Find out 12 Google local optimization tips you can use right away for your local SEO strategy
To say Google is a player in online search is a creepy understatement. Net MarketShare found 80% of searches are made on Google Search. So, what’s that got to do with Google My Business? The answer is in proper Google local optimization. Or, optimizing your local SEO strategy using your GMB listing to attract local customers to your physical business.
Here’s the thing, though:
But, on average, the search only lasts for under a minute. That’s all you have to make an impression before your potential client clicks on to the next, better-prepared online business.
A GMB listing will help you provide the most important information about your business in an organized platform so you can inspire trust and make it easy for prospects to find your physical business in under a minute.
- A Google map business location (physical address)
- Phone number
- Official website
So what Google My Business optimization tips can you use to your improve your online brand awareness, increase foot traffic to your local store, and boost sales?
Here are seven, uncomplicated tips you can use right away to make the most of GMB listings.
- Claim your GMB listing right now
Obvious? Not really. Google reported 56% of businesses are yet to claim and verify their GMB account in 2018.
“Near me” or proximity searches, where GMB listings excel most, increased by 200% from 2016 to 2017 and are the top factor local customers are looking for, according to Moz.
Google has also shown 86% of searchers look up the location of a business they want to buy from on Google Maps.
- Enter your business name right
Use your primary keyword with your business name in the GMB Title Tag.
For example, if in real estate, add “realty”, “real estate”, “real estate agency” to let prospects know exactly why to choose you over the competition.
- Then enter the business category
To continue with the real estate firm example, choose “Real Estate” under the GMB Categories drop-down menu. The difference with the tip above is the Category option describes what your business is, not what it does, sells, or buys.
- And full physical business location, too
Enter the locations’ full zip code, city name, and the specific area you service. So instead of “Philly”, go with “Philadelphia”.
You can skip showing the actual address by indicating you deliver goods and services to customers. If you choose a physical address, Google will send you a code in a postcard to that address. Make sure to enter it in the verification tab to fully activate your GMB listing.
- Enrich your GMB description with local keywords
Are you a marketing agency in Miami, Florida? Make sure to use phrases such as “marketing agency in Miami, FL”, Miami marketing agency”, and “local SEO packages in Miami” in a natural way throughout your short and sweet description.
Don’t overdo it. Once per keyword is sufficient.
- About the phone number
Use a number with local code, so avoid the "1-800” type if you want to attract local calls and business.
- Your GMB website
If you are a techie or can get the help, use HTML coding to link your GMB account to your official website so leads can click directly to it.
Otherwise, use GMB’s website builder. Use a local domain name.
- Show your working hours clearly
Indicate your operating hours, happy hour, special holiday or weekend hours. Details. Avoid disappointing a customer that shows up at your door only to find you closed. They could take out their frustration on your by posting a negative Google review.
- Add real photos of your business
Google has reported businesses that use clear, actual photos of their premises attract 35% more clicks and 42% more request for Google Map direction that businesses that don’t have photos on GMB.
- Activate and respond to reviews
Good or bad respond to reviews. More (90% of) consumers now depend on online customer reviews to decide whether to buy from one business or another.
Responding to negative reviews will make 46% of customers show up at your business than when you choose to delete or ignore them.
- Use Google My Business Insights and Messages
To understand factors such as when customers search for your business most, when they call when they show up, and what they are mostly looking for, use GMB Insights. Then use the Messages feature to chat directly with potential customers.
- Talk of chatting…
Amp up the engagement by sharing GMB posts to update current and potential clients of what’s going on in your business. That way, you can keep them engaged and feeling a part of your community to encourage repeat purchases.
With just these 12 simple Google local optimization tips in your local SEO packages or arsenal, you start to attract more clients with GMB almost immediately.