Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is one of the most powerful lead generation tools.
If you are a local business, you need to be utilizing and optimizing your Google Business Profile for Local SEO.
Here are a few reasons why:
- It’s a 100% FREE platform
- Millions of web users depend on Google listings everyday to find local service businesses, restaurants, and more.
- “42% of local searchers click on the Google map pack”
- It’s one of the first things Google shows at the top of the search results
Apply these powerful strategies to rank your GMB Profile above your competitors and generate organic website traffic and leads.
How to OptImize A Google Business Profile
1. Verify your Google Listing
In order to optimize your Google listing, you’ll first need to claim it as your business and get verified by Google.
If you have a physical address for your business, this is typically a simple process. Request access to the profile and Google will send a postcard with a PIN on it to verify you own the business. Check out our guide on how to verify a Google Business Profile for more information.
2. Include the Main Keyword in Your Business LIsting Name
If you are just starting a business, consider including your main service or product keyword in your business name. For example, our company is called Red Drum SEO and we focus on providing SEO services to our customers.
In the long run, this will help us better target users searching for SEO related services and please the Google algorithm.
If you’ve already established your business, don’t worry. The rest of these strategies will be enough to have you ranking at the top of Google Maps.
3. Add Local Service Areas
Adding local service areas to your listing is critical for showing up in Google Maps. Add as many relevent locations you serve as possible including cities, counties, ZIP codes, etc.
Red Drum SEO is located in Charleston, SC but we serve many areas throughout Charleston so our service areas would look something like this:
- Charleston, SC
- James Island, SC
- Mt Pleasant, SC
- Folly Beach, SC
And so on.
4. Add Service Categories
Add a primary service category to your listing to better help Google understand what type of business you are. Your primary category should be your most important service.
You can then add additional categories and service types to your listing.
5. Earn Reviews
One of the most important factors for ranking well on Google Maps is to earn high quality 5 star reviews. Have your customers write you a review including your target keywords, service offerings and photos.
This can be a real challenge for some business owners, but it is a crucial step in ranking your business. The more, the merrier.
6. Fill In All Contact Information
Contact information includes a business address, phone number, website URL and hours, In the SEO world, this information is often times referred to as NAP or Name, Address & Phone Number.
You want this information to match exactly as it is shown on your website and across the rest of the web. The more consistent and accurate your contact information is, the more positive signals you send to Google.
7. Upload Weekly COntent
There are a number of ways to upload content to your Google Business Profile including images, logos and Google posts.
Recent images not only show potential customers the type of work you offer, but also show Google you are active and serving customers.
Google posts are a great way to push new blog posts or offers to prospects.
The general rule of thumb is: if Google didn’t want you to use these features, they wouldn’t make them available.
8. Earn Local Backlinks
We’ve saved this tip for last as it can be a bit more challenging and time consuming. In SEO, there is something called a backlink and its one of the most powerful tools you can use to improve your website and GMB rankings.
For local businesses especially, earning relevant, local links from other websites is a critical part to improving rankings. There are millions of potential links you can earn from news websites, blogs, social media platforms, local directories, etc.
The more authentic links you build to your website and Google Business Profile, the more Google will generally reward you.
To help you get started, we’ve put together downloadable lists of local directories and websites you can use to start building backlinks for your business: