The 2020 edition of Moz’ Local Search Ranking Factors Survey ranks Google My Business (GMB) as the biggest driver of local SEO success. In fact, think of Google as your new home page because that’s where your local searchers look for what they need. (Yes, you still need your website.) If you want to appear in Google’s “snack pack” (the top 3 local business listings most relevant to the search inquiry), your GMB listing should be robust, and well-optimized with your core target keywords.
Here are some things to look for:
- Do you have a GMB listing? If so, is it claimed and verified? Open up Google Maps and search for your business. Click on the correct organization and follow the directions to claim the listing. If you don’t see a listing, you will need to create one.
- IIs all business information present and correct? Check your address and phone number, website address and email address, hours of operation, and description. Customers rely on this information to communicate with you, and incorrect and outdated information reduces your reliability in their eyes.
- Do you have multiple reviews and a high cumulative rating? Are you responding to reviews? With 95% of consumers reading reviews before they make a purchase, and 93% reading the reviews of local businesses to see if they what others are saying about their experiences with you, online reviews make a difference to the success of your business. Solicit reviews from your customers and respond to all online reviews, both good and bad. Responding to good reviews gives you an opportunity to show your appreciation. Responding to negative reviews provides the chance to make things better for the customer.
- Do you have appropriate business categories listed? Choosing the right categories for your businesses lets customers know right away what you do. Categories also offer a description to search engines. You can set both primary and secondary categories for your Google My Business listing.
- Do you have images of the business? Google reported that businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions and 35% more click-throughs to their websites. Upload photos of your location, your staff, your products, or your service’s projects. Photos build trust, familiarity, and drive user engagement.
- Have you created any GMB posts? At a minimum, you should be posting on Google My Business once a week. Posts last for just 7 days, so you need to add content regularly to maintain a higher ranking. What to post – Highlight new and existing products and services, employees, customers, and current events.
- Are you participating in the Questions & Answers section? Like online reviews, participating in the Q&A section creates engagement with your customers, show customers they are heard, and gives you an opportunity to right any negative experiences. Anyone can answer the Questions on your business page, so make sure you are one of those voices.
These are the core elements that make up a strong GMB listing.
You can go through these steps on your own or contact a SEO expert for help in improving your GMB Listing.