Did you know that in 2022, Google accounted for over 93% percent of the mobile search market in the United States? Google Search is also one of the most popular mobile apps in the United States.1 As the biggest search engine on the internet, Google is serious about its intent to provide valuable and relevant data to searchers. If you have a local brand or a brick-and-mortar storefront, then you need to properly leverage your GMB listing for local SEO.
What Is The GMB Listing?
GMB refers to your Google My Business profile. Every business can claim its official Google listing, much like you would on any other platform such as Yelp, Facebook, or even the Yellow Pages. This allows you to accurately present your business address, hours of operation, and contact information.
It’s also where customers will leave negative and positive reviews, make phone calls to your office, browse your photos, and navigate to your website. It’s your digital billboard in the Google world. If you haven’t claimed your business listing, stop reading and go do that now.
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Why Your GMB Listing For Local SEO Is Critical For Business
A global survey found that 56% of in-store shoppers went to Google to conduct product research on their phone 2 while in the store, and 49% of shoppers reported they use Google to discover new products.3 That kind of impact is unmatched and is incredibly powerful for your brand. Here’s why optimizing and managing your GMB listing should be at the top of your to-do list.
The Google 3-Pack is a grouping of the top 3 local businesses that Google believes to be a match for the search, and it’s where you want to be. For example, if you sell home gym equipment, and your target customer searches for “weight bench near me,” Google will show them the top three stores it believes will solve their problem.
But it’s not just looking for keywords. Google’s objective is relevance above both distance and prominence. That means if there’s a better quality match farther away, coming from a lesser-known competitor, Google will place them in the 3-pack over your store.
Why? Relevance is king. Their GMB listing, website, ads, content, etc., all indicate that they’re a better match for the search due to cohesion, better optimization, or a more extensive content library. Optimizing your GMB listing for local SEO is one of the best ways to increase your chances of being featured in the Google 3-Pack.
An Easy Way To Collect Valuable Reviews and Feedback
If your GMB profile isn’t claimed, it’s harder for your target market to engage with your brand. Customer reviews are a key component of the E-A-T trifecta:
Any consumer or business who would take advantage of your services must first believe you have the expertise to perform the desired function, the authority in the space to meet their needs or niche requirements, and they must be able to trust that you’re a reliable and ethical source for products or services.
Reviews, photos, and testimonials from other customers provide unscripted social proof that meets the E-A-T criteria. This provides a glimpse of your brand’s user experience and product reliability and displays how other consumers are engaging.
Boost Your Ranking On Google
The searcher is looking, but Google’s algorithm is doing all the leg work. Having your Google My Business profile established and optimized tells the AI technology that you’re here, you’re relevant, and ready for business. As the algorithm sees your well-organized data, it trusts that you’re a viable and relevant search to serve.
Increase Foot Traffic To Your Store
A GMB profile is especially important for local businesses. Local shoppers are looking to solve their problems immediately and want to find the closest solution with the most relevant match. By listing your business with Google, you increase your chances that they’ll find your store and buy what they’re looking for.
A Streamlined Way For You To Sell And For Your Customers To Buy
From your GMB listing, you can add a featured slideshow of your available products and top sellers. With properly injected keywords, these could be a direct match for what the consumer is looking for. This provides a direct line of sight from search to purchase.
Customer photos or User Generated Content (UGC) work really well in this slideshow. These “in the wild” photos serve as social proof that your business is reliable and that customers are happy with their purchases.
A Platform To Post Company Updates
The last thing the internet needed was another posting platform. However, because this one ties in with your GMB listing, it’s far more powerful than the average social media post. Use this to your advantage by sharing small content pieces of valuable information that your target audience will find useful.
How To Optimize Your GMB Listing For Local SEO
If you’ve claimed your business listing, but it isn’t listed high enough in local search results, here are a few ways to optimize your Google My Business Listing to improve your local search rankings.
Claim and Update Your Listing
Ensure that all of your contact information, business location, and operating hours are listed and correct. Don’t forget to mark any observed holidays, so those who have searched for your business know what to expect.
Choose The Right Category For Your Business
Your business category helps the algorithm and potential customers understand what you do best and if you’re a good match for what they need.
Update To High-Quality Photos
While it’s possible for consumers to upload photos of their own, and, in most cases, you should let them, these may not be the primary photos you want to feature. These photos should be high-quality resolution and show off your top sellers.
Share Posts Regularly
Stay current and visible with Google business posts. These should be short, snappy, and relevant to a variety of common searches and topics your target market would use.
Use Keywords In Your Listing and Posts
Local businesses have the unique ability to leverage location-based keywords that include cities, states, and even “near me.” Program relevant keywords throughout your listing, posts, photo tags and descriptions, and your company bio. This will help boost your local search ranking.
Leverage Your GMB listing for Local SEO Searches
The Google My Business listing is a powerful tool to boost your ranking, increase foot traffic, and build trust in your market. Claim your business today and start elevating your presence online. Or call our team today for a consultation on our profile optimization services.