How To Optimize Your Google My Business Listing in 2020
If you want to rank higher in Google Maps and get into that top three-pack check out the video above or read the blog below!
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1:55 Using Correct Business Name
2:55 Choosing Your Categories
4:35 Choosing Your Address Properly
7:35 Choose The Right Hours
9:34 Choose Your Profile Shortname
10:05 Set Your Appointment Links
10:30 List All Of Your Products
11:35 List All Of Your Services
12:07 Get & Respond To Reviews
14:10 Add Regular Photos
15:12 Use Google Posts
16:00 Select Highlights
16:18 Write Great Business Description
16:48 Optimize Your Website
18:09 Everything Else
Today we’re going to be talking about how to optimize your Google My Business listing to get more visibility, and ultimately generate more leads for your business.
Our goal is to get your business to qualify for that map pack in the top three positions in Google search when someone is searching for your business’s services.
We’re going to be building off of some proven ranking factors from Google themselves, as well as the case study that was done back in 2018.
These are also the things that I have done to generate thousands of calls a year for our Google My Business listing. So let’s get started.
Since we like the facts, we’re actually going to be referencing Google support page throughout this blog.
I’ll also be referencing moz.com, which did a case study back in 2018, that starts to give a little bit of weight to different search ranking factors and gives us an idea of kind of the importance of each one, and which one we should focus on first.
I’ll provide a little bit more information on that as we go, but what you’ll notice is that the rolling theme of this whole. blog/video here is going to be all about completing everything that Google gives us.
Although every year Google’s offering more and more within the Google My Business profile, this is a really great rule of thumb to follow and if you take a look directly at the Google support page, it’s actually the very first thing that they show, which is entering complete data. So keep that in mind as we move forward here.
You’ll also notice that I’ve put timestamps down in the video above, so you can skip ahead past anything that you have already done.
So let’s go into it.
So the very first thing that we want to do is we want to start off by choosing the proper name for our business. We want to enter in the full business name, we don’t want to stuff keywords into the title, it’s actually against Google’s guidelines, and can get you penalized.
1. Choose The Proper Business Name For Your Listing
Although it might seem enticing to kind of try to stuff as many keywords in here as possible, you definitely don’t want to do that.
However, keywords here are definitely important.
What you’ll notice is that if your business already has the keywords in its title, such as you know, “ABC plumbing services”, or let’s say “ABC plumbing company, Toronto”, you’ll notice that when people are searching for a “plumbing company Toronto” that you might actually get a little bit of a boost. At least this is what I have seen from some of my experience.
Now, don’t let this discourage you.
If your company doesn’t mention your keywords at all, there’s still plenty of other ways to boost your Google My Business rankings.
2. Choose The Right Primary and Secondary Categories
what you’ll notice here is that Google actually gives you a primary category to choose. And depending on what your service is, you’re going to have a different primary category. So for me, my primary category, of course, is marketing consultant. And then the other two categories that they give me his marketing agency, and Internet Marketing Service. As you can tell, there isn’t really much other options here that fall into my field. If you also look at another business listing we have here for our home service company, you’re actually going to notice that there are quite a bit more options to choose from. So we have furnace repair as our primary service. And you have all of these other options that are all related. So it’s all going to depend on what your business’s primary category is, and what your business offers. That gives you kind of the idea of which categories to choose. What I recommend for your primary category is either the category that makes you the most money or simply choosing your primary service that you do the most up. Once you go through, I recommend choosing additional categories and filling out every single option that they give you. If you see more categories that are offered that you think are related to your business, please do not hesitate to fill those in here in additional categories. This is super important to your rankings. You’ll also notice back on the Google My Business Support page, that under entering complete data category is actually listed right there. So use that as an indicator that it is very, very important.
