Welcome to my Q&A session talking about the Google My Business benefits 2021 by Pete ‘The SEO Guy’ from Plymouth SEO Services.
Google My Business is one of the best free tools any local business owner can use to be found by more people and grow their business.
That’s why the blog posts I have on this site showing you how to set it up correctly are some of my most popular ones. And it’s why I get lots of questions from local business owners on this subject as well. And there are some that I get all the time, so in this article, I’m going to answer 7 of the most asked questions that you probably have about Google My Business.
So, if you don’t already know, Google My Business is a way for you to list your business directly with Google and you can include your business category, your address, your phone number, your website, all your services products descriptions, photos, videos, working hours…all that good stuff.
And doing all that helps Google to see you more clearly and if you do it right they’re going to show you to more people looking for a business like yours.
The best place to be found in Google search for a local business is the map pack (Top 3 results in local business Google map results), so don’t skip this if you want to be found here and get a ton more clients, leads, enquiries and customers.
So let’s get right to the questions:
[QUESTION 1] The first one is by far the one I get asked the most or at least some variation on this: “I verified my business without an address because I don’t have an office. How does that negatively affect my ranking on the map results?”
[ANSWER 1] Google gives you an option here so you can either list your address publicly or you can choose to hide it. Maybe you work from home and don’t want people knowing your address and turning up at your house.
Now, there is a lot of conflicting opinions out there on this topic, but I’ve worked with hundreds of local businesses and can tell you categorically that if you don’t list your address publicly, you’re going to get a ranking penalty from Google for that.
Now, how much you’re going to get hit is hard to say because there are so many other variables at play here and if you have just a little competition, you might be able to get away with it.
But I can tell you that it does negatively impact your rankings to some degree, which is why I always encourage and recommend to my clients that you make your business address public.
It really does help with local SEO, including things like citations, which includes the address and are a major local SEO ranking factor.
And if you’re a plumber or an electrician, people won’t come to your house to hire you. They will call you or email you, so I really wouldn’t worry about it, as the benefits massively outweigh the negatives (Of which there are hardly any).
[QUESTION 2] “Any tips for a business with one website and multiple locations?
[ANSWER 2] Great question and this is another question I get asked a lot. If you have multiple locations here’s what you should do: First you want to create a separate page on your website for each location served and then treat each of these ‘location pages’ like their own home page with unique benefit-driven content. You want images, testimonials and all the usual stuff.
Don’t just do what most people do and just throw something up with a bunch of local keywords and photos of random landmarks in the town.
Remember, if Google is sending people to this page and it’s the first interaction they have with you, you want to make a good first impression.
So make those pages and then on the same Google My Business account, you add in your location separately.
Then you link each location to the corresponding location page for it.
[QUESTION 3] “Do you need a website to use Google My Business?”
[ANSWER 3] The technical answer is no, it’s not a requirement to use it, but if you want to rank your business on Google to get more leads, enquiries, calls and customers, then you’re going to need one.
You see, Google still treats your website and what’s on it as a huge ranking factor. They want to see that you’re a real brand and an authority in your business niche and a business without a website just makes them regard you as not being serious about what you’re doing.
And to get your business in the coveted Map Pack (Top 3 businesses that show on Page 1 in the local business map results for the service you provide), you will need to optimise your website to mirror back a lot of the stuff you put into your Google My Business profile, like your business name, address and phone number (Known as the NAP) and other things like your GMB category and keywords.
And of course, the #1 major factor affecting all of SEO, including local SEO, which decides whether you show up in the map listings at all is good quality backlinks from other websites to your website, so if you don’t have a website of your own, you can’t get those links.