Google My Business

How To Succeed (Locally!) On The
World’s Search Engine?

We all know the formula, and it sounds so simple: If you want your business to succeed, it must rank highly on Google Search. But for some, this goal can prove to be easier said than done, if not entirely unattainable.

How do you get your company to stand out among, well, every other business in your field?

How can a business circumvent the limitations of Google Search? Is that even possible?

Can you somehow use Google to reach your customers directly?

Yes, all these things are, indeed, possible.

STEP 1

Step one is understanding the difference between Google Search and Google My Business.

Google Search is a mountain that is difficult to climb. Google My Business is a path up that mountain that Google has specifically tailored to help businesses with local viewpoints reach local customers. And it just might be the perfect tool for you.

Google Search rankings are challenging because they cannot be recklessly manipulated. Google is incredibly skilled at ranking websites via a complicated algorithmic process that aggregates hyperlinks, popularity, current trends, and other such factors. And it’s also very good at detecting when someone is trying to manipulate its rankings.

Google can no longer be forced, tricked, or managed, as was possible in the early days of the internet—for example when websites would hide keywords at the bottom of a page in the same color font as the background (so that they were visible to searches but not to the site’s human visitors). Achieving, and then maintaining, a high ranking on Google Search requires an ongoing, organic process of matching your site’s overall profile to what Google’s algorithm prefers. And the “ongoing” aspect is important because Google is constantly refining its criteria, your business must always be flexible and responsive to those changes. Google Search’s continual modifications make the tool very good at what it does, but they can also make being seen very difficult for small and/or locally focused companies.

STEP 2

What about step two? Incorporating Google My Business (GMB) into your company’s business strategy.

Using GMB, businesses such as retail shops and restaurants, for example, can appeal directly to customers in their local area who are, in turn, more likely to solicit them—without having to compete for attention against every other boutique retailer or restaurant in their state, let alone the country or the whole world.

What (Really) is Google My Business?

The first thing to know is that a Business Profile on Google is not the same as a GMB account. After recognizing information signals of an active organization, Google may automatically create your business profile. Conversely, a GMB account is established and controlled by you, the business owner. This is why creating a GMB account is so important: you have power over how your company is perceived on Google, and, therefore, in Google Search. A Business Profile on Google is often created and “filled in” via automated processes, which means that much of the information about your company in that profile could be incorrect or outdated. This could also include posted questions (and answers!) directly on the listing about your business without your permission or knowledge that they even exist.

A GMB account is much like any Google account, except that it is specifically tied to your business. It is not a personal account you simply extend to your company. When you create your GMB account, you provide the basic facts about your business, so Google displays the information you want when someone does a search. This includes the following:

Your business’s name
Your company’s physical address, website URL, hours of operation, and direct contact information
Product links and information, which can include links to menus, pricing, and service descriptions
Google Maps locations, with the option of including addresses for multiple locations
Photos and videos related to your business

Cultivating a well-optimized GMB account requires getting many important details right. Ideally, your business description will be well-written and accurate, follow certain rules of content, and contain relevant keywords. You must be careful about the category you select for your business because this can significantly influence Google Search results. This is separate from your business’s “attributes,” which can be self-determined (e.g., “wi-fi available,” “wheelchair accessible”) or the result of customer-submitted data and feedback (e.g., “popular with locals”).

Why You Need a GMB Account

Why go to all this trouble?

Simple: Half of the Google Searches are local, meaning that users are looking for products and services that are available in their immediate area. When someone searches “Italian restaurant” or “auto body shop near me,” for example, they want to find something very specific that they can easily access. And by creating a direct line between your business and the potential customers searching for the kind of goods or services you offer, a GMB profile offers the advantage of higher conversion rates.

Furthermore, because of the required verification process for GMB-listed businesses, these companies are generally more trusted, with respect to both their self-provided information and their reviews by others, which also contributes to more customer conversions, thereby boosting the bottom line of any locally focused business.

However, using GMB to improve your visibility and success comes with a few caveats.

