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Today 3 out of 4 shoppers search online when they want to find a local business, and 7 out of 10 made a purchase from a business they found using a search engine.
Every day people search for things nearby through conducting local searches. These may include finding directions to a local business, checking local store opening hours or searching for products in stock or on-sale.
Local searchers are ready to act. Many visit a nearby location within a day and complete purchases at a higher rate than consumers who conduct non-local searches.
Add to this the exponential increase in mobile and voice search, and it’s critical to ensure that you are visible when local customers search for businesses, products and services in your area.
If you’re a business that relies on local traffic or a service area, showing up in local search with the correct information is crucial.
“Near me” mobile searches that contain a variant of “can I buy” or “to buy” have grown over 500% over the last two years. People now expect search to find the places in their area where they can get what they need. Marketers should make that easier.
Local businesses need visibility on what’s known as the ‘local pack’ or ‘3-pack’. This is the block of three business listings that appear below the map in the results displayed after a Google search with local intent.
Alongside is an image of a local pack for the search term ‘car service’.
You’ll notice that these look different from standard organic search results, often including opening times, review ratings, and even photos. Although Google is getting clever enough to pull this information directly from your website, that’s not where these elements come from.
Everything that’s displayed in the local pack comes from the business’ Google My Business profile, a critical part of Local SEO that’s becoming more important as Google tries to satisfy more search queries directly within the SERPs.
Talk to us about our 40% discount on Local SEO Campaigns in December.
Simply fill in the form, tell us your business name, who your competitors are likely to be – and we’ll prepare a FREE local search visibility and recommendations report.
Previously known as Google Local, and for a time, even Google+ Local, Google My Business (GMB) is, as the name suggests, your business profile on Google.
It feeds information to a variety of places, including the local pack and Google Maps search results, but the most familiar appearance will likely be when it’s in the top right (or top on mobile) of a branded search for your business, as below.
Your GMB profile can include a host of information such as services you offer, contact details, business description, category, and opening times, but it’s important to note that features such as GMB attributes, GMB Q&As, and Google Reviews are almost entirely generated by consumers, ideally with experience of your business.
A big part of local SEO is making your GMB profile as up-to-date and accurate as possible, so that it has a higher chance of appearing in the local pack, and trustworthy, attractive and appealing enough to warrant a clickthrough.
The Benefits of Google My Business
1. Information consistency and visibility. Google My Business will ensure the accuracy of your business’s information in Google. Google will also have more information to categorize your business, so it’s more likely that you’ll show up for relevant local searches.
2. Better first impressions. Upload photos or videos to show off some of your best products and services or simply display your storefront.
3. Insights. Google offers businesses using the platform “insights,” or analytics data that show exactly how and when customers are finding your entries.
4. Posts. The ability to create “posts,” or pieces of content that search users will see when evaluating your business. These can be almost anything including limited-time offers and promotions that drive more sales.
5. Bookings. Google My Business will even give you the opportunity to accept bookings online.
6. Review management. With a Google My Business account, you’ll have the ability to turn all your Google reviews into a positive two-way conversation.
Talk to the team about setting up and optimising your Google My Business Profile.