For businesses of all sizes, claiming your local business listing on Google My Business and or creating one can have a significant impact on your business and bottom line. Having worked with hundreds of businesses and organizations across Western Canada, one of the first items I look at when assessing a client’s online presence is whether they have a presence, if its current, dose it provide the right information and is there duplicate listings?
Firstly, having a presence on Google’s local pack is critical for local SEO.
Here is an example what’s known as Google’s “Local Pack”:
How to get started on Google’s Local Pack
In order for your business to appear on the local pack, you need to create a profile for your business or organization with Google My Business Listing. Its free and simple to get started.
- Simply follow the steps to create your presence
- Verify your business
- Presence will be published.
What Are the Benefits of Google My Business?
Being Found. Be accessible to users searching by brand and searching for what you do, in your market.
Google’s local SEO ranking signals indicates 25.12% is related to Google My Business (GMB)
This is a huge indicator of how much more additional traffic can be driven to your business. This is also indicative to Google’s mobile first index. Mobile search results include results based on proximity to where the user is searching from. Users searching on their mobile devices want localized, relevant, quality and timely results in order to answer their query.
What Dose a GMB Listing Include?
- Business Name
- Business Address
- Business Phone Number
- Business Website Address
- Business Category
- Map Listing
- Driving Directions
- Hours of Operation
All the right information for customers to connect with on and offline.
Along with utilizing this platform, there are many additional free tools and insights to take advantage of, understand how your customers are finding you and the ability to adjust marketing and business efforts with these metrics.
Utilizing the back-end of Google My Business
There are several ways to measure the success of Google My Business with free insights, manage reviews and so forth.
Direct search queries, by product or service, brands related to your business.
Breakdown by listings on the local pack search results or on maps indicating proximity is important to those users. This is important to ensure your location on Google maps is accurate.
What type of actions did those users take such as website visits, directions, made a call or sent any messages.
And from these insights, additional information drilling further such as where were users coming from for direction requests. By neighbourhood and postal codes. This may allow you to use these insights for additional marketing strategies both online and offline. The data from this is from people using the click for directions button and does not record users typing your phone number to their mobile device.
Also, understanding calls from customers to your published phone number breaking down by time of day and day of the week. This type of information is great for running your business, staffing etc. The data from this, is from people using the click to call button and does not record users typing your phone number to their mobile device.
Also, users viewing images on your profile and how you compare to similar businesses. Posting photos helps customers understand more about your business, get a stronger feel for your business and helps them understand if they would like to be a customer. Customers can upload their own photos. This is a great way to show what you do best.
Local SEO is a powerful tool to drive customers to your business and utilizing this free platform can have significant results. Another large part of the local search algorithm is a NAP profile. Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP). Having an accurate and consistent NAP profile helps search engines understand and validate a business. As you can see with Google having the largest market share in search, having an accurate presence on Google My Business and across the web can have a significant impact how search engines rank your business and how users find your business.