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Google My Business Improves Local Search Opportunties

Google Offers Visibility Boost For Both Search & Google Maps

Google has just released an update for Google My Business (GMB) helping businesses that do not have a set, physical location better define their service areas. Boosting their visibility in both Google search, Google Maps and beyond.

Google My Business is an essential tool for any business looking to communicate and market locally, or wanting to target audiences in a particular area. Getting on Google My Business increases your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general.

The new update is long overdue and one which will benefit many organisations, big and small. Even SMK. Let me explain…

SMK runs 150+ training days per annum in most major cities in Australia and New Zealand. However, since we do not have offices in each city (SMK is Melbourne based), SMK hires training facilities or works on-site with clients for in-house projects.

Therefore, we have not been able to tap into Google My Business’s local marketing opportunities in each region we operate, since we are not physically based in those cities. Until now.

Expanding & Updating Your Location Listings For Search

If you’re an existing Google My Business user, you can edit your business information from the Google My Business dashboard. You’ll notice that the “service area” and “storefront address” can now be edited separately. If an address isn’t applicable to your business, you can easily clear it.

To help present the most accurate information to customers, you can configure your service area by adding the specific postal codes or cities you cover. Taking into account the changes every business goes through, these settings can be adjusted as needed, so there’s no need to worry about being locked into any specific area.

If you are starting with Google My Business, for the first time, Google guides you through the setup process with prompts for your local service area business.

Advanced Google My Business Opportunities

Google My Business started life as a basic listings service, however, within the past 24 months, its functionality has expanded significantly. In many ways an organisation’s Google My Business profile is increasing starting to resemble a social profile, à la Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. albeit perhaps with richer functionality and reporting.

Google My Business is also starting to become increasingly important for marketers wanting to run local ad campaigns. Think Store Visits Conversions, which effectively closes the online/offline loop.

In 2018 Google expanded Store Visits Conversions, making them available to all advertisers. Google Ads can now be measured by did someone see an online advertisement and then physically go to a destination/shop/. 

e.g. James watched a YouTube pre-roll for a roller-disco and then put on his roller-skates and went to the roller-disco. Like a Boss. Google Ads cannot confirm whether he did the electric boogaloo.

This feature’s been live for perhaps eight months for all advertisers worldwide, however, to unlock it does require the location to be registered on Google My Business, before integrating with Ads Manager.

In 2019 It’s Location, Location, Location

Local marketing is a significant theme for not only search but also social in 2019. With Facebook updating its algorithm to favour local content in 2018 and a host of other local features launching in 2018, around events and news. Other players are slowly following suit.

For smart communicators location and local activity needs to be central:

  1. One-third of mobile searches are tied to location
  2. Local mobile searches are growing 50% faster than anything else
  3. Mobile overtook desktop back in 2016
  4. The web has dominion over all channels

Ergo, how do you plan to optimise your local game in 2019? 

Exploring some of the smart new Google My Business features is a good start and an easy win.

 

 

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