What is Google My Business?
Google My Business (a.k.a GMB) is a free Google tool that gives you the opportunity to create a listing for your business that will appear on Google Search and Google Maps.
Once you’ve created an account, Google reads the information you have added and adds your listing to search engine results. Your listing will appear on results when users are searching for businesses in the area your business is situated.
Although GMB is similar to a business directory listing, it is also similar to a social media account. the reason for this comparison is down to the fact that you can add updates, offer, photos, interact with online users, respond to messages and get reviews from your customers through your GMB account.
How does Google determine localisation ranking?
Google determines local ranking by the following factors:
Relevance – a local listing matches what someone is searching for e.g. Restaurant in Birmingham
Distance focuses on the users GPS data or what users have added as their destination e.g. Google will provide listings based on the users GPS location or by the location they have input into the search. All businesses closest to the user will appear first, however, there will be a list of businesses that will appear, which users can select and obtain information.
Prominence focuses on how well known your business is on and offline. Offline prominence includes taking into consideration offline articles etc, whereas online prominence focuses on referral traffic (external links) to your site e.g. how many other websites are linking back to your site, in addition to your current SEO ranking.
To ensure your prominence is at it’s best, you will need to check all your information within Google My Business; making sure it is up to date and your business is categorised properly. By doing so, potential customers within the area will be able to find you (using your address and Google Maps,) contact you, check your opening times and (ideally) visit you.
As well as this, potential customers within your area can also find any reviews that have been left on your Google My Business site, so the more reviews you have, the better. With that in mind promoting your Google my Business site and asking your current customers to review you via Google My Business is a great way of enhancing your businesses reputation so you can feature in localised search results.
Bing Places for Business
As the second contender for popular search engines, Bing also has also created its own search and map tools called Bing Places; a similar tool to Google My Business, which can also be used to find your business.
If you have already signed up to Google My Business, you can also sign up to Bing Places and import all your information from Google My Business, saving you time, energy and increasing your chances of being found by online.