If you’ve worked with a marketer, or are just savvy about SEO, you probably have heard about the importance of Google My Business, or GMB. In fact, it’s often one of the first things people will focus on when building a successful online marketing campaign. While you may know it’s important, do you know exactly how it can impact SEO? Here are some answers to that question, along with some helpful tips!
GMB Means “Zero Click”
One of the key areas that online marketers focus on for user experience is the zero click mentality. This means that people have no desire to click around after typing in their search string. For example, if you were looking for “flu shot near me”, it’s likely that you’d expect to find your result without having to click through multiple websites.
Google My Business is the perfect example of this as the results are some of the first you will see on the page. If your GMB is optimized properly with the correct services and categories (along with posts and other areas), it should come up for that “flu shot” search mentioned above. Your user finds that listing, checks through the information, and clicks to call your practice. This is a simple and easy conversion for both you and the patient. Of course, there is one additional item you’ll want to focus on to make sure that conversion happens…
GMB is THE Review Source
All reviews are helpful whether they are from Google, Healthgrades, Vitals, Facebook, or anywhere else. However, Google is the primary focus when it comes to online reviews, and holds the most weight. That conversion that we referenced probably wouldn’t happen if you had a 2 star average, or if you had no reviews at all. In fact, if someone is to search “best pediatrician near me”, your GMB will only show up if you have a 4 star average or above.
Although the algorithm surrounding GMB’s ranking is a bit unclear, Google does speak to the importance of having a fully optimized listing. This means photos, descriptions, services, menus, categories, reviews, and more. As you’ll notice, there are always 3 top listings that will come up for a search in GMB first, which is called your “local pack.” When looking at zero click, you’ll want to be in that top 3, or else you may miss out on a potential patient. The only way to do this is to keep that listing strong!
GMB Categories Matter
GMB categories are essentially like the keywords that power a website’s ranking. However, GMB has a carefully curated series of categories from which you should pull to optimize your business. Make sure that you pick the category that has the most relevance to your business so that you’ll soak up all of that ranking power. For example, if you’re an OBGYN practice, pick that over “medical practice” or something similar. This will help when it comes to ranking you in the local pack we mentioned before.
With that said, secondary categories can be helpful as well, pending they are relevant. You don’t want to dilute the power, but you also want to make sure that you are found for the services you provide.
Additional GMB Hints
The Community Has Some Control
Google likes the community to be involved with things as it helps keep information as accurate as possible. Unfortunately, this can also lead to issues if the information submitted is inaccurate. For example, if someone in the community thinks that your hours are different than what is listed on your GMB, they can submit an edit. If they edit is deemed accurate, Google will then change your hours to what was suggested. If this is changed, this can drastically impact your NAP (name, address, phone number) and the general user experience. It’s crucial that you monitor your GMB regularly to prevent these things from happening, or change them when they do!
Keep Ownership and Connections to a Minimum
One good thing about GMB is that it’s very open, so you can make connections to a number of different softwares. In addition, you can add multiple users so that people can access your account and make updates as needed. While these can be positives, they can also be negatives. Some of those connections can have hiccups that can cause problems like automatically changing categories or adjusting names, resulting in confusion for potential patients. In addition, just like with anything else, keeping your users to a minimum will prevent rogue changes from happening. Because there is no change log in GMB, it’s hard to determine who changed what, so to make sure accountability is held, limit your users to a primary owner and perhaps one other.
GMB Posts Are Social Media
While they don’t hold the same power, and are a bit different in their reach, GMB posts are still considered a form of social media. After all, it’s really just word of mouth. Use your creative side to come up with strong posts about your company, and make them relevant to anything that you’re trying to promote. The more people see them, the more they can share with their acquaintances. The more they share, the more relevant your GMB becomes!
GMB is a necessity, so it’s something that you’ll want to put focus on rather quickly if you haven’t already. If you need help, or want to know more about the importance of GMB, give Practis a call or contact us online today!