It’s always been a challenge to see success in the field of local SEO. From link building to on-page and technical SEO, you still have to get the fundamentals of SEO absolutely right.
One area to pay extra-close attention to is Google My Business. Without a well-optimized GMB listing, your chances of appearing in Google features like the Local Pack and Maps are going to be slim. With 97% of consumers looking online for local businesses in 2019, you need to do everything you can to be as visible as possible in front of this audience.
In 2020, it’s more important than ever to have a well-optimized listing. Leading search experts recently got together to provide their forecasts for local SEO in 2020, and several concluded that with more users getting what they want directly from Google’s “walled garden” – whether that’s “instant answers” and the knowledge graph, Google My Business or Maps – the result is less traffic clicking through to your website and more interactivity with Google.
Couple that with further encroachments from paid advertising in the form of Local Service Ads, and it’s clear that local businesses should be doing everything they can to attract organic conversions, whether from the website itself or directly from Google My Business.
With a whole host of new features for you to take advantage of, there’s plenty you can do to ensure this linchpin of local SEO is fully optimized. Not only that, it’ll encourage users to get in touch with you and convert, right from the listing itself.
Let’s take a look at some of the most useful features, and how you can use them to boost your local SEO.
Did you know that you can advertise on Google my business for free? Advertising on Google my business can really help boost your business and make you successful. You can get a top rank on Google using Google maps and Google my business. Google my business shows your business in the search results if the location of your business is in close proximity. That will help you gain more sales, traffic, customers and leads.
The first step you need to take for advertising on Google is opening up the website https/www.google.com/business. Once you have opened the website, click on Start Now.
The next step you need to take is to verify that your business is not already listed. Once you verify that it’s not listed before, you will have to verify your business by getting a code in your mailbox. You can verify your business in 30 days.
This is quite an important marketing technique. If you have a logo for your business, people will remember your business by the graphical image of your logo. If people remember your business, they are more likely to come back to your business again. That drives good traffic and sales for your business. The logo should be simple, clever and quite relevant to your business.
You need to determine your target audience for your business before you start with the advertising. It is quite important that you know what kind of audience you want to attract for your products or services. That will help you connect with them.
You need to research all the popular necessary keywords that are related to your business. Once you figure out the popular keywords, add the keywords so that your business or ad appears in the top of search results. Make your advertisement SEO friendly. Keep in mind that you should not add too many keywords because if you add too many keywords, Google can identify your business as spam. So be smart while doing this task.
In the next step, you should let Google know where you want your ads to be displayed. This step is quite important for all the local businesses because you can make sure that your ad only shows when people search for the keyword you are using and it’s within a specified distance from your business. You can also target a particular radius from your ZIP code by going with “Advanced search” and choosing “radius targeting.” This is beneficial for businesses that want to be sure their ad only displays to those who are close enough to visit them.
Once you have completed all the above steps, the next step is to finally launch your ad. For doing this, go through all the required steps to complete the new campaign creation process. Once your ad has been launched and is online, monitor your ad regularly. Keep up with the current trends. Always make sure that you review your keyword quality scores, check campaign performance and optimize your ad to improve it.
Once set up, many people leave their Google My Business listing alone. While this won’t necessarily hurt you, there are plenty of cool features you can use after it’s live to set you apart from your competitors.
Let’s take a look at how some recent GMB features can help give the edge to your local SEO.
Setting up your listing is great, but did you know you can also get plenty of useful insight directly from the GMB dashboard, in easy to digest graphs and tables?
Log in to your GMB and on the left-hand side, select “Insights”:
You’ll get to see some really helpful insight into how customers search for your local business and what they do on your listing:
And it goes into more detail, with graphs highlighting the region those users were in when viewing your listing, and helpful comparative metrics, comparing elements of your profile to competitors:
You can use this analytics data to help optimize your listing – for example, if businesses like yours have uploaded more photos than you, that’s an area where you need to take action.
After being taken away for a few years, business owners are now again able to to write a short description about their business: “what you offer, what sets you apart, your history, or anything else helpful for your customers to know,” according to Google’s guidelines.
To add a description, navigate from “Info” on the sidebar to the description field. You’ve got 750 characters to write with, around 250 of which will be shown before being cut off.
If you’re struggling for inspiration, a condensed version of your “About Us” page or similar would probably fit the bill.
It’s worth noting that for larger businesses, it’s okay to duplicate descriptions across locations.
Related to the description, another recent addition to GMB is the ability to add products and services to your listing. These are written by the business owner.
Many businesses may find that their business doesn’t quite fit into one of the “Category” options, and as they’re stuck within a category that isn’t quite right, feel they have to put keywords in the business name field.
As of yet, it’s not appearing on every listing, but as a new feature, it’s likely to roll out to more users over time. Access and edit your Services section by navigating to Info > Services in your GMB dashboard.
If the business you’re representing has a special event, offer or a desire to put the spotlight on a specific product or service (and it probably does), check out the Posts feature, which you can access by navigating to “Posts” in the left-hand menu.
Google Posts can be used to promote events and special offers or to put the spotlight on a specific product or service. They’re really quick to set up, but you still don’t see too many of them on the SERPs, meaning they’re a great way to stand out on Google.
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