The Advantage of Using Google Business


Having your business Google Places Optimization listed with Google is one of the easiest–and completely free–things you can do to help improve your company’s online visibility. It allows you to provide accurate, up-to-date information on your business which can be accessed by both existing and potential customers.

We can’t stress enough, especially for small businesses, how important Google is. It is the modern day Yellow Pages–and then some. Google keeps tabs on just about everything–and that includes a large population of potential customers for your business.

Give Your Small Business Visibility Online

There are a lot of neat tricks and info you can display on your Google listing, but the most important thing is this: When someone in your area does a key term search–e.g. “construction companies in Madison, WI”–your business is MORE likely to pop up on page 1 of Google, especially if you have plenty of reviews.

“What if I don’t have the time?”

If you have at least 10 minutes to spare, you have plenty of time. Just follow these instructions and get your business on Google now.

Step 1 – Add or Claim Your Business through Google Business:

You may already have a listing, so be sure to check and see if Google has your information. If so, you can click “claim your listing” after agreeing to Google’s terms of service.

If you have to add your business listing, make sure you meet all of the guidelines for representing your business on Google beforehand.

Step 2 – Verifying Your Business

Depending on the type of business you run or whether you have previously used some of Google’s applications, there are several ways to verify your business. For most businesses, you will be sent a postcard with a verification code to the address you list your business at.

Some select companies are qualified for phone verification, and if you have been using Google Webmaster Tools, you likely will be able to use instant verification.

If you are having trouble claiming your listing, someone may have already verified your business. Should this be an issue, follow the instructions provided here.

Step 3 – Adding Business Information to Your Google Page

If you haven’t already, log in to Google My Business and click the edit button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

Check the sections you want to change. Google allows you to edit your business name, address (or the option not to show your exact address), contact information, category (what your business is), hours of operation, description and photos.

Once you’re satisfied with the changes you’ve made, click Done editing. Keep in mind it may take up to 60 days to delete information you’ve previously added.

After everything is verified, you now have a great tool at your command. An optimized Google Business page is an excellent way for you to generate some positive reviews which, in turn, will increase the SEO value of your website. And most importantly of all, the largest, most valuable web company in the world is linking to your website.

Why You Need Positive Reviews for Your Business


Nearly 70 percent of internet users read online reviews when researching businesses they are considering working with. Furthermore, 79 percent of consumers trust online reviews almost as much as personal recommendations. In other words, if positive online reviews about your business aren’t readily accessible you’re missing out on business.

So how do you actually get reviews? Here are some helpful (and easy-to-do) tips:

Make it easy

How to get reviews People generally feel little motivation to leave a review in the first place, let alone are willing to jump through hoops of fire to do so. If you haven’t done so already, take 10 minutes out of your day and sign up with a review website like Google Business or Yelp.com

Once you “Claim Your Business Page” and verify your listing you’re ready to start getting reviews. Be sure not only to add social media buttons to your website, but into your email signature as well.

Just ask

87 percent of small businesses do not ask their customers to post reviews. It seems obvious, but asking customers who use your services to leave you a review is important not only for the reviews itself but also for the SEO value of a verified listing with positive reviews.

Keep in mind that not every customer is a good customer to leave a review. You likely want to request a review from a client who you go above and beyond for or if they express how incredibly impressed they were with your services.

Regardless, keep engaged with your customers. A good way to do this is to send a follow up email about your services. And if they agree to leave a review, but don’t, send them a gentle reminder a week later.

Don’t buy, but do incentivize

Paying people to write good reviews seems like a smart idea, but it’s likely to come back and bite you later. That being said, offering incentives – coupons, discounts, referral offers, contests – can be a great motivator for people to get on their laptop or smart phone and type out a sentence or two.

The key with incentives is to make sure you’re not asking for good reviews. Rather, you’re seeking your customer’s honest option. And incentives don’t have to be exclusive to your customers. If you have staff to work with, make reviews a part of their work. Offer bonuses or whatever works for your specific business to employees who get customer reviews.

Respond to reviews

Positive or otherwise, thank your customers for leaving a review. You can’t erase negative reviews, but Yelp and other sites allow you to respond to customers and do a certain amount of damage control in the case of a less than positive review.

Finally, be patient. Choose one or two sites and focus your attention on building up your reviews slowly rather than en masse. Take your time and invest yourself to show customers that you really do appreciate their feedback and their business. A bunch of reviews that show up all at once will trigger filters, reviews that arrive organically over longer periods of time are much more valuable.

If you’re interested in generating positive online reviews for your business as well as gaining additional SEO value from your third-party reviews, check out the Big Tuna’s unique program, Review+.