What is Google My Business? Is it Important?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool provided by Google that helps companies manage how they appear on Google search results pages, Google Maps, and more. GMB is a key driver of local SEO success. According to SEMrush 46% of all Google searches are by people looking for local information.
We are living in challenging times, and everything has changed regarding consumer behaviour. The world has moved online, yet local and small business seem to struggle behind the big players in their respective industry. Google My Business is wide open, and Google wants business owners to use it to gain traffic to their website to attract potential new customers.
The essential first step with Google My Business is to claim and verify your local business’ listing. If you haven’t yet this is where you should start. Visit https://www.google.com/business for more information on the verification process. Getting on Google My Business can increase your chances of showing up in Google Maps and higher up the organic rankings in general.
3 Important Local Ranking Factors
Local results are based on three key elements; relevance, distance and prominence. These factors help Google find the best possible match for the user’s search intent. Google is trying to strike a balance to find the best a business that might be farther away from your location but is more likely to have what you’re looking for than a business that’s right around the corner.
Relevance: This factor is all about search intent. Does your business fit the search intent of the consumer? So, if you search for a pizza restaurant near you don’t want Google to show you an Indian restaurant. Our top tip would be to be crystal clear with your business information, helping potential customers know exactly what your business is about. Remember to add complete and detailed information to help Google better understand your business and match your profile to relevant searches. To improve the relevancy in your GMB listing we recommend including keywords and key phrase in your GMB description that customers will most likely use when searching for a product or service
Distance: The most well-known ranking factor. If a user does not include location in their search term, Google will calculate distance based on what they know about the user’s location. Our tip would be to include your location and city as keywords throughout your listing and website and always make sure your address is complete and updated, so Google can show your listing in front of the right users
Prominence: This factor is all about consistency and the activity of your listing. Keeping your listing fresh and up-to-date with current offers and key information is vital. For example, we have seen a lot of restaurants miss out as they have failed to update their GMB listing to offer a takeaway service during the coronavirus restrictions. Update it like you would your social media or website. Another great way to improve your prominence is to ensure you are updating your profile with fresh images and posts. Frequent, and good quality, reviews are also a great tool to increase prominence – so reach out to your existing customers and ask them to leave a review.
Managing Your Google My Business During COVID-19
Just as we’ve mentioned above, many businesses have been forced to adapt due to the pandemic and associated restrictions. Let your customers know what changes you have made to your business during these times and how they can expect it to affect them. Make them aware you are taking every precaution to ensure safety first, and what measurements you have employed to make your business, product, or service offering COVID safe. If you have changed your operating hours, update your listing to the new temporary ones. Is your service contact free? Update your listing with this information. Do you offer takeaway or curbside pick up? You can let your customers know via Google My Business. Remember to also use Google Posts to inform potential customers of your current position.
Quick GMB Check List
- Claim your GMB listing
- Get verified
- Optimise your listing
- Add assets and update regularly with fresh content
- Ask for reviews from your existing client and customers
- Monitor and respond to customers
Google My Business listings are massively important in today’s world, yet super easy to set up and maintain. It is an essential element of your digital marketing and online business infrastructure. Remember to encourage customers or clients to review your business or service offering on GMB. For more on tips on getting the most from Google My Business, check out our guide to fully optimise your business listing.
If you have any questions about Google My Business, please feel free to leave a comment below or to contact us at [email protected]. You can also follow us @GlowMetrics for news, updates and the latest in digital analytics and marketing.