Is Google My Business Worth It? Strategies for Online Business Owners, Home Based Businesses & Brick
Updated: Apr 8
Strategies for Online Business Owners, Home Based Businesses & Brick and Mortar Businesses
We’ve all searched Google for a “business near me,” but did you know Google can help even online business owners be found? Special guest, Amanda Tento, CEO of TDM Marketing, joins us to share effective Google My Business strategies to help us be found online! Recently, Google My Business changed its name to Google Business Profile, but the setups are the same. Discover how to plug your business directly into the Google algorithm! Apply for the 8 Week Mastermind - www.thepassiveincomeexaminer.com/mastermind
but the setups are the same. Discover how to plug your business directly into the Google algorithm!
Amanda is the CEO of TDM Marketing, 337 Networking, and host of The Determined Mom Show podcast! She lives with her husband, Bert, and their three daughters in York, Pennsylvania. Amanda was determined to be a work-at-home mom as soon as she possibly could when she found out she had a third daughter on the way, she had to find a way not to go back to her 9-7 managing a credit union branch. She loved the job, but she never saw her family!
She decided that the best way to do this is to put her varied skill set to work. She started TDM Marketing to help small business owners grow their businesses and reach more customers. She has 16 years of business management experience, and she uses it daily for her clients and her own business!
Apply for the 8 Week Mastermind - www.thepassiveincomeexaminer.com/mastermind
Amanda’s Gift: 10 Things You Should Be Doing to Get More Clients From Google Search https://rebrand.ly/google10
TDM Marketing: https://g.page/thegooglemybusinessagency?gm
Good morning Pie Tribe. And welcome back to another episode of the passive income examiner. I'm so excited today to bring you a wonderful guest. We have a lot in common and I'm super excited for her to share her story. This is just really one of those heartwarming feel-good stories, but that leads to a lot of good information. Um, with this today is Amanda Tinto. Amanda, thank you for coming to the show.
Thank you for having me, Lindsay. It's a pleasure to be here.
Oh, it's my pleasure too. So grateful. All right. Well, tell us about yourself. Kind of like, how did you get to where you are in your story?
Oh, I, that's, actually a really long story that I haven't actually shared all of it with you. But, um, I have been in, in many different careers, I've owned a pottery studio. I've been an interior designer. I've been a personal trainer. Um, I've been an operations manager at a ministry, so many different things. And the last thing that I did before I started my business was I was managing a credit union. So I was working well, I would say like five days a week and then nine to seven. So, um, not only did I work nine to seven, I could never leave. Um, especially if my assistant manager wasn't there, there was no way that I could even like leave the branch or go anywhere or do anything. I couldn't get off early for my kids' events, girl Scouts couldn't even be in girl Scouts at that point.
So I was like, Ugh, I don't like this. Then we had two daughters at that point, we got pregnant with our third daughter and we were like, Ugh. You know, like I really, I was like, I don't wanna go back to work because I didn't get that time with either one of the older two when they were babies, you know, at that time that you can't get back like you literally can never get that time back. So I was determined to, you know, stay at home, find some way that I could work from home and earn the same income or more that I was earning as a manager at the credit union. And it was a great salary and, you know, I had benefits and all of those things. So, um, that was, you know, kind of giving up a lot, you know. Um, but I did it, I decided that I'm not coming back after my maternity leave.
And my, supervisor was like, I kind of had a feeling that this was gonna happen. So, um, it's, it was kind of funny that, you know, she already had that feeling of like, I really don't wanna be there. Um, but, um, yeah, so I started out with, um, working as a virtual assistant and my first client who I still work for, um, asked me, like, what do you want to learn? Like what, what do you wanna be, you know, an expert in. And I was like, SEO. I was like, I have no idea anything about it, but I know, you know, it pays well and it's helping people and it's technical and I love technical things. So, um, he ended up paying for a couple of classes that I took and, you know, just kind of started that as a catalyst into, um, TDM marketing. So now we help Google, uh, you know, businesses with Google, um, and Google my business in particular, which is now called Google business pro while manager, but we help them to get more customers on Google. Like it is so important and so easy compared to a lot of the other strategies that are out there. So,
Wow. That's, I love every piece of that. I understand and can relate completely to wishing you were home with your babies and finding a way to make that happen. Um, all the way through to, you know, I love how you just kind of went on a wing in a prayer. And as soon as you made that decision to follow your heart, just the answer was provided. You know, here's this person blessing you by giving you an opportunity that you didn't have otherwise. And had you never taken that first step that wouldn't have happened. I see that so often in stories like yours and like mine and others, who've taken that leap of faith. You know, it's just such an important piece of that puzzle. Um, so when you talk about Google and Google, my business listings are, is that something that is more specific to brick and mortar businesses as people might be wondering if that's if there's if that's something they should consider, if they have a home-based business, maybe that's online.
