Google is trying to make it easier for people to find the businesses they need by adding local listings and maps to its search results.
If you are using the services of a professional SEO company, then chances are they’ll be using Google My Business to promote your business online. The reason is simple: Google My Business is a free service that allows you to create your business listing on Google.
GMB is an incredible platform that can help any local business owner get his business on the map. It’s a huge benefit for local SEO as it helps your business to rank higher on search engine results pages for local listings. It also allows you to customise the information Google displays about your business, making sure you’re featured in exactly the way you want.
Local SEO is all about helping you to rank for local search terms. It is Google’s way of helping you to show up for people within a specific area of your services or products. Google My Business is Google’s tool for making sure that if anyone in your area is looking for what you have to offer, they can find you.
Google My Business is the most important tool for small business owners and local business. Due to the fact that you’re trying to get the attention of a local audience using Google My Business is an essential tool for your Social Media Marketing Campaigns.
Does your business have a website? If yes, it’s time to think about optimising your website for local search. In this blog, we will share with you the importance of Google My Business (GMB) in local SEO.
One thing that many of our clients, especially the small business owners, have learned is that creating a Google My Business listing is a powerful first step on the path to a successful business. If you aren’t familiar with what an GMB listing is, here’s the lowdown.
We will also explain why GMB is essential for your local SEO strategy.
Approximately, 1,000,000,000+ people use Google Maps every month.
If local listings and local searches are an integral part of your marketing mix then you, as a business owner, must ensure that your Google My Business (GMB) listing is complete, with accurate details and is updated regularly.
Not so long ago, people used to rely on the Yellow Pages when they wanted to find the nearest grocery store or a good place to get a haircut. These days, not only is it much easier to browse the web for businesses nearby, but it’s also easier to find them on the go – meaning that local searches are becoming increasingly important.
Because GMB optimisation contributes heavily into local searches. Any kind of activity and engagement on your Google My Business listing are strong ranking signals for Google. So, the point is, the completer and more optimised your profile and listing is, the more likely your business will show up in the local searches.
Millions of businesses are better off because of it, but as a Google product, its relevancy depends entirely on the effectiveness of Google’s algorithms.
The demand for local searches is increasing day by day. The number of people using Google Maps for direction and near-me searches is increasing every week. That’s why Google continually releases new features for businesses to use, such as posts, product options, new services (including some specific to COVID-19), and direct-to-customer messaging. They want to make it easy for people looking for:
- Hours of operation
- Phone numbers
- Company websites
- Reviews and ratings
… all of which can be found in a single Google My Business Listing page.
During the initial COVID-19 outbreak, people started to look for local options due to lockdown restrictions as well as to support local businesses to survive during the difficult times. GMB is a great way to communicate these business updates to your customers (new or existing).
How Covid-19 has changed the game?
Year 2020 has been tough on everyone, including small and local businesses. And these events have brought GMB into the digital marketing spotlight. Prior to 2020 pandemic, the business hours were stable and relatively standard for most businesses.
But during pandemic and until now considering the latest orders given by authorities. The hours of operation change so rapidly. Consequently, the business owners must communicate the changes in the working hours and health protocols to their customers with immediate effect.
This is where GMB plays an important role. Since customers just Google everything for any kind of information about your business, products or services, as the owner, you must keep your GMB updated with your latest business hours and any other relevant information your customers might need. It makes it super easy to communicate these changes to your customer.
Another important thing is, that Google lets you write a 750-character description, which is about 2 paragraphs about your business. You can include all the necessary information that your business has adjusted due to changing public health environment. You can also include information about how you are complying with precautionary measures.
5 key benefits to gain by optimising your GMB listing:
Google My Business has always been as it's (often) the first thing your customers notice when they search for your products and services. The benefits of GMB are many.
- A completely optimised GMB listing can improve a business's local SEO ranking, dramatically.
- It immediately sets the first impression for searchers who see your business's essential information listed on the right-hand side of the interface.
- GMB integration with Google Maps makes it easier to find your business on the world's most widely used mobile map and directions app.
- Direct messaging optionality — customers can send messages directly to your company phone or email via the GMB interface.
- Customer reviews are displayed under your GMB profile, giving your business social credibility that rivals Yelp or Trustpilot.
What marketers should do about Google My Business?
The main purpose of this tool is to help users find local businesses and even get directions through Google Maps. Google My Business also offers some great features for business owners and marketers such as the ability to publish posts, photos, and videos to the business’s Google+ page, as well as an overview of your location’s statistics.
Here’s how you can ensure you're getting maximum value from GMB.
Sign up and claim your business: Sign up, claim and verify your business through Google My Business service. This process may take up a couple of weeks. The final verification step will be sent via email.
The first thing to do is to sign up, claim your business, and verify it through the Google My Business service, a process that can take a couple of weeks (they send you the final verification step through the mail).
Once your location is established and verified, go through your Google My Business listing and optimise every aspect of the listing that you can. Fortunately, Google makes this process very intuitive and straightforward: when you log in, you’ll be alerted to your profile “completeness,” as well as a plan for completing any outstanding information you still need to add, such as location, hours, phone number, and more.
Once your listing is complete, it’s time to be proactive by taking advantage of new aspects of the platform. You can:
- Answer FAQs about your products or services.
- Add weekly photos relevant to your business and customer base. These could be photos of your location or new menu items.
- Share business posts regularly to announce new products, events, or specials.
- Create a site using the Google My Business website builder.
Businesses need to be more proactive about responding to Google My Business reviews. With the rising importance of local searches, optimising your Google My Business page is an important task. How you respond to reviews will have an impact on your overall SEO performance, too.
Over the past year, a significant number of brands have either made the switch from their proprietary system to Google My Business or started using it completely. As such, it’s becoming a more important aspect of your marketing strategy, particularly if you’re looking to build a brand.
It’s time to look at Google My Business in a new light. Our industry is no longer solely reliant on the organic results, and it’s been a long time coming. Google My Business has been a game-changer for small business owners. And with continuous updates and improvements, it’s become even more important to keep your business information up to date and consistent across all platforms.