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Improving Your Local Search Rank with Google My Business. People Finding A Business.

You can attract more customers by optimizing your Google Business Profile.

Google Search is the most used search engine globally, which means businesses should be able to find them easily.

Businesses can rank higher on Google’s search engine with Google My Business or your Google Business Profile which is what Google recently changed it to.

Approximately 65% of all Google searches include a local reference, suggesting that significant businesses should maximize their local search engine optimization (SEO).

Map with an owl. Improving Your Local Search Rank with Google My Business.

The article explores how businesses can optimize their Google Business profiles to outrank their competitors and be the first business customers find on Google Maps and Search.

What Is A Google Business Profile?

Google My Business (GMB) or your Google Business Profile is a free tool that helps business owners manage their online presence by showing information about their business in Google search results.

This includes:

  • The Business Location.
  • Business Contact Information.
  • Photos Of The Business.
  • Customer Reviews.
  • And The products Or Services They Offer.

Before creating a Google Business Profile, a business must have a Google account.

Businesses should provide as much information as possible to improve their Google ranking for relevant search terms. It’s easier for Google to show it to the right people if they know more about the company. In addition, when a business uses location-based marketing, its online identity is greatly enhanced.

A Google My Business or Google Business Profile listing generates a Google Maps location, synchronizing with Google Search to enhance searchability.

Businesses can use Google Business Profiles to increase their marketing presence by using a Google listing to drive visitors to the website or convert them into customers without even having to visit the website. In addition, a Google listing provides detailed information about the business.

The Benefits Of Google My Business Or Google Business Profiles

Potential customers can learn about, find, and engage with businesses using Google My Business profiles. Business owners will be able to list all the attributes of their business and the unique and desirable benefits that they offer, including information that may be useful to consumers, such as whether they have Wi-Fi or disability access.

Creating a Google My Business profile can capture more customers who search for services like theirs on Google search or maps.

Another marketing and lead generation tool is similar to social media and websites.

Businesses can improve their local search ranking by posting regular content and adding relevant and valuable information to their My Business account. The Google algorithm considers activity, data quality, proximity, and relevance to the search query.

A higher ranking in search results means higher visibility and more likelihood of customers finding them.

All the information about the product that is useful to potential customers is also available, which leads to more conversions. In theory! Only if their Google Business Profile is optimized.

By Using The Google Business profile

  • Customers Can Call.
  • Send A Direct Message.
  • Visit The Website.
  • Ask Questions.
  • Request Quotes.
  • Or Book Appointments Or Reservations.

Google Business Profiles Strategy

Creating a Google My Business profile is the first step. But you’re not done yet! Any marketing tool must have an optimized profile and a marketing strategy.

The first step (I know, this makes no sense) is to do a Google search to ensure an existing listing doesn’t exist. When one exists, either from a previous owner or third-party data source, Google Maps allows the new operator to claim ownership.

Next, check the My Business listing. Here’s how. Google will not display the listing or its edits until verified the business’ ownership.

Having A Completed Profile

Having as much helpful information about your business as possible through a complete profile will increase your business page’s ranking in local search results and increase prospects’ likelihood of engaging and acting.

The sections to complete and other tools to optimize your Google My Business profile are:

  • Name
  • Location
  • Phone Number
  • Website
  • Service Hours
  • Category and attributes
  • Products and services
  • From the business (description)
  • Posting updates
  • Photos
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
  • Messaging

We will discuss these in more detail in the next section.

Contact Information, Including Name And Location

A business name should be the same as what appears on store signage and other marketing materials. That makes sense, right? You need the location to match your physical area and any other business listings online.

Suppose your business is a service area and you do not have a physical location, for example, your home office that does not take appointments. In that case, you can disable the business location. However, if the business adds a service area, it will still appear in relevant local searches.

An example user image.

Because so many people search on Google Maps via their mobile devices, it is important to list a business phone number so customers can contact the business with questions or to make bookings. Also, make sure to return missed calls and answer the number promptly.

Website

Ensure to include the website (if there is one, which there should be). Sending more traffic to your website to convert more customers is one of the critical benefits of a My Business profile.

The average person isn’t inclined to purchase from a My Business profile unless they are looking for something on the go, such as a café or gas station nearby.

Hours

I agree that My Business profiles should reflect a business closure, as it did with Covid-19. Add special events and holidays. They’ll come to your store if they know you’re open.

Attributes And categories

Selecting the right category is crucial to helping your business reach the right customers. More than 80% of My Business views come from discovery searches for a product or service category rather than searching for a business name.

You can choose secondary categories for your business after choosing your primary type. Ensure they are relevant so that the right people will find your company who need what you offer.

You can check the attributes you want to describe your business based on your categories when choosing your classes.

Add products And Services

You can tell potential customers what you offer and your specialties by adding all your products and services to your profile. Additionally, it adds relevant keyword terms to your profile to improve your ranking on Google.