Yes. So as long as you have a local component to your business, you can have a listing. For example, my business is pretty much entirely virtual. Like I don't actually don't even have any clients in Pennsylvania right now. You know, like that's where I'm located and all of my clients are all over the country. However I can serve like my neighbor next door, who owns a security business, I can serve, you know, other businesses that are local to you have that local ability to, you know, serve clients in your local area, then yes, you have a listing.
Okay, cool. So in other words, if you're a virtual assistant, but you could still help people around you, then there's no reason now, how does it benefit? Like do you think, I guess in my mind, and I'm, I'm, this is a great conversation because I'm coming from a very novice perspective. I understand Google business listings and I've helped businesses that are brick and mortar to fill them out and to do that. But I'm not, I wouldn't say I'm an expert at it, but I'm, I'm really curious. How does it affect the online business person? So, um, is it to say that people in our area would be searching for us and then possibly find us, is that the benefit of that,
That is a benefit? Um, there are also some other strategies that you can use within Google, my business, or Google business profile managers. It's now called. I keep, I always have to like correct myself, so eventually I'm gonna get it right. Um, but yes. So there is an option in the info section to add up to 20 locations. So what I do for a lot of my clients that are national, I do, um, a lot of work with coaches. Um, so like business coaches, life coaches, those kinds of things. And they will tell me okay, my ideal client is in San Diego, in New York, in Washington, DC. So then what we do is we go in and we pick out the top, most affluent zip codes in those areas, and then we put them in there. So then that way those listings are gonna be served in that area as well.
Wow. That's great. I, and I think that's a little tip that not very many people know. So thank you for sharing.
Yeah, definitely. That's
Powerful. Yeah. Um, okay. So beyond Google, tell me what it is again, cuz now I've already I'm not down with this new lingo that it's called.
It's Google business profile manager.
Okay. Google business pro profile manager. Got it. Um, so what other benefits are there to business owners to fill this profile out? And why do you think more people don't do it?
The benefit is definitely that you can even show up on Google, you know, um, it is actually the number one ranking factor out of all of the factors on, you know, the internet. And so your website it's important, but actually Google my business is more important than your website and you can actually rank on Google without even having a website by having a Google my business profile. So it's pretty insane. When you think about this is a free tool that allows you to input information directly into Google's algorithm and information. So you get that directory listing, you can do, I mean, not directory listing, you get, um, the description, you get all of the different posts that you can do. All of those areas are places that you can put keywords in and you're putting them directly into Google's, you know, algorithm. So I like to call them a gift from Google. So, um, and if you're not taking advantage of that free gift, then you're definitely missing out on, you know, everything that there is to be had on in line for sure.
Awesome. That's really good to know. And so when you're talking about the Google post for anybody who doesn't know, are you that's I know they have a little spot where you can put up like announcements or like what's new with your business or a little picture almost kind of like a social media feed in a way. Um, but they don't go away. Like they're always there people who come to your Google business can or find you on Google can like peruse through those almost like they almost a, I would say like kinda like an Instagram or a Facebook feed.
Yeah, definitely. It is very much like, an Instagram or Facebook feed. And the great thing about it is they have like call to action buttons as well. So there are six different calls to action. So like book now, sign up, learn more, all of those different calls to action buttons are there and you can just put any link in there and it'll lead right to whatever call to action or whatever you thing that you want to lead. Those people to, that are finding you on there. So.
Awesome. Awesome. I love it. I love how this is such a unique, uh, your business is created around something so unique. I haven't run across anybody else who makes this the primary focus of their business. It's usually like we build websites. Oh. And we'll manage your Google, you know, it's, it's kind of the other way around. Yeah. And so I just think it's so great. How you found a niche that's so specific and so important and yet many people are not doing it. So that's wonderful. Um, okay. Well tell me a little bit more, I mean, on that note I wanna get into, is there anything else that we should cover on that note, I suppose is my question.
