In this week’s episode, I finish my series on signals that influence Local SEO with a segment on Google My Business. Arguably the most important element in your Local SEO strategy, Google My Business is often overlooked by local businesses. Watch and learn which elements have the most influence over your visibility in searches, and learn how to optimize the most important elements.
Welcome back to another episode of Local Search Tuesdays. Today, I’m finishing up my series on signals that affect Local SEO with a segment on Google My Business.
Google My Business – or what you might know by its old name of “Google Places” – is literally the cornerstone of Local SEO. If you’re a business with a physical storefront or a business that serves customers in a certain geographic area, it’s the Google profile for your business. It’s the information that shows up in the right side knowledge panel for your business when you do a Google search for your business name.
It’s also what allows your business to show up in the “map pack” – when you see the three results stacked under a map in local search results. In fact, you can’t show up in the map pack unless you’ve got a Google My Business listing.
Your Google My Business – or “GMB” – listing is one of the most important aspects of your Local SEO strategy. In past episodes, I’ve talked about GMB listings more than any other subject. Your GMB listing has a huge influence on your visibility in local searches.
So for today’s episode, I’m going to talk about the important areas of your GMB listing that you should be paying attention to. Keep in mind, your reviews live in your GMB listing, but I covered review signals in my video about reviews, so I won’t be covering them today.
First off – you need to be sure you’re using your actual business name. Adding additional keywords can get your listing suspended. If you’ve got competitors who are cheating and adding keywords to their name, you can click “Suggest an edit” on their listing and enter their real name – but you should also report them using Google’s redressal form at bit.ly/report-map-crap.
You should make sure your address is correct, and that the map pin is placed in the correct spot. Make sure you’ve got the correct phone number listed – you should be sure to use your actual local phone number.
If you want to use a tracking number, enter the tracking number as your primary number and your local number as an alternate.
Make sure your correct hours of operation are entered. Be sure to check out the new additional hours feature that lets you add hours for pickup, delivery, and other options.
It’s incredibly important to choose the correct categories for your business. You can include up to ten, but make sure the ones you choose actually apply to your business.
Make sure you enter a link to your website. If you’re a single location business, you should link to your home page. If you’re a multi-location business, each GMB listing should link to the respective location page on your website. It’s important to include UTM tracking on your website link – for more information, I cover it in depth in my episode at bit.ly/utm-in-gmb.
Make sure you upload awesome, high quality photos of your business. If you’ve got videos that are 30 seconds or shorter and less than 75 megabytes, you should upload those as well.
Those are the most important GMB factors that influence visibility in searches – but there’s a lot more you can do with your listing. While these other elements won’t influence visibility, they’re important to use because they’ll help your profile convert more visitors.
You should fill out any other available fields and features.
If you’ve got the products feature, definitely add your products.
You should load your own common questions into the Questions and Answers section, and then answer them.
You should use Google Posts – they’re basically free ads that show up at the bottom of your profile on desktop or mixed with the search results on mobile.
Basically, if there’s something you can fill out in your GMB dashboard, you should fill it out.
That’s all the time we’ve got for today’s episode, so you know what that means.
Put your hand on the screen right here:
We totally just high-fived ‘cause you learned something awesome.
Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you again next week for another episode of Local Search Tuesdays.