Do you have 30 minutes to spare to vastly improve your website’s visibility in search engines?
If you believe SEO is a kind of voodoo that you don’t want to think about, then think again. Or to be more precise, think again about local SEO. Because you could be missing out on the one simple trick that gets your business noticed by search engines. This trick is very easy to implement – I’m talking about half an hour of your time here – but it could make a huge difference to your online visibility.
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 - 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 have implemented something called a “Local Pack”. This highlights 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? I will tell you one of the main reasons now.
Apart from obviously being very active in managing their local SEO, these businesses have claimed their free Google My Business listing.
Being on Google My Business (GMB) can vastly 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:-
As you start to type you’ll notice the app attempt to pre-fill the fields. This is how Google makes sure that you’re not duplicating any existing GMB listings:-
Step 3. Carry on filling in all the basic details, which at this stage will be just your business category (from a drop-down list), contact, opening times and location information*.
*If you want to keep your location hidden there's an option to request this. It will obviously impact your local page rankings but will still help your organic listings
Once you’ve done all this, Google will 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 begin populating your GMB page with more details about your business – just treat it as a “lite” version of your main website. You can 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. It's also a great way for people to leave you a review. All good SEO habits to get into.
Your next step is now to regularly optimise your Google My Business page, making your business’ local visibility even better.
If this article has inspired you to claim your Google My Business Page and you’d like to have a chat about it, then please get in touch. I’ll be only too happy to help.