HOW DOES GOOGLE MY BUSINESS HELP SEO

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Important: Make sure you keep your information up to date as your business changes.

Prominence refers to how well known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands are also likely to be prominent in local search results.

Tip: To edit business information for 10 or more locations at once, you can create a bulk upload spreadsheet.

Local results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. A combination of these factors helps us find the best match for your search. For example, our algorithms might decide that a business that’s farther away from your location is more likely to have what you’re looking for than a business that’s closer, and therefore rank it higher in local results.

When someone searches for a business or place near their location, they’ll find local results across Google in places like Maps and Search. For example, you can probably find local results if you search for “Italian restaurant” from your mobile device. We try to show you the kind of nearby restaurant that you’d like to visit.

Update your business info for better visibility.

You may find that your business doesn’t show up for relevant searches in your area. To maximize how often users find your business in local search results, ensure that your business information in Business Profile is accurate, complete, and engaging.

Local results favor the most relevant results for each search. Businesses with complete and accurate information are easier to match with the right searches.

Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business, from across the web, like links, articles, and directories. Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’ local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so search engine optimization (SEO) best practices apply.

To improve your business’s local ranking, use Google Business Profile to claim and update your business information. Learn more about how Google sources business information for search results.

Make sure you’ve entered complete business information in Business Profile so users know what you do, where you are, and when they can visit. Provide information like, but not limited to, your:

Tip: There’s no way to request or pay for a better local ranking on Google. We do our best to keep the search algorithm details confidential, to make the ranking system as fair as possible for everyone.

How Google determines local ranking.

Getting started with My Business is easy; you have to make an account and claim your business. After filling in your details, you will get a real-life postcard from Google at the address you’ve specified. This card is proof you’re the owner of the business listed at the address. Some types of businesses can get verified via a phone call or an email. Google has a special page that helps you check your verification status.

Once verified, you can fill in all the necessary details and check how your listing is doing. You can even get regular insights to see how many impressions, clicks, and subscribers your listing got over a period. It’s a great way of getting a feel for how your business is perceived by Google and customers alike.

Many businesses must — temporarily — close during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic that’s happening now. It’s a good idea to let customers know how this affects your business by managing your Google My Business correctly. Always keep your profile updated. Let people know about changes in opening hours or if you’re a bit slower in shipping out products. Use Google Posts to notify customers of updates. You can also mark your business as temporarily closed. If you manage these via Google My Business, you will update your business profile in Google and on Google Maps. Check Google’s documentation on handling COVID-19 updates for more information.

It is vital that you keep your business listing accurate and up to date.

Proximity is a well-known factor for ranking local businesses. You can’t rank in a local search for (dentist New Jersey) when you have located your company in Manhattan. The exact way Google determines which businesses to show in a local search is unknown, and it can be pretty hard to rank in a given area. The other factors play a significant role as well. It helps to say you are located in a particular area and show it by creating local-oriented content around your business on your site. Google uses what’s known about the location of the searcher to present the most relevant local businesses.

New: a tool to manage your reviews.

Keep in mind that My Business is not the catch-all tool for your local SEO. It has to work in tandem with your on- and off-site SEO efforts. You won’t climb the charts if your profile is inaccurate, but you also won’t reach the top without a well-optimized site and localized content. These things go hand in hand.

To start, you need to claim your listing. After that, you can use the following tips to make your My Business account a success. Keep in mind that everything you add must be in line with the information you provide on your site. Inaccurate information kills your listings and could kill your rankings:

Since March 2021, Google added a new feature to the Google My Business dashboard. A feature that allows you to report reviews for removal and check the status of reviews you’ve already reported. However, this tool only works for accounts with a smaller number of listings. So if you’re a business owner with just one or a few listings in your Google My Business account, this new tool helps you manage your reviews in one place. If you already have a My Business account, check out this new tool to manage your reviews right now.

Every business owner with a website is looking for ways to get noticed in the search results. Now, during the pandemic, it’s essential to offer customers an up-to-date Google profile for your business. There are loads of tactics to rank well as a local business, but there is no silver bullet. As with most SEO issues, this is a combined effort. One of these pieces of the local SEO puzzle is Google My Business. But what is it exactly, and why is it so important for local SEO?

Relevance determines how well your business fits the search intent of the customer. Is your focus identical to what the customer needs, or are you a bit opaque about what your company does? Vagueness doesn’t rank or sell. Be as clear as you can be. Keep your focus.

My Business is Google’s one-stop shop to manage how your business will look and perform in the search engine. It is an essential tool to adjust how your site shows in Maps, the Knowledge Graph, and organic search results. According to the 2020 edition of Whitespark’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, Google My Business continues to be the biggest driver of local SEO success, with reviews coming in second place.

Google increasingly depends on structured data to determine what your site is about and which elements represent what. This is most certainly true for your business information, including the information that My Business uses. Make sure you add the correct structured data to your site. Enhance your NAP details, opening hours, reviews, product information, et cetera, with Schema.org data. This will make it much easier for Google to determine the validity of your listing. Several tools can help you with this, including our Yoast Local SEO plugin.

Google My Business uses many factors to determine rankings for businesses. We’ll highlight the three most important ones:

Prominence is all about the activity around your listing; this could be the number of reviews, events, local content, et cetera. It also helps if you can get loads of quality links to your site. It is somewhat hard to determine what prominence means exactly, but one thing is sure: no one likes dead profiles. You have to keep it updated with new photos and manage your reviews. As said before, this works in tandem with your site, so make sure both listings align and that you publish local content.

Want to learn more about local SEO and how to get higher rankings in the local search results? Our Local SEO training helps you improve your online presence and attract more online and offline visitors.

Proximity.

It’s critical to remember that this is not a set it and forget it type of thing. Things change; your business changes. Keep everything active, monitor reviews, and stay on top of things. It’s frustrating if your listing doesn’t perform as well as you’d like, but keep putting in the hours, and it will work.

So, you should activate and maintain your My Business account and make it awesome. But to get the most out of your listings and to get good rankings, you must have your site in order as well. Optimize every part of it. Create local content for your chosen keyword and business location and get quality local backlinks to build up a solid link profile. Ask customers to review your business onsite or on My Business. Make sure your listing is active and attractive. Inaccurate profiles are no good.

You can read more about local SEO in our ultimate guide to small business SEO.

You can manage your business listing by adding NAP details, opening hours, photos et cetera. There are even unique options to manage your business listing during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to that, you get many other options, like managing the reviews your customers leave behind. As you know, reviews should be a critical factor in your local SEO efforts.

Edwin is a strategic content specialist. Before joining Yoast, he spent years honing his skill at The Netherlands’ leading web design magazine.

Prominence.

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