For any business nowadays, having an online presence is a must. Regardless of if your business is online or storefront, a professional looking and functional website is essential. However, building a great looking website without a search engine strategy is not going to give you the results you want. In fact, successful online marketing takes both national and local searches into account. The strategy is very different for both! While national SEO is about the optimization of your business’ website, local SEO is best done by optimizing your Google Business Profile.
Why is Having a Google Business Profile Important?
A Google Business Profile is especially important for businesses that are dependent on foot traffic. Local search engine optimization can help get your business in front of potential clients by putting your business at the top of Map Pack results. In fact, clients who are searching map-based results are already searching for your products or services nearby. By optimizing your local SEO, you’re targeting warm leads who are already interested in what your business has to offer! Certainly, if you’re a business or company with a physical location, local SEO is a necessity.
Optimizing your GBP listing is vital for local SEO. Consider that as of January 2022, Google is reported to hold about 86% of the search engine market share. That is, most people are “Googling” when they go to search. Clearly, Google is the most popular search engine. And with most searches happening on their platform, boosting your GBP listing is a smart strategy to increase SEO. Undoubtedly, this will get your business in front of your best potential clients. You can read more about local SEO ranking or read on for our tips to level up your GBP listing rank.
About Local SEO
First, let’s quickly cover what you need to know about local SEO. Let’s begin with the fact that it’s completely different than your website SEO. While website SEO aids your site ranking higher in organic search results, local SEO helps your business appear higher in Google Local Pack. Local Pack is a section in Google search results that showcases the top-ranking local listings for your search location. Also referenced as the Google Map Pack, it is a group of business listings connected to a map. Typically, Google displays this list on the first page of search results.
About Google Map Pack
To reiterate, the top few options appearing in Google Maps when you do a Google search are called the Google Map Pack. It is important to note that a Google Business Profile is required to rank here. And, because it runs off a different algorithm than website SEO, it requires a different strategy. Although setting up a GBP listing is easy, doing it right can be a nuanced and ongoing process. While you can manage your own profile, our experts at NetSource Technologies can take that nuanced work off of your hands. If you want to find out more about how this process is done, we’ve compiled a guide to local SEO with 4 tips to improve your ranking on Google Map Pack.
Local SEO Guide: 4 Tips for Ranking Higher with Your GBP Listing
First, we cannot stress enough the importance of keywords. It should be noted that the keywords that determine whether your business shows up in Google’s map pack can differ from those that determine the ranking for your website. Moreover, finding the right keywords is of the utmost importance. We recommend that you use a keyword research tool, such as SEMrush. You will need to spend time searching the best keywords to trigger map pack results. Do not skip this step, it is crucial to optimize your GBP listing and rank higher.
When you’re doing that keyword research, always use private browsing so cached data does not impact the results. You can research keywords on Chrome in incognito so that Google does not associate this new search with your previous search history. Likewise, you can use the GMB Crush Chrome extension to test searches, so results show as if you were in different geographical places. For instance, if you’re located in a city, but want to see the experience of your customers who come from surrounding suburbs. Using this extension, you can search as though you were searching from the suburbs.
Claim Your Google Business Profile
Ultimately, no local SEO effort is complete without claiming your GBP. If you haven’t already done so, you will need to claim your GBP listing and fill it out. This is when your keyword research comes into play. Make sure all your information is correct and up to date. And if a field is relevant to you – complete it using those keywords! Be thorough when completing the products and/or service sections.
Update Your GBP Listing
Additionally, you must keep your GBP listing updated. As a rule, GBP is not self-sufficient, you will need to do more than just a one-time set up. Generally, you can use the “Updates” feature to regularly post new information about the business. Along with updating information and posts, you should always be responding to your reviews. That is, not just the positive reviews, negative reviews should be addressed also. Besides timely responses being a good business practice, you can also use them to incorporate in keywords when appropriate. Because Google screens the posts and reviews, keywords in your responses will help you rank higher with local SEO.
Don’t Know Where to Start with Your Google Business Profile?
Obviously, local SEO is an aspect of your business that you should focus on, especially if you operate from a physical location. That being said, it is an undertaking. If you’d rather take this tedious task off your hands, we are here to help.
At NetSource Technologies, we know that companies need to brand and market around the message they want to communicate. We consider the action you want your customers to take, thus what keywords you want to be found on for every page of your site. We offer both local SEO and national website SEO strategies for your business to rank at the top of Google searches. Learn more about how our experts can help you optimize your GBP listing and level up your ranking!