Google renamed Google Business Profile to Google Business Profile. Local SEO for Google Business Profile in 2022 is going to be full of challenges, but it will still all be about providing great local search results, not just business listings. That’s because local search is still evolving and there are always new services and trends to adapt to. It will take many years to see what the next version of Google’s local search ends up finally looking like, so for now, we’re just looking at what Google says about it. 

Why is Local SEO Important for your Business in the UK? 

When you need customers, clients and business partners, the demographics and location of your target market comes into question. Google knows this and has as part of the algorithm what we call local search. This is when a potential customer searches for a business ‘near me’. This is also where you can list your business as a brick and mortar company on Google Maps and have potential customers find you with a simple search. 

Competition is fierce, not only in the ‘real world’ but online as well. Search Engines such as Google show websites based on their content and their search engine optimisation. It’s a rough world out there, but as an SEO agency in the UK, Smarter Media uses local SEO tools to optimise local listings. If you’d like to attempt local SEO for your business then follow these tips and steps below. 

How to set up your Google Business Profile account

Google Business Profile is a tool that manages the online presence of your business and/or organisation on Google. Using this tool also allows you to manage your presence on Google Maps. While you set up your account, ensure you remember these tips:

  1. Ensure the accuracy of your address, phone number, website, and images.
  2. Use keywords on the actual name of your images as you upload them to Google.
  3. Write a description that is accurate and includes the keywords that are relevant to your business.
  4. Choose your category carefully so your business is suggested to the relevant audience. 
  5. Answer each and every review as soon as you receive them

Combine these tips into your Google Business Profile account, with regular updates throughout the year for accuracy (including your opening hours for day-to-day operations and special local holidays).

Tips for Your Google Business Profile Listing and Optimising for Map Rankings

Once you have developed a user-friendly website using a local digital marketing agency (or in-house if you choose) then use the link to your website in your Google Business Profile description. The first 100 characters should contain your most important target keywords and then have links pointing to your website included. 

How to find Keywords for Google Business Profile

This is usually the first step in any SEO campaign, and it is just as relevant to a listing on Google Business Profile. There are many tools such as SemRush, MOZ, or Ahrefs used for keyword research. However, these tools are often expensive and may be out of budget for some smaller businesses. This is where you may experiment with simply searching in Google and waiting for their suggested phrases or using free keyword tools such as Ubersuggest or Answer the Public.

Whichever keyword research process you choose to use, remember that research and understanding what your potential customers will be searching for is important. Use keywords that are appropriate for your business and your products or services.

Reviews: What, Why, and How to get more

Good reviews on Google improve your search ranking. Obviously. No one wants to visit a one-star review organisation. The more reviews the better too; your average review increases if you have one bad review and twenty fantastic five-star ones.

Encourage past and present clients and customers to leave a review for your Google Business Profile and always respond to every review instantly. This all increases your ranking in local search results. 

Launching a blog or news article page

Still in 2022, content is king! Yes, blog articles, news reports and all written content still wins for Search Engine Optimisation for websites this year. Just like it has for the past decade. Written content can be centred around more keyword research, but specifically, if you write about or are connected to local topics. 

Include your targeted location in your content. Write about topics that are relevant to your organisation that happen in your local area and watch the impressions soar. Google loves local as much as the next socially responsible business.

 

Location in your metadata and titles

We recommend that you use your targeted keywords in the URL, H1, Alt text, content and title tag for optimising your business for local SEO results. 

For Example: “The Best Local SEO Agencies in the South West of the UK”

Embed Google Maps on your contact page

Smarter Media along with other local SEO services in the UK recommend embedding a map on the contact page on your website. This helps customers become physically aware of the presence of your company in relation to their location, and Google loves when you link back to them. 

Local citations on business listing sites

This is a great way to increase reputable backlinks to your website which is the second most important tip for increasing your ranking with SEO. Find websites that list local services in your area. Be specific to your industry if you can and then list on those websites, ensuring you use keywords in the description and use a link to your website where you can. 

For example: Trustpilot for reviews, Deliveroo for restaurants, Booking.com for hospitality, and TradePages for tradesmen. 

Other ways to increase your backlinks include blogger outreach programs, guest blogging and skyscraper techniques. To learn more about backlinks read our other article: Understanding Backlinks

Sponsor local events and Local PR Outreach

This technique not only increases your online presence and authority on Google, but it is also a great way to be socially responsible and increase brand awareness and loyalty. By sponsoring local events the websites associated with the events might list your website (another backlink building opportunity) but in this way, your business is linked to another local business – a super boost to your local SEO ranking. 

Local PR outreach involves reaching out to local publications suggesting story ideas that may or may not involve local topics. This establishes your business as a link to a location-based media publication which bolsters your local SEO authority in a positive way. 

Be active on local question-answer sites and local social media groups

This could be a topic for an entirely new article. Social Media and its influence on SEO in Google and on local SEO with Google Business Profile. Local question-answer sites like Quora or Tripadvisor offer a great opportunity to speak directly to your customers. Social media and the groups that are local to your area are also other options for local outreach opportunities. Join your local community group to learn about your customers, their wants and desires and perhaps include them in your keyword research. 

Not only creeping in on the local topics of interest, but engaging in the conversation is a great way to gain public interest. We understand that this may be labour intensive, but is a great way to boost your business in the local communities. 

How can an SEO Agency help you in your Google Business Profile listing?

As an expert SEO agency in the UK, specialising in the South West of England, we offer a local SEO audit as part of our larger SEO audit process. You need not be confused by the terminology as we have many years of experience in SEO and other blog articles that cover industry-specific jargon in simple easy-to-understand language. If you’re looking for more information, contact Smarter Media now on 01793 292 171 or email us at hello@smarter-media.co.uk

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