Nearly half of all searches (46%) on Google are looking for local information. This represents a great opportunity for local businesses if they are deploying SEO best practices as part of their search marketing efforts.Whether you use a digital marketing agency or not, you can improve your Google search rankings by optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listings. When you optimize your GMB listing, not only does it help with your organic search but it also provides the opportunity to be included in the Google map pack — which appears above organic listings.
Google My Business is a free business listing that Google providers to manage how their business will be listed. GMB is an important part of your local SEO since Google’s algorithm uses it as a ranking signal and displays it in various places when users do a Google search for local businesses.This includes:
The Google Knowledge Panel is the box that appears at the top right on desktop and near the top for mobile that describes your business when people search for you. Things such as name, address, phone number (NAP), hours you’re open, and other relevant information is displayed if you’ve filled out your GMB listing.
One of the best places to be on Google is in the local map pack. When people do a local Google search, the map shows near the top with business listings. This is really valuable real estate as the 3-pack of business listings shows up in the top spot on the page 93% of the time.
If you’re searching within Google Maps, your GMB listing info is what will be displayed. If the information isn’t fully filled out or inaccurate, you’re wasting an opportunity.
When your Google My Business listing is optimized, it provides searchers with accurate information about your business and makes it easier for customers to find you.
Google also uses it when making decisions about your ranking signals. For example, if the information found on GMB is different than what is found elsewhere online, it may hurt your rankings. The algorithm wants to see a consistent presence, which gives it more confidence the information is accurate.
Searchers rely on GMB listings for quick comparisons. Rather than having to search multiple business websites, they can quickly switch between listings. Users can get the information they need and make quick decisions. If you’re not ranking high within the GMB listings, your competitors will have an advantage.
For businesses that take appointments or reservations, GMB provides an easy way for consumers to book an appointment immediately. GMB listings also allow local searchers to get directions or click-to-call your business.
88% of those searching for a local business call or visit a business within 24 hours. 18% of local searches done on smartphones resulted in a purchase within a day. If you want to ensure your business ranks highly in local search, you need to optimize your Google My Business listing.Google My Business is one of the top ranking factors when it comes to how Google decides which local search results to display. Make sure that your GMB listing is accurate and optimized.