Local SEO and Google My Business: Popular Tips

Are you looking for ways to improve your business by using local SEO and Google My Business? If so, you are on the right page since we are here to share with you all the popular tips you need to know for that. If you have not already optimized your business for local SEO and Google My Business, it means that you are a little bit behind, but we are more than happy to raise your awareness about them to fix it. You can simply start enhancing Google My Business and local SEO by verifying your business and follow the tips we are about to share with you.

Optimizing Google My Business and your local SEO  can help you a lot more than you can imagine by increasing organic traffic and conversion rates. Besides, it will be your guide through finding local customers that would be interested in your business. As you may already know, the online presence of your business matters very much; research indicates that the local business’ website is the most important form of marketing, and Google My Business is in second place on this list. Additionally, if you have a local business, it would be safe to say that Google My Business would be a lot more important than any form of marketing tool. Thus, we brought together the most popular local SEO and Google My Business tips for you.

Local SEO and GMB
Local SEO and GMB

What is Google My Business?

Before getting into tips, it would be best to evaluate what is Google My Business and local SEO and how they can help you to understand the tips better. If you have ever Googled a business such as a nail salon, coffee shop, or any other sort of business, there is a high chance of you seeing a business profile at the top of the search results. This is what is called a “Google Business Listing.” However, not every business owner has control over that Google Business Listing because they do not have a Google My Business account. To be able to have control over your Google Business Listing, hence the first thing that most people will see about your business, you need to use Google My Business.

Google My Business
Google My Business

After you start using Google My Business, you will have control over what people will see on the Google Business Listing. Optimizing Google My Business would increase your business’ visibility so much if it is done in the right way. Additionally, the size of your business does not matter for Google My Business; any sort of business is welcome to increase visibility and traffic. In addition to visibility, people looking for your business will have a better image of your business through pictures, questions, and other information you put there.

What is local SEO?

Local SEO, or local search engine optimization, is a subcategory of SEO. If you are familiar with the concept behind SEO, it would not be difficult to understand what local SEO is. In the most basic terms, search engine optimization stands for optimizing your content, website, webpage, or anything related to those in a way that would help you to rank higher in search engine results. SEO is a great way of increasing visibility and organic traffic on your website or business.

However, different situations might need different solutions in online platforms. What do you think will happen when you need to find a business that is close to you? At this point, local SEO comes into the equation. When someone is looking for a local business, Google includes a proximity algorithm to help them find what they are looking for. This search for a local business can include any sort of local keyword; the good thing is the algorithm would not need the searcher to ask, “near me.”

Imagine this, you are on holiday in a different city, and you searched for “hotels” in Google. You will most definitely find the hotels near you on Google My Business pages. However, when you search for hotels in your hometown, Google will offer you the hotels that are around you in your hometown. The idea behind local SEO is as simple as that, but there are many things to consider while optimizing your Google My Business for this.

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Now that you know about local SEO and Google My Business, it is time to share with you the popular tips that would help you to have the best results in terms of local SEO and Google My Business. As mentioned earlier, the significance of local SEO and Google My Business should not be overlooked since many people will get to know your business through them in the first place. You would not want to give a wrong first impression and scare people away even before they visited or shopped from your business. The following are the most popular tips for local SEO and Google My Business.

Complete your profile to the best of your ability

The first tip for a successful Google My Business and local SEO rate would be to complete your profile entirely. Once you sign up for the Google My Business listing, you will be asked to complete some aspects of your business profile. The more information you add to your profile, the better the visibility will be for your business. Keep in mind that most of the fields on your profile will be “optional” to fill out, but you would want to fill as many fields as you can for the ultimate local SEO and Google My Business success. It would be better if you can fill every single field on your profile, of course.

One reason to do so is that, as people see your results, they would want to see the details. At what neighborhood are you in? At what hour are you closing? What do you sell? How does your business look like? Adding that information will give people an insight into your business, and they will gain familiarity. Another thing to add is that Google will index what you filled out in your Google My Business profile and take this information into consideration while ranking results.

