How Google My Business affects your SEO
Remember when you had to flip through a massive phone book to find a local business? It may seem archaic, but that’s what people did before Google was available; this massive platform sees billions of searches every day.
If your business isn’t listed on Google, then customers won’t be able to find you. It’s that simple. For your business to rank on the first page of Google, you’ll need SEO (search engine optimization). A hugely influential aspect of SEO is your Google My Business listing or GMB. Here’s how GMB plays into your overall SEO.
Your GMB listing includes valuable information that customers commonly search for; it contains your address, phone number, website, description, and contact information. Sometimes, businesses have online reviews or a FAQ in their listing. When consumers can find you in search results and contact you, you’ll notice an increase in your rankings. Part of your SEO strategy will be managing your Google My Business listing, which is a significant ranking factor; it helps Google recognize the relevance of your website in local queries. After you verify and complete your GMB profile, you have a chance of appearing in the Local 3-Pack results. Considering that over 50% of businesses have not claimed their listing, doing so gives you a leg-up on the competition. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer: who are they more likely to call, a business whose phone number they can’t find, or one that’s listed on the first page of Google?
Filling out every field of information will make it easy for customers to find all relevant information about your business. The more detailed and consistent your data is, the more Google will favour it in search results. Make sure to update your information whenever it changes, or you may fall in the rankings – Google does not like it when your listing misleads customers. For example, if your business hours are reduced due to COVID-19, make sure to update that on your GMB profile.
When you claim your listing, you’ll be able to view analytics about who searches for your services. The owner of Print Pro says, “After we claimed our listing and filled in the correct information, we noticed that organic traffic on our website increased.” Access to in-depth analytics allows you to optimize your website to target those demographics specifically. This can help you focus your SEO on the search terms that will result in more conversions.
Another way that SEO is impacted by your GMB listing is when data isn’t accurate. Google won’t rank your website highly if the information is irrelevant, misleading, or incorrect. If your listing isn’t claimed, anyone can make changes to it, meaning that your competitors can easily sabotage your profile if they choose to. This will result in lower rankings and poor SEO. Inconsistent citations are one of the number one reasons why businesses have low rankings; these include duplicate listings and keyword stuffing, which can result in penalties. Check your GMB everyday to make sure it’s still accurate!
Customers will be more inclined to leave reviews when they can do so easily on your GMB listing. Online reviews are another crucial ranking factor when it comes to SEO. User-generated reviews act as free content for your business; they provide keyword-rich text for bots to crawl as they sort the relevance of your website. Responding to your reviews shows that you are receptive to feedback and concerned about your client’s experience. When your business has a higher star ranking, you’ll see more customers.
A complete GMB listing will increase your click-through rate (CTR). The number of customers who click your business has a positive impact on your SEO. Posting photos, videos, and attributes of your business will give consumers the information they need to make an informed decision.
Citations are another important component of SEO, and your GMB profile is one of them. Using local citations strengthens your rankings in local search results. While citations are important on all relevant directories (especially those that are industry-specific), Google is a catch-all search engine that a majority of your customers will use.
To strengthen the SEO of your website, start by claiming your Google My Business listing. It’s a highly-visible profile that gives your company credibility, increased CTR, and relevant information for Google to sort through. Your GMB listing is just as (if not more) important as your website; don’t ignore it when you’re looking to improve your online presence.