SEO Google My Business: The Best Guide to Improve SEO on Google My Bussiness and Get Chosen
Imagine for a moment that you’re meeting a friend you haven’t seen since high school. Between the normal ‘jitters’ of seeing someone you haven’t been in contact with for a while and figuring out what to wear, one of the biggest concerns that might arise is the location. Does your friend even like coffee anymore? Or are they more into sushi now?
No matter the case, the most common scenario is that you, most likely, will use your phone or laptop to find a cool place or service provider. Like you, other 5.4 billion people use Google’s Search Engine to resolve their inquiries on a daily basis. The surge of users has resulted in the incentive of many local businesses to invest in ways to boost their local marketing. Moreover, “near me” searches have been rising by over 200% per year.
Nowadays every business needs online visibility across many search types, however, the most common one of them is web searches. See, any doubt people have or place they’re looking for, Google most likely has the answer. Let’s review the previous example and imagine that you’re in fact looking for the ‘best sushi spot in town.’ (If you’re not a sushi restaurant owner don’t worry, the same principles apply to every type of local business!)
The sushi places that pop are ranked from best to worst, whether you notice it or not; and they are likely linked to a profile called ‘Google My Business’ or ‘Google Business Profile’. A Google My Business is the closest thing the internet has to a Sunday market: the latest trending products, local brands to look out for and the best stands all in one place.
So what is Google My Business?
In short, Google My Business is the term used by Google to talk about Google’s Business Listing. It basically takes the business’ name, location and other data (website, social media profiles or pictures) and makes it more effortless for potential customers to find it. Additionally, it is an outlet that allows clients to leave reviews, ask questions and interact with the business.
So, by creating a Google My Business account, you can access, customise, manage, and enhance your Business Profile on Google, all still for free, which we’ll get into next.
But, the most important aspect of Google My Business is the way it boosts your business’s search ranking and overall visibility. How? By improving your Local SEO. In other words, bringing local customers to your business. GMB prioritizes local businesses for local searches like “in my city” or “near me”, so optimizing your listing could help your businesses show up before your local competitors.
Still unsure about how Google My Business works? 76% of local searches result in a visit within 24 hours, so book a free consultation to optimize your SEO Google My Business.
Is there a difference between GMB SEO and Traditional SEO?
Organic SEO stems from the increase of organic traffic to a website. The term organic basically refers to unpaid content showing up on the search- engine-results-page or SERPs, while quality traffic denotes the visitors searching for what you offer to them.
However, the big difference with Google My Business is that traditional SEO focuses on bringing traffic to your website while SEO focused on GMB and aims to bring traffic to your Google listing on Google maps.
How to improve SEO on Google My Business and Rank First?
With the increase of local businesses comes an increase in competition. Therefore, securing the chances of getting noticed by your clients is essential for your business to prosper.
But, if you’re still feeling a little lost or have no clue of where to start let us guide you through your process:
1. Check your competitors
Imagine you’re following a Formula One race. On the track, you will find teams like Mercedes, Haas, Red Bull and McLaren. Though the drivers themselves play a great part in whether the team wins a race or not, the crew working in the garage with their car and the staff are highly important too. If they are not constantly looking for ways to upgrade their car and strategy, their performance will be poorly affected.
A great way to know how to better the driver's performance with each race is to analyse the team’s rivals, how they perform and, most importantly, what upgrades or changes they make to their cars and utilise those enhancements to boost their possibilities of victory.
The same thing happens in the marketing world. Whether you own a big or small business, having a detailed analysis of your competitors or businesses that offer a similar service/product to yours is extremely important to acquire a higher ranking online.
In other words, you can optimise your Google My Business based on your competitor analysis findings, making sure all of your profile’s areas are filled out using targeted keywords.
2. Keyword Optimization leads the way in SEO for Google My Business
Keywords are ideas or topics (long-term keywords) that tell Google what your business is about and helps the engine match it with Google searches. This means that they are basically the bridge between people’s searches and your content, therefore your business’ goal is to drive organic traffic to your site from the search engine result pages which keywords will help you set a target.