For example, GMB is structured for companies that serve customers in person and so assumes your business has a physical address, if not a full brick-and-mortar presence. Although, for example, multiple businesses can occupy the same location and therefore have the same address, in such instances, things can get complicated. The same can be said for companies with wide service areas or other specific issues. How high your business appears on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (known more commonly as SERPs) depends on the user’s proximity to your company.

Never include false or deceptive information in your GMB profile…

and avoid breaking the prescribed rules around your GMB account. If you do, Google can penalize or suspend your account, thereby hindering, if not outright preventing, your business from appearing high in search results—which could cause you to miss out on potential customers.

For example, avoid listing multiple businesses at the same location that are not legally distinct entities or that are associated with the same phone number and contact information. Furthermore, Google is sensitive to the reviews that it suspects are spam and might delete them if identical reviews appear in more than one place. So, ensuring that they are organic and unique is best. Composing your profile correctly is important to avoid getting on Google’s bad side.

Optimizing Your GMB Account

The easiest way to optimize your GMB account and stand out among other local businesses on Google Search is by engaging a partner such as Blue Ocean Global Technology for their expert assistance. Google has provided a wealth of options and tools for companies in GMB, and because so many choices are available, consulting with a professional is a great way to quickly and accurately pinpoint the ones that are best for your business and situation, and that will ensure that GMB works for you to its fullest.

Consider these additional benefits to optimizing your GMB account:

GMB can synthesize the data from your account into Knowledge Panels (the panels on the right-hand side of SERPs that appear when a user’s inputs are sufficiently specific), which can individualize your business’s identity to potential customers.

Data garnered through Google Insights can help you improve engagement with a customer base already eager to work with you.

An optimized GMB account can prevent a local business from having to compete for customer attention with similar businesses that are located much farther away than the user would want.

Messaging through your GMB account allows customers to directly engage with you or a designated employee through texts. This can create almost instant engagement with customers.

The public can leave questions on your profile, giving you the opportunity to address their specific concerns directly in a way that will also be beneficial to future customers. You can also pose questions there yourself as another way of engaging with your customer base through your GMB account.

Posts in your GMB account can alert customers to upcoming events and can extend your brand awareness while keeping your content fresh and your rankings high in search results. Think of posts as an extension of your business description.

Adding photos of or related to your business (e.g., of completed projects, menu items, happy customers) lets you to control the image branding for your company, rather than allowing Google’s web crawlers or the general public do so. What’s more, Google reports that when companies include pictures in their profile, they “receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.”

Reviews can increase a customer’s likelihood of patronizing your business, so don’t be afraid of asking for them! Companies that actively engage with their customers for reviews are often rated higher than those that don’t, which means greater visibility and a better bottom line.

Don’t overlook the precious opportunity to invest in your digital presence and optimize how your company is searched on Google. GMB, like many of the tools Google offers businesses and the public, involves a high level of automation. Approaching it honestly and using it as intended will allow your business to engage more effectively with customers, especially at the local level.

The system might take a little while to recognize your business, but anything worth doing is worth doing right—and when your company starts appearing at the top of the list in one search after another, you’ll know you’ve done it right!

How Can We Help You?

202.276.7589
917.720.3036

info@blueoceanglobaltech.com

70 Pine Street, Suite 1324
New York, NY 10005

Brittney Bagiardi

Business Development & Marketing Manager at Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP February 4, 2020

The Legal Marketing Association's Tampa City Group was honored to have Sameer come to speak with us regarding Online Reputation Management. Sameer is an energetic presenter who took the time to answer each and every one of our questions. His expertise was evident in his polished presentation, and our members were engaged thoroughly. All communications leading up to the event were timely and friendly, and I have enjoyed my time working with Sameer on this speaking engagement.

