Show Up First in a Local Search with Google My Business

Google My Business is often one of the most overlooked tools for driving local SEO traffic (local search traffic). If you are a freelance creative or small business owner that has a local address, this should be an essential part of your SEO strategy. Even if you don’t have a listed street address (if you work remotely), setting up a profile can still help.

What is Google My business?

If you have a Google account, you can go to business.google.com to set up your free Google My Business (GMB) account. This profile will ensure you show up on the map section of Google, but it can also be used to boost your SEO by sending more local traffic to your website. People searching for local services will often use the search term “near me”, in addition to [service] + [city name]. By having a GMB profile and optimizing it, you will be making sure your business shows up in both search queries.
Example of the map results you will see in a Google search

Above is an example of the map results you will usually see at the top of your Google search.

People searching for local services will often use the search term “near me”, in addition to [service] + [city name]. By having a GMB profile and optimizing it, you will be making sure your business shows up in both search queries.

Google My Business local search example

High quality leads

GMB profiles will have the following benefits for a local search:

  • Will increase your organic visitors (aka non-paid traffic)
  • You can see how much traffic specifically comes from your GMB profile
  • People can view you in the map
  • Will prioritize proximity (when searched with “near me”)
  • You may find more traffic from GMB converts then straight organic traffic alone

HOW TO SET UP YOUR LISTING

If you don’t already have a Google account, start by making one at google.com. Then return to business.google.com.

Verify your address

Once you create your profile and input your address, there will be an option to verify it. This will initiate the process of Google mailing you a postcard which will contain a code. If it doesn’t arrive (which is rare), you’ll have to reach out to GMB support. You don’t have to verify your address to have a profile, but you must have an address and be able to verify it so it will show up in the map and out-rank your competition in a local search.

Optimize your listing

    1. Add some high-quality photos. Depending on your business, people will look at these as part of the decision-making process.
    2. Add Posts—these don’t have to be blog posts. They can be events, company updates, behind the scenes, and more. Just like with your traditional blog, the more you post, the more the search engines can index. .
    3. Write a company description using the same messaging you use elsewhere to attract the right audience. .
    4. Add as many relevant services as you can—these will help with searches as well. How to Rank Higher.
    5. Reviews: profiles with reviews will rank higher than those that don’t have them. You can incentives your customers to leave a review by providing them the direct link or offering them a prize or discount.
    6. Local Citations: These are instances of your business name, address, and phone number listed elsewhere on the internet. The catch is, the information must match exactly. Make sure this info is listed the same way on your website and list on other “directories” as well.
To list on other directories search +[city name] +free +business +directory . Create free accounts on these sites with the same name, address, and phone number. This will help you outrank other profiles.

Google Ads

If you are doing PPC (pay per click) ads later down road, you can connect your Google Ads account to your GMB profile which will allow you to show your ads directly in the map section.
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