If you own a local small business like I do, Google My Business might be even more important than your regular website.
Your Google My Business (GMB) listing often appears in local searches far above your company website’s listing. This premium placement makes it the result searchers tend to click first.
Think about your own search behavior – if you’re looking for a local florist, you might search “florist near me,” and have something like this appear:
Many people don’t even click on the GMB listing – they simply call the listed phone number.
If you’re like most people, you’ll click on one of the GMB listings and never look further down the page.
Scrolling down in this example, the top GMB listing, Kingston Florist, does not appear on page one of Google’s organic search results.
READ THIS TWICE: Even if Kingston Florist worked tirelessly on their SEO to help increase its website’s organic Google ranking, it might never appear on page one of Google without a GMB listing.
This is why your GMB listing needs to be considered your second website.
Does this mean I don’t need to work on my website?
Good try, but no!
If someone clicks over from your Google My Business listing to your website, you want your company website to make a good impression.
What do I need to do then?
Make sure you fill out your Google My Business listing completely. Add photos and descriptions of your products and services.
Add updates to GMB as often as possible, preferably once a week.
Keep your hours current and reply with your holiday hours if Google emails you for information.
Be sure to ask for Google reviews from your customers – this may be one of Google’s ranking factors, so the more, the merrier.
Because Google likely crawls your product and service descriptions to qualify businesses they highlight in the 3-pack, fill out these completely.
My Google My Business listing isn’t coming up for searches outside the business’s town.
With local search results, a business’s physical location seems to be critical in determining which businesses get into the 3-pack.
You CAN buy your way into the 3-pack: