What are the benefits of Google My Business?
Ensuring that your potential customers can easily find details about your business in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is an integral part of local SEO. Google My Business (GMB) is the most powerful way of ensuring you appear in locally based search results. It will also enable your business details to appear in a dedicated Google My Business listing to the right of the search results when people conduct brand related searches (this includes details such as your logo, address, phone number, customer reviews, opening hours and photos). This lets your potential customers know precisely who you are, what you offer, and where they can find you.
Your potential customers want to locate the information they need about your business as efficiently and effectively as possible and Google My Business is the best way to allow them to do this. In SEO terms it’s an absolute must and can deliver the following benefits:
- Rank for searches with local intent
- Outrank the national companies on locally based search queries
- Demonstrate credibility through customer reviews
- Enable your business to appear in Google Maps results
GMB provides us with the opportunity to directly manage how your business information is presented to Google users. We are able to tailor your online presence in order to demonstrate that you are a reputable and credible business, keen to interact with your audience, meet their needs and exceed their expectations. It will also help establish your reputation through the display of customer reviews.
Engaging with customer reviews, posting videos and behind the scenes photographs, and including real-time updates covering new developments or promotional offers all help to humanise your business and boost click through rate (CTR) from within the SERPs.
Access to detailed insights will also provide key contextualising information that we can use to further inform our digital approach for your business. Understanding how your audience discovered your business, which search terms they used, and how many visitors made contact directly as a result of your phone number or business address being displayed in organic search and maps results pages, is essential to establishing the success of our local SEO strategy.
Why is Google My Business important for SEO?
Searches conducted with local intent are far more likely to result in visits, both to your premises and to your website, ultimately resulting in a positive impact on sales and conversions. This is because local SEO strategies reach a clearly targeted local audience often looking for a local business.
As Google My Business can also positively contribute to the establishment of your brand’s credibility, up to date strategies can be implemented in order to build your brand and cement your online presence. The result is your brand will become visible to all those who want to find you through search, whether that’s through brand related search or locally based keywords with user intent.
With increasing numbers of people turning to the internet for reviews and opinions as part of their research process before committing to making a purchase, securing online reviews for your business is an excellent way to stand out from your competition. We will help you make it as simple as possible for your customers to leave reviews (by taking steps to integrate such calls to action within email marketing strategies for example). This will place your business in the strongest position possible for positively influencing the purchasing decisions of your future potential customers.
Why is Local SEO important?
Searches conducted using mobile devices (which tend to have more local intent) are increasing consistently. Mobile searches are overtaking desktop searches with over 51% in 2016, which has increased from less than 5% in 2010. Factor into this the fact that Google data shows 50% of mobile users visit a local business within one day of conducting their search with 18% go on to make a purchase (this compared with 7% from searches without local intent) and it’s not hard to see the importance of local SEO.
At a time when people are increasingly reliant on search engines to deliver highly relevant and timely results to their queries, making sure that you create and maintain a local search presence as and when your potential customers require your product or service is key to business growth and conversion rates.
Understanding how many visitors to your Google My Business profile go on to interact with your content, make direct contact with your customer service team, or commit to a purchase will help us to understand precisely how effectively our digital approach is working for your business. This will help to inform any adjustments or refinements that may be required to effectively market your business, reach a target audience highly receptive to your products, services or messages and demonstrate your inherent localised value over that of larger corporations.
Google My Business allows a business owner to get their business listed on Google Maps and in the local search results. It becomes possible to include important contact information as well as a website link and, more recently, Google has also enabled the posting of links to articles and upcoming events.
Essentially a business listing, it may help firms to gain visibility but it is not under the control of the business owner. To gain management, editing and optimisation capabilities it is necessary to create a free Google My Business (GMB) account linked to the Business Profile.
As many search queries are geographically specific and Google’s algorithms now take account of users’ intentions, a GMB listing is a vital means of increasing visibility and attracting relevant traffic for local search. When a potential customer searches for a particular type of business, Google will often return a list of relevant nearby businesses in what’s known as the ‘local pack’. To appear in this, businesses must have a Google My Business page.
If someone searches for a business using their brand name, then their Google My Business listing will appear next to the paid and organic search results at the top of the page. This listing will include various information pulled in from the GMB page, including location, opening times, phone number, website, photos and also Google reviews.
Optimising GMB Pages
The more information a GMP page includes, the better its optimisation. Basic contact details and directions are essential but so too is an accurate, positive, appealing description (there are 750 characters available). Once the page is established, it is possible to add posts to a GMB profile which will appear in searches and map results. As a constant supply of new content and images is vital in maintaining optimisation, Google helps by sending reminders when pages need to be updated.
A Google My Business account makes it possible for customers to post pictures and reviews to which the owner can respond. Questions can also be asked and direct messages exchanged. Reviews are treated by Google as genuine pieces of customer advice and guidance so the more reviews a business receives, the higher they will feature in Google searches. Users can be encouraged to post reviews by offering them an email template to fill in and submit.
As with anything on the internet, a GMB Account needs to be kept up to date and relevant, especially if the business moves or changes its name.
Verifying GMP Pages
In order to protect against fake or phoney businesses trying to set up Google My Business pages, Google has a verification process in order to ascertain that the business in question is real and legitimate. For most businesses this will involve verification by postcard containing a unique code. Some businesses may be able to verify by phone or email, as well as through Google Search Console.