Google My Business (GMB) profiles are listings that let businesses manage how they appear on Google Search and Maps. These profiles are a quintessential element of an optimized digital marketing ecosystem because they contribute to:
- First Impressions: They are the FIRST THING someone sees when they search on Google for your locations (i.e. “Massage Envy La Jolla” or “Amazing Lash Studio near me”).
- SEO: According to the marketing analytics company Moz, GMB profiles account for 25.12% of the local SEO equation.
Recently, Google has implemented a series of upgrades to their GMB platform, and there will be many more to come! This infographic is designed to help your business capitalize on the features that exists today.
Google My Business Infographic Summary
- Set up a location group (formerly known as ‘Business Accounts’) for your brand’s GMB profiles. This will provide the franchisor with the ability to add, verify/claim, and manage their network’s profiles, giving them a level of control over the content on the accounts, as well as the ability to delete accounts for closed locations and claim new locations without the need of a pesky postcard.
- Use a consistent naming convention for your locations. The name of each location’s GMB profile should include a local indicator. For example, instead of having the same ‘TITLE Boxing Club’ listed for every location, they include local indicators such as “TITLE Boxing Club – Green Hills” and “TITLE Boxing Club – East Nashville.”
- Bonus SEO Tip: When possible, consider including a keyword in your naming convention. Pop-A-Lock includes “Locksmiths” in their naming convention (example: “Pop-A-Lock Locksmiths of Phoenix”), improving their GMB profile’s rank on local locksmith-related searches.
- You have the option to choose one ‘Primary’ category and multiple ‘Secondary’ categories. Be sure to select relevant answers for all available category boxes, with the ‘Primary’ category being the most important one.
- Bonus SEO Tip: Consider mixing up your ‘Primary’ category over the course of the year. For example, An HVAC company could have ‘Heating Contractor’ as their primary category during the winter and Air Conditioner Repair Service’ in the summer.
- Service-based companies like locksmiths, plumbers, and electricians do not want to list their address on Google. By setting up a ‘Service Area’ in their listing, you can let customers (and Google’s algorithm) know all the specific cities you cover.
Services / Menu
- You want to submit and publish information related to your products and services. This is a terrific way to inform Google about the specific offerings your company provides, improving your chances of ranking highly on search queries related to those offerings.
- While the general messaging can be the same across your GMB profiles’ ‘About’ sections, be sure and make it unique to each location by including localized keywords (i.e. city, neighborhood, service area, local membership information), handicap accessibility information, and links to the locations’ Facebook page.
- Upload high-resolution photos of your business (interior, exterior, employees in action).
- Bonus SEO Tip: These pictures are indexed by Google, so rename each picture file. For example, before you upload a picture named ‘8102.jpg’ to your GMB profile, change the file name to something like ‘Scenthound – West Palm Beach, FL – Dog Grooming.jpg.’ By doing so, Google better understands the content of your picture, helping the image to rank highly on image-based Google search queries related to each location in your franchise network.
Hours of Operation
- Ensure that your hours of operation are accurate at all times. You can manually edit your listed HoH, and you can set up ‘special hours’ designed to highlight your hours of operation during major holidays. This can be done at a national level if you have a location group set up!
- Promote special offers to potential customers via Google Posts. For example, LSM set up posts for TITLE Boxing Club highlighting kickboxing and fitness classes. Over a 12-week period, the posts generated 615 leads and $21k in new membership revenue!
- Repeat the same process mentioned in the ‘Photos’ section.
- Google recently introduced the ability to ‘follow’ GMB profiles. This is similar to how someone ‘Likes’ a Facebook Page and begins seeing posts published by that page. We suggest you encourage folks to follow your profile, and share offers directly with your followers to show how much you appreciate their loyalty.
- Visit your GMB dashboard to review key metrics at national and local levels. Setting up proper UTM codes and conversion goals allows you to better understand the number of people viewing your GMB profiles and taking action (i.e. website visits, phone calls, direction requests, etc.).
GMB Case Study
- LSM implemented much of what I just covered in European Wax Center’s SEO strategy. Using an apples-to-apples YoY comparison, our GMB optimization efforts generated a 108% increase in discovery searches, a 105% increase in website actions, a 46% increase in phone actions, and a 26% increase in total views.
- Optimizing your GMB ecosystem provides your business with better control over how your brand is displayed throughout your entire network, ensuring better first impressions, greater online visibility, and more new customer opportunities. Google continues to refine its GMB product (example: they’re beta testing a ‘Product Collection’ that gives businesses an option of listing their products along with a description, price, image, and call-to-action), so expect more features to be released over the coming 12-24 months. Have more questions about Google My Business? Contact LSM today!