If your customers / clients tend to be “local”, then you NEED to be set up on Google My Business. The convenience of mobile search has Local Search skyrocketing. You can reach more of those eyeballs, provide those searchers with more information, and prompt or interact with them all via Google My Business (GMB).
Try This Experiment First
Local search often contains the phrase “near me” or place name like “mckinney tx”. Try it with your business niche. What do you see? Something like the following?
82 percent of smartphone shoppers conduct ‘near me’ searches
Or, for something more “urgent”, on Mobile:
1. Google Changes the Search Results for Local
Notice one thing in common? All have what is called the Local 3-Pack on top of the search results – above the organic search results. Google My Business is an essential part of a well-thought-out local SEO strategy.
Which businesses show up in the 3-Pack is determined by:
- Relevance – both your website and your GMB profile must match the searcher is looking for. In GMB, you have opportunity to add information that can help, such as category, practice / business description, name, address, phone number, and business hours.
- Distance – Google will prefer businesses located closest to the location term used. “mckinney tx” will be centered on that city, whereas, “near me” will be closest to the searcher, based on what’s known of their location.
- Prominence – This is a combination of SEO factors (e.g. links, search volume, search position), review ratings (e.g. GMB, Facebook, Yelp), citations, etc.
Infographic: Tips to Maximize Business Presence in Local Search – Click Here
But it is more than about Google Search Engine results, desktop:
Google Maps app on the mobile device, provides results very similar to mobile Google Search.
2. More Information Than Plain Search Results
Take a closer look at the listings. Under each business name is additional information that may not show up under regular organic search results. Their ratings, number of reviews, address (desktop) or description (mobile), and business hours. In Mobile, photos feature more prominently.
There is also additional information that is available on your company. With the right search, on desktop, the searcher will see your information box. It is also available when clicking through on your business listing.
The info in the box on the right has several additional groups of information that the searcher can drill down in. On mobile, the same search brings the searcher straight to a mobile version of this box.
Bottom line is that you have more search “real estate” to work with, and bring those searchers to you.
3. It’s Interactive
Google My Business has two additional features that both help your business rank and give you an opportunity to interact with your customer base.
- Reviews – We’ve seen the star reviews in the examples above. GMB has a built-in review tool and it is easily accessible to searchers via your information box. This is excellent for listening to your audience, building a fan base, and, of course, responding to your critics (and, hopefully, win them over). And it is free, unlike other services.
- Posts – You can add your own posts. The benefit, unlike Facebook, Twitter, or other Social Media, is that these can influence your rankings and are additional opportunities for keyword targeting for Google Search. What’s more, you can add Call-To-Action buttons to prompt your searches to take the next step (e.g. Call Now, Make Reservation, Sign Up). It is almost like free advertising.
In our experiment, you might have found some of your competitors are already established on Google My Business. You now know some of the key benefits that they are enjoying. If you haven’t yet, it is critical that you set up your business GMB profile too. Get started today!
For a deep dive on Local SEO, read this series of eight articles by Yoast – Click Here