After successfully completing my project of getting Wildlife News back onto page 1 of Google, I needed to try another challenge. One of the things I noticed about the latest update on Google is that it hit subdomains hard – very hard. So I moved my web design and plugin site. It went from the subdomain of wp.ypraise.com to the main domain of ypraise.com.
I also wanted to push my Abergavenny web design business a little more. I’ve recently come to the end of a major fundraising project and need to earn some income until I start a new role in September. So giving a push to my web design and SEO in Abergavenny is high on the list.
Google My Business is powerful SEO
One thing to be aware of when you are designing for small traders and local businesses is that Google My Business is an essential part of the package you offer. A local dance teacher or painter and decorator do not need the big SEO campaigns and link building that companies aiming for the global, or national, market needs.
Google is very good for local businesses and makes it easy for local customers to find them. This is particularly so if the company has a Google My Business page or profile. Anyone who is supporting local small businesses online needs to have a good grasp of what Google My Business is about. Local businesses need to understand just how quickly this can benefit their business.
Google My Business profiles can be shown in 2 locations;
- on Google maps
- in Google local search
Correctly filled in and kept up to date means that a local business can reach their immediate customer base.
Using Google My Business
Let’s use the example of a dance teacher. With a Google My Business profile when someone searches for ‘dance teacher in Abergavenny’ Google will normally deliver a map and local dance teachers will be shown. The card at the side of the map will list the teachers and when clicked will display their Google My Business profile.
And the listings can be quick. I set up my Google My Business page and within 20 minutes my site was listed on the map and local search results pages. It’s an important way to get in front of your local customer base.
By including within my website the local business schema markup my website within the hour was featured on page 2 (incognito mode) of Google for Abergavenny web design. Previously it had not featured anywhere. This is the power of local search and using local schema markup within a website.
Good SEO is needed even with My Business
This does not mean there is no need to do any more SEO apart from Google My Business. You still need to do good onsite SEO and keyword research to get better placements on the list. The top listings will still be the most profitable places to be and you have to work for those.
This is especially true as smart devices start to become mainstream. Someone using a smart speaker will only get the top result spoken out to them. So someone asking a Google or Apple speaker for ‘a dance teacher near me’ will only get the one spoken reply. The person doing the search may go and redo the search on their phone or tablet and get back more results. But people are increasingly using smart speakers and personal assistants to go directly to websites or even make the call directly. People are now asking Alexa and Siri to ‘call my local dance teacher’.
Once you’ve filled in all the relevant details on Google My Business then you need to keep it up to date and regularly interact with it.
Keep Google My Business active for the best impact
Photographs are a big plus for Google My Business, Google says that My Business profiles with images and video have a 143% greater interaction with customers than those without photographs. It’s always a good idea to add new photos on a regular basis.
Another way to keep your business in a good position of local search is to regularly post to the page. A post on a Google My Business page remains active in the search results for 7 days before dropping out. You can post up to 1500 characters in length. It’s a bit like a Facebook story. Consider it a short item with a limited life. It’s a lot easier to write than a blog post. Blogs really need to be about 700 words or more to get ranked. Just take a quick photo of a project and write a few words about it as a post.
It’s recommended that you post at least once a week which is how long each post lasts. There seems to be evidence that those who post more frequently can help boost their position on the local search and map search.
Being online without a website
I will probably do myself out of work, but I would say that for many micro-business there is no real need for a website. Have a good Facebook page and a good Google My Business profile. Update both regularly and you probably reach about 80% of your potential market.
Google My Business is greatly underused by many small businesses. Surprisingly, many independent traders don’t realize the full power that it offers.
Using the correct business schema mark-up can help your web site SEO too. It tells Google that your website is a match for a local search query.
As with all SEO you get out of it what you put into it. You can add the schema and open a My Business profile and then do nothing with it. Slowly, your listings will be overtaken by other listings that do commit to regularly updating posts and photographs. A listing that is being kept active will eventually overtake a listing that has been left to lie dormant and lifeless.
Google My Business is a core SEO for any small business
Google My Business facility is important to any local business SEO. It is now a standard part of any small business web design package I offer.
In less than a week, it is generating results for me as a web designer in Abergavenny. I would fully expect the same to happen with any other type of business.