In this post I am going to share with you how to to optimise your Google My Business profile as a foundation for your business to rank in the maps pack of the local search results.
This is where you business needs to be positioned to maximize the number of leads, enquiries and sales that your local business deserves.
This blog post is step by step with videos, at the end of the post you will find an over the shoulder video showing you live how I create and optimize Google My Business listings.
Creating Your GMB Listing
A simple Google search for “my business” will bring up the Google My Business page at the top of the search results.
Clicking on the top result will take you to this screen if you do not already have a business listed in the account:
If you do already have a business listed and associated with your gmail address you will be able login and then edit / optimise the listing. If you do not already have a listing then click “Add Your Business To Google”.
Once you have entered your full business name, click Next.
Here you select the best category for your business from a range of preset categories.
Your business category will be the top level service of your business i.e Plumber, Roofing Contractor, Window Cleaning Service etc.
Once you have selected your Business Category click next.
If you have a shop front location such as a coffee shop, hair salon, hotel, restaurant or even a trade counter etc where customers can just walk in, then select “Yes”.
If your business is only a mobile service business (meaning that your customers never need to come to your address) then select No.
In this guide I have selected No in order to display the additional steps that service businesses need to optimize.
In the image below I have shown how you can add areas that you serve at the regional, town and postcode level.
The maximum number of service areas you can add is 20. The size of the area your business serves will dictate how you will optimize these.
Be sure to make use of the full 20, doubling up on areas by entering towns and postal / zip codes that cover that town if needed.
If you operate a service business targeting a larger area then be sure to cover the whole area by starting at the county / state level then adding in major towns.
Once you have entered your 20 service areas click Next.
You will now be prompted to enter you business contact telephone number and website address like so:
Once you have done so click Next.
You will then be displayed with this screen, you can simply click “Finish”
You are then asked to enter your address for verification purposes. Google will send a postcard to this address with a code on for you to enter online to confirm the address.
After you have entered your address you will be taken to the Google My Business screen, where you can start the process of optimising your listing as outlined in the coming pages.
Optimising Your GMB Listing
The image above shows inside a Google My Business listing.
The vast majority of the optimisation steps take place inside the “Info” tab, the steps to optimise of the each tabs are:
Click on the pencil symbol to the right of the category name you selected when you chose the category of your business.
Clicking the “Add another category” text allows you to add more categories to your listing.
You will need to add all of the services that your business provides from the
These services should have relevant pages on your website – remember the relevance aspect of local rankings.
The Service areas you initially selected can be edited from this section, if needed.
For those that skipped the setting up of your GMB listing section the optimisation advice is:-
“The maximum number of service areas you can add is 20. The size of the area your business serves will dictate how you will optimize these.
Be sure to make use of the full 20, doubling up on areas by entering towns and postal /zip codes that cover that town if needed.
If you operate a service business targeting a larger area then be sure to cover the whole area by starting at the county / state level then adding in major towns.”
Add your business opening hours, use your genuine opening hours and ensure that they are consistent each and every time that they are published across the web.
Telephone Number & Website Address:-
It goes without saying that both your telephone number and website address should be accurate. This applies to your GMB listing itself and also across every mention on the web – remember “Prominence” that local ranking factor.
If your business has a genuine online booking system then you can enter the link in this section.
Only enter a URL here if you have a complete online booking process where your customers book their appointment. Do not simply link this to a contact page of your website.
If your business retails physical products you can add them to your Google My Business profile here, clicking on Add or edit products takes you to this screen:
Ensure all of the information added to each product is accurate and correlates with any product information on your website.
For mobile service businesses this is a critical step to being found for your complete range of services and continuing to build relevance throughout your online presence.
The category / categories that you selected for your GMB listing were selected from a predefined list of categories.
The individual services allow you to optimise for each and every service that you provide.
Clicking on the pencil symbol takes you to this screen:
Click on “+ Add custom service” and you will see this screen.
You will then be able to add each service that your business provides individually.
Once you have entered the first service name, click “apply”
Here I have added three services that we provide, you should add all of your services individually.
Then clicking the > to the right of each service allows you to enter more
information about each to complete the optimisation of each service individually.
Enter the pricing information for each service along with an approximately 300 word description of each service – remember to include relevant & LSI keywords in your descriptions.
Attributes can be added to highlight to your potential customers any attributes that are beneficial to them.
For storefront businesses this could be things such as free Wifi
access, free shop front parking etc
For mobile service businesses think of the little things that make your service easy to book & use such as payment options, online booking systems etc
When you add your business description you have up to 750 characters to use to describe your business, once again make full use of the available 750 characters including descriptive LSI phrases around your business and services you provide.
You can also include some of the areas that you service in the description.
Remember the goal of all of these optimisation steps is to increase relevance for your business to your targeted service keywords & areas.
Add Opening Date:-
Simply add the opening date of your business.
You can add unoptimized images, but for the very best Local results, I highly recommend the use of Local Viking for optimizing your images and indeed managing your GMB Listing on a day to day basis.
Add at least 10 geo optimised images to your listing.
Once you have completed adding photos it’s time to create your GMB website. Don’t get confused, this is separate to your main website and forms part of your Google profile.
GMB Website Setup:-
Select “Website” from the side menu in GMB.
You will then see that Google has virtually created you a new website, you just need to optimize what is there and add optimized content to the page.
Click on any area of the page and you are able to edit the content.
If I click “Marketing Consultant” the page will give me an area in which I can edit the content like so:
Ensure that your “Description” contains your main keywords and location.
In the Summary header field you need to enter a subtitle, this should add either niche or geo relevancy to your listing by incorporating keywords from either or both into your header.
The Summary Body field is where text for the main body section of your GMB site is placed. This text needs to cover your main services & locations to again enforce relevancy to both.
We optimize these with 750 – 1000 words of SEO optimized, LSI rich copy and then hyperlink to relevant pages of our main website from within the body content.
Do not copy and paste content from your website – this needs to again be unique content.
Once you have added content then you can add the images that you Geotagged earlier using Local Viking by selecting “Photos” on the side menu of the edit website screen.
Upload a selection of at least 5 optimised photos to your GMP Website then select
Publish in the top right corner of the editing page and your site will be published.
Congratulations, you have now created and optimized your own GMB profile.
Watch over my shoulder as I create and Optimize a GMB Listing For A Local Service Business
Would prefer for our team to create & optimize your GMB profile for you?