You need to add all keywords that could possibly apply to your business to your Google Business Profile. Otherwise, Google won’t know you can offer those products, services, or foods, and they won’t show you in search results to their users looking for them. When managing SEO on Google My Business you need to focus on educating Google about what you offer your customers.
But how to arrange these keywords strategically in your Google My Business?
Set the Primary Category to whichever makes the most sense based on the services or products or foods you offer
The topics you choose to promote are essential for reaching your target audience and increasing search traffic. Unlike traditional SEO, GMB SEO is easier to rank for broad keywords since the competition is limited to just your closest competitors.
For example, if you are trying to rank your website for “best dentist” you are fighting against every dentist in the world. However, in “near me” or “city” searches, you are only competing against the few other dentists in your city. This means it’s possible to actually rank on the first page of Google by optimizing your GMB SEO for local search results!
That said, it’s still important to use many variations of keywords, and long tail keywords. This means that instead of just aiming for “dentist” searches, you can also aim for “emergency dental clinic” or “Invisalign dentist”. Their search volumes will be lower for these long-tail keywords, but it will be easier to rank for them since it’s less likely your competitors are also targeting them.
Use a primary keyword that describes your business and stick to it. Here is an example:
Let’s say you’re the owner of an Italian Restaurant in Miami. The home of nearly half a million people as of 2020. With that many people inhabiting the same space it is more likely to find multiple places that resemble or are in fact an ‘Italian Restaurant’.
But how do you get all these people to discover your place? Optimize SEO of your Google My Business.
Pick a keyword, something that represents your business, its purpose and its brand. For example, the Italian restaurant mentioned above is called Piccolo’s Restaurant. When filling out the name of your restaurant, it’s the perfect time to start using keywords.
Include your keyword in your Google My Business name.
Piccolo’s Italian Restaurant in Miami
Name of the business: Piccolo’s Restaurant
Keyword: Italian Restaurant
3. Fill out all your contact details
One of the most underrated and important parts of your GMB is your contact information, which can be a bridge between your business and potential customers. However, sometimes some business owners tend to be misled when it comes to understanding which type of data should be included to connect with others.
Therefore, bare in mind that some of the data that you must include are:
Phone number (that should match the one included on your website)
Short description of your business
Google will reward businesses that fill out all attributes
Nowadays it is vital to stand out from other businesses by showcasing what makes your company different and rare. For instance, it is important to list the attributes that compliment the brand of your business such as: being a company run by women, being the first all-black-owned business in the neighborhood or even the first LGBT skate shop in town!
For instance, if you were to follow Piccolo’s Italian Restaurant’s example you would include phrases like: Italian family-owned business, their specific type of cuisine, menu options and other business information like the number of years your business has been open.
Additionally, you can add call to action links like ‘make a booking’ or ‘make a reservation for your clients or even allow them to find out your different types of menus (main course-dessert). Bear in mind that the link should guide them directly to that specific resource. Your Google Business Profile will actually rank higher as more potential customers click through to your links since it shows Google that their users care about your business!
4. Add a description
Providing a detailed description of your business and staple achievements or awards will make clients attracted to your company. When writing your business description on GMB you’ll want to include many of your important keywords and impressive accomplishments
E.g if you were Piccolo’s Italian Restaurant, you would fill in with SEO Words like: Italian Family Owned restaurant, Traditional Italian Cuisine, food elaborated by generations of Italian descent.
Also, add some facts about what stands out on your menu items. For example, you could talk about how carefully crafted each dish is, which could be a topic of interest for many customers.
Instead of simply setting your business description as “Italian restaurant in Miami” which will only help you rank on Google for “Italian”, “Italian Restaurant”, “Restaurant” and “Italian Restaurant in Miami”, you’ll want to make a description that includes many other keywords too! Here’s an optimized SEO Google My Business Description:
Piccolo’s Italian Restaurant in Miami is the top-rated Italian restaurant in Miami offering classic Italian foods including pasta, pizza, and calzones, along with a full selection of wines & Italian desserts. Learn more about our deep ties to Italy, view our menu, or book a reservation by visiting our website!
