Tag: Local SEO


Guide to Google My Business

Guide to Google My Business

Google My Business is the number one on your to do list if you are a business serving a local community and you want to enhance your local SEO strategy to make sure you get found. There are two aspects to operating it which we cover in this guide to Google My Business.

  1. Set Up
  2. Maintenance

This may seem like stating the obvious but 95% of small businesses we have worked with to help set up their GMB then neglect it. It is important that you develop the mindset early on that this a platform similar to your social profiles, it requires maintenance.

The best way to contextualise GMB in your mind is to see it as your virtual shop window. Searchers are people walking down the high street, they land in your area virtually and then you appear on the street amongst other similar businesses at the same time. Searchers can peer through your shop window by looking at your images, opening hours, reviews and services, all whilst still in Google. If they like what they see they can go into your virtual shop by clicking on your website.

If you don’t have a listing then you are not visible and if your competitors are then you will be losing valuable leads.

Here is an example – We Googled ‘Pubs Orkney’ this is what we got back as a search result – a map with pins on and the list of entries matching this description, straight away we can see key information. Name, photograph, reviews, opening hours.


Guide to Google My Business
When carrying out a search you will see the Google Map Pack


Then when we click on a particular listing we get more information, again without leaving the search engine

As you can see this is promotion gold and it costs nothing to set up and maintain. Naturally, Google are a business, and they want you to pay to boost your listing, this will become more prevalent in years to come. However, many small businesses see the benefit of having the free GMB listing in getting enquiries from people they don’t know.


Users can see important information such as directions, save, call, breakdown of reviews and a description of the cuisine.

Guide to Google My Business
When searchers click on your listing they can see more information in the search engine


As we scroll further down the listing we can see feedback from customers, address, phone number and health and safety information.


Guide to Google My Business
All the information about your business can be seen quickly


So if this is something you have used yourself as a consumer but haven’t yet claimed for your business, here is our guide to setting up and maintaining your Google My Business account.


Setting Up Your Google My Business Account

  1. Head over to Google My Business
  2. Click Manage Now Button and fill out information as it takes you through the set-up wizard. Once completed it will take you to your profile. This needs to be verified either via phone or card through the mail. Sometimes Google only offers the mail option.
  3. Make sure you complete all the fields


Guide to Google My Business
Claiming your listing means filling out your profile fully


The main focus at first is Info – make sure you use keywords in this section.

Then insert photos to showcase your business, use the correct placeholders for each image. Your logo has a logo placeholder and this is the only place it should appear. There is a cover photo which will need to be an image that showcases what your business does. Then other photos include exterior and interior photos if you have a physical premises that customers visit. Then other images should be added regularly to keep your listing up to date. Like you would a shop window, you wouldn’t leave it the same all year round, you would refresh it according to the seasons.

Next list your products or services, depending on your type of business.

The website tab gives you a free website based on the information you provide. At time of writing this is pretty basic and only includes information from your posts and updates, not products and would not be a great alternative to a full website.

Then go through your dashboard to make sure that you have completed everything that you can. Here is a checklist of how to make sure that you have fully utilised your profile.


Guide to Google My Business
Use this checklist to make sure your GMB profile is functional



Google Compliance

If you follow this guide to Google My Business you will keep Google happy. Bear in mind you don’t own this listing, Google can remove or freeze your listing without warning. They also remove images they don’t think are appropriate to your business. They will also not show reviews they think are fake

If you set your account up on a desktop computer, you can download the app for a tablet or phone and this has quite a few more features that you may not get on desktop as it is predominantly a mobile first platform.

If you are a physical business, hotel, guest house, self catering accommodation, salon, pub, restaurant, shop – it is highly recommended you invest in the 360 degree tour service. This will increase engagement, visibility and enhance the likelihood of receiving bookings.

Plus it is unlikely your competitors will have gone down this route, giving you a visual advantage.


Guide to Google My Business Profile Maintenance


Maintaining Your Profile

It is important to include your GMB as part of your scheduled tasks of maintenance alongside your other social media profiles. It won’t require as much attention. Changing images once per month or updating them and posting once per week is enough.