3. Choosing Your Address Properly
All right, number three is choosing your address properly. Now there’s a few different ways that you can put your address in here for Google My Business, depending on what your business type. It’s if you have a service business, meaning you offer services to a certain area, but you don’t have a physical location, such as my company. You’ll actually you won’t enter in an address at all. You’re going to be putting in essentially a service area. So as you can see here, I don’t have any locations, it says Home Services only. And if you take a look in my service areas, I simply have Calgary listed for right now because that’s where I’m situated. Meanwhile, if your business offers a physical location, this would be such as a restaurant or any kind of physical store that someone may visit. Even like a coffee shop, you’re going to have your physical address in here as well. one really important thing, and this kind of goes along with more SEO. But there’s kind of an important standard to SEO called na p, which is your name, address, and phone number. And it’s very important to keep these things consistent everywhere. So whatever you choose is your address on your Google My Business listing, make sure that’s the identical address on every other listing online, that’s including Better Business Bureau, Facebook, and any other things where you have a business profile page. If for instance, you have suite number, followed by address, make sure you keep that consistent with every listing, it’ll give you a little boost. Now if your business has a physical location, as well as a service area, that is more than Okay, you can enter both of those things in Now keep in mind, a really important ranking factor that we don’t actually have control over is proximity to the searcher. So if our business is closer to the person searching, there’s a better chance that we’re going to show up in that map three pack, versus if you’re further away. So what you’re going to notice is that if you’re a service area business, or let’s say you’re operating in one big city, and it’s surrounded by small cities, it’s going to be a lot harder for you to show up in that three pack in those small towns nearby, versus the local city that you’re operating in. You’ll also notice that in the Moz survey done that the second most important thing here is actually the physical address in the city of search. So that means if you’re in town a, but you also serve as town B, if someone’s searching in town B, they’re going to get more preference. So those local companies might actually get a little bit more preference to get into that local map pack. The only way you can really solve this is by having an office in that area. And quite frankly, sometimes it’s just not worth it. Also, if you are liking this content so far, please feel free to like and subscribe below. I try to make as many videos as I can on marketing, website stuff, Google ads, Facebook ads, so subscribe below for future content and give this video a like If you’ve enjoyed it so far.
4. Choosing The Right Hours
Number four is choosing the right hours for your business. So most people make the mistake of essentially just putting 24 hours a day hoping that their business is going to show up more often. And I mean, you could do this. But you also want to think about the customer experience here. If you’re saying that your business is open 24 hours a day, and at six o’clock pm, someone’s trying to call you and they can’t get through. It’s just a poor customer experience. And you really don’t want that to happen. You want people to be able to see when to call you so that they know and can actually get a hold of somebody. You’ll also notice on the Google My Business Support page as well, that one of the key important parts here is keeping your hours accurate. So you definitely want to do that. What you’ll notice here is there’s actually two more sections to add hours to. So in the current dashboard, you have a section for adding more hours. This would be for instance, if you have special hours for your services. If you’re a restaurant you can see here there’s like brunch, or takeout or certain timeframes you want to set extra hours for, definitely go ahead and fill that out if that’s relevant for you. And the other section here is called special hours. So this is typically for holiday hours. This is really, really important to fill out. What you’ll notice is that if you’ve ever done a search for a business on a holiday Monday and you get that little notice that says business hours may vary, that basically just means that that company didn’t fill out this special hours section. So by filling this out and giving the right information, and now there’s a chance or the likelihood that Google is going to prefer your business because you have already proven that you are given accurate hours. And based on their landing page here, they say to keep your hours accurate. So if you’re doing that, that’s a really good sign. Now, what I recommend doing is is simply just doing all of your holidays in advance, it saves you from having to remember to do them a couple days ahead of time, you can just schedule a few months out or whatever it allows you to do. So that’s a really easy way to stay on top of this.
5. Profile Shortname
Here is a relatively easy thing to do and it’s called your profile, short name. It’s been introduced just recently, and it’s basically just google giving you kind of an app or a handle similar to Twitter or Instagram. Basically set it to your Google business name. It’ll also help you when you go to share your link for asking for reviews, which I’ll talk about in a few minutes here. But yeah, simply set your business name here. Once again, what we’re doing is entering In complete data, we don’t want to miss any part of our Google My Business profile.
