Are you wondering why Google My Business(GMB) is so important to Local SEO? Am here to answer your question.
First and foremost, I hope you are already using Google My Business for local SEO. If not, you are losing out on a crucial opportunity to make your company stand out in your area.
Every company owner who has a website searches for strategies to stand out in the search results.
There are several tactics that can help a local business rank well, but regrettably, there is no magic solution. This is a team effort, as is the case with most SEO-related activities.
Offering clients up-to-date information, such as operating hours and contact details, is one approach to stand out.
Google Business Profile, also known as Google My Business, can be used for this. But what exactly is it, and why is it so crucial for local SEO?
What is Google My Business (GMB)?
Google My Business (GMB) also known as Google Business Profile, is a free online service created to assist companies and organizations in managing their online presence.
It does so throughout Google’s network of websites, including Google Maps and Search.
Google My Business, like other Google products, aims to make it as easy as possible for users to find what they’re looking for.
It offers searchers high-quality results by improving the accuracy of localized search results produced by its search engine.
The idea is for Google to provide you with the information you require, whether you’re searching for a reliable local mechanic, the best pizza place in town, or an open grocery store.
It provides a simple and practical way for users to find basic information about a company, such as the location, hours of operation, and contact information, without having to leave Google.
How does GMB work?
You can upload your business’s images, address, services/products, and any other pertinent info with Google My Business to create a profile.
The profile boosts your business’s visibility and the likelihood that it will show up in Google Search, Google Maps, and other Google services.
However, in order to open an account, your company must operate out of a physical location and offer services in person.
The quality of Google’s search products also depends on human input. The business relies on its users to submit comments and information in real time, which enables Google to retain accurate, up-to-date information that it uses to produce search engine results pages (SERPs).
GMB makes it easier for business owners to complete the human verification procedure, and Google compensates them for doing so. It achieves this by sending greater search engine traffic to businesses with complete, up-to-date My-Business profiles.
Getting Started with GMB
It’s simple to get started with GMB; just create an account and claim your business. After providing your information, Google will send a physical postcard to the address you provided.
They send you this card to make sure you’re being truthful and are the owner of the company stated at the address. There are exceptions, and certain companies can be confirmed by phone or email.
Google provides a dedicated page where you can monitor the status of your verification.
Once verified, you can enter all the required information and monitor the performance of your listing.
To check how many impressions, clicks, and subscribers your listing received over time, you can receive regular insights. It’s an excellent approach to learning how customers and Google view your business.
What is Local SEO?
For companies that depend on internet traffic, search engine optimization(SEO) has become a crucial component of marketing.
Your website’s ranking in search results is improved by optimizing content from search engines like Google. This increases the likelihood that users will visit your site and engage with your business.
Local SEO is simply an SEO tactic intended to enhance search results in a particular geographic region.
Local SEO can be the difference between your company surviving and thriving especially if it depends on both online and offline clients in a particular geographic area.
Importance of Google My Business to Local SEO
It boosts your business’s visibility and search ranking.
You can significantly raise your business’s search ranking and overall recognition by adhering to a rigorous Google My Business SEO checklist.
When a potential consumer type in terms relating to the goods and services your company provides, Google advertisements, Google’s local 3-pack, and organic results will all appear first.
The likelihood that your business will appear in the top 3 local results on Google Maps and local finder increases if you create a Google My Business page.
This will increase your company’s exposure and generate more leads.
It improves customer engagement and support
When you have a GMB profile, you’ll be able to answer inquiries and comments about your goods and services more promptly and address positive or negative feedback.
Additionally, clients prefer to conduct business with companies that are simple to get in touch with. So, having your contact information readily available makes it simpler for them to call you with a query or a complaint.
Increased client trust
Google prefers to display accurate information about a company online. That’s why you need to confirm your location in order to use GMB. You are unable to choose any address at random.
Henceforth, it’s no secret that customers see businesses with verified information as reliable. They are aware that GMB listings are more reliable than other listings.
Increased traffic and sales
It goes without saying that having a GMB account can increase traffic to your website since 28% of local searches result in purchases.
People are more likely to visit your website to discover more about you when they search for the goods or services your company provides. They’re also more likely to be successful in a goal if the landing page and CTAs are strong.
You can reach more audience
You’ll be able to draw in and keep the attention of a larger audience with a current GMB profile, which is something that would be challenging to do without running advertisements.
It builds your brand’s reputation as a business authority
Reviews have a favorable effect on how appealing your company is to potential clients.
A 4.7-star rating, for instance, shows that your company excels at what it does, increasing the likelihood that customers would choose you.
How Google My Business Impacts Local SEO
There are several ways for marketers and business owners to use local SEO to boost their visibility. Your brand can boost sales and conversions, or improve rankings.
One could argue that conversions are more important than rankings, yet conversions will always be poor if the company is not found on the first page of search results. Conversions and rankings are tightly tied for the majority of businesses.
The first step in improving local SEO results is to increase relevance, prominence, and distance. The Google algorithm bases its local search results on these three factors.
To draw in more local clients, you should also upgrade your business’s Google Business Profile.
GMB listing ranking factors
The degree to which your company and the online search query accurately match is determined by its relevance. If your company provides what the user is seeking, the search engine will try to find that out.
To achieve these requirements and increase your relevancy, it’s imperative that your website and business profile have accurate and comprehensive information.
Proximity is how near the searcher’s precise location your company is measuring. Google uses a user’s location based on their IP address to favor nearby listings if they do not enter a specific location when conducting a search.
