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Why Businesses Turn To SEO In All Economic Climates

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Learn how and why SEO helps businesses in all types of economic turns. Read how SEO adds value across your business today and in the future.

Consumer needs and behaviors can change dramatically depending on the current economic climate.

However, one thing always remains consistent: They always turn to SEO to help them survive and thrive.

In fact, savvy businesses can capitalize on this opportunity by recognizing that shift (turn) and adapting their content strategies to accommodate the need.

SEO insights are a great place to find the most current trends in consumer behavior and intent.

Compared to traditional and expensive media, the conventional wisdom of holding back on your marketing budget – particularly for SEO – is a short-sighted strategy that erodes your brand presence over time.

If you want to be positioned for growth during the recovery that inevitably follows a downturn or recession, the prediction stage is exactly the time to invest in SEO.

According to Gartner’s latest State of Marketing Budget And Strategy Survey 2022, SEO is top of mind for all “unpaid” channels.

Here are some of my thoughts on why.

Consumers Search In All Economic Conditions

Yes, consumer needs and behaviors can change dramatically depending on the current economic climate.

But they don’t cease, or disappear, altogether.

Your customers may have greater concerns about the household budget and display a reduced commercial intent as a result. Perhaps they’re just not in the market to buy.

They will be again one day, though.

Sales is a cycle; while some markets have demand dips, others see rises.

For some, it could be time for them to learn, plan, and educate themselves on their options.

SEO Is A Long Game & The Rules Are Constantly Changing

You cannot simply pause your SEO – well, you can, but it would mean an awful lot of catching up when you “turned it on” again.

Google’s algorithms are constantly changing and updating as the search engine strives to better meet the needs of its users.

Rather than cutting back, tough economic times are when you can focus on and invest in improving user experience, resolving persistent technical issues, and speeding up your site.

These objectives may have been lower on marketing’s priority list when times were good and sales were plenty.

At other times, however, you might find it makes sense to reconsider ad spending due to your audience’s potentially lower commercial intent in search.

In that case, you could reallocate a portion of the budget, ensuring SEO intent data and channels such as pay per click (PPC) are working.

You should also focus on technical SEO and your website journey and performance.

Experiences will matter and help you convert opportunities – opportunities that you can’t afford to miss before competitors grab them.

  • This is also a good time to audit existing content and find new opportunities to rank on different keyword terms. Update content, cluster content by topic, identify content gaps, and update calls to action (CTAs) to ensure a more cohesive journey for customers.
  • For example, if you’ve published product reviews in the past, you’ll want to revisit those. Google’s product review update targeting low-quality reviews rolled out in 2022, and it’s even more important to ensure that content is top quality.

SEO Can Drive Wins In The Short, Mid, And Long-Term

A robust SEO program forms a solid foundation for your entire web presence. But it can also help your business stay agile and responsive to rapidly-changing conditions.

Economic uncertainty might call for quick action to find marketing efficiencies.

It also helps protect the brand from external threats or move on to surfacing opportunities.

In these conditions, SEO data is imperative for keeping a finger on the market pulse.

However, activating the insights gleaned from that data is a critical next step:

  • It won’t do you much good to know that market share is shrinking and one product type is trending if you lack the resources to plan and execute campaigns around that product.
  • Prioritizing SEO by ensuring it has a stable budget and executive support keeps your resources and team in a position to act.

Remember when the initial pandemic scare shut down much of the world’s economy?

The informational needs of consumers exploded, and service delivery models changed almost overnight.

The companies that were able to quickly update their Google Business Profile listings with current hours of operation, the availability of curbside pickup and online ordering, etc., became the first movers.

The demand for SEO rose to an all-time high.

Not only did this translate to business won, but those companies were also able to instill a sense of stability and calm among consumers in an otherwise tumultuous time.

Brand Protection Is Essential At All Times

Consumer behavior can be unpredictable, fragmented, and even irrational during times of uncertainty.

SEO helps the brand actively listen to audiences, triage issues, and combat negative brand sentiment in real-time.

As mentioned earlier, your SEO insights are a key source of this business intelligence.

  • What are consumers searching for, and how is that evolving?
  • What do those queries tell you about the commercial or other types of intent driving search activity?
  • How are people behaving in search and on your site, and what new opportunities does that present?

Online reviews are another rich source of insight and potential liabilities if not managed correctly.

Google is clear: Businesses must respond to searcher reviews, messages, and questions as quickly as possible.

