SEO, SERPs, the ‘Walled Garden,’ knowledge graphs and maps all thrown in with a mix of thousands of websites can boggle the mind. Every company makes a website with the intention of driving more business.

But with so much competition out there, chances are that a website won’t get much visibility from a Google search unless it’s engaging in SEO.

Luckily, some of those terms that opened this article can actually benefit small local businesses and give them a place of prominence on the all-important Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

One of the best tools offered by Google to get better results for local searches is Google My Business. A Google My Business listing could make all the difference to the success of a small business and even bigger businesses. Matter Solutions did some in-depth research and found that optimizing your Google My Business listing is incredibly beneficial for your website’s SEO, in some instances showing improvements of up to 30%.

What is a Google My Business Listing?

For companies that are not yet familiar with this feature, Google My Business is a free tool provided by Google for businesses and organizations. With the help of Google My Business, companies can create a profile and manage their online presence.

A verified Google My Business listing is more likely to be thrown up in the suggestions at the top of a SERP for local searches. In other words, an interior designer can get a Google My Business listing and have the business verified.

As part of the profile, the designer adds location and more details about what the business offers. The next time someone in the same locality searches for an interior designer, the designer with a verified Google My Business listing will show up as a suggestion close to the top of the page.

Being at the top or near the top of a SERP is every business’s dream come true. With an updated Google My Business listing the same interior designer stands a much better chance of getting a click than one without a GMB listing.

How to create a fully optimized Google My Business listing

There are a few steps that every company should be aware of when creating an optimized GMB listing:

Check for presence: The thing about a GMB is that one can be created for a business by anyone. A customer that liked a particular restaurant could build a GMB for that restaurant and add a review there. Before creating their own GMB profile, every company needs to check if one already exists for their business.

Claim it: If a GMB already exists, then the wise thing to do would be to claim ownership. There is nothing better for a business than for the owner to take responsibility for how it is viewed online.

Or create it: If a company does not already have a GMB profile, then is it time to create one. The process is simple enough and shouldn’t take too long. The important point for a business to remember is to give as much information as possible.

The name, address, services, any special offers, and so on should be added to the profile. Customer testimonials should also be invited.

Pictures: A GMB profile allows businesses to update photos of the company. This feature should be used to maximum advantage for a fully optimized listing. Photos of the beautiful interiors of a spa are more likely to attract business than just a written description.

Verify: To have the GMB listing verified, the company will have to inform Google who will then send a code via postcard to the business’s address. Once the code has been received, it can be used to verify the GMB profile. A verified profile is a company’s best bet at showing up on maps and suggestions on a SERP.

Keep updated: Updating a GMB listing keeps Google interested. Every comment, query, and testimonial that is responded to keeps the profile alive. Regular updates about new products and services also increase the possibility of the business showing up in suggestions for local searches.

The bottom line

Every company that depends on local business should have a Google My Business listing. It is no longer enough to depend on a well-designed website and search engine optimization (SEO).

Everything revolves around user-experience these days, and every search is customized. To gain maximum visibility on a SERP an up-to-date GMB profile that has been verified is an absolute must.

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