Local Search and the rise of GMB (Google My Business)
Importance of Google My Business listing, and where on the internet you should update your business information
Google's latest algorithm enhancements add to the local search influence on your SEO, and no other software has the power to affect a company's local information more than Google my Business. If you want to see tangible and immediate local search improvement and to rank your website higher, create or update your Google My Business.
Google's local search ranks your business based on significance, distance, and prominence while Google My Business listing plays a vital part in boosting your rankings for local search. Although Google My Business profiles are now the most influential factor in local search results, most companies establish a Google My Business listing, verify it through Google and then forget about it. The latest Google algorithm update has only increased the importance of having a fully optimized GMB profile which will rank you higher as you generate new business.
Regular updating of GMB listing, as we offer as a part of MacEQ optimization or our Gold ad plan, you rank higher with local authority publishers, bolster your appearance in Google Maps results, and boost your visibility resulting in conversion. GMB service by itself is entirely free of charge except for your time. But if you take the time to update your GMB, or have MacEQ keep your GMB updated, you will soon find out that no other marketing tool offers as good an ROI or is as powerful in providing local exposure for your website.
Initiating GMB First, you should figure out whether or not you already have a GMB listing. Even if you don’t recall having created one, an employee or a consultant might have created an account for you and creating another one could confuse your clients or simply not be approved by Google. So do a search of your business in Google search and in Google Maps to see if a profile appears for your business. If so, you’ll need to claim and verify it as your business. If not, first create a new one, for which you’ll need to prove your ownership – Google will send a postcard to your business address with a code. You’ll need to enter the code to confirm your request as the owner of the business. Once verified, you could update the information or add images to further enhance your GMB. Fill out all relevant information including your opening times, adding holiday hours. All you need is a few minutes a month to ensure it is accurate and kept up to date with new posts while providing another strong link to your website.
Call to sign up for site optimization for as low as $99 a month, and we will create your Google My Business page and keep it up to date with regular posts for $199 a month
Of importance to Google when verifying your GMB is to make sure that your business name is recorded as it was registered. If you enter tricky keywords, you’ll be at risk of violating Google’s guidelines. So enter your business name accurately, and write an enticing description for your business in line with Google’s guidelines. It used to be that choosing a relevant category could be very frustrating as many companies would not find the category which accurately described their business. Fortunately, through the new feature called ‘Services,’ you can add products and services to your business and help the categorization process from both a search engine as well as the user perspective.
Utilize GMB as a starting point to make sure you have consistency in your name, address and phone number throughout the web. Check other directories as well as your website. It’s a simple concept but mistakes are common and staying accurate can make a big difference to your local rankings. Below you will find a list of 70 authority publishers. To rank highest with Google check your NAP (name, address, phone) with the main ones, then proceed to update as many local publishers as possible. You do not need to do them all at once but update them as soon as possible.
National Publishers: Google My Business, Amazon Alexa, Apple, Bing, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, Superpages, Yahoo!,
Local Publishers: 2findlocal, 8coupons, ABLocal, AirYell, Allonesearch, AmericanTowns, AroundMe, Avantar, Banks.com, Bizwiki, Brownbook.net, ChamberofCommerce.com, CitySquares, Credibility Review, Cylex, DexKnows, eLocal, EZlocal, Factual, Find Open, GetFave, GoLocal247, HERE, HotFrog, iBegin, iGlobal, Insider Pages, Kudzu, Local.com, LocalDatabase, LocalPages, LocalStack, MapQuest, MerchantCircle, My Local Services, n49, Navmii, Opendi, Pitney Bowes, Pointcom, pr.business, ShowMeLocal, Soleo, Telenav, The Internet Chamber of Commerce, TomTom, Topix, Tupalo, USCity.net, VotefortheBest, Waze, Where To?, White & Yellow Pages, Yalwa, YaSabe, YellowMoxie, YellowPageCity, YellowPagesGoesGreen, Zomato
Images Another overlooked aspect of your GMB listing and one that can make a very noticeable difference to CTR (click-through rates) are images. Images will help build an overall positive representation of your business so try uploading a logo, a shot of your premises if applicable, and any other photos which you think help promote your business effectively to GMB. Do not add all the images you have at the same time, but go back to GMB periodically adding your images. Ensure your pictures are professional, appealing and kept up to date as you focus on what might help prompt a customer into a buying decision.
