How to Optimize Local SEO Using Google My Business
Once upon a time, Local SEO operated much the same way as its parent, SEO. The main distinction between Local SEO and SEO is that SEO is optimized to reach a larger target audience while Local SEO provides information regarding products and services that are available locally and its target market is a bit more specific.
When smartphones came to the forefront of daily living consumers began conducting searches for landscapers, lawn mowers, gardeners, painters, plumbers, mechanics, magicians, doctors, handyman, the best place to eat Chinese, Italian, Greek, Vegetarian, or American cuisine and hundreds of other products and services. And they didn’t want to drive any further than the city limits of where they lived.
In today’s world, in your local community, everyone, consumer and especially entrepreneur need a functional, well-tuned Local SEO strategy.
If you own a small to medium-sized business and still do not have a website or a Local SEO strategy working, you are losing business.
The following points will show you a few ways to optimize Local SEO for your business, and get more people to visit your store.
Getting Started With SEO
- Enter your site information in as many local directories as possible. Somewhere between 20 and 30. Obviously, you will benefit from the increased exposure that a local directory can provide.
- Ensure the accuracy of your name, address, and phone number. Most people are searching for an address and a phone number. Have you ever noticed how many yelp pages are brought to the first page when searching for something locally? Let’s say you and your family want to find a new place to dine. As you skim the yelp reviews you find that Vinnie’s Italian Mobsters sounds like a great place to eat. You want to take a look at the Vinnie’s Italian Mobsters website, but Vinnie’s doesn’t have a website. Vinnie believes his restaurant is busy enough and has seen no quantitative evidence to accommodate the digital world. Vinnie is losing an opportunity to increase or remain in business for very much longer. Vinnie’s has already lost you as a customer because you are now looking at Joe’s Italian Subs website where you easily locate an address and phone number. You call and make a reservation.
- Build comfort and trust with local clientele knowing that locals would rather do business with you then with a stranger in an area they are less familiar with.
One of the most important things you can do for your Local SEO campaign is to start with Google My Business.
Getting Started with Google My Business
Google My Business is the first place to start with local SEO. With all the changes that take place with the way Google and other search engines rank pages and websites, it is important to maintain accurate details regarding your business. Because most consumers will search for your business online you want to ensure that you are one of the sites to choose from. Your online presence is so much more visible than your storefront logo. Its very vitality and health rely on the detailed accuracy of the information you provide on GMB. Claiming your listing is fast, easy and free. We’ve included a few steps as a way to review the process. Okay, are you ready?
- Visit the Google My Business website and click the “Start Now” button.
- You will be redirected to a Google Maps page where you are prompted to find your business. Don’t be concerned if you can’t locate your business. Just click on the “Add Your Business” button.
- Fill in all the requested information that includes your business name, business address, and business phone number. Remember that whatever format you use for these three items must remain consistent throughout. If you decide to change your business name, address or phone number, you will need to make those changes wherever they are listed. We cannot exaggerate how vital it is to ensure the data you enter is the same wherever you include it.
- Google will now verify your information with an email confirming that you are the business establishing a new GMB account.
- Finally, be sure to include as much data about your business as possible, images included.
How to Optimize Your GMB Listing
- Ensure all requested information is added to your GMB listing. You may choose to leave some information blank and still use your GMB listing but strive for 100% compliance.
- Select or create a profile or logo image as a button that is related to your business and invites users to click through.
- Use a keyword when naming your uploaded image.
- Upload multiple images bearing in mind that each image is a visual representation designed to attract visitors to want more. Again, use your researched keywords to name each image you post.
- Categorize your listing according to what your business does. It is essential to your Local SEO success that you place your business in proper categories. Google advises against using too many categories for the same reasons it penalizes keyword stuffing. Think less is best. It is perfectly allowable to use more than one category but make sure your business really falls into the categories you list.
- Write down on a hard copy the exact format you are using for your business name, business address, and business phone number. Consistent application of information is one criteria Google uses for its search engine ranking and due diligence on your part will ensure your business can be found.
A Google My Business listing will help push your business to the top of local search listings. It will also help and attract visitors to visually see your location, quickly find your contact details, learn your business hours, read what others are saying about you, and include directions to where you are located. The images you post should display what your business looks like. Some additional benefits of a properly optimized GMB listing are that it links your website to your local page and increases business exposure thereby increasing traffic to your website. The best part is that you have all the control and can modify whatever editing is necessary during periods of adjustment.
Would you like to add more local leads to your website?
Contact us today for a free, no obligation, consultation with one of our pros. We will get to know the specific needs, goals, and challenges your business encounters, and offer some great ideas to help you grow sales!