Your company’s review profile – average star rating, review volume, and recency – can impact your local rankings, too.

It’s essential that you have in place:

  • Technology to monitor reviews across all platforms relevant to your business.
  • A triage system so that serious complaints are escalated to the right person for quick intervention.
  • Policies for review response. Templates that can be personalized depending on review content can help here.

Depending on your industry, economic uncertainty might bring a greater volume of reviews. Having this foundation in place will enable you to add resources and scale up as needed.

Brand protection should come from your content team, as well.

If you’re in the financial services industry, for example, you might find that your customer base has a lot of questions about how the current conditions impact them and their families.

They may have questions and concerns about employment, taxes, stimulus, or support programs that weren’t top of mind before.

Your business can not only serve as a thought leader but deliver real, valuable solutions for customers that will win their trust and loyalty for the long term.

Ecommerce, retail, and travel brands will look for insights and trends on demand volatility and category fluctuations in goods, products, and services.

Understanding these trends early on will help content teams create and target accordingly.

You’ll need a content team skilled in producing for these opportunities, crafting targeted content, and who can utilize technologies for optimizing and promoting it for maximum impact across all of the platforms where your audience is found online.

As a bonus, this program can help you outrank any competitor (or perhaps negative content about the brand) with positive stories and helpful content instead.

Conclusion

Whether markets are high or low, SEO team talents are needed most to find new opportunities, combat immediate threats, and lay the foundation for a successful recovery.

The role of business intelligence is critical to understanding the environment in which you’re currently working.

Organizations that “put it on pause” can damage the investments you’ve already made and leave you struggling to catch up with more forward-looking competitors.

SEO can have the effect of leveling out the peaks and troughs.

The data it produces is about as close to the real-time voice of customers as you’re going to get.

Compared to other channels, it is not just the most cost-effective; it also drives incremental value across your whole business.

If you are interested in original article by Lemuel Park you can find it here

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data-visualization

What Is Data Visualization And How To Use It For SEO

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Learn about data visualization, why it’s important, and how to use it for SEO.

Planning and executing an excellent SEO strategy is critical for any digital marketing campaign.

However, the effort requires data to tell the story in a way that resonates with our clients.

But poring through pools of numbers can be tedious and mentally exhausting. This is where data visualization comes in.

Data visualization takes your data (numbers) and places it in a visual context, such as a chart, graph, or map. It also helps create data stories that communicate insights with clarity.

Without visualizing data to extract insights, trends, and patterns, the chances of getting support from other departments plummet. The best data visualizations break down complicated datasets to present a concise and clear message.

Read on for more on data visualizing, its importance, and how to use it for your SEO campaign.

Types Of Data Visualizations

For years, the easiest way to build data visualization was through adding information to an Excel spreadsheet and transforming it into a chart, graph, or table.

While still effective, the method has undergone a few updates in the last few decades.

The options today allow users to create elaborate data visualizations, including:

  • Bullet graphs.
  • Animated charts.
  • Radial trees.
  • Interactive charts.
  • Bubble clouds.
  • Data art.
  • Heatmaps.
  • Dashboards.
  • Infographics.

And many more.

This is an example of data visualization to see a website's crawl hierarchy.Screenshot from screamingfrog.co.uk, August 2022

The above is an example of data visualization to see a website’s crawl hierarchy.

How To Choose The Right Visualization Type

Choose the right visualization type to communicate your message effectively.

Before getting started:

  1. Identify the key message you want to communicate and summarize it in a short sentence.
  2. Find the data you require to communicate your message and also consider simplifying it to make this message clearer.
  3. Consider the type of data you have, such as comparisons, trends, patterns, distribution, and geographical data.
  4. Consider what display type is simple and will capture the audience’s attention.
  5. Like all web content, your visualization should be accessible to all users.
  6. Consider the information to include with the visualization, and readers can understand and interpret the data.

Importance Of Data Visualization

Modern companies are generating massive amounts of data through machine learning.

While excellent, we must sort, filter, and explain the information; so it makes sense for stakeholders and business owners.

It’s easy to identify patterns and trends in your SEO strategy quickly using data visualization. Visualization makes it easy and fast to convey insights. Making data visualization a habit in your business offers several benefits.

Create Robust Value Propositions

It’s easy to express to stakeholders or clients how and why your products are good, but not as easy for the same people to understand what you are saying.

Visualizing your data is an excellent strategy that can increase buy-ins into ideas. The strategy can also transform site traffic into sales, contributing to a business’s success.

