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How important is Google My Business for local SEO?
  • By Kat Shepherd

    Head of Marketing

A question we keep getting asked a lot at the minute is what is Google My Business and why do I need it?

Google My Business is a way to include your business information on Search, Maps and Google+ so that customers can find you easily. The idea behind it was to create a more unified way for local businesses to be found using all of Google’s available tools.

Free to set up, it enables you to appear in local search results for queries specific to your products or services. It is the central point that helps increase a business’s visibility within Google+, Google Maps and Google Search and is essential for local SEO. Even broad queries with large volumes are now showing local results and this is something small business owners can capitalise upon.

If you are searching on a mobile device you will see that organic results are now shown below the fold (you have to scroll down to see them) and there are now only the top three Google local results being shown – so due to the on-page real estate Google local can take up, there’s huge traffic opportunities for being listed for competitive searches.

What are the most important things businesses can do to optimise their Google local listings?

  • Claim your listing, as often many people don't
  • Get your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) information correct and consistent. The number listed should be a local number, and that it matches the number displayed on the landing page it links to – this is one of the main local ranking factors.
  • Ensure your details and information are up to date. You may not have included information like payment methods, but this will help click through rates, so ensure you review your profile.
  • Check the business images you are using and consider refreshing them or uploading higher res versions.
  • Choose correct and relevant categories – this is important so consumers can find you.
  • When you have nailed your Google My Business page, then think about creating citations (listings) on every other site like Bing, Yelp, Yahoo etc. to help with your online consistency.

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