Although businesses have realized the advantages of Google My Business, they are yet to explore the same professionally to get complete benefit. In this article, we will not only explore the advantages of Google My Business, but we also discuss local SEO at a decent depth.
1. What does local SEO mean?
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is arguably the best way to market your local business effectively. It is a tool which helps in promoting a local business just when its potential customers are looking for the same. Standard SEO practices are employed in local SEO as well, and they usually deliver more significant results.
2. What does local search mean?
First of all, let us ponder over the difference between standard informational search and local search.
People can rank their websites based on high authority and good SEO when someone does a standard informational search. A typical example is someone searching for “how to fix my corrupted hard drive?”.
Interesting fact: 46% of the searches done online are local searches!
3. What is the meaning of ‘Local SERPs’?
Search engine result pages of a local search are called ‘Local SERP.’ Google is increasingly striving to satisfy the queries with local intent in the ‘local three pack’ itself. (Local three pack is nothing but the three business listings displayed below the Google map during a local search.)
4. ‘Google My Business’ basics
Your business profile on Google is known as ‘Google My Business’ (GMB) page. One can add or claim a Google listing. GMB page feeds information to the ‘local three pack’ too and hence has to be maintained in the most up to date manner. You can display your basic information (NAPW – Name, Address, Phone number, Website), add pictures, describe your product or service, manage your reviews, notify your opening hours, inform about holidays and so on using your GMB page.
5. Advantages of Google My Business
Let us ponder into the advantages of Google My Business:
5.1. Posts with links to your website
Anyone who searches for a product or service related to your vertical would be taken to your Google My Business page where they can also view your posts. What’s more? There is an option to link those posts to your website. This is one of the biggest advantages of Google My Business.
5.2. Question and Answers
Anyone with a Google account can ask any question regarding your business, and it can be answered by anyone else with a Google account. This feature builds engagement and is one of the many advantages of Google My Business.
5.3. Photos and a 360-degree view of your enterprise
You can upload photos of your enterprise along with a video showcasing the 360-degree view of your enterprise. You could leverage this advantage of Google My Business effectively by inviting your customers or local guides to post pictures of your enterprise.
5.4. Address and location on Google Map
Optimizing the location of your business on the Google map ensures that your enterprise is found easily by your potential customers and this will increase footfalls to your store. This is a prime advantage of Google My Business.
You can receive inquiries or messages to your registered mobile number by activating a simple feature on your Google My Business page. This advantage of Google My Business is yet to be made use of to the fullest as many business owners have not activated the messaging option.
5.6. Make an appointment option
You can upload relevant URL and take the visitors of listings directly to your ’book an appointment’ page. This will ensure that you won’t lose a potential customer by not pitching in at the right time. When you look at the biggest advantage of Google My Business which would directly result in better sales, we will pick this one.
6. What does citation mean?
Any online platform where the NAPW of your enterprise is mentioned is known as a citation. These citations are more useful when it is received from a website related to your business. There are structured and unstructured citations. The structured ones are those where n you are asked to fill out a form to claim your business listing and your details would be reflected on your business page. Unstructured ones are basically mentions in social media and press. There would be unstructured mentions on the websites. Any citation is another advantage of Google My Business page that the digital world is yet to make use of to its fullest potential.
Interesting fact: 68% of customers feel that they would not use the services of an enterprise if the information on local directories are incorrect.
Three deciding factors to outrank your competitor in local search
- Proximity – The closeness of your enterprise to the location from where the local search is initiated
- Relevance – The service offered by your enterprise should be an exact match or a near match to the search string of your potential customer
- Rating and Reviews – Good ratings and reviews make sure that your enterprise makes it to the elite ‘ local three pack’!
Five Main Local SEO services
- Localizing your website – Your website will be optimized in such a way that local search engine picks them up more easily.
- Building citation – Getting or building as many citations in relevant business websites
- Claiming the Google My Business listing of your enterprise – Surprisingly, about 44% of enterprises are yet to claim their Google My Business listing and it is the first step towards optimizing your online presence.
- Managing ratings and reviews – Ratings and reviews either make or break your online reputation and managing them on a regular basis is of utmost importance.
- Naturally obtained back links – or Natural links / Quality links / Good backlinks is a reference to a website /source/ content.
- Local customers are turning to the internet to find a product or service near them – The first face of your business is no longer your showroom but an online listing of your business!
- Highly targeted and timely – Be visible at the right place at the right time by leveraging local SEO.
- Highest conversion rate – Many local searches result in clickthroughs for your website and calls to your phone number. You will be one step away from getting business with proper local SEO.
- Mobile internet is ever expanding – The clickthrough and conversion rate of mobile searches are significantly more than that of the desktop. With the penetration of smartphones into tier two cities, mobile searches are playing a decisive role in lead generation.
- Good ROI – Local SEO has an unrefutable record of yielding good ROI irrespective of the nature or size of business.
- Leave your competitors behind – Only 44% of business have claimed their listing – Claiming your listing and maintaining the same would ensure ownership and management of your digital presence.
- It is absolutely free – As of now, the Google listing is absolutely free, and it has more than three fourth of the market share among all search engines.
- Print media is falling – Gone are the days when you would feel that advertising in local newspapers would ensure more footfalls. There are more effective, smarter, inexpensive ways of marketing!
- 85% trust online reviews on par with personal recommendations – An interesting, as well as good news for the businesses, is that reviews from unknown people online are trusted by around 85% of the population which speaks volumes about the need for proper review
- Voice-based searches are most often for local searches – Voice based searches are more often done with a local intent to it, and local SEO gains more value due to the same.
Do you agree with the views expressed about advantages of Google My business? Was the information about local SEO helpful? Please leave your comments below.