Google My Business can be a powerful search engine optimization tool especially due to the amount of space paid ads are taking at the top of search engine results.  For Google My Business optimization, you will want to focus on some key areas of the tool from both a keyword discovery standpoint, but also to dominate visual space.  These key areas will help your business to be discovered and improve organic click-through rates to your website.

How to Optimize Google My Business for Keyword Rankings

The first task in optimizing Google My Business is to ensure that your listing includes keywords that you want your business to be found for.  Once you have taken time to define those terms, you should look at several areas within your Google My Business record in order to include them such as the following:

  • Categories – The category section allows you to specify the category of business that you are.  You cannot create custom categories, but you can select multiple categories that may reflect your business offerings.  This is important for keyword research, but the categories you chose will also determine some of the functionality available within the tool.
  • Description – We see this often left blank, but it is important to create a business description that sets you apart from competitors by explaining your differentiators or top selling points.  Additionally, you have approximately 750 characters for this field so try to come close to hitting that full amount so your description can be as keyword rich as possible.
  • Services – This is different from categories as you can create custom services.  Once you add the custom services make sure to click into each service and write a description for each.  Any time you are able to add content is an increased opportunity for your Google My Business page to be served to your potential audience.
Google My Business Service Offerings

How to Optimize Google My Business for Visibility

With your organic listings falling farther down the page in search engines due to ads and rich snippets you will want to take up as much space with Google My Business as you can to increase your visibility.  This can be done by adding in regular posts and/or products.

  • Posts – there are several types of posts such as offers, updates, events & products.  Depending on your business, some of these posts types may apply more than others, but at least one type should be used regularly.  Most of these posts expire after 7 days so it is important to have a reminder set to refresh these posts.  For non ecommerce clients we see posts used to promote new content such as blogs, announcements of new services, announcements of growth & awards, new hire announcements, etc.  Posts with images due tend to get more awareness and engagement so try to include these with the associated posts as well.
  • Products – although it might not be realistic for you to add your entire ecommerce catalog to Google My Business, we would suggest at least adding your top selling items.  Again, this feature will help give additional visuals and visibility to your listings and we have found always improves click through rates to your website.
  • Reviews – you have the ability to share your review link with your audience which we recommend doing since most of us look at this data when deciding on purchasing products and services.  We have also noticed a consistent trend for business with brick and mortar locations that if you do respond quickly and regularly to reviews that organic reviews tend to increase.  The easiest way to stay on top of your reviews is to download the Google My Business app which will alert you to any new customer reviews and also allow you to easily respond back.

Currently, Google My Business is a free tool, however they may be paid features added in the near future.  If you are a new business or one that is looking for additional exposure this tool is a great way to gain traction for your brand visibility, but ongoing engagement is key in this strategy.  Visit this tool weekly to add new posts, images and make sure to engage your audience if they are reaching out with questions or reviews with this tool.