One of the largest influencing factors on gaining local visibility in Google is the optimization of your Google My Business listing.
Google My Business is essentially your center for controlling how your business’s information is displayed on Google & Google Maps.
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Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows local businesses to create a profile and control how their business’s information appears in Google search and on Google Maps.
With Google My Business (also referred to as GMB), you can add photos, create compelling business descriptions to entice customers to visit your location, display your hours and contact information, and also monitor and reply to reviews that customers leave on Google for your business.
GMB also has a mobile app that you can use to monitor your online presence when you are away from your computer.
Google My Business also offers free analytics to let you know how people found your business online.
According to Moz’s local search ranking factors, Google My Business is consistently in the top spot for ranking factors in local map search and also a significant factor in organic local search.
If getting search engine traffic is important to your business, then you absolutely need to set up & optimize your Google My Business account.
Being visible in local search makes it easy for customers to find you. Customers that are looking for businesses on Google maps and in local search are usually ready to buy.
Here’s an example of what shows up when I search for “pizza” on Google. In this example, the Google maps results are displayed above the organic search results:
Note that the Google map results don’t always show up on top, but people still tend to click on them even if they are farther down on the page. Juris Digital did a heat map study and discovered that around 32% of people clicked on the Google maps results, while the remaining users clicked on organic search results or paid ads.
Google maps makes it easy for customers to see exactly where you are located and get directions to your business location. Being listed on Google maps can drive a significant amount of traffic to your local business.
Having a Google My Business account also allows customers to leave reviews for your business. Reviews are another important ranking factor for search engines, so being able to accumulate reviews will also help you rank better in local search.
If customers leave negative reviews you can also reply to those reviews to resolve the situation. Being proactive and replying to reviews lets customers know that your business cares about their customers, which will increase people’s confidence in doing business with you.
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