Sam Makwana - Senior SEO Strategist at Traffic RadiusI am a passionate digital marketer with a creative and analytical mindset. My skill lies in adopting a holistic approach and designing solutions based on the latest marketing trends and web paradigms. With my knowledge and understanding of the various elements of SEO, I believe in adopting an integrated approach for devising effective strategies.
First important step in any local SEO strategy is to claim and verify your local business’ Google My Business listing. Getting on Google My Business helps to increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general.
Over the past year, SEO on the local level rather, local SEO has really improved its pace. All thanks to new features on Google My Business (also known as GMB); reviews became important and relevant. Businesses today are being able to understand the scope of GMB and experience its benefits.
Just to brush up on basics, Google My Business is a simple and free tool which any business can use to manage their presence online. It is spread across Google, inclusive of Maps and Search. All that has to be done is, verify business information; enjoy the benefit of GMB post the verification!
Google My Business has just one objective; to help customers find your business/ company without any hassle and tell them your business story, inspire them all over again.
If you want an idea about how you can qualify for a Google Local Listing, it’s simple. All you need to do is, make it a point to interact with potential users at a business time (which you mention on GMB as well.)
Then, you can work with potential clients offline; if you do not have one, it’s alright. All you need to do is define the area you’re available in, also known as Service Area Businesses!
1. How are users finding for Your Business?
There are two ways in which users can find you:
● Direct Searches wherein, the user searches for your business directly
● Discovery Searches wherein, your business shows up while looking for a product/ service
A study by Bright Local has shown how people search for businesses online. The findings by state that about 63% users opt for direct options when it comes to GMB which is great for your company because, all you need to do is, give in your details to Google and wait for some action!
2. What are the possible ways in which they can contact Your Business?
There are 4 ways in which GMB ensure customers can contact you via:
● Request directions and come down to the address for a meeting
● Call you and have a chat
● Visit your website, explore it and contact
● Check out gallery in association with your GMB profile
These are the most subtle yet effective ways which can help your business get leads, leading to conversions in no time, at barely any price. In fact, all I’d recommend you to do is to fill in as many details in the data fields provided by GMB. Google My Business is trying to help you out, cherish it!
3. Local Search as of 2019
Google My Business factors are climbing the ladder in comparison to the previous year. GMB factors according to Moz is at 19%. In fact, there’s a 27% increase in GMB signals. Review factors are at 15%. On-page factors go as high as 14%, followed by behavioral which is 10%. Citations, personalization and social together cover about 15%.
Recommended: 6 Great Ways to Improve Your Local Search Rankings
The statistics clearly show Google My Business progress; the scope of local search today. Aspects like citation and social are pretty low because local businesses don’t really require that. Review factor is fairly good because that's what users are truly looking out for!
Please understand, just because citations are low, doesn’t mean that you stop it completely. It’s just that it’s not the way it used to be, doesn’t mean that it does not help in the listing!
4. How can Google My Business improve local ranking?
Alright, so let’s dig into the matter!
From 2018-19, all that has been the true story is GMB, GMB, and GMB! Mostly everyone has appreciated Google My Business, how innovative and helpful Google is for every kind of business!
Several new features on GMB have been adding real value to this amazing innovation. Services, descriptions, Google Q&A, Google Posts and so many more! Populate your Google My Business profile with extra data because, Google is giving you the liberty to do so, for free!
A. You’ve got to make the most of Google Posts
Everyone’s been talking about Google Posts; how it is driving rankings and more. The semantic content Google is providing in a simple post is helping keywords used by you associate it with your business. Google posts can:
- Engage audiences, increase ranking
- Help you become more active online and make regular posts
- Lift business entity, improve sales and more
If you wish to get Google My Business insights without any assistance, go ahead and check it out. Here’s how it looks:
There are several ways in which you can track results when it comes to GMB posts:
● Book - Track via the booking system, make good use of UTM strings
● Order Online - Track via e-commerce system, make use of UTM strings
● Learn More - Make use of UTM strings
● Sign Up - Track via email/ e-commerce system, make use of UTM strings too
● Call Now - Can use custom tracking numbers for posts
If it is an offer post, here’s how you can track it:
● Coupon Code - Tell clients to keep a tab on the coupon code while tracking using e-commerce systems and for walk-ins
● Redeem Offer - Track via e-commerce or email system, make use of UTM strings too
B. Look out for Google Q&A
Google Q&A is one amazing way to engage audiences and drive them towards your business. All you need to do is go online and answer their simple queries. In fact, if you have a FAQs page on your website, copy and paste all the content from there and put it in your Google Q&A section for more brand visibility, leading to awareness and more.
C. Keep posting videos and photos
It’s always recommended for your customers to put up photos and videos online. However, you too can do so. It’s a helpful activity and affects audiences psychologically. Images and videos are known to build trust between you and your prospect client; it shows the reality!
D. Fill out each field
GMB has given you the space to fill in everything about your company. Please make an attempt to fill in all fields and make your dashboard card look glamorous.
So much original content leads to quality engagement of audiences, leading to conversions like never before. Let them dwell and read through your information, which helps in traditional marketing too (word of mouth!)
ii. Reviews & Links
Reviews have lately been important for readers. All thanks to multiple fraud cases, people now look at reviews, reliable ones to make purchases most of the time.
A. Get more and more Google Reviews
Google reviews have been very important over the years. Competitors are first looking at the information you give under your business listing then the reviews given by customers you’ve had in the past. Make sure you try getting some high- quality reviews every now and then.
B. Keyword usage in reviews
By now, you surely know how Google really functions; via keywords! The logic is simple, try ensuring keywords relevant to your business are used in the review and see the result! Your review will definitely be revenue-generating and visible!
C. Respond to reviews & communicate with your user there
This is a recent update by Google wherein, your users get notified when you reply to their reviews. It’s another way for Google to let you know that they can and are helping you engage with your users for conversions.
D. Go beyond GMB Reviews
There are so many platforms wherein, people give in their reviews about products/ services they chose to pick. Do your research by searching for your business + reviews! Results are guaranteed.
Links have always been out there (at least, since the internet came into being!) Links have continuously proven to be local search helpers. Business listers like you can add website links, related links and so on to help in brand visibility and awareness.
You need to give Google My Business a shot if you haven’t yet!
GMB was designed to help businesses at all levels, market themselves with simple information. You can definitely make it work, irrespective of the industry you belong with.
Whether you’re a digital marketing agency in Australia or a small manufacturing company in Texas, GMB will definitely help you connect with people, turn from a local business to a global one in no time. Most importantly, for free!
The most amazing part about Google My Business is that you do not have to hire someone fancy. In fact, it is designed for local businesses who’d like to be visible online. GMB wants people to enjoy life and do business smoothly.
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