What is a Google My Business Listing?
For years businesses have used phone books to put themselves on the map so they’re visible when a consumer needs to look them up. With times changing and online becoming our go-to source for virtually all our modern needs from food and travel to health, fitness and even pet products, it’s not too often you use that big fat phone book of local business listings.
With the nature of Google’s business being search and the fact that more than 90% of online journeys start with the use of a search engine, it should come as no surprise that the various search engines provide their own local business listings.
Google refers to its local business listing platform as Google My Business. The resulting Google My Business listings include a business’ name, address, phone number and website. This business listing information is available through a variety of Google properties — including Google Maps. In fact, Google My Business offers everything you need for a potential customer to find and use your services, buy your products or visit your business. Once you’ve registered or claimed your local business listing via the Google My Business dashboard, you can respond to customer reviews and add images to help your business stand out.
Google’s local listings are intrinsically tied to local SEO. If you haven’t yet considered this as part of your SEO strategy, our piece about why local SEO is important should have you heading to Google to set up your Google My Business local listing right now.
When users search for localized keywords/terms using Google, they will be presented with relevant local business listings, all tailored to the search term used. Let’s assume you have a car wash business on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, NY. When someone searches for ‘car wash Lower East Side’ you’re going to want your website to appear in the results provided by Google. Seeing as this includes a Google Maps location system, it’ll be nice and easy for potential customers to see how far away you are and how to come find you.
Google’s local business listings are shown in what is referred to as the local 3-pack. Google gives what it considers to be the top three most relevant results for any given user’s search term and displays them alongside a Google Maps preview for the searcher’s convenience.
The Google 3-pack is a revised version of the original display, which contained seven results but felt far too cluttered. As such, there is an extra significance to enhancing your local SEO efforts to help push your Google My Business listing up the rankings and into the top three local listings for terms which are important to your business. These top three places receive considerably more traffic as a local listing than those lower down the pecking order.
If you’re unsure if you have a Google local business listing or don’t know how to claim your Google My Business listing, please have a look at our walk through guide: How to Add and Claim Your Business on Google My Business