When it comes to “search” Google is king. And when it comes to business, nothing drives more traffic, clicks, and calls to local businesses than “local search.”
In fact, over 70% of all purchase decisions (online and offline) are first influenced by a search engine query. Sound crazy? It sure does, but the numbers back it up.
In fact, a recent BrightLocal research survey of small businesses uncovered that over 34% of SMB owners, when tasked with choosing only ONE marketing channel for their business, would opt for local search.
What the heck is local search anyway?
Local search results are those search engine results that are customized for the end user based on their geographic location. For example, if you search for “plumbers” Google will show you those plumbers that are local to your zip code first.
So as a business owner what’s the best way to take advantage of these “localized” search results? With a “Google Business Profile” listing of course!
What is a “Google Business Profile”?
Google Business Profile is a melding of Google Maps, Google Plus, Google Places, and Google Search all wrapped up into a singular “master” dashboard.
If all that sounds like a bit “much” or moderately confusing, you’re not alone. But don’t worry, we’re here to help sort things out for you.
First, why is claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile listing important?
You do want to show up in search engines when your customers look for your services right? Right, we thought so. In that case, Google Business Profile Listings will be vitally important to help boost your SEO and gain visibility where and when your customers are looking for you.
GBP (Google Business Profile) listings send a strong indication or signal if you will, to Google that your business is active, maintained, and supported.
Further, the “Google Map Pack” is populated by those businesses that have a GBP listing. The better optimized, accurate, and active your listing is, the greater the probability that you’ll show up for targeted search terms locally.
Ok, great, but how do I Optimize this thing?
Now you’re talking our language! GBP might be a “free” tool, but that doesn’t mean you can set and forget it. Quite the opposite.
In order to get the most benefit from your GBP listing you’ll need to optimize and maintain it.
Basic GBP Optimization Techniques:
Step 1- CLAIM YOUR LISTING!!!
- Ensure an associated phone number is a LOCAL number
- Make sure the phone number in your listing MATCHES that on your website
- Use the actual business name
- Select the proper category for your business
- Ensure that your details are up to date
- Use high-resolution images that accurately reflect your business
- Double-check that no one else has tried to make or edit your listing
Once the basics are out of the way you can move on to more advanced GMB optimization techniques.
Advanced GBP Optimization Techniques
Once you’ve got some solid content, a good link profile, and citations, it’s time to take things up a notch…
- Upgrade your logo to something that draws attention and clicks
- Post on social media or run ads during times of the day with high traffic and engagement
- Solicit and encourage local reviews and social “check-ins” from your customers
- Encourage and make it easy for visitors to upload photos of your business
- Build or hire an agency to build high quality relevant local citations
- Consider hiring a photographer to tour your business and post images that expose a more personal side of your operations to better connect with your audience.
Get off the fence!!!
If you’ve been unsure of how GMB listing can help improve your business, it’s time to stop considering and start taking action. Whether via DIY or by hiring a firm like ours to assist, there’s no time like the present to start building up your local profile.
Still not sure where to start? Give us a call today and we’ll help.
About Salterra Digital Services
Salterra was started in 2011 by Terry and Elisabeth Samuels; nothing fancy and nothing pretentious. Quality work at a fair price. Starting with a web design focus, they both quickly learned that while having an amazing website to highlight your business is a great start, marketing is intrinsically foundational for our clients. When several clients were not seeing results through the search efforts of other companies, Terry took it to the next level. While digging into SEO and marketing, he found something he was very passionate about. His inner geek pushed him to focus solely on the data and analytics side of the business while Elisabeth built on her creative and visual strength and expanded the design side. In the industry, it is not always common to have both designers and digital marketing so closely connected, but to them it made perfect sense. Salterra’s World Headquarters is in Tempe Arizona