Are you the owner of a local business operating somewhere in Australia? Are you looking to have your business appear on local searches? If yes, then you have come to the right place. This article will give you all the information that you need to give your business the boost that it needs in today’s complicated operating environment. Google My Business is incredibly important as far as local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is concerned. Unfortunately, not many people even bother signing up. That’s despite the fact that a Google My Business listing can be done free of charge.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free program from Google that allows brands to “claim” their profiles in order to appear on local queries on Google Maps and Google Search.
Google and Local Search Results
Most people assume that search queries are the same across the globe. However, that is not actually true. Were that to become a fact, then the Internet would hardly be usable. Imagine someone in Melbourne searching for “cafe near me,” and being shown listings for cafes in Uganda! That would hardly be helpful.
Fortunately, Google is able to sort out search results to make sure that only relevant local results appear for local queries. Unfortunately, the process does not get done automatically. Maybe you have created a great website, and have a social media presence. You have done SEO and have ads running on Facebook and Google. All these strategies are great, but your first port of call should be to make sure that your online presence is optimized for local queries. Google needs to know that you are a local business operating from such and such an address in Brisbane or somewhere else. But how do you give Google this information?
Google My Business
Google My Business is the best way through which businesses can be optimized for local searches. That is the major reason why it’s so important for brands in Australia to claim their Google My Business listings. Google My Business is great in that it allows you to provide the following information, which Google then uses to make sure that you appear in local searches:
- The name of your business.
- Your physical address: Google requires that every business have a physical address. Don’t worry if you are a mom and pop business operating out of your basement. You can just use your home address as your business address.
- Your address needs to be verified. There are a couple of ways through which Google does this, including by sending you a postcard containing a verification code. The address is important because it’s the one that shows up when your business appears in Google Maps.
- When signing up for Google My Business, you also get the chance to provide other important information about your business, including your operating hours.
- You also provide your telephone number along with your business’ email address.
- While registering, you also get to link your Google My Business profile to your website.
Why Google My Business is Important
Every business in Australia and across the world needs to claim their listing on Google My Business. There is really no reason for any business not to do so. We have already noted that claiming your listing is free of charge. But why is Google My Business important? Well, here are the reasons:
An Appearance in Google Maps
Google My Business is one way through which businesses can make sure that they appear on Google Maps results. One of the things that you will notice is that Google Maps results appear first on local queries. Afterwards, you get local search results. So, Google Maps is even more important than Google Search for local queries.
Just to give an example, let’s assume that you are the owner of a restaurant operating somewhere in Sydney. The thing about restaurants is that they can only attract customers from so many miles around the physical location of their premises.
One of the things that you are going to need to do as part of the process of marketing your business is making sure that when people carry out such searches as “restaurant near me,” your business appears in Google Maps results. Let’s say someone is visiting your part of the city and they type in the above query. They are never going to find your restaurant if you have no visibility on local search.
Google My Business allows you to appear in local searches
This is something that we have already alluded to above. Other than enabling you to appear on Google Maps, a Google My Business listing also gives your business the chance to appear in local Google search results. Claiming and verifying your business is one good way of telling Google who you are, what you do and where you are located. Once Google has this information, it is then able to bring you up when people make relevant local search queries.
People can review your business
Another great thing about Google My Business is that it allows people to review your business. Online reviews are something that we specialize in. Check out our other articles for more about why every business should be on the lookout for them. All we can say here is that 90 per cent of consumers first consult reviews before buying something. So reviews are important. Once you are listed on Google My Business, people can review your business on Google Maps, as an example.
Do it properly
Your Google My Business profile is going to be representative of your brand out there. So, you need to make sure that it’s done properly. If you can do it yourself, then that’s great. Otherwise, get in touch with us and we will make sure that you get a head start in terms of local Search Engine Optimization. One of the things that we recommend when it comes to online listings is that you need to be consistent with regard to your name, address and other listings. Use the same information on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google My Business and other platforms. This makes it easier for search engines to identify your business.