If you’re a local business – or a national business with a local presence – Google My Business is (or should be) an indispensable part of your digital marketing. Free to use, Google My Business is not just a way to control your Google local information, it’s also a powerful local SEO tool. Once you have registered and mastered the Google My Business basics, you can turn your thoughts towards optimising your listing and making it work a little harder for you online.

  1. NAP Consistency

Google is known to use citations to help determine local SEO positioning. When you begin the process of optimising your Google My Business listing, it’s worthwhile also checking that your name, address and phone number (NAP) is consistent across not this  listing, but throughout your social media profiles, on your website and across any other resource you have control over (such as paid for directory listings).

  1. Upload images and videos

Images and videos help to make your Google My Business profile stand out. They’re also a way to further complete your listing and show Google that you’re a serious, up-to-date and active brand. Choose images which show a range of different things – such as uploading team photos, then office shots, then product shots. These should be genuine, representative of your business and professional.

Depending on the type of business you operate, other formats may be appropriate. A hotel, bar, spa or restaurant for example may wish to invest in virtual tours or 360 degree images.

With search users increasingly finding all they need in the search results, therefore reducing the need to go to a brand’s own website, the images you choose may be the only impression a local consumer has of your business. This makes image selection and relevance of vital importance. Update your images often – when you take on new staff members for example or add a new product to your offering.

  1. Respond to all reviews

Reviews are one of the most important local SEO ranking factors there are so, as you optimise your listing, you’ll need to focus on reputation management too. While this is a whole other discipline in its own right, the volume and frequency of reviews you have via Google My Business is known to have a direct impact on where you rank in the local pack. How quickly you respond to those reviews, how many negative reviews you get – and how quickly you respond to those- plus the number of reviews mentioning location or including images also drive local rankings.

Be active about soliciting reviews from clients and make it clear that they can review you on Google.

  1. Add regular Posts to grab Knowledge Panel space

Use the posts feature regularly to truly optimise your Google My Business listing. You have different categories of Posts to choose from, including special Post types for things like events, offers and updates. This should give you lots of potential to create a steady stream of updates, while mixing up news and information to keep things interesting.

You can use Posts to link back to longer blogs on your own site to drive traffic, and share codes, coupons and special offers to increase sales, downloads or bookings.

Focus your attention on the first 100 characters of the post for SEO terms, as this is the snippet used in the knowledge graph. Again, pay careful attention to the image you choose too as this is another way to grab the attention of the local shopper.

Do you need help using Google My Business in a more advanced, strategic manner? Contact the local SEO experts at Adrac now.