn’t work that way. Google controls this universe. So you can either play by their rules, or you can sit there with a boring link and an unfilled out profile, and have people go elsewhere.
Make that good, killer first impression. It’s not difficult. It’s free. And it can make a big impact. Just do it right and you can really get a jump on your digital marketing without even needing to hire a professional.