Enable Faster, Easier Communication

All businesses are looking to advertise their products to the public. But few people take the time to read tons of words.

Instead, simplify the message into visual content that’s easy to present.

More people will focus on visual data than on text. The visuals help capture the attention of and persuade potential customers, clients, and investors.

As a result, this helps drive traffic into your venture, which leads to success.

Analyze Patterns And Trends

Business industries depend on specific patterns and trends. It’s your role to make decisions based on market patterns and trends.

Visualizing data summarizes the entire process of identifying current and future opportunities.

The data also helps make business owners prudent decision-makers aligned with the market situation.

Motivate Team Members

Business success depends on the effort team members put into the process. Each member of your organization is happy when the business makes development strides.

Data visualization can help identify the business’ initial position and the direction it’s heading.

The process can motivate the team members to work harder and elevate your business to greater heights.

Improve Customer Experience

Visualizing data plays a critical role in improving your customer’s experience. The data makes it easy to ensure customers are happy and their requirements are included.

Data visualization makes shaping, filtering, and desegregating data on-demand easy.

Data Visualization And SEO

SEO data significantly affects the keyword search volume contributing to a site’s ranking.

Keyword search volume is the number of times visitors search for a specific keyword in a particular time frame. The term also refers to the number of people interested in a keyword.

SEO data is also critical for organic traffic in different online marketing aspects. The latter is the number of people visiting your site.

Page speed is another critical SEO practice that determines your website’s reliability.

Your online visitors don’t have the time to wait for a page to load. Further, page speed also affects your position on the search engine.

Using Data Visualization To Improve SEO

Visualizing your data has a significant impact on interpretation. Visualization can help represent search volume for different keyword sets you want to use in your next campaign.

Visualization tools can also present a detailed analysis of your site from the SEO point of view.

Presenting your content in charts and graphs helps the audience grasp every aspect of an SEO campaign.

Elevate SEO Capabilities

Data visualization can help elevate your SEO strategies in several ways. Here are the most effective areas in that visualization will help boost SEO.

Competitive Analysis

Working on your SEO strategy also means evaluating what competitors are doing. The analysis helps you understand what requires doing and areas to improve.

Visualization can help you:

  • Determine the social media strength of competitors.
  • Find top competitors for a keyword.
  • Analyze competitor backlink profiles.
Keyword Difficulty Distribution

The above is an example of using a bar chart to visualize the keyword difficulty distribution of current keyword rankings.

Backlink Analysis

Visualization also aids you in creating an effective link-building campaign.

Some items to analyze include:

  • Backlink geographic locations.
  • Quality of backlinks.
  • The distribution of backlink anchor text.

Wrapping It Up

Data visualization is a vital contribution to the success of any business practice.

What makes visualization critical is its ability to convey complicated data sets visually.

Anything that can condense large amounts of data into infographics, charts, and graphs is a successful recipe.

It’s clear incorporating visualization in your digital marketing operations elevates SEO capabilities too.

Further, visualizing your data plays a major role in business development and SEO decisions.

If you are interested in original article by Adam Heitzman you can find it here

google-shopping-ads

Google Shopping Ads: How To Set Them Up

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Set your Google Shopping ads for success by visually guiding your users to your products. Here’s how to do it step by step.

Google Shopping ads are visual ads that appear when a user searches for a product on Google.

Here’s an example of Shopping ads when a user searches for [pour over coffee].

Google search results page for pour over coffee showing shopping adsScreenshot from a search for [pour over coffee]. Annotations by author, Google, August 2022

This ad format is uniquely engaging. It shows additional information relevant to online shoppers, like product titles, images, prices, special offers, seller names, local availability, reviews, and more.

What Is The Difference Between Google Shopping Ads And Google Text Ads?

Google Shopping ads are shown below the search bar, just like text ads, but since they’re not just limited to text, they draw more attention from users.

There are a few differences in how each ad format is managed, which we’ll cover next.

Campaign Types

To run Shopping ads, advertisers must enable specific Google Ads campaign types – like a Shopping campaign, a Smart Shopping campaign, or a Performance Max campaign.

That differs from text ads on Search, which are placed by enabling a Search campaign.

Note that in summer 2022, Smart Shopping campaigns will be automatically upgraded to Performance Max campaigns, and Smart Shopping campaigns will cease to exist. The process is expected to conclude by the end of September.

Much has been written about Performance Max campaigns, which are highly automated and can show ads across multiple Google Ads channels.

