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Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most powerful online marketing tools business owners have at their disposal.

GMB is:

  • Completely free
  • A huge part of local SEO
  • A great way to get customers to visit your store
  • A powerful magnet for attracting mobile customers

In this article, we’re going to explore what exactly GMB does, as well as some of its features. We’ll also take a look at how GMB can affect your ranking in search engines, like Google.


What is Google My Business?

GMB is, at its core, a business directory, not totally dissimilar from old school paper directories like the Yellow Pages. This is a simplistic view, however, as Google’s search function makes GMB a lot more powerful.

When you open Google Maps, even without typing in a search, the map should automatically be populated with a variety of points of interest: hospitals, restaurants, museums, and the like. As you search for particular terms – let’s say you’re looking for a place to rent movies, because you, for some reason, still use a DVD player – icons for movie stores will pop up on the map.

Each one of these icons is linked to a GMB listing. Optimally, these GMB listings are controlled by the business owner, but Google, in the interest of having the best maps possible, will create listings even if no listing has been claimed by the business owner.


The coveted 3-pack

Tupac is pretty cool, but can he hold a candle to 3-pack?

Probably – but you’d be surprised at the cultural influence 3-packs might be having. When you search for a term – let’s say we search for “Best restaurant San Antonio” – Google will populate the first search results with listings from GMB. This is called the 3-pack.

Look at those beautiful results – we see the locations of the restaurants on the maps, pictures of their food, their prices, reviews, when they’re open, the style of food they serve, and a whole lot more. 

The same style of 3-pack will also show up for “near me” queries, or even any queries that Google interprets as being local searches. That means if you want customers to visit your business, it’s essential to optimize your GMB listing.


Claim your GMB listing now

Telling you how to optimize your GMB listing is outside the scope of this article, but we will give you one essential piece of advice right now: claim your GMB. Follow this guide to claiming your GMB, created by Google, and ensure that all of your most vital information is accurate. 


How does GMB affect your ranking?

The effect that GMB has on your ranking in search engines is multifaceted. 

For starters, Google uses three factors to determine how relevant a business is to a local search query: relevance, prominence, and distance. Having an accurate physical location and a GMB listing for all of your business locations can help with distance. Including relevant information about the type of business you run and the services you offer can affect relevance. And reviews can affect prominence.

All three of these factors can be influenced by a well-kept GMB, and can help you make it into the coveted 3-pack.

How long search engine users stay on your site (and how quickly they leave) can also have an effect on your ranking. By optimizing your GMB for the 3-pack, you can bring your listing to prominence, which means more clicks. Assuming your site is relevant and interesting, that will mean more users staying on your site for longer – a positive feedback loop. This can even help pages on your site (like blog posts) rank better for non-commercial intent keywords.

In other words, if you want to affect your site’s ranking positively, an optimized GMB is a valuable tool to have.

Optimizing GMBs is not a simple process, however. We can take care of that for you – our San Antonio SEO services include GMB optimization. 

Thanks for reading!