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Local search SEO requires a solid approach to cross-channel marketing, and Google's newest ad opportunities give small businesses a leg up.

Leveraging SEO with Google My Business: Our Top Tips

Phillip Reinhardt

If you’re like most digital marketers, you’ve been proactive about cross-channel marketing. These days, the natural components of social media platforms give decision-makers a leg up, where marketing analysis comes into play.

While Facebook’s Newsfeed ads help new businesses become recognized via long-form content, Google’s wide-reaching influence leaves no SEO opportunity unchecked. While these two factors certainly pair nicely—they also share deeper insights into the world of online-offline selling.

Facebook and Local Business Search

Specifically, Facebook and Google overlap a lot when it comes to local search support. On Facebook’s end, the strong preference for “near me” ad resources simply stems from its architectural needs: Its once-core audience of decade-long power-networkers has grown up.

This doesn’t mean they’re turning away from social media, however. Over the past 13 years, Facebook has amassed an active audience of over two billion monthly users. Its fanbase might be a bit quieter on the newsfeed, but they haven’t gone anywhere. Rather than prioritizing personal statuses, they’re fueling the digital selling world’s newest models.

Currently, Facebook ads and paid search campaigns dominate America’s digital ad spending. Digital marketers are getting more granular with their target market designs—naturally approaching local business markets to source their design. According to Google, roughly four out of five online shoppers actually prefer ads based on their immediate surroundings.

YouTube and Google Marketing: The Local Search Link

YouTube's presence on Facebook is undeniable, and Google's newest ad opportunity additions make it an even better resource.

While social media platforms inherently fall under Google’s media advertising net, Facebook’s particular relationship with the search engine giant has helped its advertisers find great opportunities in local search marketing.

Specifically, Google’s ownership of YouTube has bridged the multimedia gap between Facebook content marketing and the physical world around us. Currently sitting at about 1.5 billion active monthly users, YouTube impacts a number of social media platforms as a sole video content provider. WhatsApp and Instagram are major benefactors, as is Twitter’s 328-million-user fanbase.

Because YouTube is a powerful platform for user-generated content creation, small businesses are using it to promote giveaways, contests, and exclusive e-commerce opportunities for their branded Facebook pages. The link between Facebook’s YouTube-swept marketing environment and Google’s local search markets is only growing stronger, too: About 75 percent of mobile shoppers make a real-world purchase within the same day.

Getting the Most Out of Google My Business with SEO

With free Google My Business pins, Google Shopping, Goole Posts, and Yelp reviews at your disposal, a powerful local search strategy is right around the corner.

Needless to say, SEO is a natural fuel for any Google My Business campaign. When it comes to content marketing, e-commerce website selling, content sharing, and even newsletter advertising, Google My Business is arguably one of the best tools a digital marketer can employ.

For most, simply having a Google My Business presence isn’t enough, however. One needs to leverage their map-centric search marketing practices with their SEO. Moreover, they should always keep Facebook in mind as a background consideration—as most SEO approaches to a Google My Business campaign will, most likely, pass Facebook on the way. You can begin establishing a memorable presence on the platform which grows exponentially, but you’ll need to have a solid SEO strategy to do so. We’ve listed some great Google My Busines marketing tips which capitalize on SEO. By incorporating them in your next local search strategy, you can greatly increase your business’s visibility.

Tip One: Start with Profile SEO

It’s a good idea to unify all SEO avenues you’ll travel—even your Google My Business profile. Many digital marketers fail to recognize the SEO opportunities their profile has, even opting for “short, sweet and to-the-point” content well under the profile’s 750-character limit.

Pick a couple of keywords that relate to your business’s primary goods and services. Or, if your target market is following new trends, consider implementing keywords relating to them. Try to reach the 750-character limit, too, as Google My Business profiles exist within a content area where short description snippets aren’t preferred by shoppers at the door.

Place a primary search phrase in your profile’s introductory text, too. Opting for a local search version of this phrase is even better, as you’ll save valuable SEO real estate while underscoring your profile’s links with shoppers nearby.

