Feb. 20, 2023

Up Your Google Game and Get Found by Potential Clients

Couples planning a wedding have more options than ever before, but it's essential for businesses to make sure they're seen. Studies show that Google dominates search engine usage - if your business isn't in the top of those results, you won't be considered by engaged couples! Don’t miss out on opportunity: ensure an up-to-date presence across all platforms – especially on Google – so potential customers can find you quickly and easily when researching their big day. Because no matter how unique or amazing your services may be -- if nobody sees them, there’s little chance of connecting with new clients who need what you offer.

With a complete and up-to-date Google business profile, you can show customers why they should choose to do business with you instead of competitors. Maximize credibility by regularly adding fresh photos and posts every seven days. For an extra boost, seek reviews on Google from past clients, vendors and others in your industry for added assurance that leads will be impressed when browsing online profiles. Make sure your business stands out from the crowd!

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Kristina Stubblefield: Thank you for tuning in to WedPro Business Solutions. I'm your host, Kristina Stubblefield. Over this past week or 10 days, I feel like I've been asked some of the same exact questions around different groups. I felt like I really wanted to do a podcast episode on this.

[00:00:22] So everyone seems to ask me about that magic piece to the marketing puzzle or the business game. And bad news is there is no one magic piece to either marketing or business. However, this episode topic is pretty magical because what I'm gonna share with you is really important. So I hope you'll stay with me.

[00:00:47] What am I talking about? One of the best things that you can do for your business is use your Google business profile. Notice I didn't say have a Google Business profile. We're past that. You definitely should have a Google Business profile. Now, I encourage you to keep listening because just having one is far from enough, and I'm gonna share with you why. I've shared in the past statistics about Google and how many people use Google, the number of searches that are done every day, I'm not gonna do that. It is the number one search tool, and I'm here to share with you, I, over the past two months, have been at, I believe, three or four wedding shows already, and very fortunate with the other podcasts that I do, The Ring The Bling and All The Things that I get to have conversations with engaged couples.

[00:01:45] And in the past I've heard a lot about Pinterest and Instagram. And other social media platforms. And this year I am hearing so much about Google, YouTube, TikTok, and then Instagram. So what does that mean for you? That means what I'm sharing with you right now is something that you can immediately implement in your business to make a big impact on your online presence. Engaged couples, although they might be seeing you on TikTok or Instagram or Pinterest or whatever platform that they're active on. I'm here to tell you they're going out to Google and they're looking you up. I'm gonna cut to the chase in this episode because I want you to take action.

[00:02:36] I'm all about saving people time and money. You need to come up online when people are looking for you. If you do not come up in the Google search, you will not be considered as a vendor option for that couple. It's honest. It's the truth. Sometimes it's hard to hear. I understand. I too get frustrated with it.

[00:03:02] I'm not just here shouting from the rooftops and not thinking to myself, gosh, this is overwhelming. It absolutely is. These conversations I've had with wedding professionals recently, so frustrated because they feel like they have to be everywhere. And when you're running a business and wearing all the hats, I don't need to go through that.

[00:03:25] And then, trying to figure out or trying to be on all of the social media platforms. Very overwhelming. And here's what I wanna share with you. No matter who your ideal client is, I am telling you they are going to go out to Google, write it down, ask other people about it.

[00:03:49] The research, the statistics, they don't lie. It's the truth. So no matter Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, no matter what social media platforms you use, you have to have updated information inside your Google Business profile. And that's what we're gonna talk about today. Now, if you have a Google Business profile, great, you're off to a good start, but it doesn't stop there.

[00:04:17] I said that in the beginning. Now if you have logged in recently you know there's been changes. The app, you can't utilize it anymore. Most of everyone's accounts have been switched over or will be switched over to where it's really managed through Google Maps. Don't let that deter you. So stay with me.

[00:04:38] Let's go through some basics very quickly. And then I wanna get to some optimization. Make sure your contact information is up to date, your hours, phone number, website, address, any of that stuff. Make sure it's right, take the time to go through it. It is time well spent. I am here to tell you if you can't tell that already.

[00:05:01] So next, make sure your cover photo, your profile photo, any of those main photos, google also gives you the option to put your logo in there. When you go in to update your information, you are going to find a photos button. I encourage you to take the time and make sure these photos are sized correctly.

[00:05:29] This is your online presence. This is the number one search engine that we're talking about right now. Take the extra few seconds, couple minutes, make sure your pictures are sized correctly for those really important spots. Okay? Then what you wanna do is you want to look through all of the options.

[00:05:53] When you log in, if your account's been updated or moved over to the, let's call it the new way, when you go in and you actually even can Google your own business name, it will load and show "Your Business on Google", and then you'll have all of these options below it. And there's quite a few. 

