If you want Google to send tons of traffic to your business online, you have to keep pace with all of Google’s features to establish an effective local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy. Failure to keep up with Google is a guaranteed ticket to oblivion and the inevitable digital demise of your budding new business.
One of the most important tools to incorporate into your local SEO strategy is Google My Business (GMB).
GMB is a free tool that businesses can leverage on to manage their online profile on Google. As part of a powerful local SEO strategy, it is important for businesses to claim their Google My Business listing. It increases your chance of appearing on Google’s Local Pack, Google Maps and Local Finder, and helps to boost organic ranking in general. More on this later!
When your business name pops up in GMB listings for a relevant search, those who click through are likely to go ahead with a purchase, or if not, at least drive traffic to your website where users can seek out more information.
To ensure that you fully optimise the tool, you must fill up all details required. They include the location of your business, business name, contact information, and opening hours. After filling out your profile, you will have access to lots of features such as the tool to share articles as part of GMB posts. Access to these features will allow you to further enhance your local SEO strategy.
1. Claiming your GMB Listing Tells Google Which Customers You’re Close To
When customers search for ‘restaurants near me’ for instance, Google’s algorithm quickly checks through its database and returns a listing of businesses around the customer. If Google does not know your business resides in the same town with the customer, your business may not show up on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
Your GMB listing lets Google know the location of your business so that whenever local users search for relevant keywords, your business gets featured in the SERPs. Granted, you will have to do a bit extra to get featured in local SERPs, but claiming your GMB listing is the first step to getting there.
Google also relies on lots of signals to determine the rank of a website. Social signals have a considerable impact on your ranking. Lots of positive social signals is a great way to climb through the ranking.
2. Your Ticket to the Snack Pack
Google is all about local search. Whenever a user enters a relevant local search, you want your business to pop up – your GMB listing can help you on this. If your GMB listing is well-optimised, you get the chance to snag a spot on Google’s Snack Pack listings.
The Snack Pack appears right above the organic search results on the SERP when you search for something like ‘restaurants near me’. Getting on Google’s Snack Pack, according to Think With Google, gives your business 50% more traffic from mobile, and 18% of these have resulted in a purchase on the same day. If your competitors have not claimed their GMB listing, claiming yours allows you to dominate the local market. This is because each time a relevant local search query is sent to Google, it returns your business on the Snack Pack results section.
3. Boosts Your Local Citations
One of the signals Google uses to rank local businesses after receiving a relevant query is the number and quality of local citations. Local citations are any mentions of your business name, address, and phone number – otherwise known as NAP. The more quality local citations you have, the better you rank on Google’s local listings.
Claiming your GMB listing gives you control over how your NAP information appears across Google. When Google comes across conflicting local citations for your business, it will not know which information is relevant and that confusion may affect your local rankings. Google uses the information you input into your GMB listing, removing any chance of confusion. This gives Google the confidence to list your business on its Snack Pack. Another way to boost your local citations is by including a 360 virtual tour of your business with a link to your website.
The result? Higher ranking in local searches.
With GMB, you get the chance to manage reviews posted by users on Google Maps. Folks also get to leave a rating for your business. All these social signals, combined with other SEO strategies, will propel your business to the top of local SERPs.