Why Google My Business is Essential for SEO

Digital Marketing Consultant Claire Taylor guides us through claiming, setting up, and maintaining your Google My Business profile

mobile phone showing a 'Google My Business' logo and the text 'get connected with customers on Google Search and Maps'

Google Business, also known as Google My Business, is a free online tool provided by Google that allows businesses to create and manage their online presence on Google.

By creating a Google Business profile, businesses can provide information about their products and services, contact information, hours of operation, photos, and reviews from customers.

This information can then be displayed in various places across Google’s search results, including Google Maps and in the Local Search Results, making it easier for potential customers to find and connect with the business.

Additionally, a Google Business profile allows businesses to respond to customer reviews, post updates, and monitor analytics to gain insights into how their business is performing online. Overall, Google Business is a powerful tool that can help businesses improve their online visibility and connect with customers more effectively.

How do I Claim my Google Business Profile?

You will need to log into Google with your business account (gmail) and then you can claim your business listing by doing the following:

  1. Go to the Google My Business website at https://www.google.com/business/ and click the “Start Now” button.
  2. Enter your business name and address into the search bar. If your business appears in the search results, click on it to claim it. If not, click the “Add your business to Google” button and follow the prompts to add your business information.
  3. If your business is already listed on Google, you will need to verify that you are the owner of the business. Google offers several verification options, including phone, email, and mail. Choose the option that works best for you and follow the prompts to complete the verification process. Be aware, that more and more Google is only allowing the postcard method to verify your business and it can take a week or so for your verification code to arrive.
  4. Once your business is verified, you can log in to your Google My Business account to update your business information, post updates, respond to reviews, and monitor your business’s online performance.

It’s really important to claim and verify your business listing on Google to ensure that your business information is accurate and up-to-date, and to take advantage of all the features that Google My Business offers to help you connect with customers.

How to Optimize your Google Business Profile for Local SEO

Optimizing your business listing on Google is important to improve your online visibility and attract more potential customers. The business profiles appear high up in the search results and therefore it is a free and easy way for local businesses to gain more traffic and therefore more customers.

Here are some ways to optimize your profile to improve your chances of appearing in the local search results.

Thoroughly complete your business profile

Make sure that you have provided accurate and detailed information about your business, including your business name, address, phone number, website, business hours, and photos.

Include a keyphrase in the title section, this will help you rank. But don’t stuff it full of as many phrases as you can. Stick to your main core business, less is more!

Choose the right categories

Select the most relevant categories for your business, so that customers can easily find you when they search for businesses like yours. Don’t go crazy though, 2 or 3 is plenty.

Use keywords

As we as adding into the business name title area, use relevant keywords in your business description and posts to help Google understand what your business is about and rank it for relevant searches.

Add photos

Adding high-quality photos of your local business, products, and services can help attract more customers and give them a better idea of what your business is about. Include the outside of your business location if you service customers there as well as internal views, images of your products or services.

Encourage customer reviews

Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing, as positive reviews can help improve your search rankings and attract more customers. If they do not have a google account, then ask them to leave a review wherever they can e.g. Facebook, Trustpilot as Google is very good at pulling through reviews from multiple locations across the internet.

Post updates regularly

Post regular updates about your business, such as new products or promotions, to keep customers engaged and improve your visibility on Google. Ask your customers to upload their own photo’s too as this can be really powerful. Make sure you keep all of your business information up to date.

Monitor and respond to reviews

Regularly monitor and respond to customer reviews, both positive and negative, to show that you value customer feedback and improve your online reputation. If someone has taken time out of their day to comment, then it’s only right for you to respond.

By following these tips, you can optimize your Google My Business listing and improve your online visibility, making it easier for potential customers to find and connect with your business.

Why do I need a Google Business Profile?

There are several reasons why it is important for businesses to have a Google My Business listing.

1.    Increased online visibility: A Google My Business listing can help businesses increase their online visibility by showing up in Google search results, Google Maps, and the Local Pack.

2.    Improved search rankings: A well-optimized Google My Business listing can help improve a business’s search rankings and make it easier for potential customers to find them.

3.    Better customer engagement: A Google My Business listing provides customers with important information about the business, such as its hours of operation, contact information, and customer reviews, making it easier for them to engage with the business.

4.    Free advertising: A Google My Business listing is a free tool provided by Google, making it an effective way for businesses to advertise their products and services without spending money on paid advertising.

5.    Insights and analytics: Google My Business provides businesses with insights and analytics about their online performance, including the number of views and clicks on their listing, customer reviews, and more.

Every business should be claiming their Google Business Listing, it’s a free opportunity for you to market your business to potential customers. It is especially powerful for a local business as people will often be looking for a local company for certain products and services for example, a small boutique, a florist, plumber etc.

Regardless though, every single business can benefit, it gives you additional ways to interact and provide your potential customers with information about your business quickly and easily.

About Claire

Claire Taylor, Digital Marketing Consultant
Claire Taylor

Claire Taylor is a Digital Marketing Consultant with over 15 years of experience helping businesses generate leads online.

What sets Claire apart is her focus on results and she has helped countless clients achieve online growth and success in what is often a crowded and competitive space.

She is passionate about helping businesses understand how Digital Marketing and SEO works and wants to use her years of knowledge and experience to help and teach those entrepreneurs that are serious about attracting new customers online.

Claire has spoken at numerous events and has hosted training days and workshops across multiple Digital Marketing topics.

In her spare time Claire loves to challenge herself physically and mentally and has undertaken all kinds of crazy events, from running ultra-marathons, racing against horses across the Welsh mountains to trekking across Peru. You’ll often find her out in the countryside running or hiking with her dog Darcy and daydreaming about her next adventure.

You can connect with Claire over on Instagram, via her FREE Facebook group or through her website.

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