To achieve the best feedback, you need to follow Google’s recommended image format specifications. “Businesses with recent photos typically receive more clicks to their websites.” is as Google's recommendation goes so follow Google's specifications as follows:
Format: JPG or PNG Size: Between 10 KB and 5 MB Min resolution: 720 pixels tall by 720 pixels wide Quality: The photo should be in focus and well lit, without significant alterations or excessive use of filters. In other words, the image should represent reality. You can also add videos to a listing. Video: Video content is very popular, but many companies do not take advantage of this option as it is very new (introduced in 2018). Maybe it is time you differentiate your business from the competition. Your videos will appear within the photos section and don't forget to follow Google’s video guidelines.
Reviews It’s no secret how vital Google reviews are. Positive reviews affect nearly 70% of consumers' buying decision. So even if you are doing a great job of customer service, don’t just sit back and wait for the reviews to pour in. If you don’t ask, you don’t get and a gentle push towards the review section is still the best way to encourage reviews. However, raking in those reviews isn’t enough. It’s also good practice to respond to reviews, especially negative ones. Even if a review seems unfounded or overly rude, keep your cool and respond in a calm and collected manner.
Google Posts Once you start your GMB, you will begin receiving emails from Google to update your posts. Google posts are very prominent yet underused feature of Google My Business profile and work in a similar way to your posting on social media. Posts are displayed as mini updates in a carousel as part of your knowledge panel, but as they expire after seven days, they are a great tool to advertise your sales. You can add media, some copy and a link to your website. It’s always a good idea to check how the image you are adding display correctly on both desktop and mobile and don't forget to check Google Maps to make sure your image is not cropped to irrelevance. You can use Google Posts in four ways: What’s New?, Events, Offers, Products. The ‘What’s New’ post type could be populated with exciting announcements, general updates, and your latest articles. Don’t forget to add a call to action to your posts to encourage engagement.
Track your GMB updates Competition could stoop low, and as everybody is granted the option to suggest an edit to your profile, it’s essential that you keep an eye out and monitor any proposed changes. It could also be a well-meaning customer who may be clueless about the changes they are submitting but, either way, track and monitor your posts. Building a user-centered community, Google heavily promotes user-generated content (allowing users to answer questions about your business). Make sure that you’re keeping a wary eye out for user updates and inputs and check for accuracy and fidelity, in short trust but verify.
Insights This is one of the most important sections of your GMB listing. It’s all very well having a listing with all the bells and whistles, but you ought to know how many conversions your GMB is generating. Conversions generated by the GMB listing are frequently overlooked as generally, you may track all key events and conversions on your website, in analytics or webmaster tools. But as GMB listings take on a more prominent role, be mindful that customers may contact you through your GMB phone number having never even visited your website or your Google advertisement. That's exactly where GMB insights come to your rescue. You can find out whether customers found you via a direct brand search or via a ‘discovery’ search.
The Insights section is a treasure trove of information. Insight supplied data covers whether your GMB profile was viewed on Search or Maps, customer interactions info such as website visits, direction requests, and phone calls. You could even verify how successful your photos have been in comparison to other businesses like yours. These comparison graphs are great for pitting yourself against competitors to see where you may be falling behind on the optimization front. It also enables you to do a bit of testing to find out which photos work best for views and click-throughs.
At MacEQ we can optimize your Google My Business listing and given that it is an area often overlooked by other businesses, you are bound to take notice of the positive effect GMB would have on your site optimization. So call us and ask for GMB optimization as a standard part of your advertising plan. Google ad plans start from $199 a month, with complete advertisement plans which include website and Google my business optimization from $299 a month.