Google search and Local SEO are completely integral to the marketing strategy of businesses, and it involves Google My Business. An interesting note here is the average business is found from above 1,000 searches each month.
So, What Is Google My Business?
Google's free tool Google My Business is meant for all size businesses, comprising of local businesses and large corporations. A business must maintain a GMB account for making maximum of their online presence through the creation of better local search strategies, tapping into various Google reviews and displaying the business location on Google Maps.
Then, How Can You Improve Your Google My Business Ranking?
Now that you are ready to make the maximum use of your Google My Business Page, then follow these seven steps for optimizing your GMB listing and finally improving the ranking.
I. Complete Data Entry and Regular Key Information Update
Google My Business profile should be up to date for generating the benefits of the platform. All the information must be displayed prominently on the local search results panel for the business. It must be updated through the Google My Business dashboard. All these include -
a. Business Name
b. Phone Number
d. Website (linked to the homepage)
e. Operation Hours
f. Business Categories
II. GMB Listing Ensured on Google Maps
Research has shown that the U.S businesses are getting 26% of their views from the Map-based results. The GMB listings get automatically added to Google Maps. Potential customers often use Google Maps to search your business, so listing it along with the most updated and perfect information helps the customers to come across your business with much more ease.
III. Business Listings Must Be Verified and Claimed
The previous step continues and requires you to ensure verifying business listing. Usually, Google requests for verification at the time of account creation and also when certain critical information updates have been added.
So, when the business is verified, then it is automatically authentic among the competitors and goes a long way in boosting appearance on the search engine results pages. Thus, you are at an advantage!
Having your business Google Guaranteed is the added step – despite not being a free opportunity, still, if you can get this green badge, then you can gain the customers' trust while achieving additional credibility.
IV. High-Quality Photos Added to Business Listings
Business listings having photos are assured of double reputation and drive more than 35% clicks. The average GMB listings are having 11 photos, and it significantly helps the local businesses as well as home-service businesses to be presented as more legitimate and trustworthy before the local searchers.
With authenticity being fostered, more potential customers can be motivated to be engaged with your business for the long term. In fact, each picture holds a worth of thousand words.
V. Q & A Answer Section Set Up
GMB tool is useful in inviting anyone to submit their questions regarding business listing. The general community as well as the business owner can provide answers to these questions.
An Important Tip – New questions should be always checked in, and answered at the earliest. It helps in moving past the risks of others providing false information to answer these questions. Added to it, answering these questions more actively means the ranking signal being entered into Google Algorithm becomes stronger.
VI. Posting Regularly on Business Profile, Like Announcements, Events, Offers, Discounts, and More!
Using social media, updates can be provided to the customer. The same is appropriate through your Google My Business profile. It could be in the form of seasonal offers, date-wise discounts, a general announcement, blog posts, ebooks and more!
But you need to make the best of your created posts, hence –
• Consistent posting is a must since regular engagement is vital and certain post types get expired every week.
• Marketing campaigns aligned with posts bring up better traction.
• To drive more number of customers to the business, the links and call to action buttons must be included.
At the bottom of the Business Profile panel, posts come up as "Updates". Even they can appear on Maps-based results.
VII. Reviews Generation and Responding To Them
Above 90% of customers use the Internet – they read reviews before they engage with a business. Google is equally aware the reviews are the primary influence on customer purchases. Positive word-of-mouth from own customers is better publicity. Listings show positive and negative reviews, and as the business owner with the help of SEO experts, your can drive 5-star ratings and more for your business.
How Does Google Determine Local Ranking?
Google's algorithm has incorporated several ranking factors to get search engine results. You might need to rank higher by popping up in relevant searches to all your prospective customers, showcasing the customer reviews, ramping up the digital marketing game – it is of dire importance to understand how Google is determining local rankings.
These are the three chief factors Google greatly stresses on -
i. Relevance – How much relevant is your business to your keywords? Are the keywords fitting to the customers’ searches? If yes, then your business name and more business information will be appearing in the local search results.
ii. Distance – When the customers in the vicinity are searching for a nearby business for meeting their needs, then your GMB listing has to be linked to Google Maps so the new customers can find you. This beneficial strategy is to the convenience of the local home services, like electricians, plumbers and HVAC contractors.
iii. Prominence – When your business is having a lot of social media presence and online PR, then it will rank higher. But to get to this, there is no trick for duplicate listings. If your business is to rank in a search query, then your brand needs to be made prominent for improving search engine optimization.
Google My Business profile stands out as the one-stop shop for business visibility management on Google. Through Google My Business, your online presence will be maximized, more customers attracted, existing customers engaged through steady reviews flow. SEO
specialists will always be beside your small business to drive engagement as well as customer loyalty through automated marketing campaigns and even making the best of the reviews. They will always help you in boosting your business' online ranking and earn you the deserving position.