I would say, I think the basics of how to claim or create your listing is gonna be really important for anyone that's listening, listening, and they don't actually have a listing yet. So all you're gonna do is go to business.google.com and go ahead and put in your business name. And if you have a brick and mortar, there's a pretty high that your business will actually already have a listing and you need to claim it. And if you're not a brick and mortar and you put in your name and nothing comes up, then you know, you're gonna wanna create a new listing and it'll just walk you through that process. Um, they have become a little bit more strict about the verification process because of obvious spammers and, and things like that. I've seen ads on Craigslist like we'll pay you $5 to claim this business at your home. You know, like, like it's just crazy that the kind of, um, things that are going on out there and it's creating a problem for real business owners, which is, you know, not cool. I don't think.
Right. I agree.
Yeah. Yeah. So, um, but they have gotten a little bit more strict about the verification sometimes for, um, businesses they'll require like signage or something like that. And if you're a service-based business and you don't have a location and they require signage, then it's gonna be harder for you to get verified. So I just wanna bring that up in, in that they're starting to do that and starting to kind of make things a little bit more, little bit more, um, challenging, a little more hoops to jump through.
Okay. Um, on that note, I had a question, hold on. Now I lost it for a second. It, so into what you were saying, I was thinking about, um, from a geo perspective, is it inhibiting, can it inhibit you like on the flip side of it, so to speak. So now that you go in and you say that your location can serve these key areas, right. What if there's somebody searching from another spot, will you not pop up or will Google actually suppress you? I mean, does that work? Does it work against you at all?
Yeah. You're not going to show up in the areas that you're not listed in. And that's why it's really important to identify, you know, know your ideal customer. Like any, any of us can think about like, where does my favorite customer live? Where does my best customer live? Where does my most profitable customer live and think about that, create a little bit of a profile in your mind and then say, okay, where do people like them live? And that's where you wanna target.
Okay. Okay. Um, let me look at one other thing. There was another question I had.
So when we're filling out the, um, Google listings and should we be sharing that, is there any other way to get mileage out of there that, you know, goes above and beyond on just filling it out and claiming it? And then also what do we do if somebody were to say, go in and try to claim it for us? Have you ever had that happen?
Yes, that does happen on occasion, and the most important thing. And this is something that a lot of, um, I've found a lot of side hustlers don't do is that whatever their website is, they don't have a domain email. So that's a really important part of, um, being able to claim it after someone else has already claimed it, um, is to make sure that whatever your website is, you have an email that's like your name at, and then like TDM marketing, for example.com, because Google wants to know the, that you're the owner of that company and that you can prove it basically, so you can get a listing back, but you just have to be able to prove it. So I always encourage everyone. Um, you know, just make sure you can just create a generic webmail and forward it to your Gmail, you know, and then, um, set it up so you can send from Gmail as well. And then, you know, you don't have to do anything extra, but you still have that ability to claim that listing.
Oh, that's important for sure. Well, especially for people who might just be getting started. I guess the other question I have is, do you need to have an LLC? Do you, should you be like an established business person or could you just be maybe just getting, or as a VA?
Yeah. You can be just getting your start. Google only requires verification for licensing and those kinds of things through the V Google verified program. So they do have a program like for realtors and attorneys and, you know, different like plumbers, electricians, where they actually really want to know that, you know, you have all of your licenses in place and all of those things. So that's a whole nother, um, system that they have in place. And it just gives the consumer, that's searching for those things, you know, trust and knowing that they don't actually have to go through that process of looking up, like, is this plumber license? Is he able to work in my area? Like, does he have any complaints? All of that's already done for you by Google. So
Awesome. Wow. Okay. That's a lot of good information.
