Why Making Google My Business Part of your Web Presence and SEO Strategy is a Really Good Idea
Originally posted on July 27, 2014; Updated on September 3, 2021
When we first wrote this blog in 2014, we talked about the potential impact that Google+ may have had on your SEO. Well, since then Google+ has gone extinct.
As your digital marketing company, it is our job to stay on top of all things related to online marketing strategy, including social media
and SEO trends. That being said, allow us to introduce you to Google’s newer, more relevant SEO tool, Google My Business. GMB is not brand
new, but many business owners are still not leveraging this incredibly useful, free tool as part of their SEO strategy. Here’s why Smart WSI
Marketing, your Edmonton digital marketing agency, thinks you should! Call us today to learn more about our digital marketing services.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free listing that your business can claim with ties into search, Google Reviews, Google Maps, and more. It allows you to share important information about your business and a link to your website. While Google My Business is not exactly a social network, you can share photos and posts regarding your business, much like Facebook. Perhaps you even found this blog through a post we shared on GMB!
Optimize Your Listing
The first step is to claim your listing. Once you have done that and have your listing verified by Google, you want to make sure you include as much relevant information to your business as possible. Relevancy is the name of the game when it comes to SEO! Include your contact information, your business hours, a link to your website, and your address. Even if your business does not have a physical store front or office, you can still use GMB to help your business get found online.
Next is the all-important description. This gives potential customers an overview of your business, what you do, and why you are unique. This is a great place to use the keywords you want to show up for. You have 750 characters on GMB. A good tip is to use 2 or 3 keywords that are most relevant to your business. Make sure to keep your description up to date with the best representation of your business. If your offerings, hours, contact information, or location changes, be sure to update your listing as soon as possible with the correct information.
How Does GMB Impact SEO?
Have you ever done a Google search for something “near me?” When you do a search like this, Google will give you 3 options that you can automatically map with directions and photos. This is thanks to Google My Business. If these businesses had not claimed their free GMB listing, they would not show up front and centre like that. GMB is especially helpful for local SEO, with their tie in to Maps. As an Edmonton online marketing agency, it’s not exactly helpful for us to rank in Montreal, for example. Our Google My Business listing clearly stating our Edmonton address and using keywords that our Alberta customer base uses to search helps us show up where our customers are.
Add to Your Online Presence
When you claim your listing on GMB, you are giving your business yet another platform for exposure! One more place for Google to index you and decide how relevant you are to searchers. One more way for customers to find you, and ultimately bring in leads. Remember that even though you can’t necessarily track leads from SEO efforts, it does happen, and it makes a difference.
Simply put, Content!
Adding posts, like links to your blog or information about upcoming events that your business is hosting, gives Google even more keyword-rich content to crawl! Add extra oomph to your online presence by adding photos as well. Humans are visual creatures. We like to see photos of where we are headed, the products we are intending to purchase, or the food we are going to order, and Google likes to “see” them too.
While Google doesn’t have eyes, it does read the captions, descriptions, file names, and alt tags of the photos you post. GMB now supports up to 10 photos or videos so that you can really take advantage of them! Many scheduling tools you (or your Edmonton digital marketing agency) are already using tie to into GMB, so that you can automatically share posts at the same time as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Another great feature of Google My Business is that it has a free and easy to use review feature. Not only does it provide your customers an easy-to-use platform to leave a review, and for you to respond to, but it also gives your potential customers a chance to see what others have to say about your business. People care so much more about what others have to say about your business than what you do. They want social proof that they are making the right decision by hiring or purchasing from you. Reviews build trust amongst your customer base, and with Google. Not to mention that reviews tend to be naturally rich in keywords, helping boost your rankings for the search terms you want to show up for.
Remember that responding to reviews is just as important as getting them in the first place. Responding to reviews makes your customers feel valued, gives you opportunities to do things better in the future, and gives Google signals that you are active and relevant!
Claim Your Listing Today!
Did we mention that this tool is free? Yeah, about 4 times. While it seems easy enough to set up, so many businesses are needlessly missing out on this simple way to beef up their online presence and SEO efforts. Get on it! To learn more about how GMB will seamlessly fit into your digital marketing strategy, call Smart WSI Marketing, your internet marketing company, today!
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