So, you’ve set up your Google My Business listing but still aren’t seeing results. What’s the next step? Here, we lay out some suggestions to further optimize your listing for better local search visibility.
GMB optimization has quickly become something of a cottage industry within the broader scope of SEO. By now, you’ve probably heard all about the importance of keeping your listings up to date with accurate store hours, phone numbers and addresses. Those are the no-brainer changes. How do you go beyond the low-hanging fruit to really make your GMB listing stand out?
Some relatively straightforward tweaks to Google My Business can have a profound effect on your listing’s visibility and your local pack ranking. They may seem deceptively simple, but these GMB hacks could make all the difference in the world.
OK, so you’ve updated your store listing with an accurate address — but does it follow recognized and standardized guidelines? Any irregularities within your GMB listing could adversely affect your local ranking.
Compare your address with the acceptable formatting and standards laid out by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and see how it stacks up. It may seem minor, but updating your address to bring it in line with USPS standards will help your local page ranking.
For organizations outside of the United States, be sure to check with your national guidelines on address standards.
Google My Business uses your listing address to generate geocodes, which in turn dictate where your store appears in Google Maps. This is not a foolproof process, however, and it’s not unheard of for businesses to have wildly inaccurate geocodes. Google Maps could put your store at a nearby intersection, or even several blocks away from its actual location.
You don’t want to make it any more difficult for your customers to find you, which is why it’s so important to ensure your listing has precise geocodes. This is doubly important for any business located in a larger metropolitan area. Denser areas could see more inaccurate geocodes, so city dwellers need to be extra mindful of this factor.
Google doesn’t change its algorithm for the fun of it. The company is always trying to improve its search engine so it returns results that closely align with users’ queries. With each new update, relevance becomes an even more important factor in a listing’s visibility.
The more precise you can be with your store category, the more likely your listing will appear for searches that match it. Don’t settle for overly broad store categories, even if they are technically accurate. Drill a little deeper to provide an accurate characterization of your business, and you’ll likely see better results.
That same need for precision applies to your store’s listed location as well. It may be tempting for businesses located near a larger city (but still outside of it) to list that
metropolis as their location. Why not, right? It could broaden your potential customer base.
Google takes location and proximity into account when calculating local page ranking, however. It won’t be fooled by businesses misrepresenting their location, and if anything, doing so will hurt those stores’ visibility. If your shop is in Skokie, Illinois, say so. Don’t pretend it’s located in Chicago to draw more eyeballs. You’ll be far more likely to rank for searches done in your area.
Unknown quantities tend to scare off consumers. No one wants to be the first diner at a new, non-vetted restaurant or roll the dice on a barber with no track record of leaving customers satisfied with their haircut. More than ever, online reviews are critical to local page success. Encourage your customers to go online and leave a review for GMB to pick up on. The more reviews you have, the more exposure your business can get.
An inactive site could be mistaken for a dead one. One area of optimization that’s easy to overlook is filling your site with engaging content. Creating new material to share with regular or potential customers is a good way to improve your local page ranking. Moreover, content that focuses on local events or area-specific concerns can help your search efforts immensely.
Additionally, consider making use of Google Posts, which allows you to publish events, promotions and other business updates directly to Google Search (in the Knowledge Panel) and Maps.
A recent study by Joy Hawkins and Ben Fisher suggests that use of Google Posts may have a mild impact on ranking.
A picture says a thousand words, yet many stores neglect to include images in their Google My Business listing. Customers today like to do their online legwork before visiting a business and actively look for photos of products, store interior, signage and so on.
Uploading images can have a profound effect on your local ranking.
The beauty of it all is that none of the suggestions above are very time-consuming. It’s pretty easy to make some quick optimizations to your Google My Business listing and website that have the potential to increase online traffic.
It is critical you begin by adding your companies listing on Google My business. It is the first step to being found in Google local search results. Proper optimization is the next step.
Having an optimized listing could mean that you gain an advantage over your competitors. The goal here is to stand out from the crowd, have your location found.
Steps to optimize your business listing
First things first, you need to learn how to maximize your page step by step. Here’s how:
For one, the companies that are found toward the top, are those that get the most clicks. These are companies that have done a great job of optimizing their location as part of their SEO strategy.
With a little work, you can improve your ranking on Google Listings and get ahead of your competition.
Your company information will be the first thing that customers will want to look for. Since Google’s algorithms are becoming more advanced, search engines don’t rely on keyword information anymore.
This is why your primary company information is essential. This is the first piece of information that your customers will look for. If for example, you own a salon with branches in different locations, create a separate page for them on your website which includes the necessary information.
It will be even better if you can include a Google map for each page as well. The same goes for other services as well.
This step should be self-explanatory for a good reason.
But even small details like these matter considerably for successful listing optimization. As mentioned above, you should first add your business information.
When it comes to listing your phone number, it will be helpful to include your local number, not a tollfree number.
Also, make sure that you add as much information as you can about your local business as possible. This includes your hours of operation, years in operation, and your internet address.
You also have the option to add images of your team members, location, products, area, menu items (if you own a restaurant), and other relevant information.
So, if you end up using all the wrong ones, your business won’t be included in the recommendations. From my experience, limit your use to 2-3.
The more positive reviews you receive from customers, the more reputable your business will be. Keep in mind, that reviews are a Google maps ranking factor for the local three pack.
Even better, Google allows you to ask for reviews from your customers. You should start asking your clients to leave reviews for you, especially if you are just beginning. You can include a review option on your listing page.
Better yet, why don’t you make your review link? Or ask them before they leave your location.
Try out these tips to optimize your Google My Business Listing
GMB listing is an excellent tool to use, especially if you are trying to get your brand exposed. It plays a huge role in determining your position in search engine results as well.
If you are persistent enough, you can move ahead of your competition and gain success. Hope these tips on optimizing your listing help grow your business.
In our next post in this series we will look at
Google My Business: Latest Updates and New Features