In recent years, SEO has seen more and more location-oriented search terms. These replace the general, national search terms. Google understands this transition and is responding to it by expanding the features of Google My Business, also known as Google My Business (GMB). The new features are flying around and might seem a little crazy if you don’t know how to use them. How do you get the best out of Google My Business?
The quick wins
personally I’m not a fan of the term ‘low hanging fruit’, which is why I named this as the quick wins. These are parts that you can apply relatively quickly, so that you give a kickstart to your GMB optimization. Google has some easy options, which I’ve listed below.
- Fill in your profile extensively with information
- Regularly share Google Posts with news and information
- Add your services to the page
- Add categories in which you are active
- Add smart links, such as links to certain services or to your contact page
With these low-hanging fruit quick wins you already lay a solid foundation to get more out of your GMB listing.
First of all, Google offers a network of professionals who can help you make your GMB listing more professional. For example, you can invite a photographer via Google to have a 360 degree street view made. This allows you to give a real look into your store. This creates extra confidence and a bond, which means GMB virtual tour 360 people are more likely to choose you. This Business Streetview provides some remarkable results:
- 29% more likely that customers will consider selling your company’s products or services.
- Listings with photos and a virtual tour are twice as likely to generate interest.
Images always work well, such as with the 360 degree street view option. For example, adding photos to your Google My Business Account also helps surprisingly well ( if you have an SEO agency let them do it, there are right and wrong ways to do this). If you have a physical store, you increase the chance that visitors will actually visit your shop by even 42%! It also ensures an increased Click-Through-Rate (CTR) of 35%! If you’re going to add photos to your GMB listing, make sure to add the following photos in the same order as below:
- Cover photo
- Additional photos: Here you can create an image with products or services that you offer. Think of photos of staff who are working or even the interior of your business.
All the above options are good and fun additions, which will eventually lead to more results. Yet it is not the parts that matter. The part that matters is ranking. By ranking you ensure that you come to the top of GMB results. This is a precondition for ultimately achieving results. By following these tips carefully, you ensure that you are in that ‘local 3-pack’ with your listing from Google My Business.
GMB listings algorithm
As with the other parts of Google, GMB also works with an algorithm. Once you understand this algorithm, you can follow the ‘rules’ of this algorithm and you will find it a lot easier to get to the top of local search results.
GMB’s algorithm works according to the DRP principle. This consists of Distance, Relevance and Prominence.
The first part that Google judges on is distance. When no location is specified in a search, Google itself calculates the distance between the search provider and the potential search result. With local search results in the 3-pack, you are always dependent to some extent on the locations where your company is located (more on this later).
The topic of relevance is discussed here. Here you want to explain to Google as well as possible who you are and what your company does. You do this by taking into account the following factors:
GMB categories: Make sure that the categories you place yourself in match the keywords and phrases you want to be found on.
Buyer Intent in Description: The buyer intent says a lot about what the person in question is looking for. What you want is to ensure that the content in your description matches what potential visitors are looking for. So you want the content within your GMB Listing to be comparable to the content on your website, provided you have optimized it correctly.
You can see this as the equivalent of authority when it comes to your website. The authority of your website ultimately determines whether you are shown in the local 3-pack of GMB at all. The following measures are used by Google for this: GMB reviews
High Organic Position: As with featured snippets, you cannot get a listing if you are not organically anywhere. A first condition for entering the picture is therefore to be at least in the top 10 for that keyword. Preferably even higher.
GMB Reviews: Companies with more qualitative reviews are visualized faster than companies that do not. Quality does not only mean a high score, but also a review of a reliable profile (not a fake). Moreover, more value is attached to reviews with unique content.
Relevant backlinks: Backlinks still play a big role in gaining authority. Although you should not spam, it seems more within the GMB authority to run local authority. This means that local links and links with optimized anchor texts (anchor texts that contain the location) give an extra positive boost.
Frequency: Google likes to stay up to date. Companies with more activity around them will therefore rank higher in the local 3-pack faster. This means not only recent reviews, but also the regular expansion of posts via Google My Business.
Add multiple locations
Imagine: you’re a fashion store with a location in every major city in Australia. However, your head office is located in Sydney. You’re then quickly inclined to enter the NAP (name, address, phone number) of your main location. This means you will miss out on potential customers in Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, Gold Coast and other large cities. Fortunately, there is a solution for this: multiple GMB locations!
Google will explain to you how best to do this. Below is a summary:
Log in to Google My Business
Click on ‘Manage locations’
Click on ‘Add location group’
Create a name for the location group
Click on ‘Create’
Add your locations!
All in all, Google My Business is not an extra, but a very valuable addition to your online marketing strategy and the optimization for Google. The possibilities are wide and diverse. Do not see it as a one-off thing, but keep busy actively optimizing your GMB listing. If you need help at all, contact us immediately