As digital marketing experts we are often asked: “How Do I improve my GMB listing to rank better?“. While there are many external algorithm factors that go into local rankings beyond the Google My Business set up (examples: N.A.P. ,physical location, domain authority, reviews) it also important to understand what is possible with your GMB profile to help gain every competitive advantage possible.
For business that want to operate their Google My Business listing at the highest level, we first need to break down GMB in to it’s three main parts:
- Business Data – Factual information about the business (name, address, phone number, operating hours, website URL, etc.)
- Social Posts – Sharing corporate events, news, COVID info, and more is now part of GMB.
- Company Reviews/ Q&A – Beyond the quality and quantity of business reviews, what is your response time and customer service like?
With many startup companies, we find GMB starts with just claiming their listing and making sure step 1 is taken care of. More mature companies often need help developing deeper ongoing procedures to make sure they are taking full advantage of what GMB listings offer. No matter where you are in your GMB journey it’s important to understand best practices lead to good SEO. Showing Google that your business has not gone dormant and you are making regular updates and responses is the key. For this reason, we have put together the following checklist to help our clients and all business owners take their GMB management to a higher level.
Google My Business Optimization Checklist
1. Optimize Listing Title:
Make sure that your listing matches your company name, as well as your product or service listings. What names have your competitors used? What are the similarities? See if there are phrases that you need to include. Think of it as a formula.
Brand Name + Keyword + Location
2. Add Essential Data to Your Listing
Customers use your GMB listing to learn specific information about your business. You don’t want to leave any unanswered questions. A few key details that you need to get correct include:
- Your business’s name, address, and phone number
- Accurate business hours
- Brief company description
- Profile short name
- Website link
- Appointment link (if applicable)
- Social profile links
Ensuring that all of the information in your listing is correct will help prevent frustration from potential customers, which could lead to them looking elsewhere for similar products or services. The basics like your company’s name, address, and phone number are no-brainers, but the other details are often overlooked.
Accurate business hours are one of the most critical pieces of information that customers look for on your GMB listing. Incorrect hours could cause people to show up to your location when nobody is there to help them, leading to irritation and frustration. If you are closed on certain holidays or decide to change your hours, be sure to change them in your GMB listing.
A brief description, proper category selection, and profile short name are great opportunities for SEO plays using keywords. Linking your GMB listing directly to your website helps customers find more information about your business without looking all over the Internet, increasing user experience before they even reach your website. Adding links to your social media profiles and appointment booking page can help potential customers quickly see what your business is all about and schedule a time for your services.
3. Include Target Keywords
Keywords rule the world of Google. Including a few target keywords in your GMB listing will help signal to Google to pull your GMB listing when people search those keyword phrases. Remember that traditional SEO tactics also apply to Google My Business listings, so include keywords in your business description, title, and posts.
4. Add Photos:
Visual information is just as important as the written word in your GMB listing. Including images in your GMB listing can draw in potential customers. Add your logo and photos of your office, building, retail location, products, or team to create visual interest in your listing. Images also
5. Describe Your Products and Services:
GMB gives you option of describing and showcasing products and services. Take advantage of the opportunity to sell to potential customers before they even land on your website by providing descriptions of at least the key products and services that you wish to sell. If possible, try to list all of them. This might not be possible for companies selling hundreds or thousands of products, but at least shoot for getting a few products and services listed on your GMB listing.
6. Enable Messaging Feature:
Potential customers may have questions that they need answers to, and not all of these customers want to take the time to call or email you. By allowing these potential customers to message you directly through your GMB listing is providing a valuable service. Just make sure that someone answers these messages.
7. Focus On Reviews:
Reviews are key to Local Pack rankings, so generating reviews can help boost your GMB listing up in rankings. When you receive reviews, you should also try to respond to them as quickly as possible to show that you are actively pursuing good customer service.
8. Provide Regular Updates:
Posting business updates, article content, specials and coupons, product launches, and events to your GMB listing shows activity and helps customers see what is going on with your company at any given time. These updates will stay active for up to 30 days, so you should consider updating your posts at least this often.
If you would like a PDF copy of this list, you can download it here. Also, feel free to share and tag us to let us know any tips/tricks you think we might have missed.