But since that’s not the focus of this post, when we talk about Performance Max here, we will focus on the portion that places Shopping ads on search results pages.

The six channels Performance Max campaigns will show ads onImage from Google, August 2022

Targeting

Targeting is also different between Search campaigns and Shopping campaigns.

Advertisers choose keywords to trigger ads in Search campaigns.

For Shopping ads, Google decides which product to show for a particular user query based on product data from the feed.

Data like the title, description, MPN, and product category automatically match generated ads with the relevant keywords on the fly.

Account Structure

Advertisers can organize their Shopping ads by using product groups in Shopping campaigns or listing groups in Performance Max campaigns to tell Google which products to include in various campaigns, ad groups, or asset groups.

Structuring things helps advertisers show more relevant creatives in Performance Max and set better bids and budgets across all Shopping campaign types.

Here’s an example of organizing products into two separate Performance Max campaigns.

table with two performance max campaigns for different productsImage from Optmyzr.com, August 2022

Here’s another simple example.

Say an advertiser sells both TVs and HDMI cables.

Cables carry a higher margin than TVs, so they may be added in a separate campaign with a more aggressive target return on ad spend (ROAS) than the campaign for TVs, which have a lower margin.

Of course, cables will be an upsell to many TV buyers, but splitting the products based on margin means that a user looking directly for cables can get a different bid than those searching for TVs who may or may not add some cables to their purchase.

Text ad structure is simply based on campaigns that contain ad groups.

The ad group contains the keywords and ads, so this is where the advertiser focuses on reinforcing relevance by writing ads that relate closely to the keywords.

Ad groups are combined into campaigns, where budgets and bid targets are usually set.

Keeping inventory matched to the right campaigns and product or listing groups can be tedious with both text ads and shopping ads.

Ads

The image below shows what Google text ads and Shopping ads look like when you search.

At the top, you have the Google Shopping ads. Below them, you can see the text ads.

In some cases, the Shopping ads appear on the right side of the search results page.

Text ads are created by combining responsive search ads with ad extensions.

Google search results page with shopping ads, text ads, and organic listings for ultra boost 2022 shoesScreenshot from search for [ultraboost 2022], annotations by author, Google, August 2022

On the other hand, shopping ads are dynamically generated using data from various feeds from the connected Merchant Center account.

  • The title, price, and image come from the product feed.
  • Local availability and store pick-up availability come from the local inventory feed.
  • Promotions and special offers come from the promotions feed.

There are also ways to vary pricing by region with the regional availability implementation of landing pages on your website.

It’s recommended that advertisers use all available ad channels.

For that reason, ecommerce advertisers should run both Shopping ads and text ads (and probably several other ad types on Google).

Text ads can be made more dynamic by using ad customizers or third-party solutions that create responsive search ads (RSAs) from structured business data.

Landing Pages

In Search ads, keywords for specific products usually lead to a product detail page (PDP), whereas keywords for more generic product category searches usually lead to product listing pages (PLPs).

Here’s an example:

  • Specific: Adidas Ultraboost 22. Landing page with the different sizes and colors for this specific sneaker.
  • Generic: Running shoes. Landing page shows all the different types of running shoes.

Bids

Whereas Search campaigns can choose from all the various bid strategies – including Maximize Revenue or Target Return on Advertising Spend (tROAS) – Shopping ads should almost always use one of the aforementioned two automated bid strategies.

After all, the goal of Shopping ads should be to sell products, and these bid strategies are most closely aligned with this goal.

However, advertisers should carefully consider how the bid strategy relates to business results.

For example, Maximize Conversion Value equates to maximizing revenues, and revenue maximization occurs when profits are zero. That might not be a desirable outcome for profit-focused advertisers.

That’s where tROAS comes in and can be used as a lever to optimize for profit. But knowing the right tROAS that balances volume with profitability per order can be tricky; it is an art form on its own and something covered here.

Are Google Shopping Ads Worth It?

If you’re in ecommerce or retail, the short answer is yes!

Google Search is part of the customer journey for many online buyers.

And Shopping ads allow you to be right there where potential customers search for things to buy.

Google Shopping ads provide several other benefits that Google’s other campaign types don’t.

Shopping Ads Offer The Highest Visibility In Google’s SERPs

Shopping ads offer higher brand visibility with greater impressions.

And since they appear all the way at the top (with photos, reviews, and branding), more people can see your products.