Yeah. One thing I wanna go back to is, um, you asked if there's any way to share it and there are ways to share it. So, um, if you go to your Facebook page, so, like for example, you create a Facebook page. You've created an Instagram page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and all of those pages, they can actually be connected to your Google business listing. However, they all have to have the same name. So for example, if you created a listing that's passive income examiner, you wanna make sure that your Facebook page is named the same way your Instagram page is named the same way, and your LinkedIn and Pinterest are all named the same way. And then eventually Google will figure that out and put those little icons down at the bottom of your Google listing. So, oh, nice. Once it, yeah, it automatically does that once it figures out that, okay, this is the same business. Like it's linking to the same website, all of those like technical signals in the background can help you. So that's a great thing to note. And then in every post, there's a little button at the bottom that says share. So you could actually post these things to Google and then actually share them to your Facebook page, for example, or your Facebook group. And then that way, when people click on them, it's going to give you more traffic to Google and more traffic. It just gives better say
Yes. Okay. You mentioned something too about making sure that those posts were, were keyword optimized and you know, SEO driven. So tell me why is that important?
It's really important because Google is a search engine, just like YouTube and Pinterest and, and all of those other, you know, search engines. And you wanna think about user intent. So what am I going to search for? If I'm looking for how to make passive income online, I'm literally gonna like, probably make like Google, how to make passive income, right. Or how to make extra money, something like that. So those are gonna be terms that you want to have in your copy of your posts and also in your description. Um, but your posts give you 1500 characters. So it's kind of like a little mini blog post. It's not a lot, but it's enough for you to really express some, you know what you're doing about your industry, who you serve, where you serve them, all of those things. It's always an opportunity to do that. And every time you do that, you're giving Google even more signals.
Wow. So, I mean, I'm listening to you and I'm thinking holy smokes because I mean, essentially you can have photos on your website, on your Google listing page, you can have posts about you like miniature blogs. You can have links to your social. I mean, you're right. You almost don't even need a website. It's got everything other than like, well, no, it's got click here to, to message me. Right? You can like connect with them through Facebook or whatever. Wow. That's pretty awesome. What a great way to get started if you're not ready to build out a website.
Yeah. And Google already has a messaging system built-in. So as long as you have the Google business app installed on your phone, you can receive messages and they all, they actually just added a desktop version recently, so they can message you directly from Google. They can ask questions, they can, um, you know, do all kinds of things. I have a, an auto repair shop in, um, Tacoma that I work with. And they are constantly getting quotes from Google my business. Like all the time they get messages almost every day from people like, okay, how much would it be to have a break repair on this type of car? And then they just message them back. And then they set up the appointment. It's like, wow. You know, it's very, very lucrative if you're able to monitor it and, you know, make it a priority. I think that's the biggest thing.
Right? Absolutely. Well, it does take, and one thing I noticed about Google, I noticed this with that log home company I worked with cuz I was, um, updating their posts and I just did it because I thought, well, it's one more way. I didn't know it really what I was doing and the impact it was having, but I was just sticking stuff on there. And um, when, you know, it'll tell you, you get an email, it says, you know, 200 people have looked at your post it's time to post again. And I love that because it helps you. I mean, it kind of is exciting. You're like, Woohoo, look at this post, it got some good writing. And then, you know, you get motivated to post another one.
Yes, definitely. It's so awesome. And it's awesome to see that growth with our clients too, because you know, they'll say, okay, what's, what's been happening since we started, you know, they get monthly reports, but to see like a report of like, okay, what's, what's going on over the last six months? Like how like are we doing any better than we were when we started? And a lot of times those increases are just remarkable to see like, okay, you got a hundred percent more phone calls, you got double the phone calls that you got before, um, that we start, you know, before we started. So I think that's a really, really important thing to note. And the other thing to note is that you don't have to hire someone to do it for you. You can also do it yourself and, you know, just manage that and just work from, you know, whatever you're posting on your other social platforms.
Right. So let's talk about the analytics a little bit. Like what kind of things can we see there?
So you can see the different kinds of searches. So there are three different kinds of just that Google tracks one is called direct searches. So that would be someone literally searching for something like passive income examiner. That would be a direct search for you. An indirect search would be when they're searching for how to make passive income online and then your, um, you know, the listing is displayed. So that is basically a search term for you. Um, and then there's also something called chain searches, which is, it's a little harder to explain, but let's say I'm looking for a plumber and there's a plumber that comes up and I'm looking at their listing. And then at the bottom, Google will display like four or five. Like maybe I think it's three or four other listings that are similar to that. Right. So it's gonna be other plumbers that are in my area. Basically those, um, views are considered chain views. So it's just like tied to another person's listing and there's no way to control that or, you know, make yourself show up in there other than, you know, just continue to give those correct signals. And then, um, the next thing is, oh wait, yeah, what were we
We're talking about analytics. So I mean, what kind of things can people see?
