GMB, or Google My Business, is one of the many services offered by Google, which specifically focuses on optimizing, researching, and controlling your business’ digital presence throughout the search engine. Of note, it helps you optimize Google Maps data about your business – which is particularly important for Local SEO.
Generally speaking, everyone has the experience of being out somewhere in town, or in an unfamiliar place, and googling “restaurant”. Even if you don’t fully specify it as “restaurants nearby”, the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) will automatically display results that are relevant to you – meaning local restaurants and food businesses.
Starting from the creation of a new location (putting in your business address and some basic information), Google creates and synchronizes the search results data with the new location. Now, your shop or office will appear in any local searches, right there on the map. Even better, it will also display recent reviews, similar hits, your website, and more. This GMB listing is the first key step to Local SEO.
It is also important to note that if you have already established a digital business presence and have maintained it for over a year, there is a possibility that the listing automatically generates – meaning you don’t have to re-register, but only ‘claim’ the spot. Your GMB is now ready for some optimization!
So, what does GMB bring to your business?
The importance of GMB Listing for Local SEO
A Google My Business page is necessary for you to secure Local SEO. If used properly, it provides potential clients with information about your opening hours, your contact information, service area, reviews, availability, and an overall impression for your business.
Whenever you google, say, “bars” and a bunch of different spots nearby show up—that’s GMB. You decide where to go based on a combination of the information – the pictures, the ratings, the hours, all of it! That’s why it’s so important to get it right.
The information that you provide the GMB service will make or break your local customer base.
So, you need to get everything filled out as accurately as possible so that anyone who sees your business as a search result will get all of the data they need right then and there.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business (GMB) Page for Local SEO
Display correct information
The first step to take is to make sure all of the information that is displayed is correct. You can always edit and update it as it changes as well.
The opening hours need to be right – you don’t want to lose customers by being closed when it says you should be open. Include holidays as well.
Double-check that the website and contact information is correct too. If you have a phone number for customer service or delivery services, make sure the hours for that are also included (if they’re different from your opening/closing hours). Add your URL, email, and contact address.
Choose the right category
Do you deliver the service you provide? For a restaurant, that means takeout. For a tech support center, that would be sending someone out for work. If you do – specify the right category in your GMB listing!
Add your services area
As a follow up to deliverability, add your service area. This is the area within which you can deliver the services and is arguably the most relevant part of local SEO.
For example, let’s say that your business is a pizza place. You’ve already set up the rest of the GMB listing and filled out all of the details. You set your service area as a 5-kilometer radius around your location. This means that anyone searching for pizza within 5 kilometers of your location will get it as a result for their search. If you do deliver within X-distance of your shop but don’t indicate your service area as such to your customers – people won’t waste their time checking to see if you do deliver. More importantly, your pizza shop just won’t show up!
Add your business logo, web assets, interior, and exterior of your business place. It is recommended to add pictures that show your team at work. Add videos and other media that are necessary to promote your business.
Create a minisite on GMB
This is one aspect that many people ignore. There is an option to create a minisite on GMB. I highly recommend filling out this section as much as possible.
Copy the texts on your website (homepage) and upload them on the website section of GMB.
Verify your GMB Listing
The next—crucial—step is verification by Google (if you haven’t done so) .
Getting in touch with the company via email or through some other means will get you verified within the month (usually within the week). Once you are verified, your edits and information that you provide the GMB page will show up on the search results. The verification process was put in place to avoid scams and all sorts of ill-meaning enterprising.
After your GMB page has been verified. The next thing to do is to get your clients/customers to review your business. Invite past customers to write reviews, publish and respond to positive ones, and set up your profile as a business that is invested in the local people and area.
And now, onto the more detailed optimization! This is getting to the SEO of Local SEO.
Things to consider
Just like any standard page that needs optimization, you need to research and establish keywords. Make sure to establish balanced keywords with the competitiveness that you can manage – and then spread them out throughout your listing.
Don’t forget to customize, and add the details of your location! Photos of the exterior and interior, a blurb about the service motto. Put through the information that gets the atmosphere of the business across – so customers can see what you’re all about in a few quick looks through your GMB page.
Once everything is up and going, all you need to do is monitor the data you receive and keep the momentum going.
You will get all of the ins and outs of customer approaches to your listing, and maintaining momentum is as easy as updating small pieces of information as changes show up.
If you find that a lot of customers are ordering delivery right by the outskirts of your service area, it might be time to expand it a bit. A pizza place getting a lot of resulting traffic through “Italian food” should add a few keywords relevant to Italian food here and there.
Ultimately, GMB is a fantastic tool for Local SEO, that really helps you grow your roots in your location. Using it right will boom your business in the way standard advertising could never do—it is a revolutionary tool that too many miss out on. Wherever you are in the world.
If you run into trouble while optimizing your GMB page, you may consult an SEO company near you. Most agencies don’t charge a fee for the consultation. So feel free to ask as many questions as possible.