Does your business serve specific geographic locations? If so, you need Google My Business (GMB). 

GMB is a tool that allows business owners to manage their online listings across several Google platforms such as Search and Maps. It’s a convenient and quick way for your target market to discover your business quickly and conveniently. Better yet, it’s free to set up and use!

On average, businesses that leverage GMB receives more than 1,000 search views of their listing each month. So if you’re not already on the GMB bandwagon, don’t miss out—learn why Google My Business is important and how it can improve your local SEO rankings. 

Google My Business—Why It Matters 

GMB is key to improving your business’s local rankings. Just take a look at these key facts: 

  • GMB is one of the top factors Google considers when ranking companies in local search results. 
  • Google owns over 86% of the global search engine market. And 46% of all Google searches pertain to local information. This means you need to leverage your online visibility as much as possible on this almighty search engine.
  • 80% of local searches convert. Imagine the number of leads and customers you’re missing out on when you leave GMB out of your strategy. 

How Google My Business Improves Your Local SEO Rankings 

A few areas need to be fleshed out to gain a comprehensive grasp of GMB’s impact on local SEO. Let’s dive into each. 

How GMB Works 

Let’s say you’re going to a birthday party and want to pick up some dessert. You open Google and type in, “bakery near me.” 

After hitting “enter,” you’ll see a map with three local listings (officially known as the Local 3-Pack) pinned onto the page. The details of these businesses are directly pulled from their GMB listings. 

This local search directory lies on top of the organic search results, making them the first section the user sees. The local pack receives about 32% of clicks on SERPs. 

Google chooses these top three listings based on a combination of factors—relevance, distance, and prominence—to find the best match for a user’s search. As a business owner, you must do your part to ensure you secure a top spot in these local search results. So, let’s talk about how you can do that.

Google’s Standards for Local Rankings 

According to Google, to maximize your visibility to local searchers, your business’ information on GMB should be “accurate, complete, and engaging.” 

Specifically, Google looks at the following three factors below to determine your local ranking. Use these to help make your business show up on local Google search results.

1. Relevance

How well does your profile match what a user is looking for? Be sure to provide accurate and detailed information to help Google understand your business. That way, it can match your profile to relevant local searches. 

This includes ensuring your:  

  • Business’ name is accurately listed on your GMB profile
  • Website is on your profile (consider listing a specific location page if your site carries unique pages)
  • Category and description are filled in 
  • Photos and videos are taken by customers/users at the exact business location
  • Reviews are promptly being addressed

2. Distance

How far is the business from the location terms used in a user’s search? If a user does not specify a location (using “cupcakes near me” instead of “cupcakes in West Hollywood”), Google will use the user’s location to determine which businesses to choose. 

Therefore, ensure your address and phone number are stated clearly on your GMB profile so you can remain visible to your target market. Be sure to update them when there are any changes in your service locations. 

3. Prominence

How well known is your business? Google retrieves this information based on two factors:

  • Your online prominence: Backlinks, review count, ratings, and organic/web rankings are just a few things Google looks at to determine your online authority. Consider running an SEO audit to discover areas of improvement and ensure you’ve got everything in check. Not sure what SEO even is? We’ve got you covered here.
  • Your offline prominence: Some businesses, like museums or landmarks, are more prominent offline. Google tries to reflect this offline authority by including them in the Local 3-Pack. 

For more guidance on ensuring your profile is in good shape, check out our seven tips for setting up the perfect Google My Business account.

3 Benefits of GMB for Your Local SEO Rankings & More

Aside from making your business visible to your target audience, there are distinct benefits that GMB offers. Here are three ways your GMB can bolster your local SEO while providing other advantages along the way. 

1. Improves Your Site Rankings 

With a solid GMB profile, users can easily access your site, giving your traffic rates a nice boost. Better yet, the more relevant photos you have, the more clicks you’ll get—businesses with more than 100 photos get over 1,000% more website clicks than other listings. 

With more organic traffic, you can aim to achieve better SEO rankings. And as mentioned earlier, Google will factor these in to determine your local SEO ranking.  

2. Helps You Interact with Your Customers 

GMB is a great tool that gives you the opportunity to talk to your customers. By promptly responding to your GMB posts, such as negative and positive reviews, you can enhance your customer service, thereby increasing your engagement rates.

According to Google, responding to reviews means you value your customers. This can improve your visibility and compel users to visit your location and/or site. More importantly, it can enhance your credibility and build trust. 

3. Access to Analytics Data 

Making data-driven decisions is key to success, and GMB allows you to do just that. It offers analytics data that informs you where your searches originated from. That can help you potentially target people in a different area and expand your reach. 

GMB’s customer data can be critical to making the right business decisions—decisions that can amplify your local rankings and give your business the longevity it deserves. 

Get Seen by the Right People—Contact Big Leap  

It helps to have a team of local SEO experts who can make sure your GMB profile is in good shape. Whether you need to set up your account or are looking for ways to optimize it, reach out to Big Leap. With over a decade of experience helping businesses with their local online presence, we can help you gain a competitive advantage on the web. 

Adam Jackson