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How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile to Increase Local SEO

How to optimize your Google Business Profile

One of the questions I hear most on discovery calls with clients is: What can I do to increase my Local SEO?

Local search has been around for years, but it was limited due to people only using their desktop computers. With the growth in mobile devices, however, mobile search has exploded, so local SEO has become hugely important for the success of any business offering local products or services.

Why is Local SEO and the GBP So Important?

  • Approximately 86% of people search for a location of a business on Google Maps.

  • The number of searches for “near me” has increased by 500% in recent years.

  • Local queries account for half of Google’s two trillion annual searches.

  • Local SEO stats show that 72% of consumers who search local businesses online end up visiting businesses within a five mile radius.

  • 56% of action on GBP listings result in visits to the business website.

  • 60% of consumers are calling businesses directly from search results on Google using “Click to Call” features.

But did you know....
Roughly 56% of local businesses haven’t claimed their Google Business Profile listing!

Are you one of the 56%? If so, here's a step-by-step guide to claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile Listing for one or all of you locations:

How to claim and optimize your Google Business Listings

The Verification Process

Verification may include an automated call to your website, an email or a postcard mailed to your business address. In some cases, Google may also require video verification to confirm that a business is authentic and legitimate. The video helps Google confirm that the business represents itself and is located at the correct address. The video also helps prevent fraud and spam, and reduces abuse from businesses that create fake GBPs to gain visibility.

TIP: Download the Google Maps app on your phone to have instant access to your Google Business Profile(s), including the ability to review profile strength, performance and respond to reviews.

Keeping your Google Business Profile(s) up-to-date

At a minimum, this may include updating your business hours, phone number, and address. After updating your GBP, you must manage and maintain your listing weekly. Letting it just sit may result in ranking losses. Staying as active as possible on Google Business Profile may look like:

  • Updating holiday hours

  • Adding photos from events

  • Adding offers or events

  • Continuously making posts

  • Responding to reviews

  • Answering questions

  • Reviewing insights

Remember, you want to nurture and protect your GBP because it drastically increases your local visibility. If you lose ranking because competitors are staying more active, it may result in losing business. Google doesn’t factor in your social media activity when ranking your site. But staying active on social media does influence your SEO because it creates brand exposure. 

Key Take-aways:

Why Do I Need to Work on Local SEO for my Practice?

  1. Local SEO is becoming increasingly important for your business as consumers increase their local search

  2. Local SEO ensures your business location appears on local search by using local keywords, claiming directory listings, create location-specific pages on your website

Where Do I Begin?

  1. Take action: Claim and manage your Google My Business Listing

  2. Review the dashboard insights to gain a better understanding of user behavior

  3. Download the Google My Business app on your phone to have instant access to your account, including the ability to respond to reviews.

I hope this was helpful information! Feel free to reach out and let me know how your local SEO strategy is working for you.

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