Google My Business is a free service offered by Google that allows small businesses to grow their online presence. Similar to Facebook, Google My Business is a profile-based platform with features like posts, service offerings, reviews, and direct contact information.
Many SEO experts will agree that local SEO is a combination of Google My Business optimization, citation building, review generation, and having correct schema markup on your website.
Here are 6 ways you can optimize your profile for better rankings in search results.
1 – Have a unique description
If you have the same description that everyone else does or just copy and pasted something from your website then there is no way that people will click on your link. You need to make sure it stands out and Google has a clear understanding of what you do! Use keywords without overdoing it. Try to write a minimum of 500 – 750 words of unique content describing your business, location, and services.
2 – Upload as many custom photos as you can!
Google is looking for unique content so adding photos specifically to your Google My Business page will help you rank higher. Use unique angles and images specific to your business. If possible, try using color images with sharp detail in the image. Here are some best practices.
3 – Pick the right primary category
When someone searches for an “Italian restaurant” they should find a list of Italian restaurants! You want it to be easy for people to find you when they search online. This means picking the most specific category that accurately describes what you do. For example, if I own a bakery then my category would better fit under “Bakeries” instead of “Cafes” because there are many cafes but not all cafes serve baked goods like mine does.
Some primary categories aren’t as clearly defined. For example, if your business is physical therapy you can choose between “Physical Therapist” and “Physical Therapy Clinic”. In that scenario, I recommend searching some of your high-value keywords and seeing what category the top-ranking competitors use.
According to Google “Select categories that complete the statement: “This business IS a” rather than “this business HAS a.” The goal is to describe your business holistically rather than a list of all the services it offers, products it sells, or amenities it features.”,
4 – Confirm your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) matches your website
Make sure all of your business information, location, hours, phone number etc match what is on your website. You don’t want to confuse customers by having conflicting information. Having incorrect or incomplete addresses in your listing can decrease the ability of local searchers to find you so it’s important that everything listed here is accurate.
5 – Add all of your services and products
Putting time and effort into building out your profile will help your organic rank. If the products or services you create match some of the keywords written in your description and align with pages on your website it drastically increases your ability to rank. Doing this alone will help build the topical relevance and give the algorithm a clearer understanding of your business.
6 – Ask for more reviews
I saved the most important for last. You can’t expect to rank in Google without a few good reviews. Even if you have the most amazing product or service in the world, reviews and social proof are tremendously important! It is well known that review count and rating is GMB ranking factor. If you’re not ranking well and you have completed everything above it’s likely because of your reviews.
Come up with a procedure to ask every customer for a review. This can be automated or manual. And even when you achieve the top of the page rank, don’t stop asking for reviews because there is nothing to stop your competition from catching up to you.
Optimizing your profile for better rankings in search results can truly set you apart from your competitors. By following the simple steps above, you will be able to take advantage of all that GMB offers. What are some other traits that have helped your business rank well on Google? Let me know in the comments below!