Shopping Ads Have A Higher Click-Through Rate

As shown in the screenshots above, Shopping ads get the highest priority in visibility over text ads and organic results.

That means Shopping ads attract a good amount of clicks – which was alluded to in Merkle’s Q3 2022 Performance Media Report, where “the majority of survey respondents [reported] experiencing CPC and click increases Y/Y across text ads and shopping ads.”

Are Google Shopping Ads Free?

While there are paid Shopping ads, Google announced in 2020 that businesses could list their products for free on Google Shopping.

That’s different from Google Search, which is the default place a user goes to when they navigate to google.com.

Google Shopping lives at shopping.google.com or can be accessed by clicking the Shopping tab from the main Google search engine results pages (SERPs).

Google Shopping works similarly to Google Search and contains a mix of paid and organic listings, with the paid listings shown at the top.

Google Shopping search results for men's pantsScreenshot from search for [men’s athletic pants], annotations by author, Google, August 2022

Although paid listings get the most impressions, you should not ignore setting up free listings.

Google lets your potential customers view your products across Google’s sites, such as the Shopping tab, YouTube, Search, Images, and Google Lens.

To be eligible for free listings, make sure you follow the guidelines listed on this page.

Conclusion

Shopping ads, whether placed through Shopping campaigns or Performance Max campaigns, can drive a lot of activity for merchants – so they must be a part of your strategy.

But there are significant differences between how Search and Shopping ads are optimized, so it’s worth learning about the differences and approaching each campaign type differently

If you are interested in original article by Frederick Vallaeys you can find it here

navah

Why Is My New Campaign/Ad Group Getting No Traffic?

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Not getting any traffic for your new ad group or campaign? Here are 5 possible reasons why, according to Navah Hopkins.

Managing paid search and paid social requires plenty of strategic shifts.

One of the biggest is understanding that paid search favors older entities while paid social favors new things.

That said, sometimes there are legitimate reasons why a new campaign or ad group isn’t running.

In this Ask The PPC, we’ll address that question.

Rofhiwa of Pretoria asks:

I have decided to create a new ad group with three ads set, but I’m not getting any clicks or impressions for ads and keywords. What could be the reason?

Note that this post will cover common reasons an entity hasn’t gotten any clicks.

Each account is different, and it’s always best to take any concerns to the ad network support if you believe there’s an issue.

Reason #1: The Date Is Wrong

The most common and frustratingly obvious reason is we don’t always have the right date range.

That could be because we were analyzing another part of the campaign or working on a different account.

Set the date range in the top right-hand corner (true for all ad networks) to include at least yesterday and today.

You also might have unintentionally set the start date for the future.

Check start and end dates in campaign settings.

Once you’ve confirmed that you have the right date range, you can move on to other technical fixes.

Reason #2: The Ad Got Disapproved

When an ad is disapproved, you’ll get a notification.

At times, these can get lost in email filters or spam.

If you see that your ad is disapproved, check if it’s for a valid reason (e.g., editorial policies, restricted industries, etc.) or a mistake on the ad network’s part.

Valid ad disapprovals need to be corrected, and then you can appeal the disapproval in the ad interface.

Sometimes, ads get accidentally lumped into restricted categories because of wording choices.

The following words can sometimes accidentally trigger red flags:

  • Credit.
  • Housing.
  • Broker.
  • Loan.

You might also have an editorial issue and not even realize it.

These are the most common editorial issues in ads:

  • Including a phone number in the ad text (must be contained to call extension).
  • Using all caps (e.g., “FREE” or “TRY”).
  • Using punctuation in the wrong place (e.g., “!” in a headline instead of description).

Reason #3: The Keywords Have No Search Volume

There’s nothing worse than being told your ideal keyword has no volume.

Yet, some industries naturally have lower search volume because of how niche their products/services are.

If your keyword has low search volume, it won’t run.

A good middle ground is to use a broad match on your longer-tail keywords.

Broad match allows audience signals to inform how the ad network matches your keyword to queries.

This additional queue can mean the difference between enough data to serve and being stuck in low search limbo.

Reason #4: The Bid Is Too Low/Bidding Strategy Doesn’t Make Sense

Brand new accounts won’t have the benefit of conversion data.

This means bidding strategies like Max Conversions, and Max Conversion Value will struggle to set meaningful bids in the early days of an ad group or campaign.

If the bid is too high for the budget (more than 10% of the daily budget), the ad network might struggle to enter the keyword into the auction.

