Improving your SEO is a daunting task, but there are some simple steps you can take that will greatly expand your business. In this ebook, we will outline these steps for you. These processes will not only help you have a more successful business, but will also generate more leads and incoming phone calls.
As a business owner, you’re probably sick of lead gen and want something better, more efficient, and reliable. So we’re going to walk you through step by step how you can greatly improve your business tactics by utilizing GMB. Most likely, your GMB hasn’t been high on your priority list. It’s hard to figure out where to start, but you’re ready to make the choice to improve the quality of your leads.
At Ransom Digital, we’ve been there. We have been in your shoes. We are not only experienced marketers, but experienced business owners as well. Currently, we’re managing multiple GMB accounts, and we have had a client rank as the #1 hot tub parts manufacturer in the US.
Our secret? We strictly work within Google’s GMB guidelines. No cheating, no gimmicks, just following the rules. This is what sets us apart from our competitors. Another difference is we get results fast.
Results standardly happen within 3-6 months. However, we have seen results in two weeks. One of our clients ranked in two weeks due to building out a complete GMB. This process consisted of creating a GMB website, which is free to do. Additionally, we created specialized categories and products, updated the service area with zip codes, enhanced photos with Geotags and NAP, and built 25 competitive citations. With these processes, our client ranked in two weeks.
The tips that we will provide for you are going to help you increase the strength of your GMB which will ultimately push more traffic to your website. Additionally, it will help your company receive more phone calls and be able to formidably win over more leads.
Who doesn’t want more leads?
As a business owner, you understand the simple truth that small changes can make all the difference. Similarly, you could be five changes away from ranking #1 locally on Google.
A higher rank means more people will see your business, you’re easily findable, you appear as more reliable than your competition, and you will receive more business.
Experts have learned that clicks from GMB listings have increased by almost 30% since 2018, and phone calls from GMB listings have increased by 22%.
This is why optimizing your GMB listing should be high on your priority list.
One of the excuses that we hear a lot from business owners who are not prioritizing their GMB listing is that they aren’t an SEO professional. They think that they’re not equipped to handle the responsibility of improving their GMB listing.
But here’s the fact: You don’t have to be an SEO professional to increase your GMB listing.
You have probably been under the impression that improving your SEO through GMB is expensive.
The best news?
It actually doesn’t cost anything to improve your GMB ranking. Yes, it’s completely free!
You’re now utilizing free marketing.
Most people think that they need a specialized degree, certificates, and an unmatched technical savviness to rank their businesses.
You don’t need professional training in order to rank your business.
The only thing that you need to know is how to do it. You’re already halfway there.
Throughout this ebook, we will show you where to plug in the right information to increase your ranking. With these simple steps and us showing you where to put the written information into practice, you will be able to increase your strength, presence, and increase your incoming phone calls.
Now that you understand why you should be ranking your GMB, it’s time to tell you how to do it. Remember, you could be five steps away from ranking #1 locally. So here’s a Five Step GMB Ranking Process to aid you in improving your company:
- Find YOUR Focus Keyword
A focus keyword is a single phrase that encompasses your company. This focus keyword will be from a list of possible keywords that your clients are already searching for. You can probably already think of a few keywords that appropriately fit your business, but the focus keyword will be the one phrase that rises above the rest. If you imagine a pyramid of keywords that fit your company, the word or phrase at the top of the pyramid would be your focus keyword.
If you don’t have a keyword, you won’t have any traffic; if you don’t have the right keyword, you won’t have any business.
Your traffic is weighting directly from your keywords.
It’s important to identify your particular keyword to work with because you’re limited within GMB to focus on only one keyword. For our purposes, choosing one keyword that accurately summarizes and encompasses your company will be more beneficial than coming up with multiple keywords.
There are a few tricks to help you come up with the best focus keyword possible.
- Open Google and search for your keywords or services. Realizing how you as a Google user poses the search will help you determine what keywords will be the most beneficial for your business.
- Visit sites like Ubersuggest’s Free Keyword Tool, AnswerThePublic, Semrush – Online Visibility Management Platform, SpyFu – Competitor Keyword Research Tools for Google Ads PPC & SEO, Google Trends
- Google your competitors and see what words Google highlights in their reviews. This will tell you what Google is already looking for.
