Optimise Your Google My Business Profile for Local SEO with These Tips
Whatever your business type, it should at this point come as no surprise that your online presence can make or break your success. Businesses who have always relied on footfall into their premises aren’t immune either – while your customers may not make purchases through your website, they depend on your online presence to find you and make a decision about visiting you.
That’s why it’s so important to prioritise your local SEO and your Google My Business profile if you are a local business. Today’s article will talk you through how to do just that. Let’s jump right in.
What is local SEO & Why it’s important
Local search engine optimisation is a subset of SEO all about boosting the organic visibility of your business on Google in your local area. By boosting your local SEO, people will have an easier time finding you through places like Google Maps or their SERP (search engine results page).
This makes local SEO especially important for businesses who rely on local business, such as shops and service providers who rely on people visiting their premises to make a purchase. That being said, local SEO is important for any business who wants to stand out from their competitors in the same geographical area.
Why you need a Google My Business profile
As far as search engines are concerned, it’s no secret that Google is the reigning champion and as such, this is where the majority of your SEO efforts should be focused. A Google My Business profile is a free and easy way to boost your local SEO.
When carefully compiled and rigorously updated, your Google My Business profile can help you to:
- Rank higher in SERPs
- Reach more people
- Boost engagement with your potential customers
- Increase website traffic and interactions
- Establish your brand as a leader within your niche
- Drive more sales
How to optimise your Google My Business profile
Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons local SEO and Google My Business is for businesses who rely on purchases from their local community, let’s have a look at some of the things to keep in mind when setting up and optimising your profile to make it stand out from the rest.
1. Complete your profile
The more specific information you provide, the better. This will help to show your business to the most relevant people.
Once you go to set up your Google profile, the process is fairly simple. You’ll have to fill in basic information about your business and what you do.
After completing your basic information, you’ll be asked to verify that you’re authorised to set up a profile for your business – this is done by sending a postcard with your verification code to your listed business premises.
Make sure to populate every field you can with information – otherwise, you’re giving Google users outside your business, including your competitors, a chance to fill in the blanks on your profile.
Be careful not to stuff your profile with keywords as this leads to bad user experience and Google can see right through it.
When selecting service categories for your business, make sure to only choose the most relevant ones. There are over 3000 of them, so chances are there’s no need to add to that number. Only choose the most relevant ones. Choosing the right categories here can have a drastic effect on your visibility.
2. Keep it consistent
In order to make sure your Google My Business profile has a positive impact on your SEO, you have to make sure that the information you add to it is consistent to that found elsewhere on the web.
Your NAP (name, address, phone number) should be the same on your website, Google My Business profile, social media and any and all online directories your business is listed in. Otherwise, this’ll negatively affect your SEO.
Having a bunch of directories listing your business and using the same information as your Google My Business profile shows the search engine that your business is legitimate.
3. Ask for reviews
Reviews help to build trust in your business both in the eyes of your potential customers and Google itself. Consider asking your customers to review you on Google – you can do so when you meet them, on receipts or in any follow-up emails you may send to them. Providing a few sentences alongside a star rating is best for your SEO.
While after a negative review or two you may be asking if you can turn off Google reviews for your business, we’d never recommend you run away from low ratings.
These will pop up eventually for any business and what matters most is how you handle them: by replying to bad reviews diplomatically and suggesting how the situation could be fixed, you may end up winning over not only the reviewer, but also others considering purchasing from you. Google also likes it when you reply to reviews and will reward you accordingly.
4. Add images & video
Us humans are visual creatures, and adding images and video to your Google My Business profile helps to showcase your products and services and make your business feel more legitimate. Adding some images of your premises and team helps to bring in the human aspect and make your business more approachable.
And don’t forget about the alt text, titles, captions and geotagging for your photos, either – all of this information can be optimised to improve your local SEO.
5. Consider enabling messages
You can also get your leads to message you right through your Google My Business listing. This may get those who’d hesitate to pick up the phone to call you to get in touch.
You can turn messaging on through the Google My Business app by navigating to Customers → Messages → Turn On. You can set up customised automatic replies in order to keep a good response time and to answer your most frequently asked questions quickly.
6. Update it regularly
Last but certainly not least, we need to point out that your Google My Business profile should not be a set it and forget it type of situation. Instead, to make the most of it you need to be consistently checking and updating it. This includes adding new hours for holidays and special occasions, checking for reviews, adding new images and posting updates.
This way, your potential customers always have the most up to date information and you signal to Google that your business is legitimate and active.
Monitoring your performance on Google My Business
Finally, we want to point out that to make the most of your Google My Business page, you should be continuously optimising it. To do this, you need to take advantage of the analytics tools Google provides for this. The information you can gather from these can also come in handy when working on other aspects of your digital marketing strategy. These tools are called Insights and allow you to gain information on things like:
- How your customers find your listing
- Where on Google they find you (such a Google Maps or SERP)
- Actions they take (such as calls or direction requests)
Bundle Digital – Local SEO agency in Edinburgh
Need help optimising your Google My Business page or any other aspect of your digital marketing? You’ve come to the right place.
We’re an Edinburgh digital marketing agency with a local SEO service that can make you stand head and shoulders above the competition in your local area. With SEO consulting, SEO copywriting, link building and much more, we can help you stand out from the crowds.