An Overview Of Google Business Profile Signals for Local SEO
By Tom Seest
At BrandDoneForYou, we help local businesses by collating information and news about an online presence and branding.
Google takes into consideration several different factors when conducting local searches; three of the most crucial ones include your Business Profile, NAP information, and reviews.
Your Business Profile includes your company name, address, phone number, and categories that help customers connect with you. You can also add photos and posts.
Table Of Contents
If you want to rank for local SEO, it’s crucial that you understand which signals Google uses when ranking businesses based on local search. A great place to begin this is with your Business Profile (formerly Google My Business).
Search algorithms use GMB listings as the starting point when assessing local rankings. A well-completed listing should contain accurate business details and consistent NAP citations, while photos or videos that help distinguish you from competitors should also be added.
Keywords are an integral component of both organic and local SEO; however, when conducting local searches, they require special consideration. To ensure relevant search engine results for users in your specific geographic location.
Not only can you add keywords, but you can also include relevant categories and your website address on your GMB listing to increase its effectiveness in local searches, as well as increase its chances of showing up in The Map Pack.
Studies by Harvard Business Review indicate that businesses with more reviews tend to rank higher in local searches. When asking customers for reviews, make sure that you do it in such a way as not to degrade customer experience – for instance by incentivizing them or making it too hard.
Last but not least, make sure that you optimize the Google My Business profile of your business by including essential business details such as its hours of operation, location, phone number, and a link to its website, by having complete and up-to-date details about your company listed in The Map Pack listings and driving potential new customers your way.
NAP citations, or listings with your name, address, and phone number (NAPs), can also play an integral part in SEO ranking factors for local searches; consistent NAP listings across online sources are essential.
Consistency of name, address, and phone number (NAP) information across online platforms – Google Business Profile, local directories, and websites alike – is of utmost importance when it comes to local SEO. This ensures your business stands out as credible in local searches.
Unreliable NAP data can negatively impact your search engine rankings. Search engines want to ensure they can trust your business, so any inconsistency between NAP data can cast doubt over whether users can contact it safely.
Uncorrected NAP information may lead to dissatisfied customers who think your business does not fulfill their needs. To make sure all NAP details are correct, verify your Google Business Profile by clicking the “claim your business” link on the left side of the screen. Once confirmed, update all listings with the correct NAP details.
One way to strengthen your NAP is by adding products and services to your business listing. This can help searchers easily locate you while increasing visibility on Google Search. However, be wary of adding too many keywords, as this may lower your ranking in SERPs and lead to lost traffic.
Google Business Profile allows you to promote events, offers, and news related to your business – helping draw in visitors and generate more leads. In addition, photos, videos, customer reviews can all help build trust between yourself and customers that ultimately elevates E-A-T ratings for your brand.
NAPs are essential components of local SEO, and you should strive to keep them consistent and accurate. If you operate physical locations, updating NAP information regularly becomes even more crucial. If any discrepancies arise between NAPs, immediately rectify them.
Note when creating your NAP that including a local area code in your phone number can make it easier for searchers to reach you, increasing the odds that customers call or message you directly. Furthermore, if you have call tracking numbers that could track which marketing channels are producing the most calls without impacting NAP consistency.
Google’s Local Pack can be an invaluable asset to small businesses, and getting into it can be transformative. Google shows searchers the three most relevant results when someone performs a query with local intent, so optimizing GMB profiles ensures your business stands the best chance of ranking among these results and appearing in them.
There are various things you can do to optimize your Business Profile and rank higher in local SEO, including adding a comprehensive description that contains your target keywords and photos or videos showing off your location, products or staff – these all help increase visibility while further engaging audiences.
Reviews are an integral component of your Business Profile and an essential aspect of local SEO. By gathering and responding to customer reviews, you can demonstrate that your company is reliable and trustworthy – helping boost local SEO rankings and drive more visitors to your website.
Use your Business Profile to share company announcements and events with potential customers, post content using Google Posts to your profile, and optimize for keywords directly without losing valuable ranking signals from inbound links and local citations.
Your cover photo is one of the most prominent elements of your Business Profile and can have a dramatic impact on local searches. Choose an image that best represents your business – such as one depicting its storefront or interior (ideal for restaurants and bars), or your signature product(s).
Schema markup can give your Business Profile an extra edge in local search, providing rich snippets from Google. Though not necessary, Schema markup provides your business with an edge by emphasizing specific services offered; ServiceMarkup lets you highlight them, along with specific service names and descriptions, along with price ranges for each.
Google My Business (GMB, previously Google My Business) posts provide businesses with a powerful social feature for sharing information directly on their Knowledge Graph and Local Pack pages. Posts provide businesses an ideal way to promote specials, events, new products or services and drive traffic from Google search and Maps searches.
Though most aspects of local SEO strategies are mostly beyond your control, you can take some steps to help boost your Google Business Profile ranking. One such optimization is consistency – any time your name, phone number, or address changes, make sure this information is updated on GMB as soon as possible to ensure that people can find you when they search online for similar businesses.
Your business category should also be an important element. When choosing multiple categories for your company, be sure to select those most applicable to what products or services you offer. For instance, if you run a car repair shop, selecting “Auto repair shops” as one of your categories would likely make more sense than “General automotive service”.
GMB also provides insights that allow you to monitor the effectiveness of your Business Profile. You can monitor how often it shows up for searches, both branded and unbranded; users take actions from its Knowledge Graph, etc.
Moz conducted a study and discovered that reviews are one of the key local SEO factors. The more reviews your Business Profile receives, the higher it will rank in local packs – especially if the reviews are positive; negative comments could potentially damage you. It is best to steer clear of them at all costs.
Utilizing Schema markup on your website is another effective way to boost local SEO. While not necessary for success in local SEO strategies, using Schema markup can distinguish your Business Profile from the competition while giving searchers additional relevant data.
Be sure to read our other related stories at BrandDoneForYou to learn more about an online presence and branding.