Studies show that 46 percent of internet searches in Google are local and 97 percent of searchers use the web to find local businesses.
If your business isn’t one of the top-ranked sites, you’re losing business to your competition. Let’s look at how to rank higher by leveraging your Google My Business listing.
What Is a Google My Business Listing?
Your Google My Business (GMB) listing is a profile of your business in your Google Account. This profile includes information about your company, such as:
- Business Name
- Phone number
- Business hours
Google uses this information to help determine what search terms your website should rank for.
When someone searches for a term that Google thinks relates to a local business, it lists 3 of those local results above the normal search results. This “Local 3 Pack” is prime real estate for local businesses since it shows such a limited number of results.
The information that shows in the 3 Pack comes from your Google My Business profile.
Local SEO vs Global SEO
Local SEO (search engine optimization) is a different beast than “normal” SEO. When someone searches for a local business, they’re much more likely to be in a buying mode than when they’re searching for information. This makes it even more crucial that you rank in the Local 3 Pack since they may never look any further.
For example, if someone searches for “best pizza Jackson, TN” there’s a strong chance that they want to order pizza in Jackson and are looking for the best pizza place. If someone searches for “best pizza” they could be looking for what toppings are most popular, whether Chicago- or New York-style is more popular, or any number of things.
How to Improve Your Google My Business Ranking
Several strategies will help you rank higher in the local Google listings. The first is to get verified. Once you set up your GMB profile, you can verify your business by physical mail, telephone, or several other methods. This confirms that you are who you say you are with Google.
Another important factor is to have a consistent NAP (name/address/phone number) across the web. Any business directories, industry websites, or other places your business is listed should all have the same information. This helps Google to ensure the information in your GMB listing is accurate.
Along the same lines, make sure you have the same NAP information on your website. Avoid different abbreviations or anything that means the same thing to a human viewer but looks different to Google. Use schema markup on your website to help Google recognize this information correctly.
It’s also a good idea to embed a Google Map on your website showing the location of your business. The more data you can feed to Google, the better.
One of the most important factors in ranking higher in the local results is to have plenty of reviews, both on Google and on third-party review sites like Yelp.com. Make sure you respond to the reviews as well, good and bad, so Google can see that you’re paying attention to your customers.
Staying On Top of Your Google Results
Keeping your Google My Business listing up to date is important but it’s only one piece of the SEO puzzle. And Google regularly updates its algorithm so you need to stay on top of those changes or risk losing your rankings.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time studying the latest changes with Google to keep your rankings, ROE Graphics can help. We offer a range of services to help you rank higher in Google and find more customers. Get in touch with us today and arrange a website analysis to see where you have opportunities for improving your digital marketing.