Your Google My Business listing can act as an off-site homepage for your business, as it can state your location, hours, and other important information about your business. And now more than ever, having a search-engine-optimized profile is critical to helping your business in local search.
But First, Claim or Create Your Profile
In order to take advantage of these tips to optimize your profile, you first will need to have access to it. Follow Google’s step-by-step guide for claiming existing profiles and how to create one.
You can see if you have an existing, unclaimed profile by going to www.google.com/maps and searching for your business. Once claimed, you will see the business listings you control by going to business.google.com/locations.
Once you have this finished, consider the following SEO tips for your profile to help amplify it for search:
Second, Check Your Info
In order to make sure customers can find you, you will need to ensure that you are presenting correct information on your business, starting with your title. You may think that adding keywords to your business title will give you a boost, but it actually goes against Google’s policy for your business name. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is my listing using my company’s legal business name? Have I avoided including additional keywords such as the city I’m located in or the services I offer?
- Example: Jim’s Cleaning vs. Jim’s Cleaning: Professional Cleaning Services Chicago
- Does my name reflect the name of my business on all other platforms such as citation websites and social media?
- Treat this listing as a virtual Yellow Pages, as you will want to be as accurate as possible.
Generate and Respond to Reviews
Try adding a prompt to your social media profiles, emails, and website that asks customers to leave you a review. Having positive reviews on your profile can help build up its trust and authority. Be sure to also respond to the reviews you have, and be unique and transparent in your responses.
Be sure to not break guidelines though!
Utilize Posts and Sub Categories
Did you know that Google can present keywords you use for posts in map search results? By searching “Cleveland WordPress,” you will see that Google included a post we recently published on our listing based off of keyword matching.
Not to mention, our category shows as website designer, when in reality our main category is actually internet marketing service. But since we also included the other categories that pertain to our business, their algorithm dynamically changed it based on the search.
Learn more about the different post types Google offers on their website.
Update Your Website Link
If you are a multi-location business, are you sending users just to your homepage, or do you have a unique location page on your website you are sending them to? Not only can having them go to a custom page filled with location-specific info help them find what they need, but it can help improve your rankings.
Pro-tip: Add in UTM parameters to your website link so you can get data from your profile in Google Analytics! This nifty UTM parameter tool can help!
Report Competitors Who Are Spamming
Did you know you can submit any spam that you see on Google Maps? If you have competitors who are keyword stuffing their titles, using a co-working space as an office location, or anything else that breaks Google’s guidelines that we mentioned earlier, you can report them!
Check out our complete guide to documenting spam for details on how to report them.
Fill in Your Hours
With everyone currently living in unusual times, it is important to update your hours to reflect your company’s current status. So if your restaurant or store is closing early, be sure to note that. You can also utilize special hours to denote holidays and other special occasions. You will want to make sure you have accurate information displaying when customers search for your business.
Note: Recent changes to Google My Business have included the ability to mark your business as temporally closed if it pertains to your situation.
Add Products, Services, and Descriptions
While you can’t add keywords associated with your business to your title, these other areas are fair game! And though it has not been completely determined if this can impact your ranking on Google Maps, it doesn’t hurt to help your customers understand all you can offer and where you provide services!
Add Photos and Video
For companies like restaurants, florists, bakers, and others, a lot of your business probably depends on the look of your products! Take some pictures of your products to help customers visualize. Without photos, your profile looks unverified and untrustworthy.