During the pandemic, many companies have tried to engage with their customers using different methods, including email campaigns, Facebook ads, SMS, push notifications, etc. but one of the main channels companies have been leveraging is Google My Business.
When it comes to leveraging a location-based digital marketing strategy, Google My Business has proven itself to be a vital tool in helping local business owners manage and market their online presence, as well as bringing valuable traffic to their website.
With 49% of businesses receiving more than 1,000 Views on Search per month, once you have set up and claimed your GMB profile, optimising it to help your business appear in the local ranking is critically important.
A well-maintained local profile will increase the likelihood of your GMB profile showing in local results on Google. Local results appear for people who search for businesses and places near their location and are shown in a number of places across Maps and Search.
This guide will help you to get your local profile up and running and then improve it even further.
Step 1: Setting up your Google Business profile
Firstly, you'll need a Google account for your business. This is free and easy to set up. You'll then be on to the adding the Google My Business features that you'll need to complete include:
- Location-specific website
- Business category
- Opening hours
- Business attributes
We've got a link to the Google guide to setting up your Google My Business page. It's not a difficult, lengthy process and trust us, it's worth it!
Step 2: Understanding how Google determines your Local Ranking
Relevance to the search
How well your listing matches what someone is searching for is a determining factor in whether your Google My Business profile will show in local results. Adding relevant keywords and detailed information on your profile can help Google match your listing to relevant searches.
This is the distance between the location term used and the potential search result. If the user doesn’t specify a location in the search, Google will calculate this distance based on other known location information relating to the user.
Prominence on Google
This refers to how well-known your business is based on information obtained from the Web. SEO ranking and the number and rating of Google reviews is also an influence in Google determining prominence – the more reviews and positive ratings, the better.
Step 3: Optimising your Google My Business Profile
Now you've got your outlet appearing on Google, now let's get you above your competition:
Is your information accurate?
Google will always favour the most relevant search results, and profiles that contain accurate and complete data are far easier to match with the right searches. With this in mind, it’s crucial to add a physical address, phone number, business category, and attributes and keep this information maintained and updated to reflect and changes within your company.
Is your location verified?
With one of the most important local search ranking signals being the location of the user compared to the verified address of the Google My Business profile, ensuring your profile’s location is verified by Google is key to increasing the likelihood of your profile appearing in relevant searches.
Are your opening times up to date?
Increase footfall to your outlet by letting customers know you’re open for business. By entering the hours your business is opening and keeping special hours for holidays up to date, you can keep customers in the loop with your opening times, even over busy holiday seasons. This is especially relevant since lockdown as many venues are running special or reduced hours.
Are you managing your reviews?
Increase footfall to your outlet by letting customers know you’re open for business. By entering the hours your business is opening and keeping special hours for holidays up to date, you can keep customers in the loop with your opening times, even over busy holiday seasons.
Are you putting your best foot forward?
Let your customers know that you’re the perfect business for what they’re searching for by adding accurate and attractive images of what your business has to offer. Using images can give customers a real feel for your business, capture their attention and push them towards a decision.
Done all that?
Great! Now you have a good online local profile and you're on your way to widening your customer base and increasing your sales.
Knowing how to optimise your local marketing profiles, like GMB listing has a multitude of benefits for local business owners, not only in increasing local search visibility and building and maintaining a good online reputation but also through providing enhanced information for potential customers.