Part 1 What is GMB?
If you are a local business, aside from having your website perfectly optimised so that it hopefully appears at the top of Google's organic search results (or alternatively paying to be there with Google ads), a Google My Business (GMB) listing is the only free and guaranteed way to show up on the first page of Google.
Claiming and optimising your free GMB listing is the foundation of effective local SEO.
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Google My Business is a free directory listing service for local businesses which features a dynamic snapshot of your business.
You may have created a Business Profile on Google by simply adding your business to a Google Map. It may also have been created by someone else (oddly, anyone can add your business to a Google Map), and Google may also add content to your Business Profile that it finds relevant. GMB is the tool you use to take control of your Profile on Google so that you can customise and optimise it.
Your listing can appear boldly in the box on the right-hand side of Google’s search page (the Knowledge Panel) , as well as on Google Maps for local
search results. If your listing is properly optimised then your business may also appear in Google's Local Finder Box (also called the Local 3-Pack or Snack Pack), and the Answer Box.
Why you need one
Because it highlights you on Google! - People use Google search for information on everything..ranging from cooking recipes, online shopping, research, random questions, location directions, and all local info… With GMB, your business has a better chance of not just being found, but actually being highlighted on the first page of Google, especially if you have filled out all the relevant information and optimised your listing. The Local Finder box sits above the organic search results.
It’s instant and interactive - People who see your listing can engage in a single click with options like a click to call, make a booking, get directions, ask a question, check your opening hours, read reviews, leave a review, read posts, and more. As the business owner you can reply to reviews and questions, enable direct messaging and set up alerts. You also have the tools to research your audience insights and actions.
According to Hubspot, 50% of people who do a local search for
“(a business) near me”- visit a store that day!
According to the Google My Business study in 2019 (link: https://www.brightlocal.com/research/google-my-business-insights-study/) Australian businesses receive on average 67 actions on their GMB listings per month which includes website visits, calls, and requests for directions.
Your business will be pinned on Google Maps - If you have a Business Profile and your business is open to walk in trade, your business shows up on Google Maps. (You don’t need to appear on maps if you only service customers outside your office location)
Important trust factor - Reviews stand out on your GMB listing and your customers can help you build your credibility online by easily adding reviews to your profile. You can also interact with them by responding to their reviews and thank them for doing business with you. This gives your business a high trust factor, giving potential customers the confidence to reach out and do business with you.
It’s free and Google friendly - If you’re having trouble getting your website to appear on the first page of Google, GMB may save the day! Being on multiple online platforms is simply good practice for SEO and GMB is the first one you should focus on. You can also optimise your listing with keywords to help you rank.
It includes a free mini website - If you can’t justify the price of building a proper website at this point in time, your GMB listing includes a simple site builder to give you an online presence straight away.
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