Google My Business, formerly known as Google Places, is one of the most effective ways that your business can increase its online visibility and dominate local search. While you need to include your business in as many online directories as possible to excel with your search engine optimization strategy, you need to make your Google My Business listing a priority as its the most comprehensive and accessible directory on the internet.
How a Google My Business Page Impacts Local Search Engine Optimization
If you're trying to attract a local audience, you can't afford to not have a Google My Business page. When performing a search for a local business using Google, three links to Google My Business pages will be displayed at the top of the Google search results page along with a map of the local area. Searchers tend to gravitate towards these links as they're eye-catching and provide a brief overview of the local business without having to click on the link.
According to the latest stats, Google has 74.54 percent of the search engine market share with approximately 3.5 billion searches being performed on Google daily. Given this data, creating a Google My Business page for the intention of capturing local traffic is a no-brainer. Plus, it's free!
What You Need to Know About the Latest Google My Business Updates
So now that you have a better understanding of the positive impact that a Google My Business page has on your search engine optimization strategy, let's discuss some need-to-know updates to this online business directory.
1. Businesses can now see the geographic location of where customers are requesting directions from.
As of March 2018, enhancements have been made to the directions heat map in Insights to allow business owners to see the locations of people that are requesting directions to their place of business.
How does this new enhancement benefit your business? By being aware of the geographic locations of where your business is attracting traffic from, you can better tailor your local search strategy to get more people walking through your door.
2. Businesses are able to add a description to their Google My Business page.
Prior to 2016, businesses with a Google My Business page were able to provide a brief description of what their business entails; however, this feature was dropped in 2016 when Google+ support went away.
However, Google appears to now be offering the option again for businesses to include a brief description about their company. The maximum length for the business description is 750 characters, and URLs an HTML code can not be a part of these descriptions.
The ability to now include a business description will help to communicate to consumers and search engines what your business is all about and boost your ranking. Keep your business description concise and to the point, and be sure to naturally incorporate some relevant keywords to help your audience find you.
3. Businesses have the ability to classify their Google My Business page as a woman-owned business.
In honor of the recent International Women's Day, Google now offers the ability for businesses to designate their Google My Business page as a woman-owned business. If selected, this attribute will appear on the Google My Business page along with other attributes such as "free Wi-Fi" or "outdoor seating."
4. Businesses can add video content to their Google My Business page.
We've talked about how video content will continue to play a valuable role in 2018. While business owners have always been able to share photos on their Google My Business page, Google recently offered the ability to share videos of up to 30 seconds. Video content is a powerful way to engage your audience, and including a video on your Google My Business page can give prospective customers a better idea of what to expect from your business before walking through the door.
5. Businesses can add new action buttons to their Google My Business page to increase conversions.
Businesses can make it easy for prospective customers to take action and convert by including buttons such as "Call Now," "Get Directions," and "Message Us." These buttons increase the visibility of CTAs for customers accessing your Google My Business page from a mobile device or desktop computer.
You'll want to include your business listing in as many online directories as possible to maximize your search engine optimization strategy, and creating a Google My Business page is a great starting point.
The process of adding your business to online business directories can be time consuming and tedious, so it's in your best interest to utilize a listing distribution that will allow you to manage all of your business listings from one central location. Contact us at New York Ave to learn how we can help you strengthen your search engine optimization strategy through business listings.