What is Google My Business and how will it boost my business?

Google My Business (“GMB”) is a free tool from Google (one of many!) that is a must-have for any small business wanting to attract local trade and BE SEEN in Google Searches. 

Google My Business is a way for a person to search for something LOCAL in their location.   

Any business should be adhering to the Google Local Pack (Google Map Pack)….read on to find out why…

Google My Business is actually Local SEO

Firstly, let us remind ourselves what SEO is.  SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, if you click the link it will give you a little more information.  GMB is ultimately local SEO.  Among the businesses affected by the Google Local 3-Pack are those servicing a particular territory (e.g. plumbing, repairing, delivery services) and local businesses (restaurants, coffee shops, hairdressers, etc.).

Explanation of GMB Local 3-Pack  

When you search for any local services online, Google shows a local map in the SERPs without requiring you to perform another action. Mostly, because you don’t need to do it – you’re getting all the necessary information in the Google map pack directly.   When you search in Google…you see three company listings for any local company or business operating in a certain area (let’s face it, your phone probably has your location turned on in maps, so it will know where you are…). When this occurs, you’ll see three local companies show up at the top of your search results – they will come up UNDER the paid Ads.

Here’s a list of what is required for the Google Local 3-Pack:

  1. Company name
  2. Reviews
  3. Description
  4. Business information (business address, website, phone number)
  5. Directions and location

Google Local Pack (Google Map Pack): What is it and How to Optimise

The Local 3-Pack refers to the SERP feature that’s shaped like a map and displays places related to your query, as well as a 3-point list of businesses with their NAP data (name, address, phone, etc.).

When any of us do a search in GOOGLE, example “butcher near me”…..what comes up?

My location when I searched for this is pretty much in Marlow Town Centre, so The Butcher’s Tap is definitely my nearest.  

Google’s Local 3-Pack has an internal ranking system (it’s an algorithm crawling hundreds and thousands of websites per second). In order to see your website among the first places in the pack, unfortunately, it’s not enough to just literally put your business on the map.  You’ve got to do some leg work. SEO is a process of trust and authority.

If you aren’t on Google My Business, and you haven’t optimised your website with SEO / Keywords or don’t have a Google Ad going on – you’re just not going to show up – simple as (and don’t cheat by typing your own URL into Google, search “incognito”…!). Most of us, especially using Google for retail, medical, hospitality, health and face to face required services are going to type into Google….”[blah blah] NEAR ME”…….take advantage and let them find you.

How do I use Google My Business?  Where do I start?

  1. Create a Google My Business page for your company
  2. Verify the address of your company
  3. Optimise your business listings
  4. Optimise your website for local search

Google has three factors that it takes into account in local rankings:

1… relevance meaning it has to be ranked high in local search results, so your website needs to be relevant (optimised) for a search query.

2… distance and our business must be located in near to the user that does the search.

3 …prominence meaning your business should be well-known to customers and have high authority both online and offline.  Reviews play a big part here and your website should have some juicy links from authoritative sites.

Don’t have a shopfront?

No problem as long as you adhere to Google’s guidelines.  Many of us either work from home or prefer not to have our address shown.  If you’d like to know more, please contact me or the team for more information on the regulations and how-tos.

GMB Posts and Blogs

Small businesses should take this opportunity of writing posts and blogs (separate to your website’s blogs) and it offers a variety of posts you can create to promote your business:

  • What’s New
  • Events
  • Offers
  • Products

Posts also allow you to include a call-to-action (CTA), creating the ultimate user experience. Current CTAs are:

  • Book
  • Order Online
  • Buy
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Get Offer
  • Call Now

Ineligible businesses for GMB, just in case!

The following businesses aren’t eligible for a business listing: Rental or for-sale properties, such as holiday homes, show homes or vacant apartments. Sales or leasing offices, however, are eligible for verification. An ongoing service, class or meeting at a location that you don’t own or have the authority to represent, e.g. yoga in the Church Hall….so make sure you GET PERMISSION otherwise Google will penalise you.

Citations and Directories for Link Building

Link Building falls under the SEO’s job and like any Google or search engine work, where we (as SEOs) work the magic.  If you’d like to know more about how we build links, please give me or one of my team a shout.  Whilst you can work on the “front-facing” side, citations and directories are what we are working on in the “back”.  It takes several months to build, but it really works.  It’s aligned with what SEOs and Digital Marketers do…tech SEO (onsite), content SEO (onsite and off-site) and link building (often call PR SEO).

CONCLUSION for GMB Small Business Help

Google is by far the largest search engine in the world and definitely in the UK. Ultimately Google My Business is effective Local SEO, which should be part of your digital marketing strategy if your business wants to attract more online local leads if you would like your clients or customers to find you easily (as it comes up on Maps) or general brand awareness. Google will list your business (possibly) even if you haven’t confirmed or verified that it’s yours – so claim it! Elaine and the team at Pickled Ginger Marketing can help with Local SEO, come and grab a coffee (perhaps a virtual one right now…) for a chat about boosting your local online leads or contact us online.