The Importance is for Local Business
As a local business owner, your goal is to increase the visibility of your business and get more customers. According to reports, people learn about a local business online 97% more than anywhere else.
This statistic alone should incentivize you to work on your local SEO and optimize the presence of your business. One way to achieve this goal is by creating a Business Profile on Google (informally known as a Google business listing).
However, you need to know that you will not be able to manage or edit information about your business by doing so. For this purpose, you need to create a Google My Business account.
This article will cover the differences between Google My Business and traditional SEO when promoting your local business. But first, we need to define the two concepts briefly.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a tool that was first released in June 2014. This tool enables business owners to manage and optimize their Business Profiles on Google.
A Business Profile on Google describes your Google business listing for those unaware. The profile appears on Google Maps and local results of Google search. Depending on the platform you use (e.g., Google Search, Google Maps, Mobile phone), the results for a business profile may look different.
Regardless, a Business Profile allows your local business to be visible to potential customers when searching for relevant terms on Google search engine or Google Maps.
Note that anyone can create a Business Profile even if they are not the owner. In other words, if someone sees your place and wants to add it on Google Maps, they are unknowingly creating a Business Profile for your business. Google asks for the business name, category, and location, and they will also confirm that it’s not a duplicate. These are all the criteria needed to start a Business Profile.
Next, customers can add photos, leave reviews, and ask/answer questions.
As you can see, a Business Profile can exist on its own, making it different from Google My Business. Having a Business Profile for your practice does not allow you to manage the account.
This is where Google My Business comes in. When you create a Google My Business Account, you will be able to access, manage, customize, and improve your Business Profile on Google.
For instance, you can share photos of your products/services, edit business information (e.g., location, hours), and respond to your customers’ reviews.
The best part? It’s still all for free!
What is traditional SEO?
Traditional SEO helps web pages rank higher on Google. As a result, they receive targeted, high-quality traffic from millions of search queries.
There is a subsection of SEO known as local search engine optimization for local business owners. This category aims to focus on the geographical components of a search query. You will work to optimize your website or other online presence to increase the visibility of your local business.
The critical difference between global versus local SEO is the competition. For example, it is tough to rank high on Google search results if you sell wine. However, if you sell wine in a small town located in California, your chances of ranking for phrases such as ‘wine stores near me’ are much higher.
What are the differences between Google My Business and traditional SEO?
Traditional or local SEO uses all the tools available to increase your visibility for prospective customers. Therefore, you can think of Google My Business as part of local SEO.
We should note that not using this service means you are missing a lot of potential customers. The chart below demonstrates how much time a local business owner should spend on different marketing strategies:
As you can see, focusing on your Google My Business account should be a priority to optimize your local SEO. If you are beginning, focus on three channels:
- Website building
- Google My Business
- Social media
Starting with these three pillars will boost your business’ visibility dramatically. Once established, you can redirect your focus to other marketing channels.
Now to optimize your Google My Business account, here are a few tips to follow:· Make sure to verify your account/business
· Fill out all the information in your profile
· Avoid repeated editing of the information
· Ensure that the profile information is accurate
· Choose the most relevant categories to your business
· Get more reviews by incentivizing satisfied clients
Google My Business is essential for any local business, and it takes part in your local SEO efforts. The above data showcases just how important this service is for your business.
We hope that this article helped you understand the differences between Google My Business and traditional SEO when running a local business.
If you have any questions or experiences that you want to share, please do not hesitate to reach out to us here. Contact US.