5. Add your products and services
Being specific is not something that should be overlooked by users who are just getting familiar with how Google My Business works, on the contrary, that small detail can come in handy when filling in their Profile information.
In a Business Profile, you may get an option to add the services you offer, along with their descriptions and prices. If your business has multiple categories, group services together into sections under the appropriate category to keep your services organised.
Let’s imagine that a customer is looking for a nail salon that works with acrylic nails. The results that show up on their search look a little like this: ‘Nail Salon’, ‘Nails and Haircuts’ and ‘Becky’s Nail Salon’. However, during their research, the client has trouble finding the difference between their services.
Therefore specifying what kind of services they provide would’ve been helpful for their client, so the Nail technician should consider adding data like:
Acrylic nail technician
Gel nail technician
Semi-permanent nail technician
Mobile manicurists available
Dip powder nail technician
Add a description to each service
Having an optimized SEO Google My Business could increase phone calls by 35%. Start Now.
6. Add a description to each service
Describing a service in Google My Business can be as important as giving a good elevator pitch of your project or business idea. If potential clients don’t understand or don’t have a detailed description of the services your business provides then, they most likely won't contact you or get involved with your business.
A few words can really make a difference when it comes to setting your business apart from competitors, therefore providing clear and concise information about your different services can be beneficial for your brand.
E.g: Taking the example of the nail salon, what the owner or main manager of Google My Business has to do is briefly distinguish and describe each type of service and include SEO Words.
For instance, if they were describing the technician’s service as an ‘Acrylic nail connoisseur’ they would have to write something along the lines of: “Technicians perform a technique in which a combination of a liquid monomer and a powder polymer that form a paste which is bonded to the natural nail; then given the desired shape. These nails tend to last four to six weeks”.
This not only helps potential customers feel comfortable with choosing you, but it also teaches Google more about what you can offer so they can show you to more potential customers.
7. Add payment options
Let’s go back to our Italian Restaurant example and imagine that they offer two types of services: take-out and dine-in service at a specific venue. Piccolo’s Italian Restaurant is probable to offer numerous options of payment methods:
PayPal (for take-out and ordering directly from a delivery service app or their website)
Making sure to include the variety of options clients have to purchase an item or acquire a service from their venue will make your business more approachable and will make their experience with your entrepreneurship effortless.
8. Add Photos
Believe it or not, many people start an online search by viewing the Images section of Google. It’s important that you add photos to your Google Business profile to optimize your GMB SEO. Make sure that these photos are not stock images since Google can tell when an image is reused. Also, take photos from your cellphone so they’ll get the benefit of having geodata embedded in them.
Think of pictures as a menu’s entrée or an ice cream display, they catch the eye’s attention, they focus the spotlight on the experience that future clients will have if they choose to visit your venue.
For uploading pictures to your Google My Business it is important to take into account that:
Add a label to each image you upload. E.g: the restaurant’s lobby area/waiting area
Use keywords and add the venue’s location.
E.g: Ricotta raviollies Piccolo’s Italian Restaurant in Miami Florida
Restaurant’s Name, description of picture and location.
Bear in mind that you have to include photos of various areas of your venue.
Make sure to add a photo of your service van or storefront as Google loves these since they make it easier for their users to find your business in person.
In summary: taking these factors into account will make a huge difference in how your business approaches potential clients and reaches its target! Start boosting your online traffic or SEO!
Is this too confusing? Let Merchynt give you a hand.
All businesses (especially local businesses) need help with some form of marketing. The good news is that you don't need to become an expert in every single aspect of digital marketing to scale your marketing business. Instead, you can partner with the right local marketing agency, like Merchynt.
Merchynt has an excellent reputation on Trustpilot and has helped hundreds of local businesses grow by more than 200% a year.