How Google My Business Impacts SEO Rankings
For businesses whose target market is their surrounding geographic location, local SEO is one of the most promising ways to attract customers and increase revenue. 71 percent of people say they look a business up online and confirm the location before visiting for the first time. By making your business information present in search engine results, you can capture the attention of those users, and significantly increase the number of customers who come through your door.
That's why local SEO is so important
And why so many businesses are taking advantage of this digital marketing method. 85 percent of small businesses say that it is important for them to be found on local search apps and directories. Yet only half of those businesses have ever updated their online listings. That seems strange, right?
So, what is preventing businesses from using Google My Business to update their listings? And is it the best platform for improving local SEO? In this article, we’ll delve into the key benefits that Google My Business has to offer and share our thoughts on why this platform is crucial for local SEO results.
The Benefits Of Google My Business
- Consistency - The most compelling reason for business owners to use Google My Business is that it eliminates any incorrect information that may exist on the web about their business. For example, perhaps your business has moved within the last year. By updating your Google My Business listing, you update all other directories and listings by extension. How, exactly? Google is the search engine giant. Once you update your location and contact information with Google, it then reconciles that information with any other mentions of your business on the web. This is fantastic for small-to-medium sized businesses who are still searching for their forever location, eliminating the need for them to manually update their information across every website each time something changes. This is essential, since your local SEO efforts will be in vain if there is a ton of incorrect information about your business on the web.
- Posting - Google My Business recently made it possible for businesses to post updates to their listings, in much the same way users post updates to social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. The only difference is that Google My Business isn’t a social media platform, and people don’t need to have an account to view the updates that businesses post. Instead, these posts simply show up in search results when a user Google’s My Business. Posting allows businesses to inform search engine users about daily specials, current promotions, or upcoming events. But that’s not the primary reason businesses should use it. Google favours businesses that regularly engage their target audiences, meaning businesses that consistently update their Google My Business listings are given more authority than sites that don’t— a huge reason to incorporate Google My Business into your local SEO strategy.
- Reputation - For business owners wondering how to improve local SEO results, it’s crucial to focus on managing their brand’s online reputation. In today’s world, online reviews are integral to maintaining a positive reputation on the web. 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. What’s even more important is the fact that Google, again, favours businesses that regularly receive positive reviews from their customers, since it signifies that the business is legitimate. According to MOZ's Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews account for 10 percent of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results. So, managing your reputation via your Google My Business listing is undoubtedly one of the SEO tips businesses shouldn’t be ignoring.
Unfortunately, your Google My Business listing will only perform as well as you make it. Thus, businesses must find the time to dedicate to keeping their listing as fresh and as recent as possible. They also need to dedicate the time to manage the reviews, photos, and comments that their customers share. Why? Because Google My Business allows customers to share photos of your business, which appear in your listing if you do not take the time to remove them, and all reviews are visible (unless business owners request to have them removed). Thus, your listing can end up working against you if it isn’t properly maintained. Lastly, Google My Business is not a paid service, so customer support for the platform can often leave a lot to be desired. Long hold times during phone conversations are common, and it can sometimes take days for an issue to be resolved.
The Final Word
Considering everything that’s been discussed in this article, is Google My Business a local SEO strategy companies should be investing in? Ultimately, the answer is yes. To maintain a competitive edge in today’s digital climate, businesses should be present on the platform. Otherwise, they risk being overshadowed by their competitors. For businesses that do not have the time or manpower required to maintain their listing, it may be best to outsource this task to an SEO agency.
Looking for an SEO company in Edmonton that has experience with Google My Business listings? Contact Web3 today. Our team of professionals would be happy to assist you. See some of our recent SEO case studies here.