6. Set Your Appointment Links
Number six is pretty easy as well, it is your appointment links. Essentially, it’s just a spot that if you have a URL for someone to book an appointment at such as a massage, or a service, you can just provide a simple link to go right to there, what I like to do is essentially just put it to your contact page if you don’t have a booking service page. And I find that works quite well basically just a page that has a form on it that someone can fill out quite easily.
7. Setup and Add All Of Your Products
Number seven, so we’re getting into the products now. So Google has now kind of offered this section in your Google My Business Page, similar to kind of a Google Shopping. And it’s essentially products. So when you click on products, basically, it’s self explanatory, it allows you to add every product that you offer. This allows you to put different keywords here for the products that you offer. Think about these as standalone products, something that you could sell by itself. If you offer a service, there’s actually a separate category that we’re going to jump into right after that for that. So when adding a product, simply just click Add a product, add the photo, you can see the product name, you can have a category, you can create those categories as well. So if you have, you know, different products within categories, it’s just an easy way to keep everything organized. You can also set your price, and of course, the description. Now like everything with Google, what we want to do is we want to fill this out to the max. So for each product that you have, make sure you try to fill this out to the max character count if you can, but just don’t try to keyword stuff or just be too repetitive here for
8. Fill Out Your Services
eight here is filling out your services. Now this is going to vary slightly from products, what you’ll notice is the services are tailored to the categories that you’ve chosen. So basically, you’re adding services under every product category, some of them may be recommended, I definitely recommend using those ones. But any services that you provide under each of those categories, definitely fill out and try to fill the character count if you can, once again, don’t keyword stuff, or try to make it too redundant, super important here to fill out all of your services that you offer. Okay, we’re gonna jump ahead here into number nine.
9. Get and Respond To Reviews
Number nine is all about reviews. Now personally, I think reviews are the most important part of your business. If you take a look here at the Google My Business Support page, you’ll actually notice that it shows managing and responding to reviews is super important. This is a really key area that many people miss
is not only asking for reviews, but when you get those you want to respond to those reviews, it says right away here and the very first sentence responding to reviews that users leave about your business, you want to be able to reply to those reviews as soon as they come in, in a very timely manner. This shows your customers that one you’re responding to them. It’s showing Google that you are continually updating your Google My Business profile. And also when you get those negative reviews, it shows customers that you know how to deal with negative feedback and you know how to support customers when they have issues. because believe it or not, we all get bad reviews. And how you deal with those are just as important if not more important than how you deal with good reviews. Another really helpful tip here with the reviews is that Google actually tends to pull some keywords from the reviews, if your customers are leaving you reviews with your keywords in it, it might actually give you a slight boost. Now what I like to do is essentially try to respond to those services by including the service or product that they had done. So for instance, somebody coming to me for Google Ad services, I might say something along the lines of Thank you very much. I’m glad that you’ve had a positive experience with our Google Ads management or something along those lines. I know that’s kind of rough, but you kind of get the gist of how it should work. Try not to keyword stuff here, make it genuine. But don’t be afraid to throw in a couple little keywords where you can just remember that the more reviews you get, the better your rating stays, the more your customers are going to trust you and the more they’re going to call you for their next service or to come to you for whatever product or service that you offer.
10. Add Lots Of Photos & Add Them Often
Number 10 is photos. Now this is one that most people actually don’t update very often. And it’s super important no matter what your business does. Keeping regular photo updates is so important that Google’s even listed it here as a main category. Adding photos, they said to showcase your goods and services and to tell the story of your business. add photos to your business profile. Now when you’re adding photos to your business, you’ll notice that there’s different categories you can add them to. I recommend trying to get as many photos as possible on here and at least include five in every category. The more photos you add and the more regular you add photos, the better off you will be. If your business like a restaurant, you’ll even notice that there’s a category for your menu. So taking some photos of your menu or uploading that will help you there as well. Also make sure you upload professional photos and you want to Upload high quality photos here. If you upload low quality photos or just not great looking photos, it might actually look poorly on your business. So be sure that you are looking your best when you upload your photos.
