Improve local SEO with Google My Business

What is Google My Business?

My Business is Google’s one stop shop to manage how your business will look and perform in the search engine. It is an essential tool to find out and adjust how your site shows in Maps, the Knowledge Graph, Google+ and organic search results. Google My Business continues to be the biggest driver of local SEO success, with quality links coming in at a close second.

You can manage your business listing by adding NAP details, opening hours, photos et cetera. In addition to that, it is possible to manage the reviews your customers leave behind. As you know, reviews should be a key factor in your local SEO efforts.

How does Google My Business work?

Getting started with My Business is easy; you have to make an account and claim your business. After filling in your details, you will get a real-life postcard from Google on the address you have specified. This card is the only proof you’re the owner of the business listed at the address.

Once verified, you can fill in all the necessary details and check how your listing is doing. You can even get regular insights to see how many impressions, clicks and subscribers your listing got over a period. It is a great way of getting a feel for how your business is perceived by Google and customer alike.

Keep in mind that My Business is not the catch all tool for your local SEO. It has to work in tandem with your on – and off-site SEO efforts. You won’t climb the charts if your profile is inaccurate, but you also won’t reach the top without a well optimised site and localised content. These things go hand in hand.

Optimise your Google My Business listing

To start, you need to claim your listing. After that, you can use the following tips to make your My Business account a success. Keep in mind that everything you add must be in line with the information you provide on your site. Inaccurate information kills your listings and could kill your rankings:

  • Claim your listing with your actual business name
  • Choose a category as accurate as possible
  • Provide as much data as you can – your profile has to be 100%
  • Check your phone number
  • Check your opening times – think about holidays!
  • Review your photos – are they accurate and good or can you improve them?
  • Create citations on other sites as well – pick well regarded business listing or review sites and directories, stay away from spammers.
  • Keep your My Business listing in line with your site – and use Schema.org data
  • Above all, keep your data up to date

It is critical to remember that this is not a set it and forget it type of thing. Things change, your business changes. Keep everything active, monitor reviews and stay on top of things. Its frustrating if your listing doesn’t perform as well as you would like, but keep putting in the hours, and it will work. US businesses can check their listings with this tool by Synup: Google My Business Guidelines Checker.

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