Many small business owners spend countless hours on their social media marketing but forget one vital step; optimizing their search rankings for local SEO. The easiest and fastest way to show up in the search feed is to have a Google My Business listing… Here’s what you need to know. 

What is Google My Business? 

Google My Business is essentially a free local marketing tool that allows business owners to manage how their business appears in Google searches and Google maps. It makes vital information such as your name, address, contact information, website link and opening hours visible to all. You can use your Google My Business account to;

Engage with customers: There are a lot of ways consumers can interact with your Business Profile, and you use your Google My Business account to engage back with them. You can respond to reviews, answer questions, enable direct messaging, and set up associated alerts. You can even use Google My Business to publish posts to your Business Profile, much like you would with Facebook and other social media platforms.

Highlight your business: A Business Profile alone contains limited information about your business. But through your Google My Business account dashboard, you can provide hours, a link to your website, products and pricing, attributes, and other details that make your business unique. You will also use your Google My Business to make edits and updates as needed.

Gain insights: You can use the Google My Business dashboard to gain key insights on your audience and local search performance. In the analytics tab of the platform, you can see the queries customers are using to find your Business Profile, whether they found you on Google Maps or Google Search, a breakdown of actions taken on your listing, and how your photos are performing compared to other profiles in your category.

Why do you need it for local SEO? 

One of the biggest benefits of using a Google My Business listing is that it improves your business’ visibility on the web. When you search for a product or service on Google, the top three listings are usually Google adword ads, followed by a map with the local 3-pack, then the organic results appear. Confused? Let us explain…

The local 3-pack 

The Local 3-pack consists of the top 3 local businesses based on the searcher’s current location. The best part is that customers end up at your shop’s front without even visiting your business website. Here are some tips for optimizing for the Local 3-pack;

  1. Make sure your Google My Business account is up to date 
  2. Cultivate reviews on your Google account, receiving multiple positive reviews can be beneficial when it comes to boosting your visibility. 
  3. Make sure your listing throughout the web are consistent, this includes address and phone number 
  4. Gather relevant local links to boost your visibility. Some examples of this are sponsoring local events or joining your local Chamber of Commerce 
  5. Build a strong presence on social media 

How to use GMP for local SEO

 GMB Business profiles are dynamic. Not only do they change form based on the platform, but Google will also prioritise sections of your profile according to the phrase that was searched. 

How do you use Google My Business for local SEO? Well, since optimizing for Google is essentially optimizing for searchers, it all comes down to the same three things: targeting, quality of information, and trust.

Target your information: To use Google My Business for SEO, make sure to incorporate relevant keywords into your Business Profile so you can tell Google what you’re trying to rank for. Use them in your “from the business” description, your responses to reviews, your answers to questions, and in the posts you publish. Make sure to incorporate them naturally just as you would with any other SEO strategy.

Maintain quality of information: The completeness and accuracy of your Business Profile impact its rank, so make sure to provide the requested information in every section of your Google My Business dashboard. Especially important here is your contact information, special hours, and attributes.

Build trust: The final approach to using Google My Business for SEO appeals to the trust component of Google’s algorithm. Keep your information updated and accurate as your business evolves. Keep a steady stream of reviews coming in and respond to them. Also, signal to Google that you are active by regularly uploading photos and publishing posts to your Business Profile through Google My Business.

Get started with Google My Business for your Local SEO 

​​With a clear understanding of exactly what Google My Business is, how it works, and how to use it, you can now see that using this free tool isn’t just a good idea for local marketing but a must. Get your Google My Business account up and running now so your Business Profile can outshine your competitors and attract more customers on the world’s most popular search engine.

If you need a helping hand, the team here at Ame Social are more than happy to help! Get in touch with us to start your Local SEO efforts today.