Maintain the accuracy of your name and place

Adding keywords to headings is basic SEO knowledge, but the thing is, you would not want to do this while optimizing your Google My Business for local SEO. While creating your business listing, you should always keep the name and the place of your business in the most accurate words. If they do not have accurate information because you added keywords and stuff, it will decrease the credibility of your business to Google since it will be able to detect any divergence among your information through the internet.

Using Google My Business accurately
Using Google My Business accurately

Another thing to add is that even the simplest wrong information can be a reason for Google to take you to the blacklist and give lower rankings for you. You should double-check whether if the information you are providing to Google My Business is true or not. If there are any changes in the location, phone number, or any other information in the Google My Business listing, you should update it immediately to avoid future inconveniences.

Include your services and products on your profile

Including your services and your products on your profile is very important for the visibility and local SEO success of your Google My Business profile, yet many business owners tend to overlook it. You can easily add your menu, products, and services to your Google My Business account. This is because, nowadays, people do not want to take risks while visiting any sort of business.

By giving them an overview of what they can expect from your business, you can increase the chances of them visiting your business. Another catch about including your services and your products on your profile is that people will spend more time on your profile. This means that Google will start taking your business profile more seriously as it sees that people are spending more time in it, and you will be able to take place on the top rows in ranking.

Choose the right categories

While creating your Google My Business profile, you will be asked to include one main category and nine secondary categories. If you choose the right categories, it will increase the visibility of your business. Choosing the primary category will most probably not be a problem because you know what your business does. But secondary categories might be a little bit tricky. There are about 4.000 different categories to choose from, and you should be wise while choosing among them. It is crucial not to choose irrelevant categories for the sake of local SEO success.

Include photos

Including photos on your, Google My Business is a huge game-changer, and you would not want to miss out on that. There are many benefits of including photos on your Google My Business profile. First, including pictures would increase the credibility of your business both for Google and people who are looking for it. If your business seems more legitimate for Google, there is a higher chance that it will be ranked in the top rows of search results. Additionally, just like including your products and services, people will spend more time on your Google My Business profile if you have pictures. Hence the rankings of your profile will gain the opportunity to be higher.

There is no need for photos to be extremely professional. You can include people hanging out in your café, an event you attended to with your business, your team, pictures of your place, and so on. Keep in mind that you would want to include high-quality pictures on your profile to boost your search result rankings. Additionally, you would want to update your photos on a regular basis for the best results you can get from them. As you make progress as a business and have new stuff, you would want to notify others and show how far you have come as a business.

Increase the reviews

One of the most important tips to increase local SEO success and boost your Google My Business profile is through reviews. Reviews play a crucial role for your business regardless of what kind of business you have. Nobody would like to visit a place that has many ratings resulting in an average of 1.5 stars. Additionally, people tend to prefer businesses that have higher Google ratings in comparison to other ones. The stars and the comments that will be given by your customers or clients will definitely matter for Google and SEO success.

Google My Business reviews and Local SEO
Google My Business reviews and Local SEO

Even though there are not many things to do to increase reviews, there are some tips that you can use. First of all, be careful not to give any negative experience to your visitors; many people know the power of Google reviews and would not hesitate to use this power. If you would like, you can ask your customers to leave comments on your Google My Business account. Additionally, you can include a link in your listing to encourage people to leave positive reviews and politely explain how valuable it would be for you and for your business.

Respond every review

Getting reviews is great – if they are positive, but there is something greater. By answering the reviews, you can increase the interaction you have on your Google My Business listing and have a better image for your customers and Google visibility. Responding to reviews will show others that you genuinely care about your customers and their experience with your business. Additionally, it would be an encouraging factor for other people who visited your business to leave a positive comment.  You should keep in mind that simple and dry responses to your customers would not be efficient; you should take some time and respond to them in a plausible and cheerful manner.

