GMB, a premium directory listing that is an absolute MUST for your local SEO strategy
Businesses from all sectors across the UK are looking forward to a return to more normal trading hours. Packed beer gardens, city breaks, live music and restaurants is a part of last summer we all regrettably missed out on.
If all goes as planned, lockdown restrictions will be completely lifted by the end of June 2021. A few months away of course, but now is the best time to ensure your GMB is fully optimised. Ensuring new customers discover your business. And, potentially, change how we use e-commerce websites.
Google My Business is one of the most effective and important off-page SEO strategies. Essentially what started as a premium business directory listing, GMB listings now offer a wealth of benefits for local SEO and users.
Abilities and practical uses include public reviews, update meta details including opening hours in real time and offer directions for drivers, walkers and cyclists. Particularly useful for visitors out of the area.
More unique features include the following:
- Ability to book a table and make reservations
- List up-coming events
- Get a quote
- Book an appointment
For digital marketeers like us, Google gives us the ability to monitor how users interact with the listing. This is called Google insights. In the world of SEO, there are countless theories & strategies on the perfect way to optimise the listing for best results.
Search4Local include best practise GMB optimisation as part of our search engine optimisation packages. Applying our skills and experience into making your digital advertising work harder for you.
Why Your Business Needs a Google My Business Listing
GMB is designed to be optimised for best practise SEO. It serves the requirements of a map listing; showing opening hours, linking back to your website and providing directions unique to your specific location and mode of transport.
It also allows for industry specific functionalities to be added, the listing to be optimised for keywords, postcodes added and included within service areas, customers to leave reviews, question and answer section, posts showing promotions with images, owner and user photographs and click to dial, click to email, click to for directions and click to visit website.
All in all, Google My Business is a truly diverse listing which contributes a great deal of benefit to off-page SEO and digital advertising as a whole.
Local SEO & Google My Business
A well optimised GMB listing is a ranking factor for a number of reasons. The main three being customer reviews, a direct link to your website or contact details, and the ability to optimise locations and listing titles for keywords.
- Google and users love reviews, especially five star ones which sing praises about business. In fact, bad reviews can lead to users to choosing one of your competitors. If your listing has less interactions Google will not display it as frequently, or to a wider audience, or for searches outside of your brand name
- Reviews can contain keywords, contributing to the ranking factors of the listing. Please see the image below with the keyword ‘Digital Marketing’ geo location ‘Exeter’ displaying the Search4Location GMB. The text appears in bold as algorithms have paired the keyword in the review to the search performed
Adding well researched, popular and relevant keywords to your listing tells algorithms and users just that little bit more of information. Ideal if your services are not already clear the name of your business. This is good for helping brands with no mentions of their services, see image below.
Insights and Measuring Performance
Google insights is essentially analytics for your Google My Business listing. It reports a number of highly important key performing indicators surrounding behavior on the listing.
A good place to start is ‘How Customers Search For Your Business’. This shows us the total number of searches relevant to industry, the percentage that directly searched your brand name, discovered with a related keyword who performed a branded search.
Another section named ‘where Customers View Your Business’ gives the total number of views and divides that between listings on search and maps. This will fluctuate depending on user intent, how well they know the area and your industry.
We can also see customer actions whilst on your listing. This is split into three main call to actions, which are:
Visit Your Website
Your website can be linked directly to your GMB, prompting users to click through to the site. This tends to be higher for more costly services as user intent is to learn more about a business and services spending considerable sums of money.
Broken into walking, driving, cycling and public transport. This is most common for venues, restaurants, bars and shops. Especially popular for tourists who do not know the area well.
Where insights gets more clever is the competitor analysis functionality. Firstly it shows in which areas users are requesting directions from, allowing you to further optimise the listing to target new locations. Secondly, insights displays the number of photo views you’ve had compared to other your competitors.
Supporting the belief that listings with more photos attract a greater number of users, much like social media posts (link to social media page) with images and videos get more impressions. This metric should not be overlooked, especially for those in the hospitality industry, like restaurant owners.
Getting In The Map Pack
- 16% of businesses receive more than one hundred calls each month direct from the listing
- Local SEO is very important, 46% of all searches on Google are local
- 89% of people search for a local business on their smartphone at least once a week – considering optimisation, keywords and user intent, this is a huge
- 57% of people search for a local business daily
- 72% of people who conduct local searches will visit a location within five miles of a search
- NAP is vital! Name. Address. Phone Number. Ensuring users find and contact you
- 81% of people read reviews and ratings
- 97% of customers say that reviews are a purchasing factor, so almost everybody
- The average local listing receives one thousand two hundred and sixty views a month
- 84% of businesses are found with discovery searches
- Car dealerships & hotels receive the most amount of searches per month