The coronavirus crisis has made it critical for companies to ensure their websites get ranked in search results. There’s no silver bullet or a dedicated tactic. Only a combination of multiple efforts can provide a good rank for local businesses. And this is where (GMB) Google My Business comes into the picture.
How GMB Can Make Your Business Rock in Local Rankings
The dashboard is proving to be a significant source for quality links. The listing displays all the business details, including reviews, operating information, posts, and more.
How does GMB contribute towards local SEO initiatives?
Prominence, distance, and relevance are considered critical factors for Google’s local search results. The search engine pairs keywords with verified businesses that are nearby. When it comes to local 3-pack listings, Google gives priority to companies that have verified Google My Business profiles. Such firms stand a better chance of appearing in the top search results.
As pointed out in the Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, local pack rankings are highly influenced by Google My Business signals. The logic is simple; GMB profile sends social signals to the search engine and sends traffic to the business website. Reviews on the profile work as social proof.
GMB can make your business rock in local rankings. Here’s a quick look at certain critical aspects.
- Getting started with GMB
- What type of content can work?
- What’s the need to tailor content for Google My Business to boost SEO when everything is available on the website?
- Is Google My Business really worth the time and effort?
- GMB during COVID-19
#1. Getting started with GMB
The first step is creating an account to claim your business. Complete the online verification for your firm. Tag the location on Maps, select a category, and add a phone number as well as a website URL.
Then, wait for a physical letter with details from Google to arrive at your address. Once verified, you can fill up the necessary information on the business and complete the listing. Some companies can also complete the process via email or phone call verification.
Entrepreneurs can use GMB as an ultimate tool to control how their business information appears in the search engine. Adjusting location in Maps, as well as the knowledge graph, becomes easy.
From managing and displaying customer reviews, photos, opening hours to adding NAP details, entrepreneurs can handle various aspects of the business listing with ease.
The content is used by Google search and Maps as the primary reference. A selected number of Google Local Guides can review and edit business listings on GMB.
This tool from Google is considered one of the most critical components for local SEO success. Remember, the listing is not a button to help climb the charts. It needs to work as a part of your off-site and on-site SEO efforts. Accurate GMB profile, localized content, and a well-optimized site are things that need to go hand in hand.
#2. What type of content can work?
- Use Google My Business as a channel to share your current content
Every content marketer strives to ensure their target audiences remain exposed to the content. However, even choosing the best platform and spending handsomely on social media campaigns may not yield results worth appreciating. Surprisingly, merely updating Google My Business listing with fresh content weekly can help.
- Set the basics right
Several small businesses neglect basic information and this impacts the customer experience. Ensure you have accurate links for your website, social accounts. Most importantly, the updated list of products and services offered, current working hours, phone numbers, and addresses for various locations need to be accurate.
- Focus on offers and specialty of the house
The audience viewing GMB content is more transactional. So, the content should focus on offers, specials, and USPs for products and services.
- Photos do work
Studies have highlighted that firms with 100+ photos in their GMB listing often register more clicks than competitors.
- Content that describes the experience
Introduce yourself and your firm with videos. If you have a dedicated budget, work with a Google-certified 360 virtual tour professional.
Besides videos and photos, a quick introduction to the team members working at the location can be encouraging for consumers. They get an idea about what they can expect after they arrive at the business location.
Administrators should also update info for weather-related specials, seasonal offerings, and details for daily specials.
- Posts that answer most asked questions
Focus on questions that potential consumers ask. Answer them via blog posts and share the same on your listing.
- Small description about the company
Potential customers would appreciate it if you provide a short description of the company.
- Using Google Posts
Google Posts feature attracted a lot of attention back during the 2016 elections in the US. The function enables businesses registered with GMB to share messages with consumers on Maps and Google local search panels.
Firms can also use Google Posts for advertising new deals, events, and coupons. You can add a call-to-action button in the content for driving user engagement.
The analytics feature in GMB enables you to check how the audience interacts with the content you posted via Google Posts.
- Spammy tactics do not help
Keyword stuffing, creating doorway pages, and posting spun (automating) content on GMB profile is a strict no!
Also, paying people to post positive reviews is a bad idea. Remember, the world’s most robust search engine has its advanced set of tools that detect spammy tactics.
- Real and honest reviews can do wonders
Paying dubious websites to rate you five-star does not work anymore. Genuine review sites and Google can detect spammy reviews and flag your website and business as dishonest.
Similarly, asking consumers to leave positive reviews on GMB in exchange for discounts can also backfire. Potential consumers might consider reviews mentioning incentives as false ones. On the other hand, genuine consumers’ feedback proves better even if there’re a few negative ones.
- Understand and address negative reviews
It is evident; bad reviews do come through. Responding diligently to negative reviews shows how much you care about customers.
If something is wrong, acknowledge, understand, and address the issue to make sure consumers end the conversation happily. Apologize and empathize wherever required. Remember, resolving issues means digging into the problem and ensuring all the aspects of your enterprise run smoothly.
#3. What’s the need to tailor content for Google My Business to boost SEO when everything is available on the website?
The tool has a direct impact on local SEO. Achieving a good rank in a search engine requires time. So, it’s not useful for promoting information that becomes stale quickly. On the other hand, GMB aims at providing accurate and immediate information to searchers. So, Google always gives more relevance to content maintained on the tool.
#4. Is Google My Business really worth the time and effort?
A study conducted by BrightLocal back in 2019 pointed out the significance of this tool. It highlighted how 45,000 local business listings from GMB managed to get more clicks, views, and actions due to localized content.
Digital marketers can deliver the content to the right audience without waiting to get good rankings for the company website.
It’s not just about views and clicks. As mentioned earlier, posting content on My Business regularly can help secure a spot in the local-3 pack featuring the top three businesses relevant to the search keywords. Thus, posting fresh content on the tool at least once in seven days is a must for small businesses.
#5. GMB during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to tweak their operating hours. Business models have changed, and so has the list of products, services. Shipping timeframes have changed. The world has entered 2021, and vaccines are being administered. However, local lockdowns and restrictions are still in place.
In the current situation, the Google My Business tool can help in keeping customers updated about changes. Accurate information will be readily available on Google Maps and search results as well.
An SEO company with local search engine optimization experts can help you set GMB listings in the right way.