Ignoring Terms That People Are Actually Using
It can be difficult to figure out what keywords or phrases people are using in the real world. You may think that your product or service is called one thing. However, the public may be calling it something else. Slang phrases are more common than you may think.
Think about a modern example. How many people do you know that use the word “Coca-Cola?” Probably not many. Rather, most people are going to ask for a “Coke.” It’s not the true name of the product, but it’s what people call it.
When’s the last time you fell and scraped your knee or accidentally cut yourself in the kitchen? When you did, you probably asked for a “Band-Aid.” Who knows what brand you got? All you wanted was a bandage. The brand didn’t matter. But the term “Band-Aid” and “bandage” have become synonymous with each other.
What does that mean for small businesses? First, you have to think about the words that an audience is actually looking for. What you want them to look for doesn’t matter. You have to match what’s happening on the ground.
Believing That Google Is All You Need to Care About
Let’s be very clear. Google is still king. For the foreseeable future, they will stay that way. We’re not saying that you should ignore them. However, it would be best if you were cognizant of what’s going on in the world around you. People are constantly using new platforms to connect with businesses in their area. You have to capitalize on all the available platforms.
The immediate platforms that come to mind are Facebook and Instagram. However, there are more local platforms such as NextDoor, Yelp, and FourSquare. HomeAdvisor and Thumbtack are incredibly important for home improvement companies. If your business is not on these platforms, you’ll lose out to competitors every single time. Most of these platforms allow businesses to build a profile for free. There’s no reason not to be on those platforms.
Choosing the Wrong Category in Google My Business
Google explains your Business Profile as “a free tool that allows you to take charge of the way your business appears on Google Search and Maps. With your Business Profile, you can connect with customers, post updates, list your products and services, accept online orders, and more.” According to whitespark, your GMB profile is the biggest contributor to ranking well on Google maps.
Signing up for and creating a profile is very simple. However, people often miss one critical step. During the process, you’ll be asked to choose a primary category for your business. Apart from your business name, this is the most crucial part of the profile. Google uses this category to group your business with similar businesses and match your business with user searches.
There are nearly 4000 Google My Business Categories. So how can you be sure you pick the right one?
- Visit Google Maps
- Type in your primary service
- Examine what service is listed on your competitors’ profiles.
Let’s imagine that we owned a business that focused on services like water extraction, mold removal, etc. We want to ensure that we have the best water damage SEO by implementing best practices like the one above; by following the steps above, we can see that all of our competitors have “water damage restoration service” as their Google My Business profile category. We can then deploy the same profile on our profile.
If you already have a GMB profile set up, it’s a good idea to go through this same exercise and ensure that you have the proper category in place. If you don’t, you can quickly go into your profile to make the change.
The biggest opportunities are often the ones that are the most intuitive. So give these ideas a try in your business. Even a small improvement in your business’s search engine optimization can have a massive contribution to your bottom line.