Nick Baird

Nick, the SEO guru, specializes in catapulting businesses to the forefront of search engine rankings. With a keen eye for cutting-edge tactics, he’s dedicated to maximizing client revenues. Elevate your online presence with Nick’s tailored strategies for unparalleled success

Maintain and Optimize Your Google Business Profile

I can’t emphasize this enough: Google Business Profiles are the key to local rankings. 

Properly categorizing for your industry, filling in as many details as possible, managing your NAP citations, and obtaining regular quality reviews from customers will put you over the top.

Why Are Google Business Profiles Important?

  1. “Near me” style searches are the bread and butter of local SEO.
  2. The “map pack” is the most common result.
  3. Without a perfect GMB profile, you’re unlikely to appear in the map pack.

For example, Google tells the following story describing a business being discovered through search

Imagine someone came into an inheritance. Not knowing what to do, they decide they need a financial advisor.. With no particular business in mind, they Google “financial advisor near me” and are greeted with a map to the most relevant results. 

The Map Pack is the Most Visible Local Search Result

Google search is a winner-takes-most marketing channel. 

The first three results earn 70% of clicks, not including sponsored advertisements.The better your profile, the higher the ranking, and the more likely a customer/client will visit your website. 

What Determines Profile Ranking?

Google says they look for three primary things: relevance, distance, and prominence.

Relevance

How well does this business fit what someone is searching for? The more information the profile includes, the more likely Google recognizes it as a match to search results.

Distance

If someone is searching for “lawyers in Houston, Texas,” they would be met with results in that area. If the user doesn’t include a specific location, Google will make a guess based on what it knows about their location. 

For reference, the impressive Rankings.io blog researched just how much proximity impacted local search results. They found that top-ranking businesses (1st-3rd result) were usually within two miles of the user.

Prominence

This is based on information Google has about a business from across the web and is where the work of SEO is most prominent.

  • Review count, score, and regularity factor into rankings. Implementing an automated text or email sequence to solicit reviews is the best thing a local business can do.
  • Inbound links to your website are an important factor.
  • Accurate listings in business directories help prove to Google your business is physically located where your website and GMB profile claim..
  • Quality content matters. All things equal, a ten-page website will outperform a one-pager.

Obtaining a Profile

The basic components of a Google Business Profile include name, location, and category. The profile will go live after business owners submit their information and Google confirms its legitimacy.

Related: The GMB verification process is tedious and easy to do incorrectly, resulting in delays to your profile going live. Contact me for help for help navigating this process correctly.

How to Optimize A Google My Business Profile

With so much to do running a business, it’s easy enough to fill out your GMB profile as quickly as possible. However, doing so would leave optimization opportunities and potential business on the table.  

Comprehensive Business Information

Be sure to include more than just the mandatory information. Each field offers additional information to customers and the Google algorithm.

Responding to Reviews

For example, a law firm may receive a review about a recent case. Whether positive or negative, it’s beneficial to respond; connecting with happy clients builds relationships while tactfully empathizing and offering to make things right with unhappy customers improves credibility. 

Adding Photos

Studies published by BrightLocal, an industry leader in local SEO research,  found that businesses with photos gain 42% more requests for driving directions and receive 35% more clicks to their websites than businesses without. 

Google suggests including the following types of photos in your profile: 

  • Exterior 
  • Interior 
  • Product
  • Food & Drink
  • Employees at work
  • Common areas
  • Team photos

Each of these humanizes your business and add trust. 

Improving Profile SEO with Keywords

Just like with your website, it’s important to have good Google Business Profile SEO.  The algorithm uses this information for ranking 

Boost your profile by including high search volume keywords in your profile description, reviews, or questions posed by customers, and naturally incorporate them into posts that are made on the profile. 

Question and Answer

Within the classic “funnel” framework describing customer purchasing decisions, your GMB profile is part of the “middle.” This is where customers know what they want and are researching service providers; offering answers to commonly posed questions and objections gives you a leg up over the competition.

Soliciting Reviews

The most important component of your GMB profile is reviews. Both quantity and average rating influence customer purchase and where the algorithm places you in results.

Earn reviews by:

  • Personally asking happy customers after positive experiences with your business.
  • Auto-text or email sequences sent to customers after purchasing. This adds the benefit of building an email list that can be remarketed.
  • Links to the GMB review form in email footers.
  • Providing excellent customer service; happy customers will go out of their way to organically leave a review.

Conclusion

A well-optimized GMB profile is the most important component of ranking in “near me” searches and earning you targeted inbound traffic for your business. Optimizing for relevance, distance, prominence, and reviews are the key components of an SEO-optimized profile.

For more information about local SEO, read our comprehensive guide here.

Discover the secrets to skyrocket your business’s visibility and dominate search engine rankings in 2024.

Nick Baird

Nick, the SEO guru, specializes in catapulting businesses to the forefront of search engine rankings. With a keen eye for cutting-edge tactics, he’s dedicated to maximizing client revenues. Elevate your online presence with Nick’s tailored strategies for unparalleled success