If you’re trying to optimize Google My Business for SEO, the odds are good that you’ve heard of its impact on your business. A free, user-friendly tool for businesses, Google My Business helps companies manage their online presence while ensuring customers can find their retail locations. Additionally, Google My Business can aid businesses in boosting their local SEO ranking with the search engine. Since Google accounts for 74 percent of searches worldwide, this is an opportunity that business owners can’t afford to miss. Our digital marketing experts have gathered essential steps to optimize Google My Business for SEO:
Benefits of Optimizing Google My Business for SEO
A Google My Business page is crucial for local SEO and can impact how often your site appears in search results when people are looking for your products or services. Without a GMB profile, Google won’t show your business in local maps listings, either.
Business owners should note that having a Google My Business profile won’t guarantee your website will appear in local search results or the Knowledge Panel – that box to the right of the search engine results page that offers specific information about a business. Google uses multiple factors to determine local ranking results, including:
- Relevance (how well your business listing matches a user’s search)
- Distance (how far your location is from the one provided in the search term)
- Prominence (how well your business is known in the community)
However, businesses that don’t complete a Google My Business listing will almost certainly lose out on search traffic – and sales.
Of course, a business doesn’t just optimize Google My Business for SEO reasons. Companies that verify their GMB listings are generally viewed as more reputable in the eyes of customers. Additionally, optimizing a Google My Business page lets you verify address information and hours, add photos and respond to reviews and comments from your client base which will drive traffic back to your website. The end result is a better understanding of the people using your products and services.
How to Claim Your Google My Business Listing
The first step to optimize Google My Business for SEO is claiming your listing. Start by performing a Google search to see if your business listing already exists – this is likely if your company has been around more than a year or two. Once you claim the page, you can edit and update the information as needed.
If your business doesn’t already have a listing, you can create one here.
Steps to Effectively Optimize Google My Business for SEO
Once you’ve created or claimed your Google My Business page, you need to fill out the input boxes to increase your odds of getting found. Double- and triple-check along the way to make sure all information (including addresses, phone numbers, and hours) is accurate and spelled correctly. Additionally, you should check this information against what’s listed on your website and social media pages. Google uses algorithms to check your business listing against information provided online from other sources. If the data you provided doesn’t match up, it might affect your ranking online – and it will almost certainly irritate your customers.
Once you’ve entered and verified this information, choose the right category for your business. Selecting the most relevant category is essential because it determines when Google will choose to show your listing. If none of the categories is an exact match, choose the most general one that describes your business. Note that Google might use your category selection to assign a place label to your business when showing it on the map. For example, restaurant listings are shown with a fork and knife image.
Next, take time to upload photos to your profile. Photos draw potential customers’ eyes and help you stand out from the competition, so make sure to use high-resolution images that paint your business in the best possible light. And, take the time to select a profile photo, which users will see first when your listing pops up.
Finally, check your Google My Business listing to make sure you haven’t violated any policies. The following offenses can result in your business listing being suspended:
- Using a URL that redirects the user to your site
- Adding keywords in the spot designated for your business’ name
- Providing an address that isn’t a physical location where you do business or see customers
Here are some of the ways to improve your business’ local search ranking through Google My Business optimization:
- Claiming and verifying all your business locations, if you have more than one
- Entering complete, accurate, and up-to-date information on hours, locations, and more
- Adding high-quality photos of products and services
- Checking that the website link is listed and accurate
Update Your Google My Business Page Regularly
It’s not enough to check your Google My Business page once and then forget about it. For best results, monitor this profile regularly to ensure the information, such as holiday hours, is accurate and up to date. Additionally, you should keep an eye on any new photos or reviews posted by your customers. Don’t be afraid to (respectfully) respond to comments – especially the negative ones. The goal is to get a sense of how both Google and customers view your business on a regular basis.
To edit your Google My Business profile, choose the page you want to manage and then click “Info” in the menu. Find the section you want to change and input the new information. When you’re finished, click the “Done editing” button. Business owners should be aware that it could take up to 60 days for old information to be removed and replaced.
Request a free quote or contact our team today for help optimizing your Google My Business page for SEO or revamping your social media presence. If you’re looking for a digital marketing team dedicated to improving your business, we are here to help.