How to Succeed in Your Google My Business SEO Goals
How do you get your business to the top of local search results?
Claiming your listing on Google is a fundamental step when building a local marketing strategy. It helps ensure prospective customers find your business when searching for products and services.
Google uses local ranking factors, such as relevance, distance, and prominence, to determine which business is geographically relevant to a user performing a ‘near me’ search. To dominate local search, your business must have a Google My Business profile. Simply claiming and verifying your business online isn’t enough.
How Does GMB Work?
Getting started with Google Business Profile, or Google My Business, is fairly easy. Google requires that businesses set up a GMB account and verify their listings before they appear in Google Search or Google Maps. This can be done via a phone call, email, or real-life postcard where Google sends a code via post to the business address you’ve indicated.
Once verified, you can take charge of how your business appears across all Google services. The benefits of Google My Business are immeasurable to your business. You can control your online business information, ensuring customers always have access to accurate and up-to-date information.
Let’s look at how you can optimize your GMB profile to rank better on local search results pages.
How to Improve Your Local Ranking with Google My Business
Update your business info for better visibility
The consistency of your NAP data (business name, address, and phone number) across the web can make or break your business. Above all else, Google prides itself on providing accurate information for its users. As such, having consistent and accurate NAP for all your online listings is crucial for local SEO.
NAP can have a significant impact on local rankings. It gives potential customers easy access to the most critical information about your business. Thereby, your NAP data may be incorrect if your business doesn’t show up for relevant searches in your area.
Fortunately, Google My Business has strong local search engine optimization characteristics, which means the information on your GMB profile will be the most visible online.
Make sure to:
- Claim your listing with your actual business name
- Provide as much information as you can – your GMB profile has to be 100% complete
- Verify your phone number and business address
- Provide accurate opening and closing sites
- Keep your data up to date
That isn’t to say you should neglect to update the information on other local directories such as Yelp, Yellowpages.com, and Facebook. Conflicting information may erode Google’s trust in your location’s data and your business. Inaccurate information can kill your listings and your position on search engine results pages.
Local keywords rank higher on Google
The proximity of your address to the search user plays a significant role in local rankings. However, this isn’t the only factor Google uses to determine relevant results. For instance, the search engine’s algorithms might determine that a business that’s further away from the searcher may have the specific products or services they’re looking for. In this case, relevance will take precedence over distance when ranking.
To put it simply, keywords are the king for search, so you should utilize them as much as you can throughout your listing. Add keywords to your business description, profile posts, and your business Q&A section. If you’re a cosmetic dentist, you should include that in your description. Same case if you serve a certain type of food.
Now, if your business serves several cities and towns, you’ll want to cleverly work location-specific keywords into your description. However, don’t overuse these keywords, as your business might appear “spammy.”
Geotag photos for increased local discovery
Greater visibility means more foot traffic and more sales. Geotagging is essentially the process of adding geographical information to photos and videos to increase visibility. It provides highly detailed and dependable information to Google, increasing your chances of ranking higher on local results. What’s more, geotagging can be used to verify the accuracy of your NAP data.
Due to the prominence of social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, it’s becoming increasingly important to incorporate photos and videos into your overall content mix. Make sure to add exterior and interior photos to your GMB profile and tag them appropriately.
In addition to posting photos and geotagging them, it’s important to update your GMB profile frequently – several times a week if you can. Google search algorithms prioritize profiles with the most recent and relevant updates. You can publish offers, events, products, and services on your GMB account to keep your profile active and more relevant to Google.
Optimize for the Google Local Pack
The Google Local 3-Pack presents three businesses Google considers most relevant to a local search query. It occupies prominent real estate on the first page of search results and is often the first thing customers notice when they look up a specific type of business or product.
Google’s trust in your brand is an important ranking signal. As such, it’s important to fill out every available section of your GMB dashboard. Give Google all the information it needs to properly rank your business, including reviews, a short business summary, NAP data, business hours, products and their services, and photos, just to name a few.
The factors that determine which businesses are featured on Local Pack are always evolving. For this reason, it’s crucial to optimize your overall GMB profile. Think of Google My Business as an extension of your website. Any information you provide on your site can be customized for GMB.
Local Pack is a huge way to stand out from the competition. Appearing among the featured businesses is the best way to dominate local SEO.
Build trust with reviews
It’s no secret that online reviews are of vital importance to local SEO success as business prominence is a major ranking factor. While prominence is determined by how popular your business is offline, getting more reviews and positive ratings from Google users can improve your business’s local ranking. As it so happens, Google My Business is a great medium for review gathering.
Review quantity, velocity, and diversity are all important factors here, so encourage customers to leave a review. Respond to negative reviews promptly and use them as an opportunity to address key concerns customers might have about your business. On that note, you should let customers message you on Google My Business. This way, you can answer any questions they might have and even address complaints.
See, reviews help your business in two significant ways. First, they make your business more appealing to customers as they provide social proof of the validity of your business and its offerings. Second, Google’s local SEO algorithm takes reviews into account when determining local search rankings.
Rise Above the Competition with SEO Optimization in GMB
Optimizing your GMB profile is one of the most effective ways to increase local visibility and attract customers in your area. That said, your website also plays a crucial role in local SEO. The design and contents of your web pages determine how and if your business gets found online.
The P3 Agency deals in web design in Clearwater. We design and develop websites that follow SEO best practices. Contact us today for a free marketing assessment to see where your business stands when it comes to SEO Optimization.