For some local service based businesses, getting ranked at the top of the search results in the map pack is a golden ticket to a long term, consistent, flow of leads.
If you’re looking for another source of leads for your business, you want to be here…
When people are searching in your local marketplace, and your business shows up in those rankings, you’re going to have a much higher chance of them picking up the phone to call you.
So, today, I’m going to go over some ways that you can go about getting your Google My Business listing ranked higher if you’re not showing up as high as you would like to be.
Keep in mind, that Google My Business listings only show businesses that are geographically local to the person searching. Meaning, that your business is more likely to show up for searches that are closer to your physical location.
So, if you’re trying to show up in another market that might be tens of miles away, then you may be out of luck there.
That said, if you have multiple locations, or intend to open multiple locations, you can set up a GMB listing at those other locations so that you can start displaying in those local marketplaces.
In order to do that, you just need to have another physical address in those other local marketplaces that you’re looking to establish a GMB listing in. Think of it like opening another storefront for your business online in that local market. We can touch on all of that in another post.
Anyway, let’s get into the content!
Make Sure Your Listing Is Filled With Content
When you’re on the back end of the Google My Business platform, there are going to be a ton of different options on the left hand side.
Essentially, what you’re going to want to do with this step is go through each of those different tabs, and put in as much information and content in as you can.
There’s a couple of reasons for this…
One, Google is much more likely to display active listings with tons of content, images, videos, etc over listings that have been ignored that have no content on them.
And two, your potential customer wants to feel like they can trust you before they decide to call you and do business with you. If your listing looks more legit than others, then they are going to be so much more likely to trust you and pick up the phone and call you.
So, essentially just put in as much written content as you can into those different options. I know that sounds really basic, but so many people just fill out a couple of things and don’t make the most of it.
Go through every single option and fill out as much as you can that is relevant to your business.
Probably the most important things that you can fill out are…
- Business description
- Service areas
There are plenty of other things that you can fill out, but some of the options that you have are specific to different types of businesses.
Those options above are important, because they allow you to incorporate different keywords into your GMB listing.
When someone is searching the products or services you offer, they’re going to be using different keywords to search for them in Google. Things like “fencing company near me”, or “fence installation near me”.
If you make it a point to incorporate keywords like that into your GMB listing, you’re going to have a much higher chance of showing up in Google search and in the Google Map listings.
On top of the written content, you’re going to want to upload as much different media to the listing as possible.
This includes images and videos. The higher quality you can make them, the better.
The types of images that you’re going to upload will vary from business to business.
If you’re a home improvement contractor, then you’re going to be uploading pictures of all of your completed work.
If you’ve got a physical location, then you’re going to want to upload pictures of your location as well as your products/services.
On top of that, one thing that has been working very well lately is to upload 360 images of your business as well.
Even if you don’t have a physical location that people show up to, Google loves to see people using the 360 image feature. You could literally just upload a 360 image of the outside of your storefront, or warehouse or something like that just so you can get one up there.
If you’ve got the capability, you could even upload 360 images of the jobs that you complete on top of uploading regular images.
Google actually has a database of certified Google photographers that you can hire locally to come and shoot 360 images of your business. It’s definitely best to go that route if you don’t know anyone who can do it for you. Then, have them upload the photos to your GMB listing. Google will generally trust those images even more when they upload them.
Without this section going too long, here are a couple of smaller bonus tips you can use when you’re uploading media to your GMB listing.
- Make sure the file name contains the keywords you’re trying to rank for – Google will look at the file names for keywords as well
- Use geo-tagging – This allows you to tag an image with a location – You can use a tool like GeoImgr
- Have customers upload the media either as a part of a review, or just as a piece of media – This will show Google that people are actually engaging with your business, and Google will be more likely to show your business higher because there’s users engaging with your business
Make Sure Citations Are Built and Built Properly
If you don’t know what a citation is, it’s essentially any directory type website around the web where your business Name, Address, and Phone Number shows up.
There are tons of sites that display this information, from big sites like Facebook and Yelp, to the smaller online directories. Google will crawl these sites to see if your business’s name, address, phone number, and other information lines up across all of these platforms.
The reason these are important is because Google uses them to verify that the location you have on your GMB listing is the actual location.
The more listings you have (and the more you have from legit sources), the more Google will view your business listing as legit.
The most important thing, outside of just having the listing set up in the first place, is to make sure that your business’ Name, Address, and Phone Number line up between all of them.
Every piece of data must be exactly the same between all of the different listings. All of the punctuation, capitalization, etc. It all has to line up between all of the listings.
At the end of the day, the more of these citations that you have for your business, and the more high quality ones that you have, the higher Google is likely to rank your GMB listing in search and in Google Maps.
Have The Right Content and Keywords On Your Website
Not only do you want to have the keyworded content on your Google My Business listing, but you want to make sure you also have keyword rich content on your website as well.
