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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Emerson

Why Google My Business Is Essential For Local SEO

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

Google My Business also known as a map pack or GMB profile is crucial for your business visibility, credibility, and online success. However, it’s surprising how few use this free tool to its fullest potential including SEO specialist. In this chapter we are going to unpack how to use GMB correctly. Here is what we are going to cover in the next ten minutes we have together:

  • What is Google My Business

  • How to get a GMB profiles

  • How to optimize your listing

What Is Google My Business

There are three and sometimes even four sections to the front page of Google depending on what type of services you are looking for. At the very top is Google screening, this is a way for businesses to pay their way up to the top of the page, if your business qualifies then it can be a great place for getting paid leads. Since not all types of business offer Google Guarantee you will need to check first. If they, do you must have a clean background and be insured to qualify for this service.

Next are paid ads, this service is called pay-per click. One of the reasons our local SEO firm in Katy does not subscribe to this marketing channel is that it takes approximately three months of testing before you see any tangible. It’s also a well-known fact that only about 9 out of every 10 clicks converts into a lead and a lead does not always become a sale. After the paid ads section comes your GMB listing, these businesses have earned the right to be on front page and are treated by searchers with more reverence. These businesses are listed beside an area map and show the businesses information including phone number, address, website, and reviews, which we will cover more in a moment. The last section is organic results. Your map listing and local SEO work together to get your website more exposure and leads.

Creating A Google My Business Listing

If you do not have a business listening, then right now I want you to log into your Gmail email and set one up. Until you do this the rest of this chapter will be only informative, the key to success isn’t knowledge but application. Once you’re in your G-mail account go to the top right-hand corner where you will see a series of 9 grey dots, when you hoover over it the words “Google app” will appear. Click on these dots and go to the blue building with the word “Business profile” it will say add a business and then allow you to type in your business name.

Remove a Duplicate Listing

Make sure that no one has claimed a GMB profile on your behalf. If there are duplicate listing, you want to remove them. The best way is to log into your account and in the summary, click duplicate location, then click into the location you want to remove and delete it.

Forget Password

If you forget a password or someone else has claimed it that was doing local SEO efforts on your behalf then you a can go to ad you would to review a listing. Enter your contact information and select it from the results that appear, hit continue. Now you will request access and complete a form then submit it to Google and wait for their instructions.

Once you have completed your profile Google will want to verify that you are a business. There are two ways Google does this, one is with a postcard the other is for Google to ask you for information such as a sign or the interior of the building. The reason for this is for years people spammed Google with fake listing. If they wanted to be in a city, they would send a postcard to a PO Box or a relative’s house in the cities where they wanted to be, but these days this can get you into hot water. If you happen to have a fake listing have them remove it.

If you’re a service-based business without an office, you can simply request a postcard. If you go this route, it will take you approximately 5 days to receive a code in the mail. As soon as you receive it follow the directions but beware this is this time sensitive and your house will be displayed.

Now once you have entered the code you will gain access to your dashboard. I want you to get very comfortable with this dashboard unless of course you have hired a local SEO firm in Katy and then they can manage this for you, or can they? At Your Business Bakery it has been shocking to us how many times a client who has worked with multiple other firms comes to us and their profile is incomplete. With limited knowledge as to why we can only drawl the conclusion that what we are sharing isn’t information that other local firms don’t know or will not spend the time doing. Either way by making sure you follow these steps you will have a far better success rate of your customers finding you in the map portion of Google front page.

Google My Business offers you a lot more than just reviews so why not take full advantage of it. Play around with the different tabs on the dashboard and you will see things such as insights where you can learn how many views and calls your site receives, you can chat with your customers, respond to reviews and much more. It’s a great tools to use especially if you couple it with on page SEO.

Looking at this photo taken from the business you can see that out of the 3,000 people who visit this website 168 people in this last quarter called directly from listings on maps. While the vast majority came from local SEO efforts for their Katy business just imagine what having an extra 42 calls each month could do for your business.

GMB Optimization

  • Have your GMB login

  • Update your business name (don’t try using keywords unless that’s your actual name)

  • Add your website address

  • Use a local number (800 # don’t work for local listing)

  • Updated photos (and lots of them)

  • Hours of Operation

  • Services you provide

The first thing you want to do is make sure that everything is completed as accurately as possible on your profile. Don’t try to play games with Google, they will catch on. The other thing that will help your GMB profile is to have plenty of citations across the internet.

You want to add the cities where you provide services and all the services you provide. You also want to add your hours of operation, your website, and all the services you offer. Continue to drill down the page answering every question thoroughly. On the home tab of your dashboard is a tool that will show you how complete your profile is, aim for 100%.

Here is where most business fail to complete their profile, products. Most service-based business are thrown off by the wording and may not think if they don’t have a physical product to offer, they can skip over this but instead use this to list all the services you provide. Now if there are services that Google doesn’t list you can add those in manually. In these areas you also want to write a full description and sprinkle in your keywords. How to find keywords.

As a rule of thumb, you want to keep your profile current by adding a post at least once every 90 days. Our SEO firm in Kay posts at least twice each month for our clients so that Google sees we are being active. Thus is also a good place to note that every 90 days post cycle out. In addition to witting post also keep your profile updated by adding 2 or 3 original photos per month.

Collecting Reviews

Above all Google My Business is a place for you to get feedback and reviews from your clients, this does not cycle out. The more reviews you have the more you’re going to gain traction. You want to get a review from all your customers on a consistent basis and you want to respond to all reviews both good and bad. Here is also another opportunity for you to use keywords. Look up the service this customer received and mention it when you reply to their review, chances are their service is one of you keywords. An example may be " Thank you for allowing us to install you a wooden fence in Katy, we appreciate your business."

Lastly, don’t overlook the Q & A section, if people ask you questions then be sure to respond in a timely fashion. If they don't then use this as an opportunity for writing your own Q & A in long form using keywords to improve your rankings. If you are doing local SEO chances, are you know which keywords to include but you can always do a brain dump or rely on a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush to guide you along the process.

Things That Can Hurt Your GMB Rankings

Incontinency: Having different locations listed than what Google has you listed for.

Don’t spam your categories. Only list the services you offer.

Don’t use a PO Box Google flags those location as well as shared office spaces.

Do you have enough reviews across the web?

Having fake reviews

1-, 2-, and 3-star reviews- make sure to check back tomorrow where we tell you how to use a bad review for greatness.

Looking For A Local SEO Firm In Katy

If you would like more tips on how to optimize your Google profile or about Your Business Bakery, then contact us. Our firm specializes in local SEO and is located right here in Katy. We would love the chance to speak with you and discuss how you can generate better results online in 2022. Schedule a time for us to chat by clicking the link below and filling out our contact form.

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