There are 4 staple post types on GMB

  1. Events
  2. Update
  3. Product
  4. Offer
  5. Then an additional Covid-19 update



Naturally if you are holding events you would advertise these on Facebook, possibly Eventbrite but remember to also update your GMB listing. People looking for events will see your events first probably as part of GMB as Google collates and summarises local events in the search results from a number of platforms. This has an inbuilt calender so the listing will expire once the event has taken place.



These are for general updates and news of your business. If you blog you can put an image, introductory paragraph and link to blog behind a Call To Action button. These disappear after 7 days so it is important to keep this fed at least once per week.



If you are in the habit of posting special offers and incentives, this is a great feature. This is has a scheduler built in which means you can run the offer between certain dates and it will disappear when the listing expires



If you have a new product to add and you want it to be highlighted or you want to feature particular products due to seasonality use this post feature.



Find ways to encourage your customers to leave reviews. Ask for a truthful review, don’t encourage them to only leave positive reviews and don’t incentivise this goes against Google’s guidelines. It is healthy for businesses to have slightly negative or constructive feedback and it reassures potential customers that you are authentic, after all which business never has a disgruntled customer? None!

It is important that for every review that is left that you respond openly to it, both positive and negative.

Don’t ask friends and family to leave reviews and don’t post negative reviews on competitor sites.



Most customers these days prefer instant messaging features as a way to engage. For GMB you have to activate the messaging feature once your profile has been verified, so don’t overlook this and forget or you will be missing valuable enquiries.



Regularly review your insights to see what traffic you are getting and what type of customers are viewing your profile. See how many have rung or got directions straight from your listing.


Use Questions and Answers function

This function is not within your dashboard as it is a feature that is open to the public to post questions to you and anyone can answer them (Yes, we know! Anyone). Therefore keep an eye on what questions get asked and naturally you respond to them first if you can. But a good tip is you can also post questions on there, so if you have FAQs post them as a question and then post the answer. This is great for your optimisation as it provides quality content in the eyes of Google.


Sync with Bing

You can set up a similar account with Bing, the other major UK search engine for those using Microsoft Edge. All you need to do is claim your listing by clicking the new user button and it will ask if you have GMB account.




You click Import button and it will pull all that information through without you having to retype everything in. However, any changes you make to GMB, remember to manually sync with your Bing account, you do this by going into your Bing and pressing the Sync button.

Thank you

For taking the time to read our blogs. Positive Sales and Marketing is a small business in the North West of England passionate about educating the UK hospitality and freelance artist sector on understanding their marketing.

We offer training and education to enable businesses to take control of their own destiny rather than blindly relying on agencies. We can also offer transparent website design services and copywriting should this be taking up too much of your time.

We work with clients all over the UK and also operate directories for the holiday accommodation sector.

We would love to hear from you, give us a call on 01257 433331 or 01744 670055 or email Caroline@positivesalesandmarketing.co.uk

You can also find us on Twitter @Psalesmarketing or Instagram possalesmarketing please follow us to read our blogs or receive daily inspiration.





Tips for Local SEO 2021

Tips for Local SEO 2021

When running a small business, the question we get asked the most is how can I raise awareness of my brand more effectively? There are no quick solutions, but if you are a business that operates mainly to clientele in a specific geographical area, there are immediate measures that can be put into place to start to maximise your local visibility online. Here are our latest tips for local SEO 2021.


LOCAL Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Local search, this is the term given to people who are searching for goods and services that are based in their own communities.

In the early days of Google when we could only really find websites, getting to Number 1 on Google was the goal for businesses to get found. In those days businesses could do this by putting their location in their domain name. Google had basic local indexing tools such as maps, but as it has evolved it has enabled local search to be more relevant.  Small businesses have a wonderful suite of free tools that allow users to find information about them swiftly without having to leave the search engine. Interactive buttons also make it easy for users to directly call you , visit your website, or get directions instantly.  One of the main features Google has brought in is Google My Business.


Google My Business

If you are a small business and your target market is predominantly within a local radius, claiming your Google My Business listing is vital. If you don’t you are missing out on some key visibility and putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage.

