HOW 'GOOGLE MY BUSINESS' CAN HELP SMALL BUSINESSES LOCALLY
“Google my Business” is a term that has become really popular over the past few years. This refers to the segment of SEO marketing that is aimed at helping small businesses reach the top of the search results for the targeted keyword in their town or city. Besides organic search engine ranking, Google my business also makes use of the other Google properties to ensure the website appears on the first page of the results more than once.
While the buzz around Google business has gotten popular in the last few years, this is not a wholly new concept. Small businesses trying to rank for their targeted term locally has existed as long as the internet itself. However, the advent of mobile and locally targeted online applications has brought Google's local business listings back into the limelight. This has revolutionized the way people search for their interest in a small way.
Let us take the example of a local pizza shop. Back in 2001 or 2002, a user searching for a pizza shop in his neighbourhood might search “pizza shops in london”. With Google's algorithms not being as sophisticated as there are today, the search results back then may have included results from other parts of the world like the United States or Canada. Today, users won't always include the name of their city or neighbourhood in the search term. However, they still expect the results to focus on pizza shops from their suburb or town.
So How Can A Small Business Tackle This Challenge?
This is where an SEO marketing agency can come into play as far as local business listings are concerned. The primary job of an agency in this case is to make Google understand that your business caters to a particular neighbourhood or city. This, combined with other SEO marketing activities enhance the reputation of the website in the eyes of Google and thus helps it to rank on top locally. Here are a couple of things that SEO agencies do in order to make the website reputable at a local level:
1. Google Places
Google has beautifully integrated their Google Maps application within the search results. The logical extension of this is Google Places for Business that lets small businesses map themselves. This way, Google now knows the exact map coordinates of a business and consequently when a user in the city or suburb searches for a related term, the business website shows up in the results.
2. Rich Snippets
People searching for a local service do not always require to interact with the website. Many times, they are happy to know the phone numbers to call. By marking the phone number, address and other details about a business over Google’s rich snippets, businesses can ensure that these details are shown to the search visitor when they are looking for the particular service.
These are just a couple of ways to tell Google how to target your local audience. Besides this, there are a lot of other ways like marking the geography in webmaster tools, embedding the business location on the website, and claiming the business on small business review services like Yelp, FourSquare, etc. This ensures that Google completely understands the location of the business and thus shows the website on top to the audience who matter the most.