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Setting up Google My Business for Local SEO

In April 2017, Moz released the latest ranking factors for local search and how to run a successful local SEO campaign for your business – topping the list was having a complete Google My Business profile set up.

Google My Business has always been at the forefront when it came to local SEO, so at WMG we’ve put together this post for tips on how to get the most out of Google My Business and hopefully get your business up in the local rankings and map packs on Google. This post will look at why it is so important for a successful local campaign, the steps needed to set up a Google My Business account for your business, and the importance of having consistency across locations.

Importance of Google My Business

By setting up a Google My Business (GMB) account you are giving Google all the relevant information they need to ensure that your services are ranking within their local search.

Google uses the three following influences to primarily determine local results:

  • Relevance – Using (largely) information found on a company’s GMB profile to determine if they are the best fit for a local related search based on opening hours & services provided. Adding a complete set of information on your GMB profile gives you the best chance of getting a ranking place within Google’s local search or Map listings.
  • Distance – Speaks for itself. The address of your business added to GMB plays a large part in if you feature in results for a localised search. This can be determined in a number of ways, having the location of your business in its name ie. “Plumbers – Newcastle”, for when a potential customer searches ‘plumbers in Newcastle’, or if the search is vaguer and doesn’t include a location Google will use the address used in GMB to decide if your service is in proximity of the searcher’s intent.
  • Prominence – Not much can be done about this in GMB. Referring to how well known a business is, as some are more prominent in the offline world rather than having a large online presence. For example, this works in favour of famous landmarks, museums and well-known store brands that are familiar to many people.

The Steps of Setting Google My Business Up

Much like many of Google’s platforms, Google My Business could not be any easier to set up.

  • Once on the GMB homepage, select what account you wish to use and sign in.
  • Search for your business by filling in the area by name and address boxes. (If you aren’t a local business as such then click on the “Not a local business?” when prompted.)
  • Google will then create your business Google + page, using the address you had provided; once you click “I am authorised to manage this business” you’re ready to go.
  • One last step to verify your business, Google will send you your verification code to your business.
  • You are now ready to fill in your profile.

Creating a Complete Google My Business Profile

To maximise your chances of getting your business/services ranking within local search on Google you need to have a complete GMB profile. The following fields should ideally be filled in with the most up-to-date and correct data.

  • Store Code – A unique ID you assign to each location (If you have more than one location). This is most relevant when doing a bulk upload of business locations.
  • Business Name – Ensure that everything is spelt correctly and everything is capitalised properly (If your business name is capitalised).
  • Latitude & Longitude of your businesses location – This helps with Google Map listings.
  • Primary Phone Number – The main contact number for your business.
  • Additional Phone Numbers – Up to two more numbers can be added, this is optional.
  • Website – URL of your business, make sure that it is relevant to that specific branch if you have multiple locations.
  • Primary Category – The category that best represents your business. This needs to be consistent across all locations.
  • Additional Categories – Services of the business.
  • Hours – Although not required it is strongly advised to add business hours. Remember to add bank holiday/special opening hours.
  • Photos – Although Google will add photos of your business for Maps & Search it is advised to add high quality photos to your GMB profile.
  • Attributes – Offerings of the business that will make you stand out.

With all this complete you should be on your way to the start of a successful local campaign, if managed correctly. For further advice on Local SEO take a look at our previous blog post; “Benefits of Local SEO”.

For more information about our SEO services please visit our services page.