Google My Business and SEO: Everything You Need to Know
Google My Business, or Google Business Profile as it’s now known, is an online listing that appears on Google and gives you a good amount of leverage on how you rank on search results and how effective your local SEO is. It’s a well-known tool within the marketing and SEO agency sphere, but one that is often underused by businesses looking to amplify their SERPs results.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business, now known as Google Business Profile but still often referred to as GMB, is like an online listing for your business. It is a profile that you set up that details everything users might want to know about your business, such as your opening hours, address, and reviews. In terms of where it appears on Google, if you search for a specific brand/business, the GMB profile (if they have one) will appear at the top of SERPs on the right-hand side. It also appears when you’re searching for businesses near you on Maps.
As it’s a Google functionality, businesses that use GMB can expect to be rewarded with higher visibility across all Google platforms, including on Maps and in SERPs. You can also use GMB to make profile posts to further help you extend your visibility.
Is Google My Business beneficial from an SEO perspective?
The question everyone wants to know the answer to is whether Google Business Profile is beneficial to your SEO efforts.
The short answer is yes; setting up and optimising a GMB listing will be beneficial to you from an SEO perspective, although it will mostly be local SEO that benefits from it. Some of the top benefits GMB can offer from an SEO view include:
Helps you get into the Google Maps Pack
Google Maps Pack is the most sought after position for local businesses. If you get into the maps pack, your business will be highlighted with a pinpoint on a map and all your contact information and business details will be displayed when a user searches for something local.
For example, if you’re a dog grooming business in Slough and you have solid SEO all round, as well as a GMB profile that is optimised and detailed, you might make it into the Google Map Pack when a user searches for “dog groomer Slough.”
Effectively, if you’re in the Map Pack, you’re on top of the organic results and stand to gain a great deal of exposure among local prospects.
Increases your click through rate (CTR)
Due to the fact a good GMB profile can potentially get you into the Map Pack, you stand to gain a much higher CTR. If you can get more people coming through to your website, your brand awareness will naturally increase.
Not just this, but provided your website content is strong and the sales funnel is easy to navigate, you could see an increase in your lead gen and conversion rates, too.
Improves trust signals to users
A Google Business Profile is a compilation of information designed to make users aware of everything they need to know about your business. Crucially, it provides human trust signals that your business is legitimate. It does this by providing a star rating based on genuine customer reviews people have left your business, accurate information about your opening hours, a link to your website, photos you’ve taken, and directions on a map. The more users trust your business, the more likely they are to engage with it.
Google wants you to use it and will reward businesses that do with better trust signals and higher ratings. Plus, you’ll become a part of the biggest business directory on the web, and that’s only ever a good thing for your SEO rankings. This is an excellent strategy for improving your organic online exposure and one that our leading London SEO agency specialises in.
How to optimise your Google My Business profile for SEO
Like anything SEO, there is an element of optimisation that needs to be considered when crafting your Google My Business profile. It’s not just a case of setting it up and leaving it (that would be far too easy, wouldn’t it?). The good news is, it’s not that hard to optimise your GMB profile.
Use keywords in descriptions
It’s not exactly proven that putting keywords in GMB descriptions helps, but it’s worth doing as it could help bolster your rankings for some of your key services away from GMB. With this in mind, make sure your description has keywords in – even if it’s just a few sprinkled in here and there when describing the service you offer or the products you sell.
We’ve already mentioned how customer reviews are the crème de la crème of organic SEO nowadays and how they’re a core driver of new customers, but there is a way to go one step further. When Google identifies what it thinks is a point of interest in a review, it will bold it to make it more visible to users.
For example, if you got a customer review that said “Excellent service” or “Good value for money”, Google might bolden these phrases as it thinks they are the most important part of the review. Coincidentally, the same goes for negative phrases.
Whilst you shouldn’t coerce customers into leaving you a review, you can try and influence them to say key phrases when asking them questions about the service, such as “Would you say you received a great service?”.
Link core products and services
That’s right, linking extends even to GMB, so make sure any time you mention a product or service on your profile, you supplement the anchor text with a relevant link. Ease of use is key.
Make sure your information is accurate and consistent
The final part of optimising a Google My Business profile is ensuring everything is accurate. As we know, the Google SEO gods like accurate content, and this extends to every corner of their platform. If you forget to update your address or opening hours, and your GMB and website don’t match up, expect to be negatively impacted. It won’t entirely tank your positioning, but SEO rankings can be marginal, so you need to take every possible step to stay at the top.
This means making sure your business name, address and phone number are accurate and the same on GMB and on your website, and that spellings are the same, e.g., street vs st.
There we have it, everything you need to know about Google My Business and SEO. Whilst GMB isn’t the most influential aspect of your SEO, having a good GMB profile that ranks in the Map Pack can see your organic traffic skyrocket, so if you’re serious about getting those organic gains, it’s definitely something you should be focussing on.
If you need help with your GMB, SEO or both, contact us and one of our SEO Brains will be on-hand to provide you with the assistance you need.
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