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What is Local SEO and Google My Business?

What is Local SEO and Google My Business?

What is Google My Business and Local SEO?

Local Search Result

Have you come across something like the image above on the search engine?

This is called the local search result; the result of a local search. Local means relating to a particular area or region.

A local search is a search that references a product or service that is typically consumed locally, such as “restaurants” or “nail salon”, is an implicit local search. An example of a local search would be, “Good Chinese Food in New York”.

When you do a local search, the search engine result page shows you a 3 pack. It is just like the one in the image above.

It clearly helps to boost your business’ visibility. There are several businesses similar to yours. So, how can your business be a part of the 3 pack?

To answer the question above, your business can be a part of the 3 pack by doing Local SEO.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the optimization of your business listing for your local audience. It is a set of activities carried out which purely focuses on getting your listing shown at the top of the search engine.

It is actually similar to standard SEO except in this context, it is to rank locally. But before you do Local SEO, you need a Google My Business Listing .

What is Google My Business (GMB)?

Google My Business is a service operated by Google for business owners. It allows business owners to create a business profile on Google for free. The business profile will provide users with important details which include address, hours and phone number.

It is also an essential tool to manage how your site shows in the Google Knowledge Graph and Google Maps. The information from the profile may be featured in the 3 pack or individually at the top of the search result. Just like the one in the image below.
 
Google My Business listing

    How to Set Up Google My Business

    Setting up a Google My Business listing does not take long. In fact, it is simple. Here are the steps.

  1. Visit Google My Business
  2. Select ‘Start Now’
  3. Find or Create Business
  4. If found, click ‘Manage’. Otherwise, create new business listing.
  5. Choose whether or not to add a location/area/region of the business
  6. Choose a category for your business
  7. Provide contact details (phone number and website URL)
  8. Lastly, verify your business with postcard, phone or email verification

For a step-by-step guide, you can refer to BrightLocal’s in-depth guide on “How to Set Up Google My Business”.
That’s all you need to do to create a listing. Easy and Free.

Note: You need to constantly update your Google My Business listing whenever necessary. Businesses experience change once in a while like change in address, menu, and phone number.

Inaccurate data will negatively impact your business. BrightLocal’s Local Citations Trust Report found that 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online.

Local Ranking Factors for Google My Business

According to Google My Business, Google decide local ranking based on 3 main factors. They are relevance, distance and prominence.

  • Relevance: the similarity between the local listing and the users’ search.
  • Distance: the proximity of the potential search result with the location searched.
  • Prominence: the popularity of a business. Takes into consideration popularity in the offline world as well as information obtained by Google from across the web.
     
    But… you can improve your local ranking as well by doing the following:

    1. Enter complete data

    First things first, you need to include all information available regarding your business so users understand your business better. When they understand your business, they are more likely to engage with your business.

    2. Provide accurate data

    Yes, more data allows users to understand your business better but they’re utterly useless if they are inaccurate. It may even leave a bad impression and experience to the users. Ensure that you keep your hours, location and, other important data accurate.

    How to do Local SEO?

    There are many ways you can do Local SEO. I will list down a few that have a significant impact here. Also, at the end of this article, I will share with you two very helpful checklists for you to maximize your GMB optimization effort as well as Local SEO.

    1. Google My Business

    Once you have your GMB listing, it’s time to optimize it. Take note of the information in the Knowledge Graph and work on the details you want to show to your users. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Add photos and videos– You’ll be able to create an impression and lets your users know what to expect
  • Write an enticing business description– Give users a rough idea of what your business is all about
  • Create Google My Business Q&A– It helps you to understand your audience and makes your business transparent
  • Create Google My Business Posts– It keeps your audience updated with things that are going on with your business, such as, events and promotions.
  • Add a Menu and Product Collection
  • – People are more likely to engage with you after they’re assured you have what they need

    Note: According to a case study by Moz, Google My Business is the number 1 My Business Signals.

    2. NAP Citations

    NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone. To optimize locally, you will need to provide accurate NAP information. According to the case study by Moz, which was mentioned earlier, Citation signals account for 13% of the ranking factor.

    Studies have found that 93% of consumers say they are frustrated by incorrect information in online directories and 71% of consumers had a negative experience because of incorrect local business information found online.

    So, pay close attention and ensure that you give accurate data. You wouldn’t want your audience to visit you at the wrong location, would you? Also, I assure you that you wouldn’t like the feeling too if you were in their shoes.

    3. Local Reviews

    As Google mentioned, Google takes into consideration the information found on the web. Local reviews will definitely have an impact on local search ranking.

    So, start encouraging your customers to leave a review of your business. Be it good or bad, always remember to reply so users know that you take your customers seriously. It also tells Google that you’re a responsible business. A simple trick is to perhaps try to make up to them for the time they take to write a review.

    For more actionable tips, refer to Local SEO – 14 Actionable Tips To Rank Higher Locally In 2017

    Doing Local SEO using SEOPressor Connect Plugin

    Or… you can use a plugin which takes care of all your Local SEO needs. Our very own plugin, SEOPressor Connect, maybe? Let me give you a brief explanation of how you can set up Local SEO. It is pretty simple. All you need to do is fill in the required details and you’re set. Let’s begin.

    1. Go to the WordPress menu and select ‘SEOPressor > Sitewide SEO.’
    2. Fill in your Address details, Contact details and Operating hours
    3. Sitewide SEO

      Remember to click on ‘Update’ when you’re done with each page.

    4. Go to the ‘Publish Local SEO’ tab
    5. Click on ‘WordPress Widget’
    6. Once you’ve been redirected, look for ‘SEOPressor: Local SEO’ and drag it to the Widget area
    7. Click ‘Save’ and you’re good to go!
    8. View your published Local SEO by viewing your site.
    9. End result:
      local-seo-done

      Once you’ve set up your Local SEO, you should be getting more exposure as compared to before.

      For a step-by-step guide, please click on the following hyperlink to our Complete Local SEO Set-Up Guide.

    Local SEO Tools

    Tools make our lives much easier, don’t they? If you’re a (future) business owner, you need to check out these Local SEO tools here: Top 19 Local SEO Tools To Improve Your Ranking in 2019
    Local SEO Tools

    Just to name a few of them mentioned in the article, they are Moz Local, Ahrefs, and Whitespark Local Citation Finder.

    Conclusion

    If you own a business, you should have a Google My Business listing. If you don’t have one, now is the time to create one. It will help you to increase your business’ visibility by having a business profile on the search engine.

    I’m sure business profile has helped all of us in some way before and even now. If you’re still not convinced, research carried out by Nectafy found that 88% of consumers who do a local search visit or call the store within a day.

    Having your business profile on the search engine makes you visible. But, local SEO will help you optimize for local search. Take the case of local 3 pack, if you are not in the local 3 pack, chances are your prospect will head to another business. To ensure that you’ve maximized your Local SEO, here are two checklists you can refer to:

  • Google My Business Optimization Checklist
  • Local SEO Checklist
  •  
    We’ve reached the end of this article. I hope that I’ve helped you understand more about Local SEO and the role of Google My Business Listing.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at the comment section down below. I’ll be happy to discuss them with you. Thank you for reading. Do share this article if you find it helpful. Thank you for your time and see you again soon!

    About Patricia Fitzgerald

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