Paul Smith, CFA

Marketing professional at National Center For College & Career Transitions (NC3T), The TASA Group and ASK For Tutoring

I have known Sameer for over 7 years now. He is a force of nature! I have rarely met anyone with such positive energy and enthusiasm. He is always fun and engaging to be around. We have worked together at numerous events over the years. He is a compelling and engaging public speaker. As a CFA Charterholder he gave freely of his time as a volunteer helping other Charterholders maximise their online presence, their use of technology and raise their ethical standards. We worked together in India as well as in the US and at all times Sameer showed himself to be a master in all cultural settings. He’s simply a great guy with great core values, an incredible work ethic and expertise in so many different areas that drive the modern world we live in.

Tamie Maffeo

Marketing Manager at New England Investment & Retirement Inc. & Business Succession Advisers, LLC

Working with Sameer and the team at Blue Ocean Global Technology has been such a positive experience! The ongoing communication combined with the efficiency of work of the team is very much appreicated. Sameer is quick to respond to any questions we may have. He and his team is quick to to resolve any questions that arise. They go above and beyond for us no matter what day or time we reach out. I have had many dissapointing engagements over the years with similar firms but must say that this is a refreshing experience. I am in a niche business with complicated regulations surronding our marketing platform. Having the peace of mind that the team at Blue Ocean is there to impliment and guide our firm gives me great satisfation. That being said, I give them my highest reccomendations and would gladly speak with anyone who has any questions regarding my experience.

Jay Chong

EVP, Head of e-Mobility Group at SK Group

I had a chance to work with Sameer for several months, and he has been one of the most transparent and responsible people I have ever worked with. He has been highly responsive, always responding within a day despite the time zone difference, and thoughtful, which was a big relief for me as some I worked with in the past were "Catch Me if You Can". He has delivered all his promises and more. He has been genuine and results oriented. It has been a pleasure working with him, and I highly recommend his service.

Vern Hayden

Client Advocate at Sovereign Financial Group, Inc

Sameer lives outside the cliche’s of life. Let me put it this way:

If you were looking for someone totally committed to helping in a mission, a cause, or company you would want Sameer.

If you were looking for someone who would drop everything to help you, who knows the best and worst about you, someone with empathy and understanding, in short someone you call a “true friend” , you would want Sameer.

If you want someone who has aligned themselves with the great causes of women you will want Sameer. If you want someone who gives a damn about kids that are abused,misplaced,without direction,kicked to the curb, and need help get Sameer.

If you want someone to give a mesmerizing presentation get Sameer. He will stay up all night doing relentless research on the subject and the audience and inspire your audience to action.

If you want someone with a consistent well defined philosophy of life combined with a remarkable code of ethics you want Sameer.

If you want a leader with emotional and academic intelligence combined with magnetic charisma check in with Sameer.

If you want a team player who has been in the trenches as well as the mountain tops Sameer has been there.

If you want someone to help stabilize your business and take it to greater fulfillment Sameer will be there for you.

If you need a George Gilder tech genius as a resource., Sameer knows the best and can bring innovative solutions to your challenges. ( the right wing radio host Rush Limbaugh said if he could choose another brain it would be Gilder’s.)
If you need someone to trust with integrity and accountability you need to meet Sameer. I could go on but I think you know how I feel about this guy now. I have known and been a friend for over two decades.

Najah A. Edmondson

Marketing professional at National Center For College & Career Transitions (NC3T), The TASA Group and ASK For Tutoring

Sameer Somal is a personality you cannot forget! I met Sameer one year exhibiting at the Delaware Valley Legal Expo in King of Prussia, PA. It was the end of the night and he came over to introduce himself to me and my colleague. We engaged in an amazing conversation about The TASA Group and about relationship management. He helped us take our belongings to the car at the end of the night. We all left with a new connection and a lifelong friend. So excited with meeting Sameer, we immediately figured out how we could work together - webinars, articles and in-person presentations to some of the organizations we are partnered with. It's been a few years since we met and Sameer continues to thrive in his field and in his expertise. The light he exudes is both infectious and comforting. I would recommend Sameer for any job!