Similar outcomes are obtained when “near me” is specified in a search. Your company must optimize the location data on its website and in its Google listings if it wants to appear in such listings.
Google uses the term “prominence” to define how well-known a business is both online and offline. The search engine evaluates your prominence using both online and offline data, including reviews and website popularity, to learn more about your company.
Your company’s ratings will rise if there are more good reviews of it. Interacting with and responding to internet ratings also increases your visibility.
The majority of the time, algorithmic changes occur suddenly. Success with local SEO requires regular work, just like with other SEO activities. In order to manage their local SEO, many businesses find benefit in professional assistance.
GMB insights, reviews, and ratings
As part of GBP, Google offers a free, compact analytics package. This gives you a fundamental understanding of how clients and prospective customers see and use your listing.
Insights reveal how frequently Google Maps and standard search return your listing. Additionally, it displays the number of phone calls, clicks on your website, and requests for driving directions among others.
There is also a comparison of the number of customers who view your listing for direct searches (for your particular business) versus discovery searches (for businesses in your category). Although no one outside of Google is completely certain how they determine the discovery number, if you monitor it over time, it’s likely as good a gauge for the overall strength of your local SEO as any.
Another noteworthy feature of Google My Business is the “review” option, which enables customers to post online reviews of your company.
You have a simple way to respond to both good and negative reviews if you have a verified GMB account. If you believe a post to be fraudulent, abusive, or wholly wrong, you can flag it for deletion.
Businesses that routinely interact with their customers and garner favorable reviews score higher in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). This is because Google places a major emphasis on generating outstanding user experiences.
Actual user experiences, according to Google, are the best gauge of a company’s caliber. This is part of Google’s “social proof” mandate. When you search with local intent, Google expressly states that “the best rated companies near you will be returned.
Optimizing GMB Listings
You’ve undoubtedly already realized how crucial it is for your local business to have a Google My Business listing.
But in order to rank higher in local searches and appear in the local pack, you’ll need to do more than just create a profile. You’ll need to take steps to enhance your Google My Business local SEO.
So, how can Google My Business listings be optimized to achieve better placement in local SEO results or a chance to be included in the local pack?
Verifying your business
Google makes an effort to ensure that only trustworthy companies are represented in GMB. Anyone claiming a Listing must demonstrate their connection to the business.
Start the process by typing in your company name into Google’s desktop search bar. In the panel on the right-hand side of the website, you’ll see a link that asks, “Own this business?”
Make sure you are either not registered with Google (you can create an account in the next step) or signed into a Google account for your business rather than your personal Gmail before clicking that link to start the verification procedure.
It’s not required, but using a business account will make it much simpler to give staff members or other corporate agents access to your listing.
Google will contact you and ask you to enter a PIN on the screen once you have filled out the basic necessities of information, provided that it can verify your address and phone number.
Within a week, you’ll receive a postcard in the mail with instructions on how to PIN verify if it hasn’t already seen a business using the phone number and address you provided.
Completing your GMB profile
Filling out your profile is the next step after verifying your business. Despite the fact that many of the areas are optional, it’s crucial that you include all pertinent information.
A full Google Business Profile increases by 2.7 times the likelihood that customers will think highly of your business. And they’re 70% more likely to visit your business location.
According to Google, it is simpler to match businesses with the right searches when they have complete and accurate information. Your relevance score rises as a result. Giving Google users information about “what you do, where you are, and when they can visit” is crucial in this situation.
Keep your business hours updated if they alter during special occasions or seasons.
A thorough profile serves as the foundation for all subsequent recommendations (reviews, Google Posts, answering queries, etc.).
The most critical details to provide in your Google My Business profile are your company’s name, address, phone number, website link, and categories.
Adding photos and videos
You should upload a cover photo and a logo to your Google My Business profile to boost your local SEO. Use images that are comparable to those on your social media sites to help customers recognize your brand.
Additionally, use images and videos to highlight your team, workplace, and your location.
For instance, if you own a restaurant, upload images of your dishes, menus, and dining area. Ensure that they are high resolution, professional, and look appetizing. Google claims that businesses with photos get more inquiries about directions and more visits to their websites.
How to upload or edit photos on your Google profile:
1. On the left menu of the dashboard, select Photos.
2. Your logo and cover photo should be added first. You have three options for images: upload one, select one from your Business Profile albums, or pick one in which your business is tagged.
3. In the top menu of the photos page, select At Work or Team to add more photos.
4. Click the Video tab at the top of the photos page to add videos.
Your profile should contain keywords
Relevance will increase with the proper keywords. If you don’t know where to begin, you can consider using Google Trends or Keyword Planner.
You can also discover the terms people are using to search for your company using social media monitoring tools, Hootsuite Insights, and Google Analytics. Include them in your business description in a way that feels natural. Using too many unrelated keywords will potentially lower your search ranking.
Encouraging customer reviews
People have a higher regard for other people than they do for businesses. A favorable review may be the factor that convinces potential clients to choose you. Your Google ranking is also enhanced by reviews.
The greatest moment to request a review is just after giving a wonderful service. Google offers a direct link to invite clients to give your business a review to make it simpler.
One of the first measures you can take to increase your local SEO is to optimize your Google My Business listing. However, there are other actions you should take to really make a difference.
To increase the visibility of your brand and website to the correct target audience, it’s crucial to execute a backlinking strategy, optimize your website’s technical components for SEO, and optimize the content on your website.
You simply can’t ignore Google My Business, regardless of the business you’re in, or else your competitors might fill in your information for you.
With a little time and work, you can harness the power of this free online tool to improve local traffic, raise brand awareness, and advertise your products and services.