When it comes to leveraging a location-based digital marketing strategy, Google My Business (GMB) has proven itself to be a vital tool in helping local business owners manage and market their online presence, as well as bringing valuable traffic to their website.
With 49% of businesses receiving more than 1,000 Views on Search per month, once you have set up and claimed your GMB profile, optimising it to help your business appear in the local ranking is critically important. A well-maintained local profile will increase the likelihood of your GMB profile showing in local results on Google. Local results appear for people who search for businesses and places near their location and are shown in a number of places across Maps and Search.
Determining Factors For Local Ranking
How well your listing matches what someone is searching for is a determining factor in whether your GMB profile will show in local results. Adding relevant keywords and detailed information on your profile can help Google match your listing to relevant searches.
This is the distance between the location term used and the potential search result. If the user doesn’t specify a location in the search, Google will calculate this distance based on other known location information relating to the user.
This refers to how well-known your business is based on information obtained from the Web. SEO ranking and the number and rating of Google reviews is also an influence in Google determining prominence – the more reviews and positive ratings, the better.
What Kinds of Businesses Can Have a Presence on GMB?
Listings can only be created for businesses that have a physical location that customers can visit. Staff must be on-site to attend to customers during the hours indicated on their listing. However, there are some exceptions – ATMs, video rental kiosks and express mailboxes are also permitted.
Chains and Brands
In order for users to quickly identify the business on Google Maps and search results, all locations must have the same name, unless the representation of the company in the offline-world differs in several locations. Additionally, all locations must cite the same category if they offer the same service.
Departments within Companies, Universities, or Institutes
The exact name of each department must be different from that of the main company and of the other departments. Normally, those departments have a separate entrance to receive customers and each must have different categories.
A professional refers to someone who has a public-facing role and who has their own client portfolio. A professional shouldn’t have multiple listings to cover all of their specialisations, and individuals working for corporations aren’t eligible for a listing.
How to Optimise your Google My Business Profile
Is Your Data Accurate?
Google will always favour the most relevant search results, and profiles that contain accurate and complete data are far easier to match with the right searches. With this in mind, it’s crucial to add a physical address, phone number, business category, and attributes and keep this information maintained and updated to reflect and changes within your company.
Is Your Location Verified?
With one of the most important local search ranking signals being the location of the user compared to the verified address of the GMB profile, ensuring your profile’s location is verified by Google is key to increasing the likelihood of your profile appearing in relevant searches.
Are Your Opening Times Up To Date?
Increase footfall to your store by letting customers know you’re open for business. By entering the hours your business is opening and keeping special hours for holidays up to date, you can keep customers in the loop with your opening times, even over busy holiday seasons.
Are Reviews Being Managed?
Google reviews play an important part in building a good online reputation and are a great way of making positive customer experiences more visible. Ensure that any Google reviews left for your on your profile (positive or negative!) are responded too in a timely manner and encourage past customers to submit their own too.
Are You Putting Your Best Foot Forward?
Let your customers know that you’re the perfect business for what they’re searching for by adding accurate and attractive images of what your business has to offer. Using images can give customers a real feel for your business, capture their attention and push them towards a decision.
Knowing how to optimise your local marketing profiles, like GMB listing has a multitude of benefits for local business owners, not only in increasing local search visibility and building and maintaining a good online reputation but also through providing enhanced information for potential customers.