Setting up your GMB Listing is the Key To Ranking for Local SEO
To get started you need a Gmail account. Google My Business (GMB) is one of the easiest and fastest ways to tell Google the name of your business and ultimately about your website. This profile is free from Google and gives you the opportunity to tell the search engine a lot about your company. If filled out properly, it informs them about the physical location of your business, your industry, what you specialize in and most importantly your website. Think of it as an introduction.
Your profile is also used in the maps which ultimately will land you within the local three pack of results that show when Google sees that the intent of someone’s search warrants a list of businesses. Remember, search engine optimization isn’t just based upon your website.
The 3 pack is an SEO industry term referring to the three Google My Business profiles that are shown in the search results under a map. Google in recent years limited this number to three where previously there were 3, 5 and 7 packs.
We will update your Google listing to the best of our ability and upload photos as well. We want this profile to have plenty of info regarding your company. What most people do not realize is that since it lands on the SERP’s, it can be optimized. By the way, a (SERP) is the acronym for a Search Engine Results Page.
Before we move on, know that we are not dismissive of Bing! and Yahoo. They too have their own Profiles and it is a very good idea to set these up as well. Google, Bing! and Yahoo look at each others profiles to match them up and confirm that your name address and phone number are the same on each. This instills more confidence in their own profiles, and is a strong way to further optimize your online presence. Besides, even though they have a far lower percentage of searches on the web, people do use these search engines too.
Customer Reviews are a Strong Ranking Factor for Google My Business
In addition to citations, reviews are also a strong signal to Google that your profile is trusted. We cannot ask your clients for a great review, but we can encourage them to leave one. It is when you try to sway customers to leave a positive comment or five star rating that it goes against these same guidelines. Don’t ask me how, but they often find out and will delete them at will.
We will engage these reviews, respond even if it is a bad one, and you will see that you are rewarded over time. That star rating becomes more valuable in the more competitive local areas.
- It is free
- It provides you the opportunity to show up near the top of page 1 on Google in a competitive market
- Believe it or not, it does not even require your business have a website to show up
Google attempted to create a social media platform years ago to try and compete with Facebook. User adoption did not go over so well so Google turned their focus onto businesses. They integrated this platform with their maps and this turned into a big success,
Since the name has changed over the years, you’ll hear it referred to as
- Google +
- Google Plus
- Google Maps
- Google My Business
It is still an integral part of that social media platform and there has been some user adoption. You will find a community that likes using Google plus. In this case though, we are looking at this online profile as more of a directory listing. A directory listing in the largest and most used search engine in the world.
First, an understanding of why this listing is so important. Since searches online for businesses or services end up having mostly local intent, Google developed a verifiable system to confirm actual businesses. It can thereby provide a reliable source for it’s users.
So that there is confidence that the business address is correct, they will actually send a postcard in the mail with a code that needs to be entered into your profile. Even businesses that work out of their home can uses this because you can hide your address once confirmed. The team at Google just wants to know that the address is legitimate.
One of the the reason that the listing is so powerful is that you can tell the search engine about your business. When you put information on your website, no matter how great you are at SEO, The search engine is trying to match the term that someone is searching for to the most relevant page. It does not see your website as a business. It cannot tell the difference between your fishing store and someones term paper on the book “The Old Man And The Sea”,
Do not misunderstand. Search Engine Optimization is one of the strangest marketing tools today. But when someone has the intention of finding “fishing store nashville, tn”, Google is going to be far more likely to place that local listing at the top of the search results.
Now the question becomes, “how do I do that?”
Believe it or not, these listing can become optimized. Just because there are over 20 fishing stores in doesn’t necessarily mean yours will be the one that makes it to that three pack on page 1. That term three pack is derived from Google’s guidelines that 3 listings will show up together with the the map on page one when a search is conducted.
If you click on the bottom for “more places”, it will take you to the map section where you will find the extended list of businesses that also met the search criteria. Whether you are in forth place or ninth does not matter. Most people will not go past the three pack on the first page.
These listing within the maps are sorted by most relevant to your search. They take into account the trust that Google has in the listing. The location of your computer or phone is even taken into account. Yes, they usually know where you are.
So what can be done to Optimize this listing? – Answer: Lots!
Fill out as much as possible. The more data that Google has, the more it can understand your business. Remember, the algorithm knows your website as just that, a website. It doesn’t understand that it represents your business. This is your opportunity to tell Google about your company.
Citations are a big piece of the puzzle. To learn more about these, go to our post about NAP Listings.
Add your address to your website if possible. The search engines will match your Google My Business listing to your address on the website.
If your business has multiple locations, create a page for each location and then use the location pages for each respective listing. so if you have a location in Detroit, the Google plus listing should use a URL like domain.com/detroit/ or something like this. If all of your listings for all locations are the main Domain.com, you’ll find it to be a less effective strategy.
Social Media can be an overwhelming project. Questions always arise about where to spend time or what is the value of one hundred people liking your page. We approach all of these questions with our own.
“How much time should we invest in Social Media for the greatest Benefit?”
With an online presence, it is not necessarily a question of whether or not you should have a social media presence. Even just setting up social media accounts can help to improve your SEO. What it comes down to is will you get an ROI for the time and money you put into posting pictures of products and upcoming sales.
Store Location Google My Business Optimization
A large portion of the search result landing page is dedicated to Google My Business and the map results. This is often set up on day one of a business and neglected afterward. Most business owners do not realize they can actually work on this social media profile and rank higher in the three pack that displays on the page just as you can optimize your website that shows up BELOW this area.
I stress below because so many people are looking for a quick phone number or address these days. Optimizing your website is a solid strategy for capturing peoples attention when they are doing research.
Give us a call and talk to us about how we can help you build your social media strategy.