Walt Wiesenhutter

Certified Small Business Mentor at SCORE Mentors Philadelphia. Taught at Harvard University Executive MBA & at Columbia Executive MBA & Northwestern Executive MBA

My name is Walter J. Wiesenhutter and I am loyal client of Sameer Somal’s and Blue Ocean Global Technology. I founded Jay Associates in 1984 and served as president of our consulting company for several decades. Regretfully, our offices were in the World Trade Center in 9/11 and we lost key team members as a result of those tragic events. We persevered for the next few years to replace the seemingly unreplaceable. I met Sameer, one of the co-founders of Blue Ocean Global Technology in 2005. I was immediately impressed with his genuine character and commitment to serving others. The emergence of the internet and digital technology changed our business so much and our meeting couldn’t have been more serendipitous. I was quite fortunate to learn of this company’s world-class resources. Over the years, they were instrumental in improving our stellar reputation and building a digital presence that reflected the trust we had with our clients offline. As business partners, clients, and friends complained about their Google presence, disappointing web development projects, and digital marketing companies over promising and under delivering, I referred them directly to Sameer and his team at Blue Ocean Global Technology. Their needs and requirements were always handled with care; the feedback is always exceptional because they deliver results based on exactly what the companies want to help them grow. When Blue Ocean Global Tech did not feel they could provide the best service or guidance on a particular situation, Sameer and his colleagues are honest with me or anyone from my network. They then took the time to find resources and partners within their trusted network that were a better fit. Today, at 75, I am delighted to share and document my successful experiences with this team of excellent professionals. If you are looking for a global team that is diligent, honest, and transparent, you have found the right company in Blue Ocean Global Technology. Not only do I give them my highest and best recommendation, I feel fortunate to call many of their global team members my friends!

Brittney Bagiardi

Business Development & Marketing Manager at Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP February 4, 2020

The Legal Marketing Association's Tampa City Group was honored to have Sameer come to speak with us regarding Online Reputation Management. Sameer is an energetic presenter who took the time to answer each and every one of our questions. His expertise was evident in his polished presentation, and our members were engaged thoroughly. All communications leading up to the event were timely and friendly, and I have enjoyed my time working with Sameer on this speaking engagement.

Paul Smith, CFA

Marketing professional at National Center For College & Career Transitions (NC3T), The TASA Group and ASK For Tutoring

I have known Sameer for over 7 years now. He is a force of nature! I have rarely met anyone with such positive energy and enthusiasm. He is always fun and engaging to be around. We have worked together at numerous events over the years. He is a compelling and engaging public speaker. As a CFA Charterholder he gave freely of his time as a volunteer helping other Charterholders maximise their online presence, their use of technology and raise their ethical standards. We worked together in India as well as in the US and at all times Sameer showed himself to be a master in all cultural settings. He’s simply a great guy with great core values, an incredible work ethic and expertise in so many different areas that drive the modern world we live in.

Tamie Maffeo

Marketing Manager at New England Investment & Retirement Inc. & Business Succession Advisers, LLC

Working with Sameer and the team at Blue Ocean Global Technology has been such a positive experience! The ongoing communication combined with the efficiency of work of the team is very much appreicated. Sameer is quick to respond to any questions we may have. He and his team is quick to to resolve any questions that arise. They go above and beyond for us no matter what day or time we reach out. I have had many dissapointing engagements over the years with similar firms but must say that this is a refreshing experience. I am in a niche business with complicated regulations surronding our marketing platform. Having the peace of mind that the team at Blue Ocean is there to impliment and guide our firm gives me great satisfation. That being said, I give them my highest reccomendations and would gladly speak with anyone who has any questions regarding my experience.

Jay Chong

EVP, Head of e-Mobility Group at SK Group

I had a chance to work with Sameer for several months, and he has been one of the most transparent and responsible people I have ever worked with. He has been highly responsive, always responding within a day despite the time zone difference, and thoughtful, which was a big relief for me as some I worked with in the past were "Catch Me if You Can". He has delivered all his promises and more. He has been genuine and results oriented. It has been a pleasure working with him, and I highly recommend his service.

