Being popular in the immediate neighborhood is crucial not just for celebrities, but local businesses as well. Plumbers, HVACs, electricians, maids, locksmiths, small retailers, dentists, beauticians, and other local businesses or service area businesses (SABs) need to focus on expanding their sphere of influence through online means. Here, one method stands out: Google My Business.
“A real estate agency in Wichita has no shot at ranking for the phrase “real estate;” a lawyer in Fresno has no shot at ranking for the word “lawyer.” Optimize for relevant, specific keywords that will bring targeted traffic.”
– Matt McGee
The clash for customers is cutthroat. These are the most competitive local niches according to Phil of Local Visibility System:
- Auto Repair
- Animal Hospital
- Family Lawyer
- Real Estate
- Music Lessons
- Plastic Surgeon
To widen the sphere of influence and reach more people in the area, all businesses need to perform ‘local’ SEO. Local SEO differs from the standard SEO in that you are only trying to rank in your local area, as the name suggests.
You can optimize your website with local keywords (area+product/service), as well as perform map SEO. Google also takes into account your local map results as well, which is why the latter is important.
Overall, local SEO comprises three parts.
Local SEO = Website + Maps + Google My Business.
We at DigitalBullLeads.com will be talking more about the last part of this post.
What is Google My Business (GMB)?
Every budding business enterprise wishes to establish its presence firmly in its proximal community. To do this, they go all out with marketing initiatives, both online and offline. Of all the online marketing efforts, there is one that can give you sure-shot success: Google My Business (or ‘GMB’ for short).
Google My Business is an online business listing service on Google. It is a free, simple and effective dashboard offered by Google for local entrepreneurs to list, manage and update their business details on its platform.
History of Google My Business
At first, there existed Google Places for Business and Google+ Local. These were two entities that preceded GMB by more than a year. They were similar but not exactly the same. Google combined them to create Google My Business or ‘GMB’ for short.
Google My Business was first introduced by Google on June 11, 2014. You can also check out Google’s official blog post regarding GMB.
Since its introduction in 2014, Google My Business is being used by every start-up, SME and bootstrap unit to make its presence known to the local public.
GMB has grown a lot since then. The fact is that as of right now if you want any local customers looking for your product to instantly locate your brand, the only way to achieve this is with Google My Business.
Why is Google My Business a Must for Local Businesses?
If you’re a local company or SAB, Here are the reasons why you need to start utilizing and optimizing your Google My Business Listing.
The right way to represent your business online
The reputation of your business depends solely on the way it is represented online. Google My Business helps you to list your business rightly with all the correct details of your address, contact number, work timings, website details, etc. It even gives the exact location of your office on the map.
Google My Business is a reliable source sought out by third-parties for all contact information. The right way to get featured across B2B and B2C platforms is via your Google My Business Listing.
Be widely visible locally
Google My Business is the right way to appear on top of all the local searches. You can also be featured on top of all searches universally across multiple platforms, including mobile, laptop, tablet, and desktop.
It is nigh impossible to rank for ordinary business searches such as “shoes” or “electrician”. However, a great GMB Listing can put your brand on top when it comes to local searches like “shoes Wichita” or “electrician Charlotte”. This helps you stay ahead of the competition in local searches. Anywhere and everywhere, your business gets listed with top ranking with its information displayed consistently throughout all platforms.
Make a big impact with photos
Google My Business allows you to display images of your brand or business. When this photo appears on the right-hand side of the local search results, it captivates the attention of the user. Most online visitors will seek that business out first. The best part is you don’t even have to pay for an ad.
Many businesses have similar sounding names and new businesses are popping up every day. Now more than ever, it is necessary to establish your identity in a clear manner. The best way to do this is through Google My Business. With GMB, all details of your business are crystal-clear and credible.
Build your repute with reviews
The best and most viable feature of Google my business is its facility to display some top reviews of your business. When these reviews appear underneath your photo and listing, it makes a huge impact on the reader. Favorable reviews only serve to strengthen your online reputation and build trust in the minds of the viewer.
Invite instant response
With GMB’s “click-to-call” facility, mobile users can instantly call your office to make an inquiry. This useful facility not only evokes an instant response but generates potent leads.
Update and maintain it for a steady source of leads
Setting up a Google My Business Listing sounds easy as it involves just signing up, creating a page and filling in the details. However, there is a lot more to it than just this. After setting up your Listing, you have to maintain and update it. This involves adding now photos and posts, replying to reviews and questions, monitoring activity, adding citations, etc.
With such powerful benefits, there is no doubt that every business needs an optimized GMB listing to dominate local searches.
Google has also released a Google My Business app and in the latest version, it is much more than a listing tool. Google My Business has now turned into a CRM-like tool and an engagement platform with added features. You can generate new leads and manage your old ones.
Deploy Google My Business for Your Business
Setting up your Google My Business Listing and managing it every month takes a lot of time and energy. You also need to optimize your website to match the GMB Listing and review where you stand in the Map Pack to see if your strategy is working or not.
This is a full-time job and you have many other things to do. No matter how influential GMB is, you don’t need to use up all your time just focusing on it.
Instead, entrust this task of deploying GMB to a trusted digital marketer who can exploit the nuances of this valuable weapon to boost your business.
To get the best out of Google My Business for your enterprise, avail the services of an experienced GMB Agency such as DigitalBullLeads.com and use it to rise to the leading position in the local listings and Map Pack.
Start making use of GMB today with the help of the experienced folks at DigitalBullLeads.com.
We have our own DigitalBull GO platform with three features: GMB Analyzer, GMB Optimizer, and GMB Ranker. You can use DigitalBull GO as your complete GMB and Website management platform to improve your local SEO and establish your local presence.
Avail our local SEO services and optimize your Google My Business Listing and website with DigitalBullLeads.com.
As Valentine’s Day rolls around, show some love to Google My Business!
Google My Business is a vital and viable tool to propel your business to a prominent position on the local SERP. Don’t miss out.
“Is Google My Business worth the effort? The answer is almost certainly yes. It has the potential to help you reach new customers who otherwise might not have heard of you. If you’re invested in your search visibility in any way, I encourage you to explore it.”
– Jayson DeMers