According to a new analysis of the importance of Google My Business for local Search Engine Optimization, reported by ClickZ, it is essential. It’s free to set up and will enable you to appear in local search results for queries specific to your products or services, says the report. Even broad queries with large volumes are now showing local results that small business owners can capitalize upon. Results and recommendations, by selected SEO experts, show their advice on setting up and optimizing GMB listings.
The experts providing insights for the report are:
- Greg Gifford, Director of Search and Social at DealerOn
- Max Holloway, Senior Search Manager at Pi Datametrics
- Kevin Gibbons, MD at Digital Marketing agency Blueglass
- Raj Nijjer, VP Community at Yext.
How Important Is Google My Business For Local SEO?
GMB (GoogleMyBusiness) “… incredibly important… going to lose prominence… (because) removing all location information from the GMB listings… (leaving only) a social interface (on a social network that no one is using) … GMB dashboard still feeds the info to Maps and the Knowledge Box … still of vital importance to claim your location and fill out your info…”
“… increased visibility… placed around Google Local listing… (means) that Google My Business is essential for local SEO… on a mobile device… organic results are now shown below the fold… with only the top three Google local results being shown… huge traffic opportunities for being listed for competitive searches…”
“… incredibly important for local SEO. Without it you won’t be appearing on any local map listings in the SERPs which Google displays for the vast majority of local queries…:
“… Critical… the centerpiece and fundamental to any local campaign… (your business) simply don’t exist if you don’t create a Google my business page for your local business…”
What Are The Most Important Things Businesses Can Do To Optimize Their Google Local Listings?
“… absolutely important that the number listed is a local number… (and) matches the number displayed on the landing page it links to… important to use the actual business name and choose the correct categories as well,,,”
“… key points… I would strongly suggest:
- Claim your listing, as often many people don’t
- Ensure your details are up-to-date (e.g. credit card acceptance)
- Double check your opening hours and phone number as these often change over time… or the business has new owners or management
- Check the business images you are using and consider refreshing them or uploading higher res versions…
- Verify the correctness of your listing…”
“… When… choosing your categories be specific… much better chance to rank for “Fresh grocery store” or “Organic butchers” than for generic terms like “Shop” or “Groceries… also add photos of the business, or its customers and the people who work there… and opening hours and other useful information such as parking locations…”
“… (start with getting) name, address, and phone) right… create citations (listings) on every other site like… Yelp, Bing, Yahoo etc. Category is also important so the consumer can find you… get the website right and then copy all the information into GMB like description, hours, menu, photos etc…having the same NAP information on your website is absolutely critical… so your website speaks the same language as Googlebot…”
What Advanced Tactics Can Businesses Use To Improve Local Visibility?
“… stick to the basics… awesome content, a kickass link profile, and consistent citations…”
- “… Pick a picture or logo that will make your listing stand out and get clicked
- Check the popular times of the day and use paid social or AdWords to drive more visitors during times your business is open but you are not as busy
- Encourage local reviews and social check ins from your customers
- Encourage visitors to upload photos of your venue/business
- Use services like Yext to build relevant citations to build up the profile of your business and its physical location
- Consider employing a Google certified photographer for a Indoor Street View tour of your business… “
“…To really improve your local rankings… build citations for your local listings… on local business listing website (LBLs), other websites… encourage customers to leave positive reviews on your GMB listing… To improve your local visibility… build pages about the services you offer… theme those pages… generally along the lines of [service] in [location]… links from other local sites can have a bigger impact on the ranking than more generic or high authority sites… “
“Prominence: reviews and exposure. Google wants to translate offline popularity online… work with their best clients to get positive reviews that mention their products and service… “
“Duplicates: since there is no master record, publishers are constantly compiling and recompiling… creating duplicates… Many… have the wrong Name, Address or Phone… Suppressing these duplicates is a MUST…”
“Finally, the CAN principle:
- Consistency: having the same NAP data on directory sites and search engines
- Accuracy: correcting your Nap data across the local ecosystem to make sure it’s consistent… (and without) duplicate listings… “
- Number: have authoritative citations (listings) across as many cites as possible. There are over 50 sites where you can create a citation for your local business and many more vertical specific sites… “
For more information from ClickZ, please visit here.