What is Google My Business?
Free to use, Google My Business comprises a dashboard that allows you to determine how your business information is represented in Google local search, and in Google Maps. It also offers a mobile app so you are always connected, as well as an analytics dashboard to monitor your progress and success. Searching locally means somebody is looking for your product or service near to them, this means that a local search has the potential to send buying customers either to your website to contact you on the phone, or more directly to your store to make an offline purchase.
Why is Google My Business important?
It’s not just about clear visibility on Google local search (although that is VERY important), making sure your Google local search and Google MY Business SEO is optimized correctly also allows you to monitor your local search activity, accept, review and react to online reviews of your business and keep all your business critical information up to date and easy to find. Let’s explore those key factors.
Can your local audience find you?
Optimizing your business SEO via Google My Business means a huge boost to your local search visibility and to your local inbound traffic. People searching for businesses like yours, near to them, are ready to buy and if your business information (where you are, what times you are open, how to get in touch with you) are not complete and in front of them, then they will almost certainly hop over onto a competitors link instead.
When people use Google to find local businesses, they want to be able to discover you for the first time, find out more about you, learn when your store is open, and get in contact in the way they prefer. If you don’t have a strong Google listing, then you are making it harder for your customers. It’s almost like you don’t exist. Google My Business allows you to optimize your Google local SEO to keep your details fresh and highly visible.
Retaining your hard earned reputation
Did you know, 97% of customers read customer reviews left online when buying locally? It’s a powerful message, social media lead digital economy that buyers are heavily influenced by the experience of their peers and of other customers. If their friends (or even complete strangers) had a great experience, then it is inferred that so will they, and that means more conversions for your business. Not only more sales but potentially 32% higher value sales correlate to more positive reviews. Google My Business allows you to obtain these positive reviews (remember, over 68% of customers will leave a review if asked) and equally importantly, to respond to them because 94% of people surveyed said they’d avoid a business with negative reviews.
Fortunately, a well managed GMB account means you can respond to any negative or neutral reviews, turning a potential negative into a clear and visible, positive display of your customer service abilities and transparent handling of an unhappy consumer.
Can I optimize my Google local listing?
Absolutely, you can optimize your Google local business SEO with the tools available. However, while you can access all these tools yourself, focused guidance from a highly skilled team of Google My Business SEO experts who have plenty of experience in optimizing listings for local search could see a faster and more effective outcome.You can apply this to a broader digital marketing campaign that includes SEO content writing services and link building. So, what’s the process?
If you don’t already have a Google My Business listing then the first step is to create an account and claim your business. This is a very easy process and you can do it yourself as follows:
Step 1: Log into the Google account that is to be associated with your business. If you don’t already have one then make sure you create it first.
Step 2: Take yourself to the URL: google.com/business. In the top right hand corner of the page is the ‘Start now’ button, so select that.
Step 3: Add your business name to the account
Step 4: Add your business address details to the listing
Step 5: There are two options here that relate to where you do business. If you visit your customers then choose “I deliver goods and services to my customers”, and if you want to hide your address (if you work from home, for example) then select “Hide my address. Only show region” before choosing your delivery area.
Step 6: Here you need to decide on your business category. It’s important that this is as accurate as possible as this will determine exactly what audience profile Google chooses to put your information in front of.
Step 7: Here you need to add contact details such as your business phone number and your website address
Step 8: Verify your listing. This can be done in several ways such as by postcard (a pretty slow method), phone, email, instant (if you already have a verified email address with Google Search Console, for example) or bulk verification (when you are setting up multiple locations at the same time).
The next step is moving onto your GMB dashboard and filling out the rest of your profile. Everything from service and product information, photos and even videos can be added at this stage. For help with getting your profile fully optimized for Google my Business, take a look at our GMB optimization service.
A Google listing banner that uses persuasive content for more click-through-rates.
A keyword-optimized promotion post once every month.
Photo management that includes exclusive discounts on Google Trusted Photography.
Keyword optimization that is updated monthly following in-depth reviews.
Ongoing monitoring and reviews of Google updates, as well as taking suggestions from your customers.
Monthly updates and optimization of your local key terms.
Link building to establish increased authority.
Blog content that improves Google ranking and user experience.
Monthly optimization for additional local key term searches.
A monthly Google My Business report.
How A Local Search Works
Mobile devices are currently the most popular way for potential customers to start their search for a local product or service. Where else but the connected super computer in their pocket to do the heavy lifting when it comes to finding a local solution to their problems? This trend is not going away, and by 2021, we can expect to see mobile devices influencing more than $1.4 trillion in local sales. Is your business optimized for Google local? It’s a critical time to start thinking about it.
The searcher will likely use a subject and a location to try to solve their conundrum. For example “dog walkers in Ohio”, “dog walkers near me” “dog walking services” (even without specifying the location, Google will likely infer that for itself and show you local search results anyway). Google will return a set of organic results that best match the query along with the top three results displayed in Google Maps. These links will comprise options to visit your website, perhaps call you or get Google Maps based directions to your physical location (search result information can send 70% of searchers to a physical location).
If you’re not one of those three businesses, you are at a serious disadvantage. Even if you are in those top three, you may get the views, but you will still need to make sure that you turn those views into action. High quality, accurate, optimized and conversion focused content is vital for this.
Remember, the further down that someone has to scroll on Google, the less likely that they will click on you. When clicks lead to inquiries and conversions, solid Google My Business SEO is Critically important.
Your Google My Business Listing
This is your online shop window and often the most viewed component of your online world. That’s why it needs to be engaging and loaded with the right information and imagery. Your listing should have a compelling set of details that make it really simple for a potential customer to identify you, figure out what you do and make it super easy for them to contact you and physically find you.
This listing is your opportunity to sell yourself to potential customers and if your listing isn’t optimized for Google local, then you can be sure that your competitor’s listing will be. Give yourself the competitive advantage and professionally upgrade your listing.
Contact us today for a bespoke SEO Local Google My Business overhaul that could transform your visibility and your profitability.