Right. Okay. Um, and then they can see how many clicks they got, which is really important. The most important things that you should be tracking are honestly, um, you know, your views, how many times your profile was viewed. And then also how many clicks you got through to your website, how many phone calls you got, how many direction requests you got, if you are, you know, a location-based business. So those are the three metrics that are really, really important. And those, you know, tell you if you're getting any customers, if you're growing, you know, month over month, those are the things to look at.
Okay. Wonderful. Wow. Well, is there anything else that we've maybe missed or did we cover pretty much everything?
There is a lot more, um, I dunno. I mean,
Well, I tell me more I dunno, know what to ask, cuz it's so new to me too. So I'll let you lead the way if there's anything important that we need to cover.
Yeah. There, there is a lot. And the other thing that's gonna be really important coming up this year and it's getting, they're putting more and more effort into it in time is gonna be attributes. So you can actually mark certain things about your business. For example, if you're women-led, if you're black-owned, they just added Latino-owned. I'm hoping that they're gonna add more, you know, more of those, um, veteran-led is one the, that they also have on there. So all of those things can tell a consumer-like I personally love looking at those because I like to work with businesses, you know, that have those attributes because I like supporting, you know, all of, you know, different everything, you know? Yeah. So I think it's really important to, um, fill those out. And then you can also mark things like it's not as important right now as we're reporting this, but it may be important again in the future.
And it was very important for the last two years. Your COVID, you know, restrictions or guidelines or practices like, okay, is it, you know, clients required to wear a mask? Am I, you know, the staff is required to wear a mask, temperature checks, all of that is on there. And then you can also do things like a public bathroom, wifi, um, you know, things that wouldn't be necessarily relevant for a service-based business. But the one that is really relevant for service-based businesses is online appointments. So if you check that, then it also gives you an additional, um, you know, website link to put in. So you could put that directly to your booking link.
Oh wow. That's great. That is important. And that's true too for brick and mortars that work off of appointments too. I think you know, some do. Yeah. That's pretty wonderful. Uh, man, I didn't really know there was that much going on with Google. it seems like it's funny cuz we all use it right when we Google something, we all see it, but we aren't even aware of really what we're seeing and how it could benefit us as an online business owner, even a brick and mortar, small business owner, you know, that's pretty fascinating. I can definitely see why you specialize in it. you've definitely done your homework. That is for sure.
Yeah. I absolutely love it. I don't think that there's a better tool online because metric wise social media, it doesn't necessarily give you the same performance, especially when people actually use Google to find the things that they, they wanna buy or that they want to, you know, the services that they wanna purchase. They're gonna use Google. They're not gonna use Facebook or Instagram or anything like that.
So. Right. So from a coaching perspective, like for example, let's say there's, you know, um, ABC life coach, right? She's a home-based coach and she's gotten started, she's had a few clients now she's gonna set up her Google listing. So in a case like that, would you just say that you are a life coach, or do you be more specific to like who exactly you help? How do you set yourself up on Google to be really, I guess, clear about what you do?
Yes. That's a great question. So Google has over 3000 different categories of businesses that you can choose from. So you can choose from one to 10. So you could choose up to 10 of those different categories. I suggest no more than three because you don't wanna kind of give it too much information and then really not know, have it know where to put you for anything, you know? Um, so I think that's important, but you can actually select like business coach. There are different categories that you can choose from. So I would first set your categories second. You can also add products or services. So depending on whether you're product-based or service-based, you can actually add those in. And so maybe you put in your coaching packages, if you wanna do that and you don't have to list a price, you can list a price, you can do a starting from price.
You can do a range, all of those things. So it's really pretty flexible with that. And then the other thing that you wanna do is in your description, you wanna make sure that you're expressing exactly who you work with. So that's gonna be a really important thing for coaches and also working those keywords that your ideal client is, is looking for. You know, so if you're, I just was working with an astrology career coach. So that's a very, very specific term. So there was a lot of keyword research that went into figuring out what her ideal client is really searching for and then formulating that into that description.
