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Google My Business & Its Place in Local Search

Google My Business & Its Place in Local Search

So do you recall in early March when I discussed the value of optimizing a Google My Business listing? I shared some real world data with you from one of our Advice Local partners. Today I want to revisit this subject – and that data.

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The Importance of Google My Business for Local Businesses

As a recap, our Advice Local partner had just taken on a new local SEO client mid-December. One of the first items they addressed was optimizing the client’s Google My Business (GMB) listing. With just a few adjustments, the business’ search and map views for the GMB listing began to increase. Over that month they continued to add services and other additional optimizations to the client’s GMB listing.

Toward the end of January the partner added products with descriptions to the client’s Google My Business listing. Almost immediately, the map and search views started to increase even more. At this point the partner was not publishing GMB posts, nor adding photos to the client’s GMB listing.

Here’s the image showing the map and search views after the products were added.

GMB Products Optimization Data Example

What I would like to highlight today is that with the optimization the partner completed, the Google My Business listing has continued to receive an increase in search and map views. In fact, at a minimum, the business listing started getting over 100 combined views on most days.

Here’s the image showing the current map and search views.

Google My Business Map and Search Views Example

On March 14, the agency partner launched a new business website for their client. Map and search views went even higher, getting up to right under 400 views on a single day. On March 24 they started publishing GMB posts for the business. The map and search views are now staying up, and getting a combined views count of over 200 on most days. This is the perfect example of how a business’ website and Google My Business listing work together to improve a business’ visibility in the local pack.

Look at the How Customers Search for Your Business data from GMB insights.

GMB Insights Quarter Data Example

The screenshot captured in March demonstrated that this business’ GMB listing was getting visibility for 2,479 searches in a quarter (3-month timeframe).

Google My Business Searches - Month Example

The screenshot captured a few days ago shows that the business’ GMB listing received 2,912 searches in a month (30-day timeframe).

If you’re still wondering if GMB optimization is important, wonder no more. Simply look to the data I shared above.

Is Zero-Click and Google My Business a Thing?

At the end of March, Rand Fishkin released some new data about zero-click search. This data revealed that in the fourth quarter of 2020, zero-click searches made up 68.3% of searches in the United States.

A click to call a business from within a GMB listing is a click, while it is considered a zero-click. I actually discussed zero-click and the Google My Business listing earlier. I was glad to see that Rand added a clarification on what qualifies as a zero-click in his new data.

Sending the Right Signals With Google My Business

As a reminder, according to a study completed by Whitespark, Google My Business signals make up 33% of the Local Ranking Factor. Google My Business is the highest ranking signal.

And just last week a member of our team attended Local U. Darren Shaw revealed this data regarding Google My Business conversion factors. This was a study where 500 GMB listings were evaluated.

Top 10 GMB Conversion Factors

  1. High Numerical Rankings
  2. Positive Sentiment in Review Text
  3. Quantity of Native Google Reviews
  4. Proximity of Address to the Point of Search
  5. GMB Message Feature is Enabled
  6. Proper Hours Set on GMB Listing
  7. Completeness of GMB Listing
  8. GMB Booking Feature is Enabled
  9. Frequency of Google Posts
  10. Comprehensive Google Q&A Section with Owner-Seeded FAQS

Google My Business Post Blueprint

Joy Hawkins shared her blueprint for successful GMB posts based on a study she completed. Her study of publishing the same GMB posts across multiple listings revealed the posts that got the most visibility had these items integrated within them.

  1. Use offer posts & COVID posts.
  2. Include a title on the post and make sure it’s not in all caps.
  3. Use emojis.
  4. Include photos that have text on them and are not stock (customizing the photo makes it no longer stock).
  5. Make sure to include specials, calls-to-action – and a sense of urgency in the post.

So for Google My Business, What Steps Do You Need to Take Next?

  1. Make sure the business’ Google My Business listing is claimed. (We can help with that.)
  2. Make sure the GMB listing is optimized. (This is where you come in as the agency.)
  3. Make sure you are publishing Google My Business posts, adding questions and answers and responding to reviews. (Our Google My Business tool is the perfect solution.)

At Advice Local, we’re all about providing superior listing management solutions to our agency, brand and franchise partners. Request a demo to explore how we can help you today.

2 thoughts on “Google My Business & Its Place in Local Search

  1. I always enjoy your articles on Google My Business. I wonder if you could offer some clarification. In the section that lists the top-10 GMB conversion factors, there is no mention “responding to reviews.”
    Yet you mention later that your Google My Business tool helps manage responding to reviews. It is still unclear to me whether Google provides any weight to a GMB listing that responds to reviews.

    1. Rick, thank you for your feedback. Great question about the importance of responding to reviews – yes, a business must respond to their reviews. It ensures those reading the reviews that the business cares, but also sends a signal to Google that the business is keeping their listing active and updated. We only shared the top 10 factors in this article, as those were tips provided by another company based on their research.

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