Tip Two: Reconsider Your Initial Ad Spend

From June until the end of September, those using Google My Business have big opportunities awaiting them: Promoted pins are currently free to use—and advertisers don’t need to pay for promoted clicks, calls, and ads resulting in revenue, either. This isn’t a misleading promotion: Google wants to help small businesses recover from current economical impacts, giving them extra resources to reach local shoppers.

This is a huge benefit to fledgling businesses, as over one billion people use Google Maps every month. Many small business owners consider local search marketing to be a little too expensive off the bat. So, instead of doubling down on Facebook brand page promotions, map links, and content campaigns, they take safer routes to build SEO power as they grow.

In this unique case, however, it’s in your advantage to reallocate your ad spend—as you have a lot more room to work with, expense-wise. Facebook-centric content and YouTube videos are great places to kick-off, as they’ll make sure your campaign’s various channels have enough SEO inertia to exponentiate strategies taking form in Google My Maps, itself.

Tip Three: Prioritize Unique Service Listings

You can boost your Google My Business strategy even more by making the most out of its promoted pins. Google’s promoted pins—again, they’re currently free—give you even more room to advertise locally. Highlighted on Google Maps, these pins list a business’s primary features—such as the services they offer.

While it initially makes sense to use promoted pins as another chance to rep your business’s presence, consider taking an alternative route to advertisement. List your business’s unique service listings, such as online order customization, rather than regular services—such as delivery.

Again—it can’t be understated—the Google My Business pins are free. You have the extra room, now, to diversify your local business’s visible options with fewer expenses. Mobile users already know where to find your business’s information, if they need it. As such, listing unique opportunities imbued with SEO can help your business stick out.

Tip Four: Be Smart About Desktop SEO

It’s important to remember, of course, that local Google searches for “in-stock” and “curbside pickup” have exploded by over 70 percent in recent months. In and of themselves, local searches have risen by 50 percent. These searches tend to be desktop-based, however. Consider the average consumer browsing for a product or service nearby.

Once they find it, they’ll probably cross the digital channel divide into Google Maps. If your local listing reveals unique offers here, you can present twice as much information as other local businesses. The ramifications of this “hidden” opportunity are pretty big because now your customers can engage SEO they’d otherwise lose sight to—typically needing to visit a branded website page to see these offers, instead.

Tip Five: Streamline Your Product Listings and Reviews

Because Google My Business also features a store product snapshot, you should revisit your product page SEO. While these pages might’ve been optimized for desktop Google Shopping search results, they might not yet be optimized for Google My Business.

In April, Google fast-tracked free product listings on Google Shopping, too, giving local businesses another leg up in local inventory information spread. To unify your SEO, consider rebalancing your Google Shopping SEO to both highlights and complement your Google My Business presence. Much like unique service keywords, SEO specific to product displays can help mobile-based shoppers reach your brick-and-mortar from online portals.

If you’re like most digital marketers, you probably provide event information via your branded Facebook page. Because Google My Business offers so many opportunities in terms of cross-channel SEO, it’s a good time to optimize your approach to garnering customer reviews.

Positive reviews from Yelp, and similar sites, have always been important—but querying for these reviews prior to, during, and immediately after your event is a particularly good strategy to take this year. As part of your greater marketing strategy, asking for reviews can organize your online target market—which makes it easier to give them Google Maps access via your Facebook page.

Showing Off Your Brand’s Personality in 2020

Redefine your SEO strategy with a better brick-and-mortar ad presence, and help your customers experience your brand online with intuitive ads promoting unique opportunities.

More than ever, SEO isn’t simply about parsing information. It can be implemented in streamlined local search campaigns to connect the gaps which frequently disjoint a brand’s image. By using the strategies above, you can take charge with resources like Google Posts: mini ads that provide news update snippets, special promotions, and updated event details.

The possibilities of Google My Business presents really are limitless. In any event, understanding your target market’s pathway to routine purchases is vital. Local shoppers are a dedicated bunch, and they love brands with a consistent presence across desktop, mobile, and real-world locations. So take advantage of your next digital marketing venture, online or offline, to refine your brand and redefine the customers experiencing it.