The Link Between Your Business And Google Maps!

Have you ever wondered how your competitors appear in local search results? Or why you see nearby businesses when you’re searching on the go from your mobile? The answer is Google My Business.

The #1 requirement to appear in local search results!

Previously known as Google Places and Google+ Local, the platform has undergone many transformations and improvements, and these days, it is much easier and quicker to set up. However, a verification process is still required – usually via post card for address verification but in some cases you are able to verify over the phone or via Google Search Console.

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Google My Business Setup & Pricing

How much does it cost? Similar to setting up a Facebook Business Page, Setting up a Google My Business profile (or listing) is free if you do it yourself.

So why should you pay an SEO Consultant to do it?

If you don’t know the ins and outs of this platform, there is a lot that can go wrong:

Are there existing profiles? If yes, have they been claimed and do you have access? Are there any duplicates, for example for previous business names and/or addresses? Do you know how to claim, verify and properly optimise a Google My Business profile to improve its rankings?

I have setup 500+ Google My Business profiles and came across every disaster scenario possible, and therefore know how to address those problems efficiently. Sometimes it requires contacting Google and discussing the problem with support staff – which can easily turn into an hour-long conversation with different Google employees, verification emails, etc.

How much do I charge?

I believe it’s unfair to charge a hefty fee for a setup that takes me less than 2 hours including optimisation, which can well be if the setup is very straight forward.

In this case, it’s a one off fee of $ 200 per listing, including:

  • Checking for existing listing and duplicates
  • Claiming of existing listing or setup of a new listing
  • Listing verification (your assistance is most likely required)
  • Optimisation of the listing once verified
  • Handover to client and advice

If the setup of a new listing or gaining access to existing listings is more complicated, I charge an additional fee, charged by the hour. Sound fair? You can rest assured I won’t make up ridiculous excuses why I need to charge additional time – if so, I will provide valid reasons.

Does your business have multiple branches?

Every store location should be setup as an individual Google My Business listing, however these can all be managed from ONE unified dashboard. Pricing for multi-branch setups depends on the number of locations and circumstances / to be discussed.

Will your business rank in local results once Google My Business is setup?

In some cases, your Google My Business profile may show in local results within minutes of verifying. However, in competitive industries and for new businesses there is quite a bit more to it.

While Google My Business is the number 1 requirement to be able to show in local results, there are many factors that determine which Google My Business profiles show in the 3 local results on the search result page.

The main ranking factors are:

Website Quality – is your website optimised and relevant for the services you provide? An SEO Audit will give you precise information what can be improved on your website.

Online Citations – these are other online properties, mainly directory listings. You need as many as possible, however they need to be consistent, i.e. the listed name, address and phone number (NAP) needs to be the same on all those properties. This can become a big problem if a business changes their name or moves to a different address – all citations need to be updated.

For new businesses it is very important to setup as many online citations as possible – see my citation management service for more information.

Profile completeness – the Google My Business dashboard has a completeness score which should always be at 100%. If certain fields (such as opening hours) are left blank, or if no cover or profile picture is loaded, your profile will not be 100% completed. During the setup process I will ask you for all the information and files required to reach a completeness score of 100%.

Reviews – customers and Google users can leave public reviews on your Google My Business profile. Officially, Google says reviews do not impact rankings but I’ve seen different – even a negative review can positively impact the ranking of your Google My Business profile. In addition to that – once a profile has 5 or more reviews, a star rating shows on the search result – which will increase the number of clicks on your listing. Many business owners ask “can I disable the review function on Google My Business?” – unfortunately not.

Physical Address vs. Service Area – many small business owners work from home and don’t want to show their address on Google My Business. While this is not mandatory, I definitely recommend showing your physical address. In some categories, Google prefers businesses showing their address and ranks them higher. Please note a physical address is required to verify a listing.