Google my Business is a powerful tool that often gets neglected. Your business is missing out on valuable traffic and enquiries if you are not spending time to optimise your listing.

Here’s what you should be doing to improve your Google my Business listing and start to generate more local leads and enquiries. This goes beyond just claiming your listing and starts to look at the tactics you can do to improve it compared to your competitors. 
It will answer:

  • How to claim my Google My Business listing?
  • Why should I care about Google my Business
  • How to use Google my business for content?
  • Does Google My Business Help with SEO?

getting more reviews helps as your reviews show in the search results, differentiating you from your competitors

How to claim my Google My Business Listing?

If you haven’t already – claim your listing
First – if you haven’t got your listing or if you don’t have access to it, make sure you claim it or gain access to it.
Head on over to Google my Business and check you have access to it, if it’s never been accessed, you can claim the listing and go through the verification process.
If this is already claimed, it might be linked to another Gmail email address you forgot you had or an employee email address that no longer works there. If you can’t access those email addresses, it is possible to gain access – it will just take some time with the Google team to prove who you are.

Why Should I Care About Google My Business?

Google My Business is a great way to appear more easily in the search results. If you can optimise your listing, it gives you a real chance to appear for your search terms, on page one of Google in addition to your actual website. 
Another reason is that on average, businesses receive 943 Search views and 317 Maps views each month.
In addition:

  • It shows that you are open for business
  • You can gather reviews from your customers.
  • It can show your customers where you are and how to get in touch with you

As well as just claiming your listing you should go further and actually use this to actively promote and market your business with content.

How to use Google my business for content?

Google provides the tools within your Google My Business page manager to post content which will appear in the search results next to your listing. It’s another great way to drive traffic to your website and raise your profile on a local basis.
What content can you post?

  • Offers
  • News and links to blogs
  • Respond to reviews quickly
  • Answer questions from your customers promptly

What other content can you post?
The content you post should reflect your brand – if this is photos of your team, your work or a video tour of the premises, this is all ideal to get you to stand out in comparison to your competitors.
A Bright Local study found that businesses with over 100 photos on their listing got more clicks.
Don’t forget to answer questions – if clients are asking questions, make sure you provide a response to these – it shows your listing as active and keeps people engaged.
Adding content goes beyond just getting views, and clicks – if you regularly post on your page you can get placed in the highly desirable ‘3-pack’ which is the one displayed on page one of the search results.

Why you should respond to your reviews?
Responding to reviews is a great way to stay engaged with your customers. Not only does it give them an assurance that you appreciate their custom, and you can thank them for the positive reviews. If you have made a mistake and get a negative review, – it’s a great way for you to speak to their concerns and try to make amends and show others that you care.

Getting more reviews helps as your reviews show in the search results, differentiating you from your competitors.

Does Google My Business Help with SEO?

Having an active listing on Google my Business does help with your SEO. At least in a local sense – if you have a well-optimised listing, you’ll stand a better chance of getting in the 3-pack mentioned above, but it will also help indirectly drive traffic to your website.

How does this by providing signals to Google and by social proof via reviews.

To get in the local search results Google checks 3 criteria.

Relevance
Relevance refers to how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for.

Distance
How far the business is from the location the person is searching from.

Prominence
This relates to how well known the business is. This is based on links, directories on the web, but also your listing – including the reviews.

How much time should I invest in Google my Business?
Whilst there is a bit of a learning curve to get used to the platform – and Google’s help articles are often quite in-depth and take a bit of time to navigate, it should really only take a couple of hours a month to do once you get up to speed.

The thing is consistency, it’s not worth just doing an hour and then nothing for 6 months. It takes consistent action to get the results.

If you think that your time is better spent on other things – contact us we’d be happy to help and can look at your overall SEO strategy and delivery for your business.

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why you should optimise your google my business for local SEO

Written By Adam Burrage
Managing Director at Trident

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