- You can also use this free keyword generator: Bulk Keyword Generator | Free Local SEO Keyword Tool
If you don’t get the keyword right, you can be ranking the wrong thing. You could rank something no one is searching for. Doing your research and identifying your focus keyword is extremely vital to the success of your GMB ranking.
2. Create Your GMB Profile
Before creating your GMB profile for your business, it’s important to note that you should wait until the very end of the process to add your business address. This is because if you end up changing this address, Google will have to send you a verification code to make sure that you’re with the right business, and this could end up locking you out of your account. So build your profile first before adding your business address.
Here is a step by step process on how to create your GMB profile:
- Ensure Your Company’s Name is Accurate
The name that you have registered within your business license needs to match your GMB listing. There is no need to add “LLC” to the name of your business. This is essential to have a profitable GMB listing. Google requires the listing to match your business license because they require that it accurately represents your business – or else you will be at risk for a suspension.
The key to this step is to include your NAP. (Name, address, phone number) Your NAP is the first thing that Google will pull from your listing to determine if you’re the best choice to rank. Additionally, Google compares your NAP not only from your listing, but from every social media account associated with your company. Having your NAP across multiple platforms increases the likelihood of Google ranking you. It proves the consistency of your company and proves your reliability; that you have only reliable information available. Google, just like its users, will get confused if you don’t have consistent information available. If your information doesn’t match, Google will choose to rank other businesses with consistent information above yours.
Categories are important because it identifies to Google what exactly your business is. This is what keeps you from searching for an auto painter and getting a house painter.
This link to the Category Workbook will help you identify the strongest categories for you: Copy of Category Workbook – Google Sheets
- Service Areas
If you aren’t listing your service areas, you won’t be getting phone calls from there. This helps Google identify your business structure and ultimately the services you provide as a business.
Next, you should identify which of the 3 Business Types you are:
Hybrid: Has a physical location and delivers goods or performs services.
I.e., Pizza Place, Flower Shop, Grocery Store
Service Based: May not have a physical location, but performs a service.
I.e., Contractors, Pest Control, Lawncare
Storefront: Has a physical location and usually doesn’t perform business outside of that location.
I.e., Barbershop, Restaurant, Auto-Care
From here, you will now list what you provide to a client. You should be as detailed as possible. You should not rely on the searcher to visit your website to see what you do. Think about it like this: GMB is trying to replace your website and Google wants this listing to be a one-stop shop. What information do you need to provide so no one even needs to visit your website?
Why is posting important? The answer is simple: The more you use GMB features, the more they favor you. This means that when you start utilizing GMB and its features such as keywords, Google is going to make sure that it gets seen.
The “Perfect Post” uses a focus keyword in the title and includes geotags. Additionally, the “Perfect Post” uses authentic photos and not stock imagery. An example of the “Perfect Post” is down below.
- Your GMB Website
The thing about your free GMB website is that you don’t have to worry about how it looks. What you need to worry about here is the information inside of it.
- Add Title and Headline
a. Be sure to include your service area, focus keyword, brand name, and phone number
b. Add a Call Now or Book Appointment button – or another appropriate CTA that works for your business
i. Ensure that this phone number or link is accurate and consistent with all your other online information.
c. Add Photos
i. Geotag them if you can’t take real photos
ii. If possible, take real and authentic photos, stray away from stock photos.
d. Add Descriptions
i. Keyword Focus your descriptions. A tip for Keyword Focusing is to Google your competition, see what words are bold within their reviews, and that will help you determine what Keywords Google is already looking for.
e. Add Summary
i. List your services and your service areas
ii. Add citations
iii. Internal Links to your website, maps, and citation pages
After following all of these steps, you should now have your GMB listing and free GMB website. Now for maintaining your listing, you should be actively checking your listing to make sure the information remains correct.
Additionally, here’s a Maintenance Checklist that you can be doing to help your ranking improve:
- Add 2 Photos a Week
- Keep Adding Zipcodes
- Keep Getting Reviews
- Post Three Times A Week
One thing we have seen from our experience is a recurring suspension from address changes.
If this happens to you, the best thing to do is get in contact with Google.
It’s always good to stay up to date with Google’s GMB guidelines. This is how you can ensure that you won’t see a suspension and will remain in Google’s favor, thus ranking better. You can always check out the guidelines here: Guidelines for representing your business on Google – Google My Business Help
Now you’re better equipped to rank your GMB listing and start receiving more incoming phone calls and leads!