SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is one of the most effective strategies to give your brand exposure and build a stronger ranking in search engine result pages. While there are many different approaches to improving SEO rankings, there is one practice that helps explicitly with local SEO, and that tool is Google My Business.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business, GMB, is a free tool that helps businesses manage their online presence and appearance in Google Search and Google Maps.
Google My Business allows your business to create posts centered around your brand to give you exposure. When someone types your business into the search engine, the posts you create will come up on the right side under your address in the “knowledge panel.” Google My Business has a feature called the “knowledge panel” which contains essential information customers want to know about local businesses.
The knowledge panel consists of:
- Business Name
- Business Type
- Hours of operation
- Phone Number
- Link to website
- Link to Google Maps
- Overall Star Rating
- Popular times to visit
- Related Searches
- And More
With all of this information about your business in this panel, there are many benefits to setting up GMB and optimizing your content. The main advantages are:
- Increased visibility in search engine results
- A better buying experience for consumers
- More traffic to your website and social media platforms
5 Tips To Increase Local SEO Through Google My Business
1. Add a detailed description
Descriptions are an incredibly important factor in your GMB profile because it helps searches better understand your business and what you have to offer. If someone comes across your business, and they don’t have a clear idea of what you do, they’ll likely bounce and search for something else. Descriptions also assist in the case when specific categories are not available. If there’s not an exact category match for the industry that you’re in, a description will help fill in the gaps to give your audience a better understanding. Not only do descriptions help your audience but they also improve your search rankings in Google. The report allows you to tell Google the same information, and they can rank you for more search queries.
2. Include high – quality images
According to Google, businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than companies that don’t have photos. With that statistic, it makes sense why having high-quality images is so beneficial for your business. Take pictures of your office, products, or gallery to show people who you are. You can also include exterior pics of your building, so buyers know which building is yours. Images are great identifiers, so it’s a great idea to upload pictures of your team, so people know who to look for when visiting your business.
3. Create valuable posts
Google My Business allows your business to make posts to gain exposure online. You can create any post you want. Make sure it’s relevant to your brand and the services you offer. Here are a few examples of types of posts you can create:
- Blog articles
- Company news
- eBook downloads
- Upcoming events
- Special offers
- Product promotion
Use this as an opportunity to post whatever you want buyers to know about you, your products, and your services. When posting, it’s good to note that staying consistent with posting content is critical.
4. Respond to reviews
The reviews on your Google My Business page can be a deciding factor in whether or not someone decides to invest in your brand. If you have a lower rating, people may not be as likely to want to consume your products or services. It’s important to respond to all the reviews, both good and bad because it shows you are engaged with your audience. If you get a bad review, that’s an opportunity to wrong a right and show people that you care about them and their concerns. According to a local consumer survey the following information was noted about consumer review behavior:
- 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Positive reviews make 73% of consumers believe a local business more
- 68% of consumers left a local business review when asked
The statistics are staggering when it comes to online reviews. Nowadays, people put a lot of weight on reviews and recommendations, so it’s important to stay proactive with them.
5. Add videos
It’s no secret that video marketing is incredibly useful. You can attract, engage, and communicate with your buyers with engaging video content on your Google My Business profile. If your business isn’t already taking advantage of the power of video marketing, now is the time to start with Google My Business. There are two ways to post videos on Google My Business. You can do either of the following:
1. Upload to your Photos
2. Upload Videos as a Post
Regardless of which avenue you choose, adding a video to your profile will elevate your credibility. If you have videos on hand already, take them and upload them on your GMB page. The upload time is quick, and the ROI is high. Adding a video may mean the difference of you gaining customers or you sending them towards your competitor.