How can having a Google My Business account help improve our Local SEO

How can having a Google My Business account help improve our Local SEO

November 10, 2023

 

Why is Google My Business & NAP signals so important when improving a business’s local SEO?

 

Date Published: 10/11/2023

Written by: Ryan Walsh

 

When you think of our large cities here in the U.K, you will have a mass of businesses all competing with each other for business. Some will choose to promote their business on social media accounts, others through Google Adwords, yet some will want to invest in local SEO.

What is Google My Business?

 

Google My Business doesn’t cost a penny to set up, its completely free. Some businesses mistakenly confuse setting this account with setting up a Google Adwords account, which will need a payment method linked to it.

Yet Google My Business is free, and once its optimised, and all the fields are filled in correctly you can reach more customers.

However, it’s important to hold your horses here at this point

So, some businesses may think, that say they are an electrician based in a capital city, that once they set up a Google My Business account, they should instantly appear in the results.

However, the Google My Business results, well they are now greatly reduced to what they once were. There was once, sometimes up to 7 businesses that were displayed, but now often its just

So yes, 3 electricians may only be shown in the Google My Business results.

Sure, it does depend on your location, and how close that business is, so if there’s a business just around the corner from you, if they have a Google My Business account, then there much likely to be shown, that a company or business on the other side of the city.

 

Shows essential business information

So, we’ve already covered how hyper competitive is, for a business to be displayed in the Google My Business results, because, often only 3 businesses are chosen.

However, having a Google My Business account is so important for other reasons, for example, let’s say you run a local dog grooming business, and someone wants their dog to have a good wash.

So, they may search for the name of the business, then your Google My Business account pop’s up, making it easy for the customer to find your opening hours, have a read of the reviews, find out phone number.

 

Do many shoppers use Google My Business to find local business?

Yes, a lot of people, so its thought that 46% of all Google searches, are to find information on local businesses. So, if your business appears in what is called the “map results” and customers, say well that business is less than one mile away, plus it has so many positive reviews, and its open late to 7pm this evening, I will call them now. So, you’re making it super easy for people to find everything they need to know about your business, in just one place.

 

Why we wouldn’t recommend PO boxes or mail box addresses

So, you’re a start up business, so you might not have much money to spend on a business premises right now, we get that.

But here’s the thing, if you really want to improve your local seo, and stand a good chance of your business appearing in the Google My Business results, we wouldn’t recommend a PO box address or just using a mail box. Because, lets face it Google often knows, in that one building, over thousand different businesses may be located there- so in reality it knows it’s just a mail box address.

 

Will a mail box address still be better than using no address?

That’s a difficult question, a really hard one to answer. Our best answer would be, don’t use mail box addresses, instead wait until you have a real, business address, one which you own or rent, where you are based. Otherwise using a mail box address, we think is not going to be an effective way of improving your companies local seo.

 

Don’t add an area name to your business name on your Google My Business account

So, many businesses do this, but we wouldn’t recommend it, so let’s say you’re a plumber, well you might be called “rapid plumbing” something like that, and that’s what your company is called on company’s house. But you think, well I am going to add the name of the city where our business is based to the company name, yet if the city is not part of the company name, then we wouldn’t add it.

 

What are the benefits of owning a Google My Business account?

  • Your business can appear in the map results
  • Shoppers can easily find out key information about your business such as opening hours, phone number and website address
  • Customers can leave reviews
  • Gives some insight into your business, for example, a main photo with your team in the photo this will give the impression you’re a large business
  • It supports improving your local seo, as NAP details can match with the business name, company address and phone number shown on the listing.

 

 

Helps shoppers to find your business

So, if we are getting down to brass tacks, a well-optimised Google My Business account can appear in the Google Local Pack Listing. And let’s say someone is searching for say a local estate agent online, often right at the top they will see Google Adwords listings, also called PPC listings. Then there might be a large map, taking up a lot of the page, with say 3 businesses displayed in the map results, then the organic serps appear below.

So, the point we are trying to make is, if your business does appear in the Google My Business results, well, its well up the page, much more likely to be clicked on, that say a business that’s ranked 10th at the bottom of the page.

 

Business reviews

SEO consultants also refer to these as “trust signals” so that basically means, when someone is searching for say a local restaurant, as they want to book a table for their husbands/wifes birthday party- well there likely to read the reviews of that business.

And with Google My Business, it simply shows business review rating as a star rating, supplemented by how many reviews have been left. Also, when you click on the stars you can then read the reviews.

Now, a lot of shoppers know, that a business is going to select only the positive reviews to show actually on their website.

Yet shoppers also know that the reviews left on Google My Business can often be trusted, as the business can’t easily just select the reviews they like. Now sure, a business could pay for fake reviews, but this is likely to get their whole Google My Business account removed and deleted.

So, don’t buy fake reviews, its not worth it, it will often just end up with your Google My Business account being removed.

 

 

How we can help

Here at Walsh and Partners we have helped many businesses to improve their local, national and international seo.

 

Written by: Ryan Walsh

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