In 2014, Google introduced Google My Business in hopes of coming up with relevant, localized search results. It determines how your business will look and perform in the search engine! It’s very important to take advantage of this tool and ensure that your listing is accurate and easy to interact with. This article will dive into the different topics of Google My Business:
In November 2015, Google removed the feature that allowed you to change search results based on your location. This limited the ability to filter your search results, and as a business owner, it lowered your ability to maximize local SEO and pop up on local searches. However, their solution to the problem was Google My Business. Google My Business combines features from different Google applications such as Maps, Google+, and Google search, providing business owners, who previously had to manage multiple profiles, the ability to manage their local accounts from one place.
Google My Business composes local business listings based on multiple factors, including both personal and user edits, third-party providers, verified business owner information, and several other sources.
Since the “filter by location” feature is no longer available, your Google My Business listing is pretty important because it’s your best chance at optimizing local search results and appearing in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, as well as organic rankings.
When creating your Google My Business profile, it’s imperative to fill out all the information that Google is asking for. Why? Well, in addition to providing both current and potential customers with as much accurate information as possible, if you don’t fill something out, someone else could. You know that “Suggest an edit” button that appears at the bottom of a local listing? It’s more than a suggestion- people can make live edits to your listing without your knowledge. Filling out all available information will minimize the chances of this happening (Just in case something would happen, it’s important to regularly check your profile and update any misinformation).
Google My Business also has a lot of fun, if not completely necessary, features- take advantage of them! You can post to your listing as a way to do mini advertisements for events, blog posts, or sales. If your business requires people to make appointments, add the booking feature to allow them to reserve their spot straight from your listing. And if you get a lot of the same questions, you’re able to add an FAQ spot to clear up any confusion.
Once you have all of your information complete, you’re going to need to verify that your business is legitimate. This is important because once you’re verified you are eligible to appear as part of Google’s local 3 pack.
There are several ways to verify your Google My Business profile, including phone, postcard, email, instant verification and bulk verification. The two easiest are probably phone and email. In both processes, you choose the business you would like to verify, click either “verify by phone” or “verify by email”, and depending on which one you chose, you will be prompted to enter the verification code sent to you by text or click the link sent to you by email.
Google uses multiple factors when it comes to ranking, but Yoast outlines the 3 most important ones when it comes to Google My Business:
Don’t forget the classic SEO techniques when optimizing your Google My Business listing! Include keywords and search phrases where applicable (description, title, etc.) to help Google analyze your business!
Caption: Google My Business Insights will give you a peek into how people are searching and finding your business!
Google My Business does more than just rank local listing. It gives you tools to analyze, interpret, and improve your online presence through Insights! Take a look at all the information available at your fingertips as outline by Search Engine Journal:
This feature gives you a peek into how people are finding your listing. Are they making direct searches (looking for your business’ name or address) or discovery ones (looking for a general product or service that you offer that resulted in your listing appearing)? Insights label the different searches as total, direct, and discovery in order to help you analyze how people are finding your listing.
Are people finding your business through regular Google searches? What about Google Maps? This feature will break down what Google platform people are finding you on. You’ll also be able to see the number of views for any given time frame through total, search, or map views.
Once someone found your listing, what did they do? Actions will let you know exactly what happened when your listing popped up. Did they visit your website? Look at directions? Did they call you or view your photos? Insights report what users did through the following categories: total actions, website, direction, and phone call actions. Google My Business also allows you to see who viewed your photos through the label’s total views, owner photo views, and customer views.
Google My Business is an important aspect of local SEO. It allows business owners to manage their Google profiles from one spot and, if done correctly, can boost your ranking and even allow you to appear in the local 3 pack. In order to optimize your listing, make sure Google has all of the information it asks for regarding your business. You’ll also want to get your listing verified, as well as understand the 3 main listing factors. Once your Google My Business profile is set up and live on the web, you have access to Insights in order to better analyze how people are finding your business and what actions they take once they do so. Set up your Google My Business account now so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to rank locally!