Be sure to set bids and bidding strategies in line with your industry and the age of the account.

Reason #5: Accidental Exclusions

Ad groups inherit the negatives from their campaigns.

You might have a negative keyword list or campaign level negative prohibiting a keyword you’re actively bidding on from serving.

Audiences can be applied at both the ad group and campaign level, so adjusting the new ad group’s targets is possible.

That said, be sure you have the right exclusions, and confirm whether you intend to be on target and observe.

Target and observe prevent anyone who isn’t part of your targeted audience from triggering your ad – which means you’re excluding audiences without actively excluding them.

Final Takeaways

There are several reasons an ad group or campaign can struggle to get traffic.

Be sure to check for these hidden pitfalls, and if you’re still struggling, reach out to your ad network representative.

Have a question about PPC? Submit via this form or tweet me @navahf with the #AskPPC hashtag. See you next month!

If you are interested in original article by Navah Hopkins you can find it here

Google Business Profile Video Verification Best Practices

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Learn what you must show in the video if you get the Google Business Profile Video Verification Option. Here’s how to do it, step-by-step.

Verification is an important step in properly setting up a Google Business Profile (GBP).

Before your GBP will become visible to the public and you can do all the fun things with your profile – like creating posts, responding to reviews, updating your profile, and more – you must first verify it.

Verification NeededScreenshot from Google Business Profile, August 2022

When a business (i.e., merchant) sets up a Google Business Profile, Google offers a method (or sometimes several ways) to verify the profile.

This verification process helps Google ensure that the business is a real and legitimate business that is eligible for a GBP and meets Google’s guidelines for representing your business on Google.

In an ideal world, Google would actually visit each and every location with a GBP to make sure the business is real and meets all guidelines.

But that, obviously, is not possible.

One of the ways Google can verify a business is through video verification. Video verification is the next best thing to actually visiting a business.

It’s almost like a “digital in-person” check-in on the business.

The video allows Google to actually see the company and more details about the business.

Google’s video verification method tries to authenticate and confirm legitimate businesses and (hopefully) weed out spammy and fake listings that could inundate the Local Pack, Local Finder, and Google Maps and confuse or hurt consumers.

Various Verification Methods

As mentioned, Google provides several ways to verify your business.

It’s important to note that Google decides which verification method a merchant must use to verify its GBP.

Businesses do not get to choose the method of verification – Google picks the verification method for them.

Verification by postcards with PIN numbers used to be the typical method of GBP verification.

But this seems to be changing, and businesses are receiving other ways to verify their Business Profiles.

In February 2022, verifying businesses by postcards sent in the mail was listed first when Google outlined the verification process.

Google Help Document - Postcard VerificationScreenshot from Google, February 2022

However, by July 2022, verification via postcard was bumped down to last on the verification methods list:

Verification MethodsScreenshot from Google, July 2022

This might be a signal that Google is moving towards other ways to verify GBPs, and that merchants should be prepared to verify their listings in ways other than just postcards – like phone, text, email, live video call, and video recording verification.

Why Video Verification?

Google is trying hard to ensure that the GBPs set up are legitimate businesses meeting Google’s guidelines.

With the video verification process, Google is trying to garner the following information:

  • Existence: Is this a genuine/real business? Does it exist?
  • Geographic location: Is the business located where the Business Profile says it is located? (It isn’t easy to film a video of a bookstore in New York City and pretend that it’s a bookstore in London.)
  • User integrity: Is this an authentic company? Is it a real merchant? Google is trying to determine if someone is attempting to commit fraud.
  • Affiliation: Is this merchant actually associated with the business? Do they have the authority to represent the business?

When businesses submit video evidence that proves and shows these things, Google operators can review the video to determine if the evidence presented is strong enough to verify that the business is located where it says it is, performs the work it claims it does, and more.

What Is The Google Business Profile Video Verification Process?

Google offers numerous ways for businesses to verify their GBP, but Google decides which way (or ways) each merchant must verify.

As a business owner, you must verify via the method Google chooses for you.

However, if you absolutely cannot verify via the method offered, you can reach out to the Google Business Profile Support team and see if they can provide you with another way to verify your GBP. An example of this would be if you are asked to verify via text and you only have a landline.

When you get to the verification process, you may be asked to perform the video verification process.

Verify Via VideoScreenshot from Google Business Profile, July 2022

To go through the video verification process, you’ll need a mobile device with a camera.

If you get this verification option, it’s important that you understand the rationale for the video verification.

