Utilizing Google My Business for SEO
When we talk about SEO [Search Engine Optimization] that is explained in 3 core disciplines. The acronym used to describe it is E-A-T [Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness] and this has been defined by Google. In practical application that consists of content, signals, and backlinks. What is your website telling Google and are you up-to-date with your hosting, site software, and does it produce a high engagement rate? Though SEO today is more than how your website ranks.
Google has an incentive to keep users in their system rather than visiting independent websites. You may notice that when you search for a local restaurant, even flights, you are using Google’s search engine rather than searching individual sites. You call the restaurant directly from the Google Knowledge Graph [Google My Business] rather than visiting their actual website. This is called a No Click Search and 68% of all searches account for this kind of search engine behavior. Since over 50% of all search traffic is mobile, your Google listing is extremely important.
We also operate in a review economy where reviews impact something called the feedback loop. Those with high visibility in Google Search through Google My Business will gain more leads, sales, and ultimately reviews. Those reviews build which feedback into your visibility. “88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.” [Source: Forbes] Google knows this and that is why search engines thrive on social proof in the form of verified reviews. As you manage your Google My Business account this nurtures your feedback loop.
Image: Shawn Joshi
46% of all Google searches have a local intent. That means that “best _______ near me” is how people are finding you. Most of those people will not even visit your website before they reach out.
Because of this, it is imperative to make sure that you have a Google My Business account for your business. It is also imperative that you request clients and customers to leave a review on Google and other authoritative review sites. Rich snippet markup such as reviews greatly increase CTR and all of this impacts the feedback loop.
Build Backlinks or a New Business?
In practical application I can show you some results that we have achieved for our own agency. Fire Source Media is a digital marketing agency that started with WordPress web development but we found that helping our clients achieve long term results through residual organic traffic really gave our clients tremendous value. We have pivoted from an ad centric model to building websites that rank quickly on Google along with helping our clients achieve results in search engines, which leads to exponential ROI over ROA’s.
In 2021 we have launched a new company, Waco SEO Company, and since then have started a fresh Google My Business listing and website for that entity. Go to Google and search for “Waco SEO company” and you will find that Fire Source Media ranks 6th for “Waco SEO company” on Google but our brand new Google My Business listing for Waco SEO Company shows up prominently, next to Google Ads. We are already receiving phone calls and traffic from this Google listing. Now, we will still build both businesses separately and this includes white hat link building through outreach. But this is more to show the prominence given to Google My Business listings and their importance even over Google Search results.
Rethink your Google strategy. If paying for ads, a downturn in your revenue can impact your ad spend having a negative impact on your feedback loop. However, a white hat Google strategy is evergreen and will drive consistent, organic traffic. Consider your Google My Business strategy in this new age of search.
Google My Business also impacts what is called the Google Local Pack, which is your ranking on Google Maps and Google Local Finder. Google My Business takes up prominent [and expensive] real estate on the Google Search engine, next to ad space which is their main revenue driver. For this reason, making sure that you manage your Google My Business account and the Local Pack well, requesting reviews from clients and customers, is extremely important. People do not have to visit your website anymore to call you, message you, ask questions, post reviews, see your pricing, or find your location. The more you understand the power of Google My Business, the more you can capitalize on it.
All of the above will help your site and search presence. Need help? We would love to help you rank higher on Google and drive more sales. Just fill out the form below and a Fire Source Media representative will contact you.