How Important Is GMB (Google My Business) in SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
Google My Business is a free business listing platform that lets businesses and companies manage their online presence across Google, including Google Search and Google Maps.
For example: A user does a google search for hotels near his local area. Google search returned three business listings at the top together with a google map snapshot.
Google checked its local business directory to show the most relevant results based on the relevance of the search keywords, distance between the business physical location and the user, and other factors such as the popularity of the business. Similarly, the search results also appear in Google maps.
For local business, having a google my business profile is no longer an option, it is essential. GMB lets users more ways to find your business and increases your business online presence.
I would like to share a case study experience that happened to my earlier work.
Few months ago I was developing a website for a company that I work for. Enhanced System Applications Sdn Bhd is an Electronics Research & Product Development company located in Selangor. During the website development, I followed SEO guidelines in creating relevant titles and keywords for each page of the site. In addition, I spent some time creating some contents for the products and services his company is offering.
After the site was done, I was monitoring the site’s ranking in Google search by searching for the relevant keywords.
As it turned out, the search results ranked the company listing at the 5th page of the search results. I did not understand the reason for the low ranking. The reason is the company services are niche and there are not many companies that provide similar services in Malaysia.
In June 2021, I finally realized what went wrong with the SEO when I was setting up Kedah.com and imported a large list of categories names into Kedah.com business directory. Apparently, the SEO keywords that I used for ESA did not match with business categories that Google My Business have.
Claim your business if it already exists on Google Map
Next, we realized ESA business is listed on Google Maps but the company had not claimed it. This is one of the factors that could also affect the search ranking.
If you see you business listing appears on Google Maps search and you never manage it, you can click “Claim this business” and then fill in your business information accordingly. After that, Google may verify your ownership by phone, or by mail.
Google My Business Categories
Please take note that Google My Business categories are very important fields that you need to carefully set to describe your business segment to search engine and also to online visitors. There are more than 3000 Google My Business categories that you can choose from. You can set one primary category and up to 9 additional categories for your listing. The category that you selected can affect your search ranking.
Competitors’ GMB Categories
Sometimes you may be unsure what GMB category you should choose. One suggestion is to learn what GMB category your competitor is using. To do that, go to Google Maps app and search for your competitor’s company. Then, below the company’s name and review rating you can see the category of the company. For ESA, it’s GMB category is Research and Product Development
After doing all the information updates on GMB, the search result eventually ranks the company in the top page.
How Important Is GMB in SEO? The answer is very important. I encourage all Kedah businesses to start managing their businesses on Google My Business and then also add your listing on Kedah.com. This is the best time for us to improve our businesses visibility online.