Okay. Wow. That's, that's deep right there and I could see why they would wanna reach out and have you help them.
Especially that part because that's, that's such an important piece that I know so many people struggle with is determining what people are so searching for. I think sometimes as business owners, we're so close to what we're doing that we think, oh, well they would just search this. But in reality, as you said, they're not searching up passive income, they're searching up. How do I make extra money in my spare time, something very, you know, oblong like obscure compared to what I'm thinking, oh, passive income. Right. Everybody knows what passive income is, but they don't. Yeah. So it's, it's really fascinating. And you write on about that. Like I know that is a huge struggle. So where would people find you if they want help setting this up?
Sure. They can go to our website, which is TDM marketing.com. And just so you know, what it stands for, it stands for that. It determined mom. Um, so TDM marketing.com
And tell everybody about your podcast.
Yeah. So I have a podcast called the determined mom show and Lindsay was just a guest. So you may listen to that episode. It was a great episode and I'm sure you all know that her expertise is amazing and her story is amazing. So that was a great episode. Um, it is basically a podcast geared towards marketing, parenting life, everything for mom, business owners. So, um, that focus is really on, you know, helping grow. And I kind of picked the topics based on the things that I'm interested in because I'm, you know, I wanna, you know, listen, I wanna hear from people like you, you know, on your expertise. So I think it's a really important, um, important thing, to note.
I understand that's a lot of the times I get people on my show too, that I'm like, oh, that sounds like an interesting topic. I'd like to learn more and
You're in, you know. Yeah. I understand. Well, thank you so much. This has been just an amazing wealth of knowledge and we didn't even really, I think we just scratched the surface with what you're capable of and what Google's capable of. Um, so it's, you know, I don't wanna overwhelm people because that was a lot of good information. I feel like I need to go back when I'm in edit and take notes because it's like some key things there I wanna write down.
Yes. There's so much more and I am excited to be able to share that with your audience.
Well, thanks. I appreciate you very much. And uh, if you have any last words of wisdom for anybody who's just getting started. Um, if you could just leave us with a little inspiration, that would be great.
Yeah. So my last words about Google business profile is that you should at least claim it or create it today. And the sooner you get started, the better because you're gonna be able to start giving Google those signals. And if you're in doubt, just go in and click every single thing and fill it out.
Okay. Actually, I just thought of one other question and it pertains to me, but it might be helpful for other people. So I'm gonna ask. Okay. So, my podcast is the passive income examiner, but my LLC is LS enterprises. It's totally different because it's like my marketing agency. So would I put my business listing out as my agency or as my podcast name?
Which one do you want to share? Like which one are you, I guess for me the question would be, which one are you trying to make money from?
Well, my coaching, which is essential, they kind of all go together, I guess that's why I'm asking. And that's kinda, I'm thinking, I bet there are other people who did this, who like, who maybe started one way and then switched gears and their main brand is over here, but then they run everything through this other company and they can get kind of convoluted, especially when we are, you know, small business owners just getting started. Right. How do you usually recommend, like, should it just be Lindsay Sutherland coaching? Like, does it need to be tied to your URL? I guess that's my main question.
That is a great question. I actually ex experienced that myself because I started out as a determined mom. And then, um, I had a lot of men asking if they could still work with me and because they weren't moms. So they were a little, like, they were a little like, mm, can I still work with you? I'm not a mom, so that's why we switched to TDM marketing. And when we did that, we had had to like rename everything, you know? So now the listing is TDM marketing, but I still share things from the podcast on my listing. So that is a really important thing, you know, to do because you can have one listing for both of those things and post about them and share out them and that kind of thing. As long as it's in that same Niche, I will say like yours is definitely, you know, co your coaching and your podcast are very aligned. So I would say you could do it as, you know, you could even do it as Lindsay Sutherland coaching or anything like that. It doesn't have to be tied to your LLC.
Okay, great. Thanks for clarifying that. All right. Yeah. Well, good deal. Everybody go meet Amanda and listen to her podcast because it's a good one. And, um, definitely reach out. We're gonna link everything in the show notes, of course. And, uh, in closing, basically, Amanda, I just wanna say thank you so much. You've been a great guest.
Thank you for having me. It's been a pleasure!