You should know what needs to be included in the video, so the Google operator reviewing it is convinced that your company exists and does what it says it does. The operator must also be convinced the person taking the video is associated with the business.

They will also want to verify that the geographical location matches the location of the business as listed in its GBP.

It’s also important to follow the on-screen instructions and plan everything out before you start recording the video. Since the video must be done in one continuous video, planning ahead is crucial!

In the video verification process, Google asks the business owner (or someone with authority to represent the business) to create a short, continuous video that provides evidence that the business is an actual, legitimate business.

The video should be short and to the point.

Each video is manually reviewed by a Google employee and is meant to simulate an in-person visit to the business.

Google doesn’t ask you to share anything sensitive – like people’s faces or documents that contain confidential information.

These videos are kept private and are only used for verification purposes.

Don’t worry; It will never be published and can be deleted anytime.

Planning Your Video For Business Profile Video Verification

Before you actually shoot your video, you should plan out what you are going to show in the video, who will be in it, and who will record it.

Next, you’ll want to ensure you cover the items necessary to convince Google that your business is legitimate.

Here are the types of things you want to be sure to show in your video.

Keep in mind that these items do not have to be shown in any particular order – they just all must be shown in the video to prove that your business is real.

Show That Your Business Exists

For this part of the video, you need to show proof that your business exists, where it is located geographically, and other items that prove it’s a legitimate business.

Get verified with videoScreenshot from Google Business Profile, August 2022

It’s important to show the exterior and interior of your company’s building in the video.

If you’re a storefront business, you must show the outside of the building, as well as the permanent signage on the exterior and any signage/branding inside the building.

Also include the location, relevant street signs, and other nearby businesses, so Google can get an idea of where you’re geographically located.

Don’t show unmarked roads or land – that will not help Google establish your location.

Showing your outdoor signage is a must if you have a storefront location (i.e., a storefront location is when local customers visit your place of business, you have permanent signage, and you must have employees staffed at the business location during stated business hours.)

Permanent signage is a requirement for storefront businesses. Vinyl banners or other temporary signs do not count as permanent signage.

If you do not have permanent signage, you do not qualify as a storefront.

Pan your video next door and across the street to show the businesses nearby so Google can double-check with Google Maps and Streetview to ensure that your business is located where you claim it is.

Show surrounding businessesImage from author, August 2022

It’s also vital to walk into your building and show the inside of your company so Google sees that it’s a legitimate business – and not just empty rooms.

Any time you can show your company’s branding on the walls – like in the lobby or entryway – it’s great to show those types of things in the video.

If you work in an office building with multiple floors and many businesses, be sure to show the office building’s business directory pointing out your company’s listing and suite number.

If you have any professional tools that you use, marketing materials, or company branding, be sure to show those in the video as well.

If you’re a Service Area Business (SAB), you will need to show any tools of the trade that you use to perform your work for clients in the video.

For instance, if you are a solar company, you should show the solar panels you install, any installation equipment you use, branded trucks, ladders, any heavy equipment you use, tools of the trade that you have stored, etc.

Are you a lawn care company? Show all your lawnmowing equipment, trimmers, leaf blowers, etc. (The average Joe at home won’t have 10 commercial lawnmowers, for instance – but you do!)

It’s also vital to show your service vehicles with the branding on them. (A video showing a plain white van will not be acceptable.)

So, ensure that your service vehicles are branded with your company name and logo and are seen clearly in the video.

Show Geographic Location

Google wants to know that your business is located where your GBP says it is located. The Google operator needs to be convinced that the company in the video is in the same geographical location as in Google Maps.

If you’re a storefront business, you can show street signs near your business, pan over, and show adjacent companies near your company. However, showing Google a vacant lot where your business should be will not instill confidence that you are a legitimate business.

Show street signsImage by author, August 2022

If you operate your SAB out of your home, show the street signs, your home with your street number on it, your mailbox, and any other things that prove your address.

One way to prove you have a real business is by showing items in the video that only a real business like yours would have.

Get verified with video steps

For example, showing a generic software application on your computer screen will not convince Google that you’re a legitimate business.

Show professional software and your setup

However, if your company uses specific software to operate your business, like if you’re an accountant and you use professional accounting software, you’re a veterinarian and you use software specifically developed for vets’ offices, or you’re a digital marketer or design firm that creates videos or podcasts for clients using a tool like Camtasia, then showing that software on your computer screen and your audio/video setup in the video would help prove to Google that you are legit.

