SEO experts showing a business owner how to optimize Google My Business to rank higher in local search

How to optimize Google My Business to rank higher in local search?

Google My Business can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses that want to increase their local presence. It can help potential customers easily find you. It will help you stand firmly among other competitors. And it is completely free. However, to get any relevant outcome, you need to optimize Google My Business to rank higher in local search results. Without proper optimization, even a search engine will not take you into account for your geographical area.

 

Tips to optimize Google My Business for better local visibility

Tips to optimize Google My Business for better local visibility

Google My Business (GMB) allows you to highlight your business’s most important information and aspects. If properly optimized, Google will recognize it and will rank your business higher for local searches. As a result, people will have no trouble stumbling upon your brand when searching for specific products or services. However, despite being such a powerful tool, many businesses fail to achieve notable results. The thing is, they don’t truly take time to optimize and work on their GMB profile.

 

To take full advantage of GMB’s features, here are a few tips on how to optimize Google My Business:

 

  1. Create or claim your GMB
  2. Keep your business information accurate
  3. Think over your GMB description
  4. Select the right category
  5. Be tenacious with GMB reviews
  6. Add and optimize photos
  7. Regularly post on your GMB

1. Create or claim your GMB

To engage with customers on Google, first, you have to create your GMB profile. You will be given a plethora of options to fill in different information about your business in the process. It’s essential to complete every section. Not only to achieve high rankings but to unlock various actions for your visitors. Of course, NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information is essential. However, information such as working hours, website address, products/services you offer are also vital parts of your GMB representation. Finally, you will have to verify your profile.

 

In addition, you should also check if there are already existing listings for your business. If there are, you can claim one instead of creating a new profile. Or, there is also an option to merge two or more listings into one. Overall, it’s advisable to find and fix duplicate listings so they don’t skew your ranking potential.

 

2. Keep your business information accurate

Because most GMB profiles are those with a physical location, you will need to provide accurate information. When someone is looking for services, they will need to know where to find you. Besides your exact business name, it’s essential to fill in the actual address of your business. As for the phone number with which potential customers can contact you, the best advice is to use a local phone number. While these are essentials, there is also other information that is crucial for a quality GBM profile. A basic example is your working hours and a short description from the owner of the business.

Google maps on a smartphone
Google maps on a smartphone

3. Think over your GMB description

A large percentage of information on GMB profiles are different classifications, numerical data, and lists. However, the GMB Description gives you the opportunity to describe your business in your own words. You can use this to share your message about your business goals and operations. For the best optimization:

 

  • you should use at least 250 characters,
  • include business-relevant keywords you want to be recognized for;
  • highlight aspects that could make you stand out,
  • include at least one area that you cover with your business operations.

 

Remember, this is additional space, so don’t waste it on repeating information that is already displayed on your profile. Also, don’t place links here, and avoid trying to stuff it with keywords.

 

4. Select the right category

Every business is classified into a specific category, depending on the industry and niche it belongs to. Or additionally into subcategories for more precise and better specification. While this is obligatory, category selection is also helpful because it allows you to focus on a particular audience. In other words, if you are, for example, selling pet food, your business will have more chance to rank high for those queries. It filters out the general food terms and allows you to compete only for relevant terms connected to pets. Even though it may not always seem so, this principle helps your business achieve better results on a local level. Furthermore, since Google offers many specific categories, it won’t be hard to find the right fit.

 

5. Be tenacious with GMB reviews

A part of the information visitors can see are online reviews about your business. For every local business, managing reviews is important because it shows how customers recognize it. Positive reviews will help you by improving the chance people choose you among the competition. But, from an SEO perspective, they also influence how Google estimates your ranking positions for local searches. That’s why a part of optimization should be asking your customers to write a review.

 

On the other side, even negative reviews can be helpful. You can use them to solve issues publicly and demonstrate that you care for your customers.

A woman scrolling through different products with ratings
People usually check online ratings and reviews when deciding where to go.

6. Add and optimize photos

It’s important to regularly update your GMB profile. This includes adding different types of optimized photos. The best option to make your profile look good is to use your own, instead of generic, stock photos. Also, with regular updates, you are sending signals to Google that you are keeping an active and relevant profile.

 

7. Regularly post on your GMB

GMB allows you to create posts with visual material. Besides text, you can include photos and even short videos. Just like on social media, they are a great way to make announcements, specific offers, inform your customers about events, and demonstrate your business in action. Just make sure to post regularly because posts expire after a week.

A business owner considering different visual materials to include in her GMB posts
Posts are a great place to include visual materials to better advertise your business.

A high-quality GMB profile should be an essential part of your SEO efforts. That’s why you need to know how to optimize Google My Business to rank higher in local search. And to provide enough relevant information for anyone looking for services you offer. After all, Google’s goal is to connect searchers with the best solution for their needs, especially when it comes to local queries.