Rank High in Local Search with Google Business Listing

What is Google Business Listing?

You may have remember the days when you were keeping all addresses and phone numbers in a diary. For searching out numbers and address of businesses you were generally consulting yellow pages.

But time has changed, now digital screen has changed the behaviour of information search. You generally put endless type of queries on search engine and out of them many queries are local in the nature.

So technically your fat phone book has been replaced by search results. For local results every search engine has their own listings to show up.

Google refers it’s local listing platform as Google My Business. Here you can see my blog listing on Google Map and Search result page.

HumaniseTheBrand.com Business Listing

Google My Business listing

Moz report on ranking factors suggest that GMB is very important ranking signal and attributes 14.7% influence share on over all pie.

 

moz-local-ranking1

You may be thinking why Google is giving so much importance to local search. After launching hummingbird and Rank brain algorithm, they started to understand the User Intent in better fashion.

Google uses to publish tons of intent based research data on its site THINK WITH GOOGLE.  Primary focus of research is to identify several types of micro-moments while performing the search.

They realised that huge number of search are local in the nature and Google was dependent on online directories for the results which was not correct always.

This leads, Google to improve their own resources to have in-depth local business information. But still external local signals has influence. I guess role of external citation data as ranking factor is declining gradually but still standing relevant.

Here is some data which can give you the sense of the reason.Why you should not ignore Google my business listings.

  • 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase (TMP/comScore)
  • 74% of internet users perform local searches (Kelsey Group)
  • 61% of local searches result in a purchase (Search Engine Watch)
  • 59% of consumers use Google every month to find a reputable, local business (Search Engine Watch)
  • 37% of all searches are done on mobile (ClickZ)

How to claim/Add your Google listing?

In many cases you will see that you are already listed but you have no control on those listing so in that case you need to claim that listing. If you are not listed then you need to create that.

Google My Business

Desktop

  1. Navigate to Google My Business.
  2. Search for your business using its name and address.
  3. If you see a dialog letting you know that someone else has verified the business, follow these steps.
  4. If you don’t see your business listed in the menu, click No, these are not my businesses or I’ve correctly entered the business. You’ll then be prompted to enter some details for your business. Make sure you enter an accurate, complete street address, and a phone number which reaches your business directly.
  5. Click Submit.

Mobile

  1. Open the Google My Business app.
  2. Sign in with the Google account you’d like to use to manage your business.
    • If this is your first time adding a business to Google, sign in with the Google account you’d like to use to manage your business and touch Continue.
    • If you’ve added a business before, tap the menu icon , then tap the name of your business to reveal a list of all listings in your account. Scroll to the bottom of the page and choose + Create new business.
  3. If you see a dialog letting you know that someone else has verified the business, follow these steps.
  4. Enter your business name and information and agree to the terms of service. Touch Continue once you’re ready to create a listing for your business.
    • You may want to access Google My Business on desktop to access more advanced editing features, including adding service-areas. Learn more

You can also claim your business on Google Maps:

  1. Open the Google Maps app.
  2. Search for your business.
  3. Open the business information panel and scroll down. Then tap  Claim this business

How to verify my business on Google?

  1. Sign in to Google My Business.
  2. If you’re managing multiple businesses, choose the one at the address where you received the postcard.
  3. Click Verify location from the menu (or click the Verify now button) and follow the prompts to complete verification.

How to optimise the Google My Business Page?

How do you get your business higher on Google Maps?

After filling up all information and got verified, your GOOGLE MY BUSINESS dashboard will look like this. But got listed is not enough, you need to keep optimisation going on.

Below we will discuss the features and techniques of GMB optimisation.

Google My Business Dashboard

1. Log into your account daily

You need to manage your account on daily basis. But most important two reason are followings.

a) Anyone can edit your information and it will be displayed by Google.

Google My Business Edit2

Since Google targets to create community generated information, so it gives everyone an editing right. In case anyone try to maliciously harm your business by manipulating some info, You should always be ready to correct that at earliest.

b) You have to answer the users questions

GMB Question Answer

Many times user ask questions directly and you need to answer them as soon as possible.

2. Update your post regularly

GMB has post feature like other social channels. Right now very few people use it. Most important, this post feature has mild influence on ranking of that particular content.

GMB Post

 

On search result page your post will look like this.

 

Google My Business post1

What kind of post you can do on GMB….

  1. Update your upcoming event and add registration link here.
  2. Run special offer, you can create “SALE” event
  3. Share knowledge by adding up your latest blog post
  4. You launched a new product and want to feature it, you can do it.
  5. Spread joy by posting celebration messages

Add Image, write-up and link in every post. GMB has wide range of CTA options, I am sharing you screen shots below.

  • Add Image and Write-up

GMB Post 1

  • Add Call to Action according to your need

GMB post2GMB Post 3

Your post will be live for seven days, then you required to do another post. Though Google is very smart in reminding.

Google My Business how to

You can run targeted SEO campaigns through Google My Business post.

“Do Google Posts impact ranking? A case study” by Jow Hawkins found the positive effect of GMB post on rankings.

3. Give reply to Reviews and try to get new reviews

Reviews are very important factor not only for ranking but for overall business. People reads other’s reviews online before taking an action. According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Consumer Review Survey:

  • 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day
  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more
  • 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business
  • Responding to reviews is more important than ever, with 30% naming this as key when judging local businesses
  • 68% of consumers left a local business review when asked — with 74% having been asked for their feedback
  • 79% of consumers have read a fake review in the last year

You should try to gain reviews and ratings, as they directly influence customers. Integrating it with your email marketing program can be a good idea. You just need to pull out review rating form. lets see  how you can do it?

#1. Search Your Business in Google and click on write review option

Write A Review

#2. Copy the URL

GMB Review1

That URL will look like this

Review Rating Short Link

So you should use link shortner to shorten this link and make it shareable.

How Create a shortened URL

  1. Visit the Google URL shortener site at goo.gl.
  2. If you aren’t signed in, click the Sign in button in the top right corner.
  3. Write or Paste your long URL in the box. Link Shortner
  4. Click Shorten URL.
  5. Copy your URL and share

Where ever you feel that you can get positive review you can facilitate customers with that link. You can prepare review focused campaign where you can use this link in CTA.

4. Messaging through GMB

This is quite new feature and limited to mobile web crome users only. May be in future it will be available for desktop and app users too.

GMB Messeging

You required to verify your number. After successful verification, message option will start showing up.

GMB Messeging1

After tapping on message option, chat box will be appeared like this

GMB Messeging2

If sender send you any message. You will receive that in your SMS inbox.

Conclusion

Google listing are highly used property but few businesses are tapping this opportunity at fullest.Many research data suggests that GMB listings are very important signal in ranking also.

The most important aspect is, it has implication on overall sale as it supplies information to users who are at middle or bottom of the funnel of their buying journey .

Hope you got a reason to login to your Google My Business property. 🙂

Anand

I am Passionate "Digital Marketing practitioner". I have the fair amount of experience in the traditional way of marketing & Brand building too.

Since 5 years I am self-learning this tech-based online marketing practice and ideas.

The purpose of this blog to share and receive the information and ideas to my community.

Prior to take formal education in Marketing Management. I studied History and Indian culture.

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