What is Google My Business in SEO

Google My Business

The forerunners of Google My Business

Google My Business goes back to the Google Places service. This was an offer from the Google Group, which companies could use to make free entries, which were then displayed using the Google search. After Google launched its own social network with Google+, Google Places eventually became Google+ Local. In addition to a company entry, companies also had a company profile on Google+, similar to a company profile on Facebook or other social networks.

However, the success of Google+ was very low, so that Google+ Local was transferred to the new, independent service Google My Business. The advantage of Google My Business is that all company-relevant data and services can be managed with one Google account. In this way, users can use their own profile not only to manage information about their company and their location, but also to call up important data on accesses or promotions via Google Ads. In addition, a Google My Business entry offers the option of placing pre-made Ads Express advertisements via the account. With this, Google wants to make it easier for companies to place locally-based advertising via Google Ads.

Where do the Google My Business entries appear?

Company entries via Google My Business appear in both the organic search results of the Google search engine and on Google Maps. If the search engine detects a local reference in the search query, the algorithms fall back on the stored Google My Business profiles and show the corresponding hits prominently over the other organic search hits with a map section. If there is only one relevant hit, it will be displayed to the right of the regular snippets.

If a customer or prospect searches for a company directly via Google Maps, the data from the profiles of the My Business accounts are also played there.

Use for local SEO

Above all, Google My Business is important for SEO that is locally targeted. With a free entry, even companies without their own website theoretically have the chance to achieve a high ranking within organic web search. Since Google is increasingly aligning its search results to the respective user, the local search is of particular importance. A Google study has shown that almost half of web users perform local searches. It is therefore all the more important for companies to achieve high rankings for search queries with a location reference. And Google My Business is a key to this.

How to create a Google My Business listing:

A valid Google account is required to create a Google My Business listing.
How to proceed:

  1. Sign in to your Google account.
  2. Go to the Google My Business home page.
  3. Click the “Start Now” button.
  4. Then enter the name of your company and the address with postcode and city. Also store the telephone number. Select a main category from the suggestions that best applies to your business. You can also use a selection field to define a catchment area for your services or your offer.
  5. Google then compares its data with your information. In some cases, there may already be a rudimentary entry if Google has entered public company data into its system.
  6. In the next step, follow the instructions and confirm the registration and the terms of use.
  7. You have to confirm your company so that your entry can be activated and modified. For this purpose, Google will send an activation code to your company address by post. You will usually receive this letter within a few working days.
  8. After activation with the code, you can edit your company profile in detail.

A Google My Business account contains this data:

  • Contact details: In addition to email addresses, you can also add fax and telephone numbers to your account. Your Google+ profile can also be used to specify contact options via social media.
  • Address data: Your company address is a key piece of information in your entry. It is also possible to enter multiple locations on Google My Business.
  • Photos: The account gives you the opportunity to present your company in detail with pictures. In your profile, images can be sorted by outdoor and indoor areas as well as by team members.
  • Logos: In order to be able to clearly assign your company, logos can be stored. They are also displayed with the corresponding search hits.
  • Keywords (category): The keywords of the Google My Business entry consist of the respective categories. You can only use categories suggested by Google and not your own names. However, the selected categories have a role in determining whether your company is displayed in the search results.

How can I optimize my Google My Business account for SEO?

Basically, the more information is stored on Google My Business, the better. You can also maintain a Google+ page via My Business. In addition, you have further contact options for the target group, such as chats or hangouts, for example.

  • Images: It is recommended that you use high quality images. Companies also have the option of using the Google Street View service in their company premises.
  • Categories: The categories should be chosen appropriately. It's worth checking carefully which keywords may be relevant.
  • Correct company names, contact and address data: Use all relevant data as you would on your homepage.

By the way: A profile on Google My Business not only uses SEO, but can also be linked to the Google Ads account. In this way, locally targeted advertisements can be placed that show users the address of the provider. Customers can then click on this address with their smartphone so that it opens in a Google Maps app and interested parties can immediately be shown the route to the provider.

More links:

Google study on local search: https://storage.googleapis.com/think-emea/docs/research_study/Report_Google_Local_Search_Behavior_DE_1.pdf

Google My Business homepage: https://www.google.de/intl/de/business/

Google My Business Help: https://support.google.com/business/?hl=de