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If you want more locals to find your business, especially now where it gets challenging to engage with your customers, it’s time to develop an effective SEO strategy that will improve your regional visibility on google maps. An essential tool for boosting local SEO is Google My Business (GMB), a free app that helps you help customers easily find you, whether you’re a retailer, a hotel, or a restaurant. You want your customers to find out what is happening with your business, if it is close or not? If deliveries are an option? If they can still shop online?

You can then supercharge your GMB profiles by adding high-quality images. Our research shows that a major French financial institution reported an 81% increase in photo clicks, nearly 20% better engagement, and a 10% gain in search-engine rankings after upgrading its GMB images. Here we demonstrate how GMB can promote your online presence and how upgrading your visual content can elevate your GMB profiles above those of your neighbors.

What is local SEO?

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a marketing process that elevates your PageRank—the order of appearance in online searches. Most users rely on the first page of an online search; anything beyond that is essentially invisible. Local searches account for 30% of all Google searches, and exploiting Google’s complex algorithms, which are specific to a geographic location, with good SEO significantly improves your positioning.

The advantages of local SEO

It helps capture every relevant search. Google works hard to provide the most accurate information based on when, where, and how users request the search. Proximity requests are becoming more common, so you want your company to perform well in these searches.

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It’s a digital marketing tool. Improving your SEO in a well-defined sector or region will enhance your brand’s visibility and awareness everywhere. This applies to any industry, whether food tech, tourism, retail, banking, or real estate. For example, OpenTable, an online restaurant reservation network, added the same watermarked photos it had published on its own platform to its partners’ GMB accounts and generated 4.6 million impressions in just eight weeks—that’s 4.6 million extra pairs of eyes on each and every watermark!
Moreover, companies with good local SEO have a higher conversion rate than others: Research shows you are 50% more likely to convert a customer from a high-quality local reference.

Google My Business features let you publish search-engine-friendly profiles to its various apps that display typical information about your business, such as type, address, and opening hours. But it also offers more sophisticated tools, such as the ability to add photographs and even 360-degree virtual tours. This free feature is indispensable: Research from BrightLocal and Search Engine Land shows that GMB profiles with photos are 30% more likely to receive calls, appear 713% higher in online searches, and earn 3,459% more views on Google Maps.

How to create Google My Business multiple businesses?

Google also provides the following tools to help companies with multiple locations:

Location groups (previously known as business accounts). These allow multiple users, such as co-workers, regional managers, and agencies, to manage accounts—essential for running local ad campaigns. Go here for detailed information.

Companies with more than 10 locations. You can add, verify, and manage your locations in bulk with a spreadsheet. You can then request bulk verification to ensure all your listings appear on all Google properties (to appear on Maps and Search, your company must meet GMB quality guidelines). Perform updates via the GMB dashboard or by uploading revised spreadsheets. Go here for detailed information.

Adding photos to bulk locations. Though you can add photos to individual locations via your GMB dashboard, it’s more practical to do it in bulk with a spreadsheet. (Note that all photos must meet GMB guidelines and that you can’t upload images to unverified locations. It also may take a few days for your photos to appear on Google Maps and Search.) All photos must be hosted on a publicly accessible URL, such as your CMS. Go here for detailed information.

Too many platforms? Every day, millions of internet users find local information through sites such as Google Maps, Yelp, and Foursquare rather than company websites, so utilize as many of these platforms as possible. If managing them all becomes overwhelming, try a third-party solution such as Partoo, which allows you to administer your GMB, social media, and other accounts from a single dashboard while also offering analytics for optimizing your online performance. Another is Yext, which manages not only your visual content but data such as point of sales. This is important: Keeping all your profiles fresh and up-to-date builds trust and boosts local SEO.

How to increase visibility on google maps?

  • Upload only high-quality pictures that show exterior and interior views of your establishments, the products you sell, and portraits of your teams. Use the visual content to promote your brand’s identity.
  • Respond to all customer reviews. This raises your credibility with both customers and search engines.
  • Respect Google’s rules: no hashtags, prices, or inappropriate language, for example.
  • Accelerate your SEO campaign by complementing it with AdWords Express, a simpler version of Google Ads geared toward local visibility.
  • Google maps virtual tours: add 360-degrees video to your listings.
  • A new feature has been integrated last month: Google My Business posts. This is particularly interesting during these challenging times as you can keep your customers posted on your (re)opening days, working hours, etc. Update your business info at particular locations to engage with your audiences and keep your presence fresh on Google Search!
    You can publish offers, events, products, and services.Here is how your media specs should look like:

Minimum: 400×300 pixels and 10 KB size limit
Maximum: 10000×10000 pixels and 25 MB size limit

  • Add a cover photo on you Google My Business listings.

Creating a Google My Business account is crucial for tackling the local competition because it offers quick, effective solutions for making your regional branches more visible on Google Maps. Getting to the top of search results requires a thoughtful and well-executed campaign, but you can improve your odds by offering high-quality and impactful visuals—especially 360-degree videos. Specialized visual-content agencies such as OCUS can provide tailor-made support, professional advice, and all the tools required for using images to boost your local SEO campaigns.

Photo credits: ©Martine Wolff / OCUS Australia and ©Victor Cavasino / OCUS Brand team