Google My Business is a free tool provided by Google for small Businesses that make in-person contact with customers during specific hours.
Google My Business is the most important SEO factor for local Search Engine Optimization.
By providing your business information in Google My Business, your business will be featured on Google Maps, Google+, the knowledge graph, and search. Thus giving more visibility to your business on the Internet.
Specifically, Google itself processes 40,000 queries per second, over 3.5 billion searches per day.
With the growing popularity of online shopping, every business needs to be online. More than half of the consumers use online searches before making any buying decision.
Mobile is gaining popularity over the desktop and 56% of traffic is mobile-driven. People are using mobile surfing more than ever before.
It’s obvious that when people search on mobile, the local listing results are going to be influential.
So, whether you are a home-based or a service based business, you should be listed your Business in Google My Business
Who can be enlisted in Google My Business?
Google My Business has some criteria to get listed in it, not every business can be listed in Google My Business.So, let’s see which business format can be listed.
There are basically five types of Businesses that can be eligible to get listed in Google My Business.
Storefront location: This is a business with a physical location and precise address, where customers are invited during the listed working hours.
Service Area Business: It is a service based business, where one served the customer at their private locations. For e.g. plumbers, florist, locksmith etc.
Hybrid Business: These businesses show their storefront address and also designate a service area in GMB. For e.g. Pizzerias, which have their physical stores as well as services within their local area.
Individual Practitioners: An individual practitioner such as doctor, lawyer or real estate agent, who is a public facing professional.
Criteria for this business type:
You must not be a member of support staff.
You can be directly contacted at the location during the stated hours.
Departments or Businesses Within other Businesses: These can be public facing departments within larger businesses.
Examples of eligible departments could include the dermatology section of a hospital, an auto repair shop in a car dealership, or an independent food stand in a large superstore.
Businesses which are not eligible to use Google My Business:
Under Construction or yet not opened to public Businesses.
Rental or for sale properties.
Properties that you don’t own or authority to represent.
An online-only business that does not make in-person contact with the customer.
Important Ranking Factors for Google My Business
Google My Business particularly helps in creating Map Listing in search engines.To get good rankings in GMB, following factors are very important.
NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone number of your business i.e. Business Name, Business Address and Business Phone number.
NAP consistency is very important to get good results in search. You must have a consistent NAP in all your local directories
Links to sites (Backlinks)
Backlinks from reputed sites, definitely increase your authority in searches.
Schema & JSON-LD Markup
A schema is an important factor for optimization of a website for local search. Search engines use these markups to extract data from websites.
JSON LD markup is a simple, faster, cleaner vehicle for a schema. Search engines love it as they are able to crawl the code with ease to understand the data more quickly.
Social media engagement increases your chances to get good ranking in GMB.
Particularly Google engagement in G+ and Google posts in GMB are great tools.
Google Posts can be accessible through GMB dashboard. The great thing about Google post is it ends up showing up in Knowledge Graph.
So it’s very handy tool if you want to make a quick announcement about your upcoming event like exhibition, meetups, webinar etc.
Facebook and Twitter engagement also plays a big role.
The role of good reviews cannot be stressed enough. So always your clients and customers to left some good reviews about your services.
According to the 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey conducted by Moz, review signals make up 13 percent of Google’s total ranking factors in local search results.
Citation – Community Listings
Citations are Local Business Directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, BBB etc. Obviously different countries and communities have different local directories.
Behavioral signals like Click Through Rate(CTR), Click to Call, View Map, Check-ins etc, greatly helps in ranking your local business.
The logic behind CTR is that more clicks you get on your listing or website, the chances are more it will be displayed in similar searches.
Improve your organic CTR on Google My Business by getting good reviews.
Google My Business is a must for every business as it mainly focuses on local searches, your business is bound to show up in local searches if it is well informed in Google.
Google My Business is totally free to get listed your business, so it is a must for your Business!