Google dominates search and local searches are no different, making optimizing google My Business (GMB) for local SEO an important consideration to increase the chances of your listing ranking well in local searches. GMB provides essential customer information about your business – by claiming and following best practices you can increase its appearance in local search results, ultimately drawing in more customers.
Relevance is of utmost importance for a Google My Business listing, measuring how closely your business matches up with what people type into Google when searching. The more information you include on your profile, the higher its relevance score will be. Other factors influencing relevance include distance and prominence – these refer to offline popularity like museums, hotels or landmarks; online reputation like reviews can also have an effect.
Once your GMB account has been verified, it’s essential that your profile be filled out completely so Google has all of the data it needs to match you to local search queries and display you in local packs of search results or Google Maps. In addition to updating and correcting all information provided about your business, optimizing Google My Business profiles by including photos, events, offers, coupons and T&Cs can further optimize them for visibility online.
An important step toward maintaining consistent branding across the web, from your website and social media pages, is ensuring that your business name and address remain consistent across platforms – including websites like GoDaddy that help make sure business names are registered under their brand.
GMB allows businesses to add up to 750 characters of description for their listing on GMB, providing an opportunity for potential customers to learn about your unique selling points and draw them in as customers. When writing descriptions, however, you must adhere to Google’s guidelines – otherwise your listing could disappear from Google Maps and the Knowledge Box during a search query.
Tools such as Semrush or Ahrefs can also help you understand how many people are searching for the keywords you’re targeting and any competition present – giving you a clear picture of both their popularity and competition so that you can adjust your strategy appropriately.
Checking out your competitors’ categories and seeing if there is any overlap will give you an idea of which ones you should target, and the work needed to get into their local packs or Maps listings for that category. Expand the local pack to see all listings at once and click “more places” for additional businesses in that category – making optimizing GMB for local SEO worth your while in terms of increasing customer discovery!