What is Google My Business GMB

If you are new to search engine optimization (SEO), or you are looking for a way to attract more local leads to your business, Google My Business (GMB) should play a role in your strategy. In this article, I will answer the following questions and hopefully convince you of the value or using and properly managing your business’ GMB page.

  • What is Google My Business (GMB) & Why is it Important?
  • Why is Google My Business Important for Local SEO?
  • How to Set Up Google My Business
  • How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

What is Google My Business (GMB) & Why is it Important?

My Business is a platform provided by Google to help businesses manage their presence and performance in search engines. Google My Business is essentially a profile for your business that lives in search engines. This profile can appear in many different formats and in different kinds of results, but looks generally like this…

Google My Business Profile Example

When a search is triggered on Google, a mix of results are displayed. These results usually display in this order: paid ads, Google map pack, then organic results. This may vary, but it’s important to note that the map pack is usually one of the first things seen in a local search inquiry. Below is an example of what this map pack looks like when searching for “ice cream near me”.

Google Map Pack Example

Google knows that when someone has local search intent, they are usually looking to make an immediate transaction, whether it be to go to a restaurant, call to make an appointment, or to purchase a product. Google Maps is the fastest way to provide a list of results and helps users understand basic information pertaining to each business (hours of operation, phone number, reviews, etc.). Getting your business to rank in Google’s map pack is one of the first goals when claiming and optimizing your GMB page.

Why is Google My Business Important for Local SEO?

Google My Business has been proven to affect local search success more than any other source according to local search ranking surveys provided by Moz. For any business looking to attract local customers, using GMB is not only essential, but should be one of the first steps taken by any SEO team when building a strong local SEO strategy.

In addition to the visibility obtained in map packs, a well optimized GMB page connected to a business’ website can also improve organic rankings. Connecting the two helps google understand your location and service area, allowing them to better serve your organic content to qualified leads in your area. Both your website and GMB pages are great tools when used independently, but when combined, and with a proper strategy, can elevate your search presence and put you above your competition.

How to Set Up Google My Business

The best thing about GMB is how easy it is to set up and get started. The first step is to sign up for a My Business account and claim your business. If your business doesn’t exist yet, then you can add it yourself.

Google My Business Profile Creation Example

Simply follow the steps provided to have your profile created in a matter of minutes. We will discuss in the next section how to optimize your profile, but for now just focus on adding your business’ core information such as:

  • Name
  • Services
  • Address (or service area if you don’t have a physical address)
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • Hours of operation

Once all the steps are completed, the final requirement is to have your profile verified. This usually requires Google to send a postcard to your business address with a verification code that must be entered to confirm that you truly exist at that address.

How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

It helps to think of your GMB profile like a growing and changing organism. Like a website, Google rewards businesses who are active and always looking for ways to improve. Google uses similar algorithms to determine the SEO quality of a GMB profile. Below is a quick checklist of things you can do to optimize your Google My Business page, but ultimately it takes ongoing management to reach the top of the search results.

The most important thing to note before implementing the items below is that Google wants to see consistency in your content. It is important to use accurate information on your GMB page that is corroborated by the content on your website. To start optimizing, do the following:

  • Claim your business and use your full business name.
  • Choose your business category as accurately as possible. If you fit multiple categories, consider which is most important to your business and select that one.
  • Make sure to complete your profile as much as possible. The more information you can provide Google, the more chances they can show your business.
  • Verify contact information and make sure it matches what is listed on your website and other sources.
  • Adjust your map pin to show your exact location.

Additional tips after initial setup to help you better manage your GMB profile:

  • Add regular updates on specials, offers, and news.
  • Respond to reviews immediately.
  • Provide immediate answers to customer questions.
  • Update photos so customers are seeing relevant imagery.

SprkSEM Local SEO Services

Like anything else in marketing, no successful strategy is “set it and forget it”. Managing local SEO or a Google My Business page take regular attention and improvements. Google provides great data to determine the success of a GMB page if you know how to read it.

SprkSEM is a St. louis company that provides SEO services to local small businesses. We can help you understand your local rankings and create an SEO strategy to grow your business. If you are curious what is Google My Business and want to learn more about how we can help you optimize for local SEO, the best way to get started is to schedule a free strategy call by filling out the form below and we can discuss what options might best suit your business needs.

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