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Use of Description?

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# 1
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Hey there,

is there any other use of adding a description than for Google to better understand our business? I haven't found it anywhere visible for searchers though.

Thanks for you help.

Cheers,

Jochen

 

1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by JoyHawkins (Top Contributor)
March 2016

Re: Use of Description?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Jochen S,

Yep, you've got it. It seems to me that the description field there is just a vestigial remnant of what the old GMB setup used to be, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's dropped this year. It's still visible if someone actually goes to your Google+ local business profile, but no one does. It's still worth filling out though, like you said, since it helps Google figure out a little more about what your business is about. 

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Use of Description?

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# 3
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Yes, I see I can be a Contemporary Louisiana Restaurant but not a Copywriter or Content Provider. That's awesome. Or Typewriter repair. Where are we, 1976?  Seriously. When can someone add what they actually do to the listing? I see "Marked as Best Answer" was over a year ago and nothing has changed. 

Use of Description?

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# 4
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But, see it doesn't help figure out a little more about what your business is about if that isn't a choice. I might as well put in alligator wrestler. :-) 

Use of Description?

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hi Gary, 

If you have a particular question you're best off starting a new thread. As far as Google's description goes, it is what it is. The best way to look at it, you're still playing on the same playing field as everyone else. Check out what other people put who are ranking for your industry. Some keywords (Chicago Copywriter for example) Google doesn't see as being locally relevant, and doesn't show a 3-pack there at all, which means GMB isn't an effective means to reach out in that industry in the first place. There's still organic SEO of course, but I imagine most potential clients looking for you wouldn't be expecting to limit themselves to a geographic area in the first place. 

 

If you do find relevant searches with a 3-pack showing, see what they picked as their category and do that. From there, expect your site to be the real conversion tool, not the base listing itself. 

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Use of Description?

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# 6
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Thanks. First, "it is what it is" is a ridiculous non-answer. Secondly, the point you didn't answer and I was making is that there are actual, real descriptions of businesses that do not exist such as writer, editor or content provider, for example. No one is talking about adding Chicago or Boise in front of any of these. But there are absurd things like "typewriter repair." And I have no clue as to what a 3-pack showing is. 

 

Here is the original post where I did ask a new question. I have no idea where this question is, or was, and searching for where it may or may not be amongst thousands of people on Google is not going to be something I bother with at this time. If you care to answer this question, that would be epic awesome.

So, I can be a public relations firm, but not a public relations consultant. And I can be a Contemporary Louisiana Restaurant but not a Content provider or Copywriter. This is absurd. "Please choose from the very small and totally incomprensible list that drops down to best describe your business." TYPEWRITER REPAIR" SERIOUSLY? So, what is my question? When (since I just saw that a "best answer" was March 2016 and nothing has changed), can I possible add what I do to the description of my awesome Google brand? 

 

"We have no idea why this arcane choices are there, or why we force a business to pick from them, because you have to choose something,  and certainly don't have plans to change them, as you noticed, since they haven't changed in over a year," is at least an honest answer.

Use of Description?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

This forum is Google supported, but run with heavy support from volunteers (such as myself) with years of support using said Google products. I apologize if 'it is how it is' is a non-answer, but as a marketing consultant, I'm primarily interested in practical considerations. As a copywriter, I would hope you are inclined that way as well. Whether Google has correct categories for all business cases or not, you are on even footing at least with your competition. In my view, the practical goal is to find the best way to use GMB as a platform for spreading awareness about your business to potential new customers. I'd be happy to help you with that.

 

Sorry for the technical jargon, a 3-pack is just Google's current way of showing locally relevant businesses to searchers. It's the little map with 3 pins (usually) and 3 local businesses underneath, and it appears along with ads and websites in the search results when Google thinks the searcher is trying to find a local business. Try typing in a few search phrases. Content Provider and Copywriter both bring up irrelevant results as far as you're concerned, implying that people who type in those phrases aren't looking for an actual marketing copywriter. Every search phrase has a psychology behind it, and a keyword is only valuable to you when it brings you new clients. 

 

Of course, I understand that in an industry like yours, you may not be expecting any new clients doing searches to find you and hire you. You may only be interested in providing a professional appearance when a prospective client looks you up by name to see your reviews and so on. I know you'd like the freedom to describe yourself exactly as you like for when clients see your listing, but there are options that shouldn't be too jarring to anyone. Either way, I've rarely seen people have success with getting Google to add new categories. You're better off picking something appropriate and moving on. Mike Blumenthal, another TC here uploaded a complete searchable list of all US business categories. You can see it here if you'd like to peruse. Not the answer you're hoping for I know, but as you put it, this is the honest answer: Google isn't adding new categories right now. 

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Use of Description?

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# 8
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Thanks for clarifying the 3 pack.

But, see this is the problem in terms of tiers." I am a content provider, editor/copywriter. I am not a marketer per se any more. I'm a freelance independent consultant AND I'm moving toward providing editing/publishing and content. So, I don't want to be found ALWAYS as public relations or marketing. I want to be found as "editing services" or "writing services" now.

Use of Description?

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# 9
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And the other point: there isn't something they offer that's appropriate. That is really the point I'm making. Thanks for your insight though. Nothing will change other than their stock value. :-)

Use of Description?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

Well, if you're no longer a marketer then, let me offer you a little advice. Might be obvious, but if you haven't thought of it, it's worth considering. As I said before, every single keyword has a psychology behind it. Even 'hamster' vs 'hamsters' represents different people with different questions at different points in the buying process (or, perhaps one doesn't represent people with any future buying intent at all, while the other does). It takes quite a bit of experience to start to see the real intent behind different searches, but you can get a feel for it just by typing in search phrases and seeing what comes up. One of Google's ranking metrics, is user behavior. If people don't click the #1 spot because it's not relevant, but they all click the #5 spot because that's the first thing they see that fits their expectations, before too long you'll find those sites have switched places. In the same way, if people click through, find the site doesn't actually have what they're looking for, return to Google and repeat the search 5 seconds later, you'll find the site drops in the rankings. 

If you do a few searches (say, for 'writing services') and all three results that come up are for resume writing services (as in my city) then you may have misjudged the value of that keyword search for your business. Given your industry, I would personally be surprised if organic SEO ended up being a primary source of leads for your business. It's still 100% worthwhile to set up your GMB profile and gather reviews, but I expect it will mostly serve as a way to boost credibility when people who've heard about you through other means choose to look up more information for your business. You'll need to do a little research yourself and see, but I would encourage you to explore other avenues as a primary way to get your business out there. I think there's a good chance Google doesn't offer an exact match, because there aren't people looking for what you're offering using their platform. If you think I'm wrong, it's time to do some keyword research and see for yourself, you may find some pockets that look promising after all. 

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