11. Regularly Adding Google Posts
number 11 is actually the Google posts. So within Google posts, there’s a few categories that you can choose from. There’s a Google post, there’s events, you can add offers, there’s even a little COVID-19 update right now, make sure you’re using this as often as possible. And keep in mind that when you’re making posts, they expire every seven days. So I typically recommend getting three posts out and kind of setting a calendar reminder so that you can remember to set that post again in seven days. At the current moment, I don’t believe that there is a way to schedule these, unfortunately. So you have to do the manually. But it’s also a really quick and easy way to set you apart from your competitors who aren’t posting regularly. If your business has any offers or any sales, this is a really great way to promote those. And it’s a really quick and easy way to get some extra clicks to your Google My Business profile.
12. Add Highlights
For number 12, we’re going to jump back into the info about your business. And this is just the highlights. Essentially, there’s just a few little checkmarks that you can add, depending on what your business offers. If you’re a hotel, or if you’re a service business, they’re going to be slightly different from each other. So make sure you check this section and check off anything that applies to your business.
13. Fill out Your Business Description Genuinely.
Number 13 is basically just writing a business description. Now, I don’t believe that keywords are super relevant or important here. But it’s always a good place to kind of plop them in just in case also find it’s a really great place to tell your story, make it brief. And also, you know, just your value proposition of what you offer to your customers.
14. Improve Your Website ‘Prominence’
Now, of course, some ranking factors we simply don’t have control over. We mentioned one before with the proximity to the searcher. But here’s one that we kind of do, but kind of don’t have control over. And this is all about your website. And Google basically classifies this as what’s called prominence. So when you take a quick read here, prominence is referred to how well known a business is. So Google is going to pull in other factors from other areas to determine whether or not your business is relevant in that area. So it says right here, prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web, like links, articles and directories, Google review, count and review score factor into local search rankings. More views and positive ratings can improve your business local rating, or ranking which we spoke about before. And your position in web result is also a factor. So search engine optimization best practices apply. Basically, what they’re saying is that if your business and your website is already ranking on the first page of Google,
you might get a little boost in the Google My Business map pack. So keep that in mind when you’re looking here. And if you’re struggling to get up
into that three pack, that this actually might
play a factor here, what’s really important is basically following best practices for SEO. That’s a whole nother video. But for now, it’s just something to keep in mind for your Google My Business ranking.
15. All the little things
Now, because we don’t want this video to go on for too long. Number 15 is basically going to be categorized as miscellaneous or everything else, what I recommend is actually taking a look at the link down below. It’s a survey done back in 2018, by a company called Moz. They’re well known in the marketing industry. And if you take a look, they give you a little pie chart here, based on what their survey is showing as prominent or important ranking factors. So just going through here, you know, you’ll see a lot of the things that we have already discussed. This is such as categories, keyword business and title, Link signals. This is inbound anchor text linking domain authority. So that’s kind of the SEO of your website. But as you scroll down a little further here, you’re gonna see top 50 local pack finder factors, I recommend just going through each individual one. And just educating yourself a little bit with all the ranking factors and where their importance is, you’ll even see some things that we didn’t mention like embedding your Google My Business, profile the map, basically onto your website, I recommend doing that somewhere into the contact page. And you’re just going to see a bunch of other factors here that are really good to go through and to take a look at. That’s all I have. And we’ve officially gone into 15 plus things
that you can do to
optimize your Google My Business listing,
please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions. If you want to see any future videos that are specific to anything I can make those up for you as well. And I look forward to hearing from you and also don’t forget to follow and subscribe. Thank you so much for all of your time.