Our April Webinar – “Get Found: How to Make Google Work for Your Business” – had more questions from the audience than we had time for. So we’ve taken your top 3 most asked questions and had our presenters answer them here.

You can watch this webinar as well as other past Vivial webinars on demand at vivial.net/webinars. Check back to the page to get the updates on upcoming Vivial Webinars from our Small Business Success Series; tools to help your business market itself with a strong digital presence.

For any other questions about how to leverage the Google My Business suite of tools and make Google work for your business, contact us to get in touch with one of Vivial’s digital marketing experts.

1. Knowing Which Keywords to Use

Question: Does the keyword have to match exactly or will it pick up on any form of it? For example, if we use the keyword CRUISES and someone searches using the word CRUISING, will our keyword still be effective?

Keywords can be tricky. Trying to read your customers’ minds is never easy. The good news is that pinpointing exactly what they’re searching is rarely needed. First, we have to clarify if we’re talking about keywords that work for paid search or organic search.

When we’re talking about paid search, the good news is that you have control over how closely searches have to match your keyword in order for your ad to appear. When setting up your paid search campaign, you’ll manage this in your settings. You can choose to make your campaign anything from a broad match or phrase match all the way down to an exact match. Without getting into all the crazy complex details of setting up your campaign, as long as you choose anything other than an exact match—you should be safe.

Warning though, choosing to set your campaign up as anything other than exact match could introduce the opportunity for your ad to show in irrelevant searches. For example, if you use phrase match on the keyword “cruise” and someone is searching for “cruise control” your ad may appear—when obviously their search is totally irrelevant to your business.

Organic

The news gets even better when we’re talking about organic search. In this instance, you’re not paying to have an ad appear for specific searches, you’re merely optimizing your website so that it shows up relevant when certain topics are searched. It’s likely the content of this audience member’s website refers to many industry-related variations on “cruises,” including “cruising,” “cruise,” etc. So, as long as Google determines that your website is relevant to the topic the consumer is searching for, you will be able to rank well for all sorts of related keywords!

Still looking for a little guidance with your business’ keywords? Contact us today and we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of local search marketing!

2. Getting Your Business Set Up On Directories

Question: Do I have to get on directories myself, or are there vendors who will do that for me?

There are certainly many paths you can take to get your business listed correctly on major directories. Here are a few of the common approaches:

You can definitely do it yourself—if you have a lot of time and patience. Gaining access to each directory, setting up an account, and then copying and pasting all your business information can be tedious and time consuming—but it’s doable. Keep in mind that many of the major directories charge a nominal fee to update your business listing (a way for their QA measures to ensure that you’re serious about your listing). Multiply that nominal fee across a minimum of 20 directories, and pretty soon you’ve racked up a pretty little bill.

There are also vendors out there who will manage this process for you. It’s definitely way more convenient than going it alone since you can rely on their expertise. There again, it’s going to cost you. But at the end of the day that cost — which can sometimes get up there — is getting you only one component of your marketing services.

The other choice — and of course, we think it’s the best option — is to partner with an agency like Vivial. At Vivial, we’ve actually built directory optimization into our Marketing Platform. So, not only are you ensuring your business listings are claimed, optimized and locked across those 20 directories, but actually across 60+! You’ll still get the same expert service you’d get from a vendor, but we don’t stop at just directory listings. We’ll actually help you with content marketing, SEO, email marketing, social media management and so much more. And—you’ll be able to monitor it all 24/7 with our convenient, simple dashboard. It’s actually pretty slick.

Get a FREE DEMO of our Marketing Platform to see how we do so much more than get you on the top directories!

3. Google My Business For Those With No Foot Traffic

Question: What do I do if I have a Service Area Business but still want to rank on Google?

The great news is that you can still rank well, even if your business does not have a brick and mortar storefront. To designate yourself as a Service Area Business (SAB) in Google, you can simply edit your Google My Business Profile.

When you’re editing your location information in your Google My Business Profile, you’ll simply check a box indicating that you provide goods or services to customers at their location rather than yours. Make sure though, if you don’t want your physical address to appear in Google/Google Maps (for instance if you work from home), that you deselect the box indicating that you serve customers at your business address. Once you’ve done this, you can also enter a service area. So, decide how far you’re willing to travel to serve customers, and set that service area.

Keep in mind that regardless of whether or not you choose to publish your physical location publicly, you do have to list it in your Google My Business profile on the back end. This lets Google know that you are a legitimate business and is necessary for their verification process. Following all these steps will ensure that Google trusts and recognizes your business, and will return your business in the search and maps results based on the areas you serve.