Google reports that 80% of online searches contain a local element.
In other words, 8 out of 10 people are searching online for a local business. I.e. they will include their specific locality or the words “near me” in the search bar. To make this type of search a better user experience, Google use something called a “Local Pack”: a map with “pins” in it to highlight which websites listed in the search results are not only the most relevant but the nearest to the user’s desired location.
Have you ever wondered about how businesses get to appear on Google maps like this? Apart from obviously being very active in managing their local SEO, these businesses are using their free Google My Business listing.
Being on Google My Business (GMB) can increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general.
All qualifying business owners get a free GMB listing, and for the sake of relatively small amount of effort and time you can greatly enhance the profile of your business and such basic information as your location, opening times and contact details.
So if you haven’t claimed your GMB listing yet, there are just three very simple steps to go through:-
Step 1: Go to https://www.google.com/business and click “Start Now”
Step 2: You’ll then be taken to a page where you can start filling out your business details such as your business category (from a drop-down list), contact, opening times and location information.
Step 3: Google will then send you a letter with your validation details. That may seem a bit “old school” but it’s Google’s way of confirming your business address. Once you’ve got your validation code, log back into your GMB account and complete the activation.
And that’s all there is to it! Congratulations, you now have a live Google My Business listing, thereby taking a huge step towards improving your visibility in local search listings! 😊 And it probably took you 30 minutes at the most.
Not bad for half an hour’s work wouldn’t you say?
Now you can populate your GMB page with more details about your business – just treat it as a “lite” version of your main website. You can also add photos of your business premises, products, services or just images relevant to your content. And you can use it as a means to drive traffic to your main website, your social media pages, or link to other content you feel your customers will find useful or informative. All great SEO habits to get into.
Written by Helen Say from CBL Copywriting & SEO
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