Not only is Google going to be crawling your GMB listing for keywords about the services you offer, but they’re also going to crawl the website that your GMB listing is connected to.
This is also how you can try to show up for more service based searches in your local marketplace.
If you’re a home improvement business, and you want to show up for more services than just one, you can leverage this tactic to try to show up for more searches.
It’s not going to guarantee that you’re going to show up for everything every time, but you’ll be able to expand the reach of your GMB listing if you’ve got more keyworded content on your website.
Here’s an example from a client of mine below…
While there is nothing in the title of the business itself that would suggest that they have a green screen studio, you can see where there is a little line on the listing mentioning that their website mentions “green screen studio”.
When you combine the keyworded content in the GMB listing as well as on your website, you can increase your chances of showing up for the services you want to show up for.
In the case for this client, they’ve got “green screen studio” in their GMB description, in their services list on their GMB, and there’s a dedicated page on their website talking about their green screen studio.
Make Sure Your Address and Settings Are Set Up Properly
Sometimes the simplest changes can create the biggest results. In this case, I’ll go over a couple of simple settings that can lead to some solid changes in the performance of a GMB.
First, you want to make sure that your address is relevant to where you’re trying to rank your business.
Google will display GMB listings around the address that the GMB listing was set up on. So, even if you choose to not display an address and define a service area for your business, the GMB is still going to display around the actual physical address that you set the GMB up under.
So, if you want to have your business’ GMB showing up in City A, but the address you registered it in is over in City B, then it’s probably not going to show up over in City A. This will most likely happen even if you set your GMB’s service area to City A.
If your business’ address is outside of the area that you want to find more business in, then your best bet is to try to get a business address in the market you’re trying to target.
There are tons of different ways to go about this that don’t necessarily require uprooting your business to a different area. In some cases, you can pay for another office space in another market and either update your business’ current GMB listing, or just create another one over in that market.
Another setting that you’ll want to make sure is set up properly are the categories on your GMB listing.
In the “Info” tab on your listing, you’re going to see your categories underneath the title of your GMB listing.
Check to make sure that these contain the proper categories for your business, and make sure that the primary category for your business is the main thing that you want to rank for.
For this particular client, we actually doubled the number of impressions and phone calls they were getting on their GMB listing by doing a couple of things.
This client is an interesting one because their primary service offering is video production, but they also have a separate brand in house that is a full service Grammy Award winning recording studio.
Originally, their primary service was set to “recording studio”. Understandably, they weren’t showing up for as many video production searches as they could have been.
We changed their primary category to video production, and then added in as many video production related categories that we could.
This removed some of Google’s confusion, and now they’re showing up for many more video production related searches than they were before.
Then, to take things even further, because this client also has an in house recording studio that is a part of another brand, we created a GMB for the recording studio and set the recording studio to have the primary category set as “recording studio”.
This added another source of impressions and phone calls for the business because we were able to remove some of that confusion on Google’s part and make things much more specific to what people are searching for.
I know that not every business has the option to just split out into two different GMB listings like that, but the whole idea here is that you want to make sure that your GMB is set up right in the first place with the proper categories.
If you’re an HVAC company that also does plumbing, and you want to get more HVAC work, make sure that your primary category is set to that. If it’s set to plumbing, then you’re going to be showing up for more plumbing searches as opposed to HVAC searches.
Get As Many Reviews As Possible (And Respond To Them)
This one’s pretty straight forward, but make it a habit to ask for as many reviews as you possibly can.
If you’ve got a customer or a client that has had a positive experience, ask them for a review sooner rather than later.
When it comes to GMB listings, one of the easiest ways to outrank other people is to get reviews.
Not only will it help you when it comes to outranking others, but your business is also going to look much more legit than the others in the marketplace if you’ve got a ton of reviews.
On top of getting reviews, you want to make sure that you’re responding to every review as well.
This helps to show Google that your listing is active, and also gives you another opportunity to respond with keyword rich content in the response so that Google can crawl your listing and find more keywords to rank you for.
If possible, and if you can do it ethically, get reviews on your GMB listing by Google Local Guides. Google puts a lot more weight on their reviews compared to someone who is not a Google Local Guide.
Here’s a solid tool that you can use to make it easier to get reviews on your GMB listing.
If you put in your business using that tool, it will generate a link that will go straight to your GMB listing to let someone leave a review.
Alternatively, you can use the Google Chrome extension GatherUp. Both of these tools allow you to generate a link that makes it really easy for people to leave a review on your GMB listing.
If you’re having any issues getting your business more traffic and leads, let me know!
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My name is Chris Down, or as some call me – “Downey”. I’m a digital marketing pro with multiple years of experience, and help contracting businesses generate more qualified leads and jobs with predictable lead generation systems.