Google My Business is the platform for Google local businesses that was formerly known as Google Places or Google Local (part of Google Plus). Today however it is a completely standalone platform that anyone with a Google account can sign up for.
SEO on Google Maps can be very powerful and bring quite a few leads, without any financial investment – just by proper actions and encouraging users to give criticism.
What can a Google Maps listing give us?
- The business will appear in the Google search results when performing a search from a place close to it or indicating the desired place of business in the search (for example: “Restaurants in Denver”).
- The business will appear on Google Maps.
- The business may appear on the side of the results or at the top of them with an image and additional details (Google’s knowledge graph) – also for the business name, and in rarer cases also for generic search.
- You can add reviews from surfers and thus attract more people to get to the place.
- A business does not necessarily have to have a website (although this is desirable in order to be able to link to it from its profile).
Google My Business in The US
In the US – it’s necessary and there are businesses that really live on it. In fact, most of the US SEO activities in such areas are focused on the local results of Google Maps / Business. As a result, an extensive industry has developed around it: services that falsify reviews, fake address services (in order to verify business time), index listings in order to reinforce mentions and citations, and more and more (more on that below).
The main reason this is so in the US is that everything here is big and it is a huge country so it is not possible (and there is no point) to promote a business at a national level on generic expressions that will not lead to relevant leads and so all promotion work is done locally – sometimes neighborhood.
In addition, when it comes to placements, Google USA is dozens of times ahead of any other Google and knows how to more accurately attract searchers’ locations by zip code and geographic area and give them the best local results it finds.
Google Maps SEO With Posts
Posts on Google are a bit like posts on a Facebook business page, but they only appear if someone enters the full profile of the business by clicking on it in the search results. This is a relatively new feature that has come into use sometime in recent months (around the second part of 2017).
This is how it looks in the results:
Good reviews are also of great importance, as positive reviews not only increase the chances of web surfers contacting the business, but have an impact on Google rankings.
Google controls reviews so writing fake or addicted reviews in advance can be problematic and such comments may or may not be blocked at all. Despite this, it happened to me several times that they wanted to leave me legitimate (and especially encouraging) comments but Google also did not approve them for some reason. The best alternative is to encourage customers to write authentic reviews. You can even create a special link that will direct the customers to add a review.
Another thing to know: You can add comments to reviews through the business profile page if you have verified it as explained above.