14 Local SEO Tips for Google My Business Listings

There are simple steps to take, in order to optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing.  In my experience, this is one of the most powerful local SEO adjustments that can be made for any business.  Optimizing a Google My Business profile can have profound results for your local SEO because Google will almost instantly make your profile more visible for the queries that matter to your business.

Which sections of Google My Business listings are most important to local SEO?

  1. Business Name
  2. Business Location
  3. Service Areas
  4. Business Hours
  5. From the Business
  6. Website
  7. Appointment Link
  8. Primary Category
  9. Services
  10. Products
  11. Profile Short Name
  12. Opening Date
  13. Photos
  14. Regular GMB Posts

Before we dive into the specifics of Google My Business optimization, let's answer an important question.

What is the local 3-pack?

The local 3-pack refers to the top three Google My Business listings shown after any given query.  These listings are Google showing the user what they believe to be the best match for their query.  If you Google search "pizza near me", Google is going to show you listings in the local 3-pack business listings it believes to be a good match for your query.

This is an example of the local 3-pack.

Below are 13 areas of your Google My Business listing to focus on.  Optimizing these portions of the listing is a quick way to increase the listing's visibility in local 3-pack search results.

14 Local SEO Tips for Google My Business

1. "Business Name"

In this section be sure to add keywords most important to your business if they don't already exist in your business's name. For example, if your restaurant is named "Tim's Diner", it would likely behoove you to add your most popular menu items to the end of your Google My Business listing name.  If you sold a lot of burgers and milkshakes this may look like "Tim's Diner | Burgers and Milkshakes".  Use a vertical pipe, "|", or a colon, ":", to separate the name from the keywords.  This will drastically increase the chances Tim's Diner shows for local queries about burgers and milkshakes.

This is one of the most powerful tips on this list.  #13 is likely the most powerful.

2. "Business Location"

In this section, make sure to add the same address that you list on your business website.  This is important for maintaining a consistent NAP profile.

3. "Service Areas"

In this section make sure to list where your business provides its products or services, as this will be important for optimization.  If you don't add all applicable service areas you will be sure to miss capturing relative queries from users in those areas.

4. "Hours"

In this section make sure to add the hours that your business is open for business.  This can drastically affect when your business listing is shown to Google users.

5. "From the business"

In this section, you will select applicable attributes, services options, and describe your core business offering(s) in a business description.  For the business's description make sure to add mentions of product and service offerings most important to your business.  It can also be a good idea to close the description with a call to action.

6. "Website"

In this section, you will add your business website. It is important to add a business website if you want to fully optimize your business listing. If you don't have a website, you can easily create one for free from within your GMB profile. Websites you build with Google My Business will be hosted on a *.business.site website for free.

Here is where you can create a free website using Google My Business.

7. "Appointment Link"

In this section, you add the URL that people can use to make an appointment with your business.  Add this if it is applicable to your business.

8. "Primary Category"

In this section, make sure to add the category that is most important to your business. You also want to list "Additional Categories".  All categories will later be important to further optimizing the profile as we add your business services, if applicable.

9. "Services"

In this section, you will want to add all of the services your business offers (if applicable).  Try to list them under all of your business categories that are applicable.

10. "Products"

In this section, you will want to add all of your products (if applicable).  Make sure to use categories to sort your products according to taxonomy.  This will help with local SEO and UX.

11. "Profile Short Name"

In this section, you will assign your business profile a unique short name.  Try to use your exact business name if possible. If that isn't available, try adding your location to the end of the name. You can separate words with a "-".

12 . "Photos"

In this section, you will want to add a logo and cover photo to the "Identity" section at minimum. Add photos of your staff to the "Team" section and videos to your "Video" section if it makes sense for your business. If your business has a menu of any kind, add photos of the menu items in the "Menu" section.  Additional media can not only improve your GMB listing's visibility in the 3-pack but also the UX of your listing.

13. "Add Opening Date"

Adding this can help increase CTR.  If your business is new, people may be more inclined to try it.  If your business is more established, people may be more trusting of your offerings.

14. Schedule Regular GMB Posts

This is likely the most important tip on this list. Make sure you post from your GMB profile regularly. In my experience, this needs to be done at least once a week to reap the rewards Google offers for doing so.  Google tends to allow profiles that post regularly to perform better in local 3-pack results.  Bottom line: you will see more views, clicks, calls, and directions to your business from GMB users if you post regularly.  You can set a reminder to manually post each week, or you could use a service like HeyOrca to automate your posting.

Why is optimizing your Google My Business profile important?

Optimizing the content of your Google My Business profile is extremely important to the success of your local SEO.  If you want to show up in the local 3-pack more often, you need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to increase those chances.  GMB optimization is the first step to increasing your visibility in the 3-pack.

What is a Google My Business (GMB) and why is it important?

Google My Business is the largest business directory on earth, and easily the most important, from a local SEO standpoint.  Google My Business is free for businesses or organizations to create a listing. If you offer a local service or sell a product locally, you cannot afford to not have a Google My Busines (GMB) listing.

Need Help Improving Your Local SEO?

Contact me if you want help accomplishing full GMB optimization.  I am a local SEO expert, and I can help you take your digital footprint to the next level.  Let's talk about search engine marketing and how we can use it to increase your MQLs (market-qualified leads) or online sales.