[00:06:13] And after you edit your information, I would go through your reviews. Did you reply to all of your reviews? If you didn't, I would do that. Did you add recent photos besides the primary photos? Have you uploaded photos recently? Now I'm gonna come back to this a little bit, but here's a side note. Get in your calendar and put a reminder for at least every seven days.

[00:06:47] And when you do this, upload a few photos every seven days to your Google Business profile. I also, at that same time, would do an update. It's called a post on your Google Business Profile, and that could be recapping a recent event, that could be talking about one of your services. That post will show in what's called your Google Knowledge Panel over on the right hand side of the Google Results.

[00:07:19] Now, something I just said about service. When you're editing your profile, make sure you list out your services, be as detailed as possible. Now I mentioned about pictures and posting every seven days. That's really important because the post disappear after seven days.

[00:07:42] Now, as of right now, at the time of recording this, that does not pertain to when you put an event on your Google business profile. That event will stay there until your actual event date. So then I would go through and I would look at the q and a, has anybody submitted any questions?

[00:08:06] Have you answered them? There's so many different options, and when you log into your account, you're going to see those now in the Google Business profile or just on your actual Google search screen. 

[00:08:23] The second part to this is Google reviews. I've said many a times video testimonials, reviews, written testimonials, all of those are so important to your business .

[00:08:37] You want to make sure you are asking people for Google reviews. Now, this could be past clients, this could be vendors or other businesses that you work with in the industry. It doesn't just have to be from engaged couples. If you're in the wedding industry, like most of my listeners are. Those reviews are really important.

[00:09:01] Those help you rank on Google. And I'm not gonna get too technical with all of this . People ask me, what is one thing that I can do right now to make one of the biggest impacts in my business? And that answer my friends, is using Google Business profile on a regular basis. 

[00:09:22] You've heard me say consistency is key. I just recorded a previous podcast episode. Consistency is more than just social media. Consistency pertains to many things in business, and Google business profile is no different. Now, some people even refer to it in the social media channel category, and that's up to you.

[00:09:44] It is, so to speak, because you can post on it now. So takeaways from this. 

[00:09:50] Make sure your information is up to date. Look at your photos that are in there. Make sure you add photos at least once a week. I have done that with clients and you would not believe the number of views within just a few days on those photos.

[00:10:08] I have seen it work myself, not only for our business, but for clients that we work with in regards to full service marketing.

[00:10:16] Then take the time to ask for reviews and post on your Google business profile. I'm probably sounding very serious and probably more stern than I normally do. This is not something that's changing. I get it. Social media platforms, all the buzz about doing reels and TikTok. That's great.

[00:10:38] Absolutely. Is there a time and place for that? Is it important in business? Is it important for those in the wedding industry? Yes. I'm not saying any different to that, but what I'm telling you is the statistics show, no matter what platform these engaged couples are doing the research, coming across vendors, they are using Google, the number one search engine.

[00:11:04] And that is why you have to have a strong presence on Google. Updated, consistent presence. You hear so much about online presence. This is one of those pieces if you implement in your business, like I know that a few people have... that have said "oh my gosh, my traffic is increased to my website. I'm not running ads on social media.

[00:11:36] I'm not doing anything different." Where's that coming from? The analytics in the back end of the website show Google. 

[00:11:44] Now, I can leave you with a couple things with this episode. Number one, you just heard me talk about analytics on your website, wherever your website is built in, make sure that you have analytics.

[00:11:57] Google Analytics is free. I recommend it with all my clients. All the websites we build, it is on our checklist to implement Google Analytics. It's free and it has detailed reporting. Analytics is really important with that because whether you're spending ad dollars or not, it tells you where your traffic is coming into your website from.

[00:12:21] Because for any of you out there that think websites are going anywhere, I've done a previous podcast episode on that. They're not. They're not. Where are people going after they come to Google? To your website. Your website is still part of the foundation of your business. And now with our clients as we have for the past few years, Google Business Profile is a big part of that foundation as well.

[00:12:51] Now again, I don't have a magic wand. I wish I did to help people even more because, you know, as long as I've been doing this, it is all about saving people time and money. This is an important step, and this is why I'm telling you, invest the time it takes. This is not something that should take you long to do. The first few times you do it, write down your process how to do it.

[00:13:17] Write the steps down. If it's five or six steps, write them down and follow them each and every time. You know, I'm big about processes. Get that down and follow it. That will make it even quicker for you when you go to do this each week, at least, maybe you decide you wanna do it a couple times a week, that's up to you, but at least start with once a week.

[00:13:41] I want to hear your feedback. If you're not already part of my free Facebook group, I encourage you to join. I drop other software, tips and information and you can also connect with other wedding professionals.

[00:13:55] If you would like to share any feedback, you can always go to my website and hit the contact button, or you can find me on social media, whichever is easier. 

[00:14:05] Until next time, my friends take care.