Improving your Local SEO
Google Business Profile and map for SAA IT Testing
As small business owners I’m sure you have all heard about Google and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You may not fully understand SEO, because it’s a fairly complex subject all about algorithms, search terms and keywords. But if you want your business website to rank higher in search results, then employing a SEO expert will help you do that. But although it would be beneficial, hiring a professional to do that for you on an ongoing basis is not something many of us can afford.
Large companies employ teams of SEO experts to monitor trends, research and analysis data, and constantly update and refresh site pages. For small businesses though, your best Local SEO friend is Google Business Profile (GBP), previously called Google My Business. (Not to be confused with Google+ which was shutdown in April 2019, yet I still see lots of businesses displaying the icon on their website).
What is Google Business Profile?
In a nutshell, GBP is a business listing on Google, similar to Yell.com or ‘Pages Jaunes’ in France. But the bonus with GBP is the advantageous local SEO that comes with it.
GBP was developed to standardise the information displayed by Google in Google Search and Google Maps, so businesses can be found more easily by potential customers. It helps ensure that your customers have up to date information about your business, for example opening hours, address, and contact details. Additionally, you can add links to your main business website, share posts, offers and other information, in the same as you can on social media. It also allows two-way communication between you and your customers by allowing them to ask questions, create reviews and for you to respond.
How does Google Business work?
When you claim your business listing on GBP and you are verified as the owner of that address (you receive a letter in the post with a code to confirm in the GMB set up), you will be a named business location on Google Maps. Your listing will be as detailed as you want it to be, and it will all be highly visible in three important Google areas:
Google Knowledge Graph
This is the box that displays your business information. When someone searches on your business name, this panel appears on the right-hand side of the Google Search Results. On mobile devices it will appear near the top. It’s a really useful summary of the information that is important to new and existing customers, especially if they want to contact you.
If you have several social media sites…Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest…your profiles in each one should be consistent. The same goes for Google Business Profile. And if you have a business logo – display it!
Make sure you have a profile image so you are more recognisable. Complete the profile section, making it relevant to your business, and appealing to your audience.
Google Local Park
These are the top Google listings that will appear below a map when someone searches for businesses in a particular location
Pinpoints your business on a map, with a summary of the address, opening hours and provides directions to your location.
As if that wasn’t enough, when you set up your GBP listing you get access to Google Insights, which tells you how many people have searched for your business, what they searched for and the number of page and post views.
You can also build a free, single-page business website. Although the GBP site has limited functionality you can add a description of your business, products, images, events, services and prices. Use it as an extra social media platform. The ratings and reviews in particular will help your business rank higher in search results. Encourage your customers to give you feedback by sharing your GBP listing, and you can even link it to your business website.
Here’s my Google Business Profile, check it out and see just how much you can do to enhance your online business presence. Get your business noticed. Keep your profile and business details up to date. Improve your Local SEO quickly and easily.
If you need any help or advice setting up your business listing then please get in touch. I’m always happy to help.
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Shirley Atkinson, Freelance Website Usability Testing & Online Business Services for SMEs
SAA IT Test Consultant
79120, Sainte Soline, France
SIRET – 835 373 515 00013
Need some help? Please contact me:
FR: +33 (0)7 83 16 61 11
UK: +44 (0)7940 435970
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