The current state of the world brought home the importance of e-commerce for local economies. With people spending more time at home and relying on web-based services wherever available, it follows that businesses should also be online.
With local businesses doing what they can to be seen first and get noticed online, you need to ramp up your strategy to stay ahead of your competitors. Two things you need for this are strategic, local SEO services and an enduring online marketing strategy.
Let us define both:
- Online Marketing is advertising on the Internet. It is the process of promoting brands, products, and services through creative and strategic messaging. The Internet is the medium, and the marketing messages are delivered using media content and user experience.
- Local Search Engine Optimization or Local SEO is a set of strategies (both on-page and off-page) that aims to increase a website’s visibility by landing on page 1 of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Your chances of getting on page one increase significantly if you engage in both online marketing and local SEO. One way to do this is by creating a Google My Business account.
A Brief Overview
Google My Business or GMB is a one-stop-shop that local businesses can use to reach a wider audience. Through GMB, you can manage the way your business appears on Google SERPs.
Here are the things you can do on GMB:
- Input your business establishment’s location on Google Maps.
- Establish a presence on Google +, the social media platform of Google.
- Manage how your business’s information appears on the Knowledge Graph.
- Manage how your business appears on-page when it ranks in the local organic searches.
You will notice that the list above touches on both online marketing and local SEO. We’ll discuss these further in the next sections and reveal why Google My Business is important for SEO.
Contributions to Local SEO Efforts
Does Google My Business help in SEO? Is it worth investing in? In a word, yes.
Leading industry websites cite GMB as an important ranking factor for SEO. In 2018, Moz.com surveyed digital marketers and found that Google My Business is the number one ranking factor for local SEO. It can make your business appear on the Local Pack Finder (the box of related results that appear on top or at the side of the SERPs and contains three local business listings) and the Local Organic results.
In simpler words, GMB helps ensure that your business will appear on page 1 of the SERPs.
Contributions to Online Marketing
The focus of online marketing is to deliver promotional messages to a target audience. It goes hand-in-hand with local SEO: by adding “local” keywords and identifiers into online marketing content (e.g., infographic, social media posts, blog posts, videos), you ensure that your marketing messages reach your target audiences every time.
Google My Business lets you do the following:
- It asks for your business’s NAP (name, address, phone number) information
- It provides a Business Profile that you can customize to match your branding or ongoing promotions. You can post pictures of your shop or store, write keyword-optimized descriptions about your business, add your website link, and post reviews.
- It provides the infrastructure that allows customers to call or message your business directly.
These features of Google My Business enable local business owners to show off their brand and entice old and new customers, solidifying the importance of GMB for local SEO campaigns.