Of course, there is a chance that people will also leave negative comments on your Google My Business listing. In this case, you would not want to leave that comment as it is and let others see it. You should respond to the negative comments, too. If there is something you can explain and make up, you should definitely do so. If you are the wrong one, you can gently apologize and ask for communication information to make things up in a more professional manner. If you make things up, you can ask the person who left the review for an edit, which will help you a lot.

Use local keywords for ultimate local SEO success

As you may already know, targeting keywords is a very basic SEO knowledge for any sort of web-based platform. The situation is not very different in local SEO since you still would want to use local keywords for ultimate local SEO success. Some keywords might be pretty straightforward to find, but a little research to find what suits best for your business never hurts anybody. You can check for popular keywords regarding your business and what are the commonly searched words.

Including different variations of the keywords is always a plus. For example, you might have a hotel in California. You would want to make sure that your business pops up when someone searches for “California hotels” or “hotel, CA,” in addition to phrases like “hotels to stay in California.” Giving place to different local keywords on your Google My Business listing would help you a lot to reach a greater audience and ranking higher on search results.

Be careful about how you use keywords

Knowing which local keywords to use is one thing. Implementing them in an optimal way is another. You would want to make sure that both are perfectly fine for ultimate local SEO success. The way you use your local keywords on Google My Business absolutely matters, and you should care about it, too. Giving place to keywords in your title tags, headings, meta description, body, and footer is a great way for using keywords, and it would be a good bonus if you can include the primary local keyword in your URL.

Another thing to note about the use of local keywords is lies in meaning. Implementing keywords into your content might be difficult, but keep in mind that going easy with it and just putting random keywords in places that do not make any sense would not be useful. So, it is highly recommended to take your time and think about meaningful ways of implementing your local keywords into sentences or headings.

Do not obsess with local SEO

Local SEO is an important aspect of the online presence of your business and helps a lot for people who have local businesses. Optimizing your online presence with local SEO is a very plausible action to do. You can optimize your Google My Business profile with the tips we provide here, but the thing is, you should not overlook the value of traditional SEO. You should keep the balance between local SEO and traditional SEO. It is a fact that traditional SEO plays a crucial role in the visibility of any sort of digital content you can find through search engines, and you would not want to miss out on that.

Be active on your Google My Business profile

One thing that many businesses owners overlook is the fact that Google My Business allows you to post stuff.  This feature might be very useful for increasing interaction and traffic on your profile. You can put special discounts, events, new products, or anything relevant to your business. The things you want to post on your profile will show up at the end of the profile. It might sound useless to some people, but it definitely is not.

Using active GMB profile
Using active GMB profile

First of all, posts will help you a lot in terms of increasing organic traffic, and people will spend more time on your profile. Additionally, if you post on a regular basis, Google will evaluate your profile as an active profile which would increase the search result ranking success for you.

Use questions and answers

As you may already know, Google My Business profiles have a questions and answers section in which anyone can ask a question, and anyone can answer—at this point, constantly following the questions and answers section of your profile matters for two important reasons. First, you would want to give the answers to the questions that people wonder about. As mentioned earlier, not many people want to visit a place where they have little to no information about it—giving information such as if you accept credit cards, whether if there is a certain dress code or anything they might need to know before visiting can help you a lot.

The second reason why questions and answers matter in Google My Business is the feature where anyone can answer a question that was asked from someone else. Other people who are knowledgeable about your business might give accurate answers, but since literally anyone can give answers, there is a chance that the answer will be misleading. In order to prevent this, you as a business owner should take control and answer all the questions yourself first. If you detect any wrong information given to a question, you should fix it immediately. Setting up alerts is a great way of answering questions before anyone else. Additionally, you can put questions yourself to give the answers for frequently asked questions before they ask.

Allow messaging

The last tip we will give is to allow messaging. If you allow messaging on your Google My Business profile, customers will be allowed to text your phone through the profile. If you want to increase interaction with your possible customers, this is a great opportunity for you. Additionally, since you will be using a phone number by Google’s Allo app, you will not be giving your personal phone number in public. Still, you should allow notifications for customer messages on the Allo app.

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