Include the product or service name, description, and price. You may link these products to your website’s store if you have one.

“From The Business” Description

The section “From the business” includes your business description. Utilize all 750 characters, with the most critical information in the first 250 characters.

Online icons to use for your website.

Use content you have already created for your social media accounts or from the About Us page on your website (if you have one).

You can show how you provide value to customers, making you unique. We call this positioning.

Utilizing keywords in the business description will increase your profile’s visibility to customers, just like traditional website SEO.

Post Photos And Updates Regularly

You can use Google Business profiles to post business announcements, offers, and events. Like blogging on your website or posting on social media, you can publish content on your My Business page.

To connect with searchers, you want to provide as much quality and detailed information about your business.

If you post regularly, your Google ranking will increase, and the number of actions consumers take after finding your profile. In addition, relevant keywords will cause some posts to appear on Google search or Maps, making it a valuable marketing tool.

Google’s search results expire every seven days, so it’s essential to keep your presence fresh by posting regularly. Using the app, you can post from your phone or tablet and your computer.

Use links and other calls to action, such as encouraging visitors to visit your website, follow you on social media, or subscribe to your mailing list. This can help you gain backlinks as well.

Because of the little situation around the world currently forcing many businesses to close, there is now an option to add COVID-19 updates.

Photos

By regularly adding photos to your Google Business profile, you improve your ranking.

Businesses with photos on their Google My Business profiles receive 42% more requests for driving directions through Google Maps and 35% more clicks to their websites. In addition, if one of your images matches a keyword term searched for, Google may use it to display local search results.

Try to add a new photo once a week. Use pictures for summarising the business and what it can do for its customers. Create an identity.

Woman making a photo of product for selling online from home.

Customer photos will improve your ranking if you encourage them to leave them. So I would suggest that a restaurant or café offer a free voucher for the week’s photo, for example, to encourage people to leave a great photo behind. 

The photos I have added to My Business profiles via Google Maps have received over one million views, proving people are looking!

Add photos of food items on your menu or satisfied customers if you are a restaurant.

Include some photos of you in your work element if you are a consultant. Aside from interior and exterior views (e.g., parking), you can share team photos.

Take high-quality photos. Customer impressions are not great if your photos are of low quality. Google’s best practices for images include JPG or PNG formats, a size between 10KB and 5MB, and a minimum resolution of 720 pixels.

Ensure all photos are well-lit, in focus, and without excessive editing or filters. Be professional and authentic.

As your profile thumbnail and cover photo, upload your company logo. Adjust the aspect ratio to 16:9.

You can also include a video, such as a video introducing yourself or how you help people on the job.

Customer Reviews

A positive review positively impacts potential customers who are researching your business. Reviews also increase your business’s visibility in search results, so ask your customers for reviews.

My Business considers reviews a key ranking factor because they influence consumer decision-making. Therefore, a high rating and multiple reviews are often the first results of Google searches. Some search results may also display a My Business Profile review if specific keywords are entered.

Create a link to encourage customers to leave a review. Make sure you ask for reviews! You may wish to follow up on this email. Start with loyal customers.

People often do not mind leaving reviews because they help other customers decide about purchasing (like I post photos of every restaurant I eat at on Google Maps).

Make sure you monitor and respond to reviews. This feedback will encourage additional customers to leave one, showing that your business values customer feedback.

Questions And Answers (Q&A)

Set up alerts to monitor your Q&A, as anyone can ask and answer. By monitoring this, you can ensure accurate information.

Including keywords in your questions and answers can improve your My Business profile’s ranking for those keywords. Therefore, creating your own Q&A is crucial to optimization. First, list the business’s most frequently asked questions, and then ask, answer, and upvote answers.

Messaging

Since over 80% of people use their phone or tablet for local searches, being able to contact your My Business profile conveniently from their device is a great opportunity.

Businesses can only reply to customers via Google My Business. Once messaging is enabled on your Google My Business dashboard, a button appears on your profile for direct customer messaging. Create alerts for messages, so you don’t miss out on opportunities.

Businesses can customize automated responses to messages. You will keep message response times under 24 hours, and you will not be penalized for slow response times.

Additional Functionality

More tools are added to Google My Business every day.

A recent update added marketing kits to drive traffic to your page that can be shared on social media platforms. The kit includes a review request. Ask satisfied customers for positive reviews. Customers will find you more credible if you have positive reviews.

Google Reserve is a calendar application that lets people make reservations or book a meeting time with you. When a reservation is made, a notification is sent to your calendar. View available time slots without moving back and forth is a very convenient feature.

Creating a short name for your Google My Business account will make your business easier to find in a map search, and URLs will be easier to share.

Guest Post Author Bio:

Sajid Hussain is a senior content specialist at TechNerds with proven digital marketing experience under his belt. He harbors a passion for writing on a diverse range of topics related to futuristic technologies, innovation, and digital marketing to educate and inspire his readers.

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