If Google My Business is new to you and you are not sure how to set it up or use it, then read our Google My Business guide. Once you have set up your Google My Business you will then need to do the same for Bing as this is the UK’s other large search engine. This is straightforward and can be done via Bing Places which simply pulls through your GMB listing information and syncs it up. If you have a physical premises, be sure to claim your Apple Maps pin.


Local Directories

Local directories are useful for local businesses to register with. Some may charge a fee and some will be free. The most important factor to consider before jumping on any local directory you find is quality. Google and other search engines will penalise you if you link to poor quality external sites, so make sure the directory is highly regarded locally as a good source of information and one that the community regularly relies on for up-to-date information. This could be the classified section of your local paper, local councils, local business groups, or Chamber of Commerce.


Online Directories

Building links on directories is also known as citations, so over time to boost your overall online visibility it makes sense to periodically list your business across UK reputable websites that may be specific to your sector e.g if you were a counsellor the BACP website. There are also more generic business directories such as Yell.com or Thomson Local and it is important to spend a few weeks building up your presence on these as well. Here is a list of the top UK directory sites and a tool to help you with this task.

Word of Caution

Google sees instant mass presence as spamming. For example if you are on no directories today and then suddenly appear on 50 tomorrow that would look like spam to Google. This strategy should be approached over a period of weeks maybe adding 2 a week to make it more organic.

NAP Critical

Building citations is a time-consuming task and this is another reason to list on directories slowly. It would be wise to keep a record of all the directories and online platforms where you have listed your Name Address and Phone Number (NAP) to keep track of where you have listed your business and where to go should details change.

The critical element of this is to ensure that your NAP is consistent across your online channels. This includes your own website, Google My Business, Bing, Apple Map, Eventbrite, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Basically, anywhere you list your business, the Name Address and Phone Number must be identical. This allows the search engines to correctly identify your business and build up a healthy profile of your activity which will boost your online visibility.

Lesser Known Tips for Local SEO 2021

Here are some more unusual tips for local SEO in 2021 that you may have overlooked.

Affliate Links

Do you naturally network or work closely with other local businesses, running joint campaigns, doing guest blogging or putting reciprocal links onto each other’s website or social platforms will also add credibility to your online presence.



Keywords are the heart of your online content, from social media bios, posts, about sections, web pages, blogs. Local SEO is no exception. Carry out keyword research for the topic your posts, pages or blogs are about and make sure 5% of the copy incorporates them. To be effective keywords or phrases need to appear in the heading or title, the first paragraph and one or two subheadings depending on the length of the content. They should also be featured in your meta description.

To optimise local search, research keywords and phrases that are relevant to your location and business and the variations.


Creating Local Content

If you regularly blog or write features on your platforms, create some of your content around local matters. This will add to your relevance score and be great for SEO.


Local SEO 2021
Local SEO statistics from Google Infographics



Multi Location Listings

If you have multiple locations for your business you can create a page for each location either on Linked In through Showcase Pages or on Facebook, or even on your own website. Vary the content on these pages though as search engines hate duplicate content.



Getting reviews from customers is a great SEO booster, not just for local SEO but generally. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business profile or your Facebook Page. This will give you credibility with the search engines that you give great customer service and therefore you will rank higher in online searches.



Sponsor a local football team or event and this will give you content to post online, affiliate links and mentions online.



Advertising on Facebook allows geo targeting, the selection of who to display your ads to down to postcodes. This will make you extremely visible to local potential audiences. If you collect an email list or have lots of followers you can even display to look alike audiences to double your exposure. This will only be for as long as the ad is live but it is a great way to boost visibility during quieter times of the year.


Thank you

For taking the time to read our blogs. Positive Sales and Marketing is a small business in the North West of England passionate about educating the UK hospitality and freelance artist sector on understanding their marketing.

We offer training and education to enable businesses to take control of their own destiny rather than blindly relying on agencies. We can also offer transparent website design services and copywriting should this be taking up too much of your time.

We work with clients all over the UK and also operate directories for the holiday accommodation sector.

We would love to hear from you, give us a call on 01257 433331 or 01744 670055 or email Caroline@positivesalesandmarketing.co.uk