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Own Your Local Search Results with GMB Optimization

May 17, 2024

In an increasingly digital world, having a strong online presence is essential for businesses to succeed. Google My Business (GMB) is a powerful (and completely free) tool that gives you control over how your business appears in Google Search and Maps. A well-optimized GMB listing can significantly increase your visibility, attract more customers, and even drive more foot traffic to your physical location. Let’s break down the key elements of a successful GMB strategy!

Claim, Verify, Complete

The first step is to claim your GMB listing. Search for your business name on Google, and you may find that a basic listing already exists. If so, claim it immediately to take ownership. If no listing exists, you’ll need to create one from scratch.

Next comes verification, which is typically done via a phone call or postcard Google mails to your business address. The code on this postcard, once entered online, fully verifies your listing – a crucial step for boosting your credibility and ranking potential.

Finally, ensure your NAP data (Name, Address, Phone Number) is flawlessly accurate and matches exactly how it appears across all your other online profiles, including your website, social media, and local directories. Consistency is key!

Telling Your Business Story with Quality Keywords

Now it’s time to make your listing shine! Choose your categories strategically, thinking about how local users might search for your business. Don’t just use the most generic category; be specific! A restaurant, for example, shouldn’t just use “Restaurant” but can add secondary categories like “Italian Restaurant” or “Vegan Cuisine” that target relevant keywords. These categories are indexing factors for the local 3-pack, so choose wisely!

Next, use the attributes section to tell potential customers what matters to them, focusing on local-specific offerings. Do you offer free Wi-Fi, outdoor seating, delivery within a certain radius, or other perks that local customers might be searching for? Select all the relevant attributes from Google’s list to make your listing more informative and appealing, and remember, these attributes can also be optimized for local search.

Lastly, craft a concise yet compelling business description with SEO in mind. Consider this your mini sales pitch! Infuse some of your brand’s personality, showcase what sets you apart from competitors, and naturally weave in local keywords that your ideal customers might be searching for. Think about what people in Syracuse search for to find a business like yours (use Google’s Keyword Planner for insights). For example, if you’re a bakery in Syracuse, you might target keywords like “best cupcakes near Syracuse” or “gluten-free bakery Syracuse.” Don’t overdo it with keywords, but be strategic about incorporating a few to enhance your local SEO and increase your chances of appearing in the local 3-pack.

It’s Alive!

Think of your GMB listing as a dynamic digital storefront, not a static one. Utilize the Google Posts feature to share regular updates, promotions, events, or new products/services. Always include an eye-catching image or short video for maximum engagement. Speaking of visuals, high-quality photos and videos can work wonders. Show off your space, your team, your products in action, or even happy customers.

Reviews are social proof in action. Proactively encourage satisfied customers to leave them, and make a habit of responding to both the glowing and the less-than-stellar reviews. This demonstrates your commitment to excellent customer service. The Q&A section of your GMB listing is another valuable tool. Pre-populate it with answers to common questions about your hours, services, etc., and be sure to respond timely to any new questions that come in.


Need help taking your GMB listing to the next level? TOTAL Advertising offers comprehensive GMB management and local SEO services designed to help your local business thrive. Contact us today to get started!