Get Intel from Google My Business

How do people find your business online? The Insights section of your Google My Business listing offers data that can tell that story.

Insights gives you a look at how people find your business on Google search and maps. It also tells you what they do once they find you. There is a summary on your Google My Business dashboard and five reports that provide more detail.

Of course, none of this is available to you if you have not taken steps to claim and complete your listing. Do that now!

Insights from Google

How did customers search for your business? 
Google shows you the numbers of direct searches for your business name or address and discovery searches for a general category, product or service that led people to you.

Where did customers find you?
Data on general searches and searches on Google maps.

What actions did customers take?
Google breaks down the actions people took when they found you, including visiting your website, calling or getting driving directions.

Where are they coming from?
Data shows the most popular locations from which people asked for driving directions to your business.

When do they call?
Data shows when and how often customers call your business via your Google My Business listing. Trends are shown by day and time.

How to Rank Well in Local Searches on Google

If you have a business that serves a local area, this post is for you. Google has put a lot of effort into refining search results so the large, national chains aren’t always at the top of results. Even the little guy can rank well in local searches!

How do you stand out? The main factors that influence a site’s position in local search are:

  • Relevance
  • Distance
  • Prominence
  • Plus, all the unstated factors built in to Google algorithm!

All joking aside, here I will focus on the three stated factors in ranking well. Google heavily replies on your Google My Business listing to determine your rank.

Relevance is how well your Google My Business listing matches the phrase being searched. If your listing contains the words or phrase used, you have a good chance of being among the top results. Adding complete and detailed business information to your Google My Business listing is important.

Distance is how far you are from the person doing the search. Google knows where your business is located based on the address in your listing. If you have more than one primary service area, be sure to designate multiple locations within your listing and/or creating service area pages as part of your website.

Prominence is a ranking of how well-known your business is. This is based on the information Google gathers about you from across the web. If you are regularly mentioned on social media, in website links, articles, directories, etc, Google will rank you well. Consistency in your business name is critical here, as Google bots may not connect all variants of your name to the same business.

In sum, Google will rank you highly in local searches if your Google My Business listing and website is highly relevant to the search query, your business is in direct proximity to the searcher, and you are mentioned frequently online.

Google Local Pack May Be Your Best Online Marketing Asset

Have you noticed how localized Google search results are these days? Search for a plumber and you get listings of businesses nearby. A lot of that information is derived from Google Business listings that are featured in what is known as “local packs.”

A local pack is a list of businesses that provide a product or service in the area that the searcher is locating. There are two major types of local packs:

  • Local Teaser – displays three listings beneath a map. Results have a photo and business name. Clicking on the name takes the user to a map with more businesses and a link to the websites of each of the businesses.
  • Local Pack – the most common. Lists several businesses with their contact details under a map of the area. Information can include the name of the business, address, phone, and reviews star rating.

Google gets the information for all types of local packs from Google business listings. To be featured in a local pack, you first need to claim, verify and complete a Google My Business page for your business.

To get your business featured in local packs:

  • Create and verify your Google business page. Be sure to complete all the fields, select the most accurate category for your business, and include pictures.
  • Make sure your website information matches your Google business listing for name, address, phone and hours. These must be an exact match or Google will consider the information suspect!
  • Know your keywords. Use the words and phrases that people use to search for businesses like you on your business listing and on your website. You don’t need to worry about local modifiers, Google has that covered for you with its location sensing technology. So “lawyer” will give the user listings of lawyers near their location, regardless of whether they include “near me” or a specific location in their search.