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Does Google My Business Help SEO?

Stifel Marcin’s search engine optimization (SEO) plans often include Google My Business, which can be helpful with site ranking and visibility among local customers.  

What is Google My Business?

This free tool helps businesses create and manage their online presence within Google – the largest search engine in the world – within their search engine and maps applications. For companies with one location, or many facilities, there are many benefits of utilizing Google My Business, including helping to elevate your visibility within the vicinity of your physical locations.

Move Over Yellow Pages

Besides indicating where your business is located, one of the benefits of Google My Business is it gives you the ability to select five categories to affiliate with your business listing. Similar to the old yellow page listings, these categorizations aid customers in finding your products and services. Pick five phrases that describe your industry and focus, and Google will list you in that category. At least one of the categories must be an established Google classification, but the other four can be customized.

For example, if we searched for “Italian Restaurant” the first three listings are for national chains. But if we search for “Italian Restaurant Hartford CT” the first listing is a site that has been optimized for that phrase, and the rest are Google My Business listings.

Google Knows Where You Are

Here’s the catch – note on our general “Italian Restaurant” search example, we said only the top three hits were national. After that, six listings were nearby locations in Google My Business.

Google is pretty smart. First, it knows where you are. If you are using Google on Desktop, it uses an IP address, but if you are searching on mobile, it knows your longitude and latitude and can pinpoint your exact location. It’s the same technology used in driving navigation apps including Google Maps and Waze. Second, its search engine optimization algorithms identify terms Google thinks you might want localized results for. This is weighted more with terms like “restaurant” or “hospital,” but Google has begun to list anything it can easily identify as a location or business with related Google My Business listings.

So, if you type in “plastic manufacturer” your search results will include local Google My Business listings alongside websites that rank highly for those keywords.

Impact on SEO

The above example demonstrates why Google My Business is not a substitute for a search engine optimization strategy, but a compliment to it. A properly optimized website is extremely important to ensure your business is visible when and where customers search for your products and services. When they search in Google, results include both Google My Business listings and website pages. In fact, the better your search engine optimization, the more likely your business will show up within Google My Business results because Google favors relevant, helpful and valuable search results and weighs sites with good SEO more heavily than others.

Google may also rank you for phrases you don’t necessarily want. For example, we set-up an SEO package with Google My Business profiles for a large practice of eye physicians. All of the doctors were ophthalmologists. After a few weeks, the client called and asked why their doctors were also getting listed as “optometrists” – a less specialized type of eye doctor. Google had extracted a few words out of their practice’s website that referenced optometry. Then Google applied its own “understanding” of the word “optometry” and decided that those two factors made it a relevant search term.

Search Engine Optimization Maintenance

Search engine optimization is not an exact science. It takes ongoing maintenance and monitoring to be sure you are listing where you want, and don’t fall in the rankings. One of the benefits of Google My Business is that it’s a great tool to add to your SEO arsenal, but make sure it’s just a component of this essential marketing strategy.

Looking to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing?

Stifel Marcin – The B2B Marketing Agency

Unlike many advertising and marketing agencies, B2B isn’t just something that we do, it’s all we do. We’ll work to help your brand achieve its goals through the strategic combination of creativity, communication and technology. Our focused client intake processes give us the ability to thoroughly understand your business, products and objectives, working to identify the competitive advantages and opportunities that will grow awareness, leads and sales. We develop innovative marketing plans with strategic, data-driven processes, presenting complex ideas and compelling messages that position your business ahead of the competition. As your cooperative partner, our integrated B2B marketing agency is dedicated to your success. If your interested in learning more about our Google My Business optimization services, let’s talk.

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