Camtasia ScreenshotScreenshot from Camtasia, August 2022

If you’re a Service Area Business, showing your work van with equipment in the back of the truck in the video is very helpful and useful for the Google operator as they are reviewing your video to determine the legitimacy of your company.

Affiliation: Is The Merchant Real?

For this part of the video, you need to prove that the company is real and that the merchant is actually affiliated with the company and has the authority to represent the business.

That’s why it’s so important that the person in the video is either the owner or manager.

Get verified with video stepsScreenshot of Google Business Profile, July 2022

If you have a storefront business, in the video, you need to show that you have access to employee-only locations or sections of the business.

For instance, show you opening the store/business using a key, operating the cash register, using the POS system, going into an area of the business where customers or the general public aren’t allowed, etc.

This part of the video aims to show that the person is either the owner or an authorized person who has authority over the location.

Showing the person unlocking the business door is a very important item to show in the video.

Unlocking DoorImage by author, August 2022

You also want to go to places in your business where the general public is not allowed.

For instance, if you own a restaurant, customers are not allowed to be behind the counter near the cash register or take out food. Showing this in the video is a great proof of management.

If you have a business license, liquor license, or any other official/legal document hanging on the wall, zoom in on it. This is especially important if the document shows your business name and address as shown on your Google Business Profile. (Ideally, everything should match!)

If you operate a Service Area Business, you will need to show access to any industry-specific software, open up your branded vehicle and show the equipment or tools you use to perform the jobs you do. You can also show your team performing a job at a customer’s site using the tools-of-the-trade.

Branded vehicle showing equipmentImage by author, August 2022

If you’re a SAB and run your business out of your home or out of a building that is used for storage and not accessible to customers, also take a video of the outside of the building, show the nearby street signs, and the number on the building.

Be sure to take a video of you unlocking the door.

You can also show close-ups of any business licenses, Secretary of State documents, LLC or incorporation docs, or any other official documents that prove your company’s name and address.

Just zoom in on the documents so Google can see them. Again, the business name and address must match what’s on your Google Business Profile.

Note: If you get the video verification option and are not ready to do the video at that moment, no worries! You can complete the verification step when you’re able to – like in a day or so after you’ve had time to plan out what you’ll show in the video.

Completing The Video Verification Process

When you’re taking the video, it’s okay to put these items in whichever order makes sense for your particular situation – just make sure you cover all of the necessary requirements.

Remember, the video must be one continuous video. It cannot be recorded somewhere else and then uploaded.

The video must be created using the Google Business Profile video verification process.

If you started creating your Google Business Profile on a desktop computer, when you get to the video verification step, you will see a QR code that you can scan with your mobile device.

This allows you to continue the video verification process on your mobile device – like a smartphone or tablet with a camera. Just make sure you’re signed in with your Google Business Profile email address on your mobile device.

Scan CodeScreenshot from Google Business Profile, July 2022

When you’re ready to start recording your video, tap Start Recording.

Start Recording

And then, follow the steps to record your video.

Get verified with videoScreenshot of Google Business Profile, July 2022

After you have recorded the video, tap Stop Recording. The merchant can then choose to finish onboarding on a desktop or your mobile device. (Finishing on your mobile device is probably the simplest choice.)

Click the “Upload Video” button.

Since the video is all created in the app, you don’t have to worry about how large the video file size is. (Whew!)

Upload your videoScreenshot of Google Business Profile, July 2022

Then click Done.

After you submit your video, it can take up to five days until the Google Business Profile support team reviews your video. Do not delete the video until it’s been reviewed and you’ve received the notification that your Business Profile has been verified.

If, for some reason, the video verification method didn’t work, you will see the “Get Verified” button in your Google Business Profile. You can then try a different way to verify your profile.

Once you’re done with your video, you can delete the video if you want to.

To delete the video, follow these steps:

  • On Google Search, go to your Business Profile. Learn how to find your profile.
  • At the top right, click More (the three dots) Advanced settings > Video uploads > Delete videos.

Then you’re done! You’re now able to continue optimizing your Google Business Profile and engage with your potential customers!

Video Verification: A Better Way

Even though video verification may seem more cumbersome, it’s a much better way for Google to see whether or not a business is real – or not.

This will hopefully cut down on the spam profiles we see on Google.

What are your thoughts on Google Business Profile Video Verification?

If you are interested in original article by Sherry Bonelli you can find it here