Google My Business and How It Affects the Ranking
If you run an online business, the chance are that you worry constantly about search engine rankings. And you're probably also keen to utilize as many SEO boosting techniques as possible.
Listing your business in prominent directories is one of the easiest options available, and Google My Business should be the first directory you look at. In this blog, we'll explain how My Business works, and how to make it work in your favor.
What is Google My Business, and how does it work?
Google My Business is more than a simple listing site. It's actually an SEO management system which reaches across all of Google's products, including Maps, Shopping, and general search functions.
Users need to sign up for a My Business account. This verifies the business on Google's directories, lets users connect with customers with review feedback, and provides the option of adding photos to Google listings.
My Business also includes powerful analytical tools, helping businesses to understand who is searching for them, where they come from, and how they search. This allows members to monitor their marketing campaigns - a very handy tool for anyone who is interested in local SEO.
But how does My Business affect SEO more generally? Let's dig deeper.
How Google My Business can boost your search ranking
1. It's a major influence on local SEO
Attracting visits from local users is essential for many retailers and service providers, especially now that most people search for products via smartphones and other portable devices.
Google My Business isn't a magic bullet for local SEO, but it helps. Members will figure more prominently in Google Maps searches, along with Local Finder and Local Pack queries. Moreover, Google also tends to award My Business members higher relevance scores for searches based around specific locations.
Being a member can also help to get ahead of your competition. Around 50% of companies have failed to create a My Business account, so those who optimize their own should be in pole position.
2. My Business helps you to understand your audience
Another huge benefit of using My Business revolves around the analytical tools that Google provides. Members don't just list their location, phone number, and website. They can also track data about the type of people who are consulting their listings.
Google My Business allows you to see where people are coming from, helping to ascertain whether your audience is mainly local, or more disparate. You can also access the specific search queries used by visitors, information that you can then use to craft better content to attract high-value customers.
You can also see whether marketing campaigns have increased traffic or not - helping to decide which tactics have worked, and which need to be abandoned.
3. Accuracy matters for good SEO
Not creating a properly compiled My Business profile can also have a serious impact on SEO performance. These days, Google is obsessed with delivering relevant and accurate results. So any discrepancies or inconsistencies will have a damaging impact on how websites perform,
Some people are not aware of this, but unclaimed My Business listings can be exploited by competitors, who can change the information displayed. But anyone could add the data, including customers who may or may not do so accurately.
So from a basic SEO standpoint, it's vital to create an informative and factually accurate My Business profile.
4. Reviews help to drive SEO performance
Reviews can be a huge SEO benefit for Google My Business members, and not simply because they persuade customers that you can provide the services advertised.
Businesses with a large number of positive reviews are more likely to rank well on Maps and Local Pack searches, as Google uses reviews as shorthand for relevance. This works particularly well if reviews are kept current, so actively soliciting reviews is a good idea.
Reviews themselves also include keywords, and if these keywords figure in customer queries, they can help to boost your SEO ranking. As LocalSEOGuide put it in its 2017 SEO ranking factors study, "If you are not focusing on a review program and working on testing how to get keywords, cities etc in reviews you are going to be far behind."
Combine slick listings with high-quality content for SEO success
As we've seen, Google My Business listings are important tools for companies who want to win the local SEO war, and they may have major benefits for general search rankings as well.
But we also noted in passing that My Business works best in conjunction with keyword research and content marketing. If you use Google's analytics to understand how people are reaching your profile, you'll be in a strong position to craft content that boosts visits even more.
So get started on your profile, but be ambitious as well. If you want to explore how My Business and content creation go together, feel free to contact the greatcontent team, and we'll run through all of the options at your disposal.
Text: Sam Urquhart
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