Vern Hayden

Client Advocate at Sovereign Financial Group, Inc

Sameer lives outside the cliche’s of life. Let me put it this way:

If you were looking for someone totally committed to helping in a mission, a cause, or company you would want Sameer.

If you were looking for someone who would drop everything to help you, who knows the best and worst about you, someone with empathy and understanding, in short someone you call a “true friend” , you would want Sameer.

If you want someone who has aligned themselves with the great causes of women you will want Sameer. If you want someone who gives a damn about kids that are abused,misplaced,without direction,kicked to the curb, and need help get Sameer.

If you want someone to give a mesmerizing presentation get Sameer. He will stay up all night doing relentless research on the subject and the audience and inspire your audience to action.

If you want someone with a consistent well defined philosophy of life combined with a remarkable code of ethics you want Sameer.

If you want a leader with emotional and academic intelligence combined with magnetic charisma check in with Sameer.

If you want a team player who has been in the trenches as well as the mountain tops Sameer has been there.

If you want someone to help stabilize your business and take it to greater fulfillment Sameer will be there for you.

If you need a George Gilder tech genius as a resource., Sameer knows the best and can bring innovative solutions to your challenges. ( the right wing radio host Rush Limbaugh said if he could choose another brain it would be Gilder’s.)
If you need someone to trust with integrity and accountability you need to meet Sameer. I could go on but I think you know how I feel about this guy now. I have known and been a friend for over two decades.

Najah A. Edmondson

Marketing professional at National Center For College & Career Transitions (NC3T), The TASA Group and ASK For Tutoring

Sameer Somal is a personality you cannot forget! I met Sameer one year exhibiting at the Delaware Valley Legal Expo in King of Prussia, PA. It was the end of the night and he came over to introduce himself to me and my colleague. We engaged in an amazing conversation about The TASA Group and about relationship management. He helped us take our belongings to the car at the end of the night. We all left with a new connection and a lifelong friend. So excited with meeting Sameer, we immediately figured out how we could work together - webinars, articles and in-person presentations to some of the organizations we are partnered with. It's been a few years since we met and Sameer continues to thrive in his field and in his expertise. The light he exudes is both infectious and comforting. I would recommend Sameer for any job!

Walt Wiesenhutter

Certified Small Business Mentor at SCORE Mentors Philadelphia. Taught at Harvard University Executive MBA & at Columbia Executive MBA & Northwestern Executive MBA

My name is Walter J. Wiesenhutter and I am loyal client of Sameer Somal’s and Blue Ocean Global Technology. I founded Jay Associates in 1984 and served as president of our consulting company for several decades. Regretfully, our offices were in the World Trade Center in 9/11 and we lost key team members as a result of those tragic events. We persevered for the next few years to replace the seemingly unreplaceable. I met Sameer, one of the co-founders of Blue Ocean Global Technology in 2005. I was immediately impressed with his genuine character and commitment to serving others. The emergence of the internet and digital technology changed our business so much and our meeting couldn’t have been more serendipitous. I was quite fortunate to learn of this company’s world-class resources. Over the years, they were instrumental in improving our stellar reputation and building a digital presence that reflected the trust we had with our clients offline. As business partners, clients, and friends complained about their Google presence, disappointing web development projects, and digital marketing companies over promising and under delivering, I referred them directly to Sameer and his team at Blue Ocean Global Technology. Their needs and requirements were always handled with care; the feedback is always exceptional because they deliver results based on exactly what the companies want to help them grow. When Blue Ocean Global Tech did not feel they could provide the best service or guidance on a particular situation, Sameer and his colleagues are honest with me or anyone from my network. They then took the time to find resources and partners within their trusted network that were a better fit. Today, at 75, I am delighted to share and document my successful experiences with this team of excellent professionals. If you are looking for a global team that is diligent, honest, and transparent, you have found the right company in Blue Ocean Global Technology. Not only do I give them my highest and best recommendation, I feel fortunate to call many of their global team members my friends!